I’ve been itching to go to France. I have no idea why. This obsession has taken over me, and now I want to surround myself with all things french. Even if it’s the cheesy American versions of things.
So last night I hosted myself a french inspired evening while Terri was away working. I thought it would not only give me something to do but also let me watch a french movie I had been wanting to see. I also wanted to do a test run on a french dish I’ve been looking to cook but have been scared to death to try. I’m not usually afraid of cooking new food, but there’s something about the incredible standard of french food that made me shake in my boots.
I ended up finding a chicken dish online that I thought could be pretty
idiot-proof for me. Fricassée De Poulet (Chicken Fricassée) looked like my best bet and would keep the ghost of Julia Childs from hunting me down and smothering me in my sleep if I messed it up. After that, everything else seemed to fall into place.
I started my evening with what I imagined France might be like. Whenever I think of France I think of several things right away:
So this became the basis of my french inspired evening.
Un: Setting the Mood
In order to put me in the french mood, I kick started my girly party of one with some online french language lessons, french music, fragrance and flowers.
Fortunately I have rose bushes outside so I was able to run into the front yard and pick some beautiful pink and yellow roses. After placing them in a vase, I sprayed a little COCO Chanel onto myself, turned on a little french music compliments of iTunes and sprayed some lavender relaxation mist into the air. Cheesy, I know. But it worked. I was walking around my house smelling fabulous and singing along with “La journee qui s’en vient est flambant nueve” even though I had no idea what I was saying. I’m still new at the french language so I’m pretty sure I slaughtered it. LOL
If you’re interested in taking free french lessons online, check out the links on www.openculture.com.
I’m almost out of COCO! GASP! Thank goodness Santa is coming in several weeks.
After that, it was time for food and beverage.
Deux: Food & Beverage
I went to BevMo and finally scored a bottle of Lillet which is a french apéritif wine (usually served before a meal to stimulate appetite). I purchased the white version of Lillet which is 85% Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle wine and the remaining 15% is liqueurs, mostly citrus liqueurs from sweet oranges. I’m not kidding when I say this beverage was so good that I think I might have started crying. It could have been the onions I was chopping at the same time, but I’m not 100% on that. Just sayin’. This stuff is THAT good. I served myself in a wine glass on ice with an orange slice. Délicieux!!!!!
I also did this while snacking on herbed french Chèvre (goat cheese) and crackers. I don’t know if cheese is traditionally served before or after a french meal, but momma was hungry, and I needed to eat! The Lillet was obviously working! 😉
So now we’ve had the music, language lesson, fragrance, aromatherapy, beverage, and cheese. I knew it was time for the PIECE DE RESISTANCE: The Chicken Fricassee. The moment I had been dreading, and assumed had “catastrophe” stamped all over it.
Surprisingly, not only was it good but it was GREAT. I made a few alterations to suite my needs (such as leaving out the carrots) but overall it was a fantastic dish. This version was with portobello mushrooms. (recipe can be found here)
My wine pairing for this was Sancerre (french Sauvignon Blanc).
And of course no meal is complete without dessert. I made a very simple dessert considering I’m supposed to be on a diet (yea right). So I kept it simple with raspberries and whipped cream. If I had a cooking torch, I would have made Crème brûlée, but subsequently would have probably burned down the house. So it was probably better this way. 😉
As I continued to drink my Sancerre, I watched two movies that I thought were great.
I first chose an American movie from the 90’s because it’s always been one of my favorites, and I thought it was a great warm-up movie. It’s called French Kiss and stars Meg Ryan (who doesn’t love her?) and Kevin Kline. It’s a romantic comedy set in France, and I’ve always related to her character. Everything from the fear of flying to the lactose intolerance. LOL. I adore this movie.
Next was the authentic french film that I watched in english subtitles, Priceless, featuring Audrey Tautou (from Amelie and The Da Vinci Code). This was also a romantic comedy that was originally inspired by the infamous Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s the story of a gold digger (Audrey) who ends up falling for a broke bartender whom originally pretended not to be a bartender. It was lighthearted, cute and fun. I highly recommend (as long as you don’t mind subtitles).
And there you have it! If there’s a particular country or culture that fascinates you, I encourage you to throw a party for yourself or friends. If you can’t visit the country, bring the country to YOU!
Next up will be Italian night! 😉