A table! (ah ta-bleh) Our pioneer grandmothers had dinner bells, the French have AAAAA TAAAAABLE! My children enjoy running around the house announcing it as if they were Paul Revere's offspring. Dig in!
You all remember the first meal you shared with your future in-laws right?? Good times. Mine went like this :
It all started in the usual way, fretting over what to wear, what to wear, what.to.wear. After all, I was in Paris now. I opted for a black skirt and an Old Navy top. You can't go wrong with black, right?
We headed to their place by metro, because of course it's the fastest way to get around Paris. Unlike our
High school French was doing nothing for me unless I were to be called upon to count until 10. While my in-laws did speak English, the combination of this being the first time we met and trying to think of something
My MIL is a goooooood cook. The entrée and main dishes were restaurant worthy and the wine was excellent. The initial strain had disappeared and so had my plate, for the second time. We were moving on to the salad. I met my match. The lettuce leaf--whole. My mother in law didn't cut the leaves, or tear them by hand. She left them whole. I later learned she makes one salad from the more succulent inner leaves and another one from the greener outer leaves, but she leaves them whole all the same. Pun intended.
As I stared at the leaves I thought : Bingo! This is my challenge for the night. I'm being measured up by how well I do on this. I already knew that somewhere a buzzer would sound if I reached for my knife (don't do it!) so taking a cue from my fiancé I took a small piece of bread and attempted to use it against the flailing, unwieldy piece of lettuce that I was trying to pierce with my fork all the while smiling and keeping up with the conversation.
As it turned out, every time that I would go to put the fork in my mouth one of two things happened, sometimes simultaneously :
1. The leaf would spring open like a jack-in-the-box.
2. I would be asked a question.
Rinse and repeat. Oy vey. We ended up having a lovely time but how I got through the meal without balsamic vinaigrette all over me is still a mystery. See? I told you you couldn't go wrong with wearing black.
P.S. I eventually mastered eating salad with just a soft crouton as a tool, btw. I still tear the salad leaves when making a salad though.