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Friday, February 22, 2013

DINING in France

The skills he learned in France . . .
And cooking.












In his early twenties, my Husby spent two years living in Paris, France.
For a farm boy from southern Alberta, it was quite a culture shock.
But he loved it, and grew to love the French people.
During his years there, he discovered that the French love their food.
Love. Their. Food.
And he found out first hand . . .
During his stay there, Husby became acquainted with a wealthy U.S. national and his family who made their home in Paris.
Wonderful people.
One evening, the father decided to take his family out to dine.
He invited Husby and his companions.
Remember the place where I said ‘wealthy’?
That would become important here.
They went to a five-star, French restaurant.
And when the French say five-star, they definitely mean it.
Our little farm boy found himself in the very heart and soul of Haute Cuisine.
He nervously sank into a chair at one of the luxurious tables and accepted the expertly-flourished menu.
Fortunately, his French was good, so ordering didn’t cause any complications.
The meal came out in courses.
Slow courses.
When I say that the French love their food, I mean it.
And they take time to worship every. Single. Bite.
Finally, the main course appeared.
Husby’s American friend had ordered steak.
Steak was delivered. Smothered in onions and other good things.
Said steak was also very, very rare.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that would have been just fine with me. (Rancher’s daughter.)
But for Husby’s friend, it was simply unacceptable. “Could you please take this back and cook it?” he asked.
The waiter’s impeccable manners did not allow for any outward show of surprise or even opinion. He simply said, “Oui, M’sieur,” and carried the offending plate away.
A few minutes later, he reappeared, with the same steak on a fresh plate.
Still beautifully displayed.
Still rare.
The friend stared at it, then at the waiter. “Could you please take it back again?”
Now it’s no crime to like your meat well-done.
Most of my family members actually prefer it that way.
It’s just not acceptable when you are in a very fancy French restaurant.
A short time later, the steak re-appeared.
This time carried in with tongs.
By the chef, himself.
“M’sieur,” he said, slapping the steak down in disgust on a nearby plate, “you have murdered that steak!” The man then spun about and marched back to the kitchen, outrage and repugnance (good word) in every step.
For those of you planning on dining in France . . .
The people are wonderful.
The food divine.
The meat, rare.
That is all.

14 comments:

  1. My son in law liked to order his steaks "blue rare". He was also raised in France. In restaurants in southern Alberta he was usually met with a blank stare. Then he would explain that you just cooked it very, very briefly on each side. I didn't become converted. Shirley Jorstad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Myself, I totally know where he's coming from. I like a little 'moo' with my steak!

      Delete
  2. lol...I always ask for mine medium/well...heavy on the well. Even here it is sniffed at.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My family would agree with your way . . .

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Now you are totally equipped to head to France . . .

      Delete
  4. I like the way Woody Harrelson (Cowboy Way)ordered his steak in New York. 'Just knock the horns off, wipe its butt(substitution for the real word) and throw it on a plate.'

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wouldn't do well in France... I can only handle medium well done.... no rare for me:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madame, you have . . . . well, you get the picture.

      Delete
  6. So doesn't surprise me. My husband was in France too. Been there a bit--the French do love their food and everything else French and they have the egos to match it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like my steak rare too, not to the point where it would Moo if I stuck my fork into it, but still juicy and tasty. For years and years I had to cook steaks until they were well done, meat had to be "properly" cooked according to both husbands. To me that meant dried out and tasteless, needing vats of gravy just to be able to chew it. I gave up eating meat. Now that I'm alone, I still don't eat much meat, it's too expensive now, but when I do have a tiny steak, I cook it just a little more than the french do and once again I enjoy eating meat.

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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