You Say Potato

I wanted to invite Chloe over for coffee before the Annual Block Party so that I could prepare her for our yearly summer gathering.  Being the newest on the block always brought the most interest, and last year Edie and Artie were the crown jewels of the event.  The men would easily take Francis into their group; ex-military meeting ex-military always has something to talk about.  Artie spent last year sitting with the women, a fact people are still gossiping about. I called Chloe and set up a date, asking her to bring Marie-Claire along for Daisy to play with.  I flipped through the pages of the French cookbook and found a cake with cherries.  Steve loves cherries and if it turned out well, I could add it to my recipe box on an index card.  The ingredients were easy to find and I understood how to make it.  I just didn’t know how to pronounce it.  Cherry Clafoutis.  I purchased fresh cherries to pit and made it anyway.

When Chloe arrived with Marie-Claire, Daisy and I met them at the door and the little girls danced away to play together.  Some actions defy language or country.  The little girls were already at home with one another within 10 seconds.  I wanted to make Chloe feel at home but wanted to be true to my own style.  I had the Clafoutis in the oven finishing up and it was poofing up nicely.  I had set a pretty table with my (oh so American) matching cups and plates. I used the good silverware but poured the coffee in the kitchen and carried out the cups on a tray.

When the buzzer sounded, I returned to the kitchen and took the Clafoutis out of the oven, dusted it with 10x sugar and brought it out warm to serve as suggested.  When I placed it on the trivet, it started to deflate a little, and Chloe’s eyes misted up.  I thought I must have done something wrong and started to apologize.  Chloe explained that everything was alright with the dessert but that it brought back memories of her Grand’Mere who used to make it for her.  She explained that KLA FOO TEE always deflated a little after coming out of the oven. Well, at least I knew how to say it now.  The Clafoutis was delicious but subtle.  The cherries were soft and the sugar dusting on the top was the right amount of sweetness.  Actually, it tasted and looked a lot like an upside down cake.

Chloe was curious about the block party and I prepared her as best I could.  I let her know about the expectation of bringing a side dish and she said that she wanted to try and make Salade de pommes de terre.  It sounded fancy.  Chloe explained that it was potato salad.  I brought out my cookbook, which she eagerly looked through, stopping from time to time to make comments on how good some recipes were.

I realized I might enjoy French cooking.  We didn’t have any liquor with our coffee but maybe next time we’ll meet later in the day.  I’m not opposed to a drink after lunch; I will just have to figure out what kind to serve.  Perhaps Champagne!




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