For a member of the Parret family, I am republishing this post. Thanks for visiting Ines and tell the Parrets that we miss them.
As Jade was off with her class today, Gilbert and Gilberte Parret invited me over for the afternoon. I love eating there.
They have a cozy, outdoor, summer kitchen that looks out onto their front garden, complete with a back-in-the-day Lacanche stove like mine, only they had theirs first.
As always, this was a relaxed, leisurely meal with no time limit and lots of conversation. We began with a wine aperitif of Bailly cremant and cute yellow tomatoes from the garden with salt, pepper, bread and butter.
I have to get a yellow tablecloth!
The entree was an interesting salad of hearts of palm, tuna filets, crab surimi, garden lettuce, tomatoes and parsley with a traditional vinaigrette. M. Parret is an avid gardener and likes to showcase his harvest. So fresh and so good!
With the entree, we had a light, dry, blended white wine from Alsace, Edelzwicker. This was almost shocking because M. Parret generally only serves wines from Bourgogne. He said that it was sometimes good to try another region’s wines and anyway, someone gave him the bottle.
Mme Parret, whose family is originally from Belgium, is a good traditional cook. None of that Jamie Oliver rigmarole for her! Mme Parret makes the best rillettes and fruit tartes I have ever tasted. Concerned that, as Americans, we couldn’t possibly be eating properly, she has thoughtfully offered to teach me how to cook. So sweet!
For the “plat principal” Mme Parret prepared veal cutlets with an earthy, button mushroom sauce. The veal, from the race Abondance, was born and raised at their chalet in the Savoie region of France. The Abondance cow is also famous for it’s milk, used in making rich and creamy reblochon cheese.
M. Parret, as always, carefully prepared a platter for the cheese course. He is truly a master and although retired, is still sought after for his advice and recommendations.The Parrets are always visibly disappointed that I haven’t seemed to learn a thing about cheeses since the last time we ate together. In his prime, he tells me, he used to teach a cheese course for foreigners from around the world, including Americans. “The Americans were the best students”, he enthuses. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to turn in my flag and slit my wrists! I just can’t seem to remember anything about cheese unless it is called Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss or Brie. So with a heavy sigh, M. Parret prepares a selection of cheeses for my plate and tells me in which order I should eat them. The Chaource and Roquefort were Mahvelous!
For dessert Mme Parret had prepared a simple dish of baked apples with raspberry jam and vanilla ice cream. Just right!
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