Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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!

7th wedding anniversary eats

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

Quail 'en sarcophage'


Blogger K and S said...

wow! what a feast! happy belated anniversary!

11:48 AM, June 22, 2010  
Blogger RONW said...

Happy Anniversary!

1:16 PM, June 22, 2010  
Blogger Ciao Chow Linda said...

Happy Anniversary. I'd love some of that kugelhopf please.

2:17 PM, June 22, 2010  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Kat - I am paying the price today...too much alcohol on the brain does no good when you have to work out in the garden the next day. Oh my aching head! Thank you!!

RONW - mahalos back to you in lovely Waikiki. French food is good, but only for speshul celebrations. My champagne days are OVER. The bubbly, no matter how good, makes me sick. Gimme beer any day.

Linda - thank you! We pretty much have the whole kugelhopf left. I could barely eat a thin slice after that leisurely 2 hour meal. Definitely fault the booze...I'm losing my touch :(

3:14 PM, June 22, 2010  
Blogger K and S said...

coffee lots of coffee (and water)

3:23 PM, June 22, 2010  
Blogger Sophie said...

Happy anniversary to you & the husband!!

You did a grand job on the quail's dish!!

Waw!! Looks awesome too!

Many greetings from hot & sunny Brussels!

3:46 PM, June 22, 2010  
Blogger Dinesh Balachandran said...

Wow Rowena Hearty Congrats.

4:00 PM, June 22, 2010  
Anonymous Jonzie said...


5:52 PM, June 22, 2010  
Anonymous foodhoe said...

what an amazing menu to celebrate 7 years! Your stamina is very impressive, especially that you even washed the dishes... happy anniversary you guys!

6:45 PM, June 22, 2010  
Blogger Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hello Rowena .. what a feast for a wonderful Celebration .. Congratulations to you both .. I hope that you have many many more happy years together .. :-) ♥♥♥ xx

8:18 PM, June 22, 2010  
Blogger Frizzy and Bird said...

You went all out. Happy Anniversary.

8:37 PM, June 22, 2010  
Blogger Jude said...

Happy Anniversary! Here's to many more food- & fun-filled years together.

10:39 PM, June 22, 2010  
Blogger OkiHwn said...

Congrats Tita...many more!

7:19 AM, June 23, 2010  
Anonymous casalba said...

You did it! You actually did it - and there I was thinking it was some sort of distant dream of yours. Congratulations both on the meal and your anniversary. MotH is one lucky man. Auguri to both of you from over here. Dan, (our) Mr B and Dr M all send their love.

10:08 AM, June 23, 2010  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Thank you, mahalo, muchas gracias, mille grazie everyone for all of the happy greetings. The next big celebration will be on our 3000th DAY as Moth & the Mrs. Ressies or no? Eat out or stay in? We shall see.

Casalba - the trickiest part (as most people would believe) is deboning quail. But actually it was quite easy when done with a very sharp paring knife. We had to learn to debone a whole chicken in cooking school...and I got low marks for leaving too much meat on the bone carcass. No wonder I made the switch over to baking!

10:32 AM, June 23, 2010  
Blogger Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

Wow... that's a real feast. Buon anniversario. Your husband is a lucky guy!

12:07 PM, June 23, 2010  
Blogger LindyLouMac said...

Congratulations to you both on your anniversary.

2:35 PM, June 23, 2010  
OpenID farfalle1 said...

Happy, happy anniversary, and many more happy years ahead! I'm in awe of anyone who can say, 'all you have to do is debone the quail'. I wouldn't know where to start, sharp paring knife or no. Compliementi on a fabulous festive feast.

10:07 PM, June 23, 2010  
OpenID carlae said...

Congrats! I guess that's enough!

5:31 AM, June 24, 2010  
Blogger Barbara said...

Another Congratulations for you and your hubby.
OK said, I'am going to crawl under a rock. That is a PROFESSIONAL MENU there!! :)

9:05 PM, June 24, 2010  
Anonymous hotel agon berlin said...

Oh its mouthwatering.Hap anniversary to both of you.

10:22 AM, June 27, 2010  
Blogger Proud Italian Cook said...

Happy Belated Anniversary Rowena!

3:52 AM, July 03, 2010  
OpenID scatteredmoments said...

Happy Anniversary!! My husband saw the photo of the bottle of wine and said if you have another he would love to share it with you. Wink wink. :)

9:20 AM, July 27, 2010  
Blogger Rowena... said...

scatteredmoments - thanks for the congrats! Between you and your husband, you both sound like true gourmands. I have to say that MotH, being northern italian, has never tasted half the stuff that I set on the table, but he is open to all types of cuisines. A good thing because I can't just stick with italian food all the time!

9:40 AM, July 28, 2010  

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