A toast to Babette's Feast and 7 years of marriage
Of all the memorable meals brought to cinematic life, Babette's Feast is the one to have whetted my appetite the most. It is a classic. But it wasn't so much for the turtle soup that got the wheels turning in my head (realistically, I wouldn't eat turtle meat), and neither for the dramatic presentation that comes when serving quails in "coffins", but because of how the movie slowly starts off in grey somber tones then explodes in gastronomic color. As the lead character of Babette deftly pulls off a sumptuous affair for a gathering of dour-faced parishioners, her culinary "mojo" is propelled to the forefront where the repast becomes not only the climax of the story, but remains a subtle aftertaste as the film draws to a close.
I cooked, I cleaned, I conquered!
Yesterday marked 7 years as MotH & Missus but instead of making reservations, I threw on my apron and started channeling Babette. Tiny quails are as common as white meat chicken at the supermarket (4 for 2.50€) and all I had to do was debone them. Pre-made puff pastry - pasta sfoglia - comes in 13-inch rounds or squares, ready to place into quiche pans or cut out into shapes. This site suggests a fine alternative to turtle soup and the rest of the article is very helpful in simplifying some of the courses without downgrading the feast to an ordinary meal. All in all, it turned out a big success *ahem* even if I ended up washing the dishes.
Cin! Cin! Veuve Clicquot Brut
Consomme a la royale
Buckwheat blinis with creme fraiche and lumpfish caviar
Quails 'en sarcophage' with truffle-infused brown sauce (cheat version of Périgourdine sauce)
Salud! Château Latour Martillac Grand Cru
Green salad (from the garden)
Goat cheese from a local producer and french Pont-l'Éveque
Charentais melon, cherries and apricots
Kugelhopf soaked with rum syrup