Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chats et Agneaux

This afternoon Florence sent me an SMS requesting that dinner be ready upon her return from work at 19:00 this evening, and suggested the meat wrapped in butcher paper as the main entrée. I happily accepted her request, then peered into the starving fridge, and found the lone package on the middle shelf. It was obviously a hearty meat, as a red-toned liquid made a shadow around the hunk of animal. Upon unwrapping the package, I realized it was just a lovely little bunch of lamb chops, and got to work. I got real Frenchy: sautéed shit in butter, added sprigs of rosemary and thyme (and likely, parsely and sage before that), then poured some fine white wine to sizzle happily around it all.

So Florence strolls in half hour later than she said she’d be, and Patrick twenty minutes past that. My fancy dancy meal, sauce included, had been ready for some time now, and I suddenly felt embarrassed at my lavishly decorated table, complete with properly filled wine glasses, sliced baguette, and napkins folded in the most adorable fashion.

I believe the first thing Florence said when she entered was “Oh, did you open that wine? Better be careful with Patrick’s wine; he buys expensive bottles and you might get in trouble….” Great. So Patrick strolls in just then, makes a note of the bottle, then looks in my direction after a little grumble, and says “You’re fired.” Good one. I just gave them a cheeky look and took a sip, attempting to ignore my glowing cheeks. But I will tell you this right now: I may have opened a hundred dollar bottle of wine without a second thought, but goddamnit if I didn’t make up for it with that meal. Seared lamb chops and butter-sauteed apples, gently drizzled with a balsamic sauce, accompanied by a delightful green bean side and roasted potatoes. Does it sound like I’m bragging? I am.

As we’re polishing off the bottle and licking our chops, so to speak, someone gently brushed my leg under the table. Ah, of course, the cat. That we don’t own. “What is this?” I say in exaggerated French. “Ah, yes it was a smart-looking cat that was waiting at the door, so I let him in,” Patrick admired his new little friend and offered him a potato, which he snootily refused. Stupid French cat. “Il deteste les potates!” I swear my accent is amazing if I’m trying to put one on. I supposed he seemed smart enough, and we let him be, then went on impersonating Sarkozy and Bridget Bardot (an unlikely pair!).

After the meal, we sat around spreading obscene amounts of camembert over baguette slices, and starting quoting a Flight of the Conchords episode (which involves delightful French mockery). Apparently we were all too involved in our chit chat to notice le petit chat taking a piss in the house plant. “Merde! Non! Psstttt!” Patrick jumped up and started some sort of hissing noise in the cat’s face, then pushed the little fella outside. And this is the part that made me love him: he picked up a small, square bottle of perfume (that was for some reason stored in the kitchen) and started spritzing the plant with it! He couldn’t be more French! Holding this little pink-tinted bottle, complete with a little pink bulb to squeeze, spritzing a house planted. That’ll do the trick.

Well, the rest of the night was a bit too silly to recall, and involved far too much chocolate, so I will stop here. But I learned two important things: one, that I can cook; and two, that I can open any wine I want, so long as I cook. Oh, and three: when your stolen cat wizzes on the houseplant, a simple spritz of the old Channel Number 5 will take the wiz away.