How do you know that you’ve eaten too much Easter candy? When it’s the first time in your memory that you would gladly refuse a piece of chocolate.
Last week, Martine announced that we would be spending Pâques with Laurent’s mother. As the boys groaned, I geeked out with excitement over the idea of an entire day spent documenting new cultural experiences. [Why yes, I am a human sciences major. How’d you guess?]
The day did not disappoint. We arrived at Mami’s Parisian apartment at 12:30, and were immediately ushered into the formal parlor. I sat with her yorkshire terrier on my lap (dogs can always find the weak one in the group) as we sipped champagne and nibbled on olives, caviar, and paté. After several toasts, we moved to the dining room to begin one of the more ridiculous culinary experiences of my life. From the entrée (appetizer) of an entire filet of smoked salmon on a spinach salad to the plat (main course) of bacon-wrapped lamb, to the roasted potatoes, green beans, yogurt, cheese, fruit, cake, and truffles, everything was far too much, far too fattening, and far too delicious. Need I mention that each course included its own wine and sorbet to cleanse the palate?
In a futile attempt to work off a few of the calories we had just consumed, the family went on a walk around the nearby lake. I tried to engage Mami in some culturally relevant conversation, but she mainly just wanted to talk about her dog and how handsome the boys are turning out. Apparently, the classic grandparent traits of doting on your grandkids and animals are universal.
You didn’t think the food discussion was over, did you? Oh, no. Dinner was still to come. I won’t torture you with the details, but suffice it to say that we had an equally hefty meal for the evening, complete with more fish, more cheese, and, of course, more butter. That woman sure knows how to
force her house guests into diabetic comas cook.
Once the family finally got home, we all crawled into bed rubbing our bellies and thanking the Lord on behalf of our waistbands that holidays with familial commitments only come a few times a year.
I can’t say that my Monday feast was nearly as haute-cuisine, but the group of international students made a pretty solid North American brunch for ourselves this afternoon. We gorged ourselves on scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, pancakes (NOT crêpes) chocolate eggs, and the package of Peeps that my mom sent over from the States! Of course, we had to indulge in the traditional dyeing of Easter Eggs and Hunt, both of which were marvelous successes and made all of the French students in the dorm think we were insane. I guess you’d be weirded out, too, if you saw a dozen twenty-somethings running through the halls yelling about chocolate being hidden in the air vents.
What a lovely weekend. I’ve consumed all of my caloric allowance for the next three days, but it was completely worth it to experience a great family holiday and spend time with friends. For all its laughs and groans, it was definitely a weekend to remember.