Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Good food and good friends - Can it get any better?

Food is something that should always be celebrated, no matter how simple or complicated the preparations are, don’t you agree? The best thing, however, is food in combination with good friends and lots of laughter.

Last weekend, we were invited to Martin and Yvonne’s for a fondue chinoise We were greeted by our lovely hosts, and then by their dog, Nanook (Inuktitut for polar bear), a beautiful, young Berger Picard. I’m by no means big, but… Man! Did you see the size of his bed?

The weather was quite mild so we had the aperitif outside and then went inside for dinner. A fondue, no matter what kind, is what I would describe as “real social get together” meal and requires only little preparation. As host, you are with your guests all the time. Genuine good fun! See for yourselves.

Martin and Yvonne

The girls

The boys

Did I mention the laughter?

On Monday, the Big Bear (you might have read him in my comments) helped me prepare an Indian dinner. Because it does take some preparation and he wanted to be there to learn how to do it, we decided to actually do all the preps a day in advance and have the meal the next day. It also gave the lovely spices time to really get into the meat, respectively, into the dal.

All I had to do on the Tuesday was set the table, prepare the side dishes that I wanted to have done fresh (rice, roti bread and green beans) and warm up the curry and chick peas. Here’s what we had:

- Roti (flat bread)
- Cucumber Raita (Yoghurt with cucumber and fresh herbs and spices)
- Hot Indian Chicken Curry “my way” (adapted from an Indian friend’s recipe)
- Saffron basmati rice
- Chana Dal (Chick pea curry)
- Beans Porial (Stir-fried green beans in coconut and spices)
- Mango Mousse

On Sunday, we were invited to an ex-colleague’s for lunch. Pierre lives in a cosy village in the Alsace, about 20km from Mulhouse. Now let me tell you that the French take a Sunday lunch very seriously. Usually, it starts around 11:30/noon with an aperitif and munchies from where one moves on to the dining area around 1pm, and you don’t get out of the table until 5pm.

I kid you not! We ate from the moment we got in until 4pm. NON Stop! We had olives, nuts and shrimps with the aperitif, followed by a salad with crayfish and mussels (OX had my mussels), pork cutlets with a lovely estragon sauce and mushrooms, a cheese plate and finally, fresh strawberries for desert and coffee. Around 4pm we decided we needed to take a short walk to help digest all the food (and fortunately, this was a light meal version. Did you notice? No mention of potatoes or pasta!). We had an awesome time with Pierre and his friend, Françoise.

I wish I could have taken photos of the French dining experience, but I unfortunately forgot the camera memory stick in my laptop. Duh! I’m just glad that we have another two weeks to loose the extra weight we put on until our next outing… We’ll be having an Australian dinner at The Boomerang with TBF’s.

Don’t you just love food and good company to go with it?


Mr. Fabulous said...

In about 20 minutes I am going to pick up a fast food hamburger and come back and eat it in my hotel room alone.

Something tells me it will seem as glamorous.

The Big Bear said...

This was such a great evening with you, Orange-X and Captain Dale! I enjoyed both the cooking and the meal very much. Tonight I stay in Oslo and guess where we have been for dinner: right, we have been at the no.1 Indian restaurant in town! This was not by my request but just a fancy idea of my colleague... Well, I guess big bear will always stay big this way...

Ex-Shammickite said...

Sharing good food and good converation with friends is one of life's greatest pleasures... especially when it's someone else doing the cooking!

CanadianSwiss said...

Fab: If you think of me, it will be

Big B: I see you've been treated to your share of curry, lately

Ex-Shammi: It sure is. Sit down, relax and enjoy!

Ginnie said...

I told you, I think, that I asked for dal at the Indian restaurant in London. Oh my. I could eat that every day of my life. Some of those flavors are VERY ADDICTIVE!

You're right, CS. There's nothing better than good food shared with good company. Some day I hope to do it with you and O-X!!! :)

CanadianSwiss said...

Ginnie: Indian food IS addictive (to me, at least)! I'm sure that we'll get together for a nice meal, either in Europe or across the pond :)

Jay said...

I'm a big believer in good food, and good cooking. I live in a very Indian-saturated area, so we've really enjoyed their good foods, and because there are so many Indian grocery markets, I can actually cook with authentic ingredients, which was not the case at all in the small town I grew up in. There, ethnic food was spaghetti.
Great pictures too - you're a real cutie.

CanadianSwiss said...

Aww. *blushing* Thanks, Jay. When I came to Switzerland, it was very difficult to find authentic ingredients, but today I find them in Thai/Asian shops.

You grew up in Eastern Ontario, just like me, right?

Shelli said...

Sounds fun. I think we were meant to eat that way. Small amounts spread out.

I am not a very big risk taker when it comes to food and I don't like spicy/hot stuff, so I am afraid if you came to my house to eat it would be pretty bland. Unless we made one of our famous Italian dishes. You would probably like those. I should say that Jason does the cooking. So I could sit and chat with you while he prepared the meal. LOL

Expat Traveler said...

I'm just now getting to this stuff.

Awe - what a cute first pic of you and the dog... Looks like fun times!

CanadianSwiss said...

Shelli: I'm a pretty easy eater. I love food from very mild to very hot and spicy. Was that an invitation, btw? ;)

ET: Ahhh! You've made it! :)