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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

This is what friends do on a Sunday afternoon…

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For more than half of my short adult life I have lived abroad (in a socialist-communist (that’s what they think) country with a one-world currency (think apocalypse) and good healthcare).

Every summer I head back the the motherland and make the rounds – mostly visiting my ginormous family. After a few days I get my fill of the family drama that I have cleverly escaped…and could potentially get sucked into if I’m not careful.

No matter how short (or long) my stay, I try feasting on at least one KC barbecue meal and several scoops of Murray’s ice cream every day (even on a Monday). That is enough to keep me going until my next summer visit without ever getting homesick…sort of.

I get friendsick sometimes. It sucks.

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All I need for a really good day is a scoop of Murray’s and a friend or two to share it with.

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Last night we celebrated the end of our friend’s exile – or so we hope – from England with a little party. We ate pâté, saucisson sec, baguette. I learned the secret to a traditional French vinaigrette. We indulged in a rosé cremant d’Alsace…for a New Girl reference click here. Huzzah! It was very adult…

Except for the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They aren’t adult party food. I’m not even sure what party food is, but whatever. I love cookies. Here’s recipe:

1 c butter, 1 c brown sugar, 1/2 c white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 t vanilla, 1 t baking soda, 1/2 t salt, 3 c oatmeal, 1 c chocolate chunks (I chop up a baking chocolate bar). In the mixer: butter, sugar, eggs first. Baking soda, salt, flour second. Add in oatmeal and then chocolate (!). You scoop and bake @ 350 F for about 10 minutes. I didn’t have any brown sugar because this is France (a.k.a. the third world) so I used all white sugar – for a yummy dark flavor and for added moisture (yes, I used that word) I poured in a glob of molasses on the sugar before I tossed it in the mixing bowl. The dough was pretty dark, but the end result was the best not-really-party food ever.

And the puzzle…a 1,000 piece puzzle with naughty drawings (see above photo). We began the puzzle at around 11 p.m. and by 3:00 a.m. there were two dedicated puzzle assemblers still working. In fact, the no-longer-exiled friend came over this evening to continue the puzzle assembly.

The puzzle was a gift from a close friend who just moved from the Netherlands to Korea…and well, you can’t take it all with you. In the end, I received the gift of a few puzzles. You can check out her sweet blog that’s just taking off while you’re at it.

Maybe a future career option is to organize children’s parties or mixers at nursing homes.

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Brunch might bring to mind a slow Sunday afternoon sipping on a Bloody Marys and eating Eggs Benedict; or maybe tucking into a pile of hot cakes covered in butter and maple syrup. At Coquelicot brunch doesn’t fit that mold – they take the French approach – a table covered with baskets heaped with crusty golden baguette and served with individually wrapped servings of unpasteurized AOC butter and locally produced honeys and jams. Coquelicot is a boulangerie-pâtisserie that also serves brunch and small lunches. The lines out the door were witness to their delicious staples – bread.

When we arrived the greeting was less than convivial. The dining room upstairs had been reserved for a private party, so that meant we were to fend for ourselves for the 4 interior 2-top tables or grab a seat as it opened up outside. We were meeting 4 other friends, so we opted for the outside sidewalk tables – grabbed three empty tables once they became available and lined them up. Lucky us, right? Sitting outside is a 1st choice – on a nice day, but on a windy, cold day the interior dining room would have been ideal. They did, however, have a single, under-performing overhead heater. It didn’t work, but it looked good. Good thing more than one of us came extra-prepared with scarves. The company was great. We were two Americans, three Turks and an Italian. Our conversation was peppered with English, French and Turkish.

Ordering wasn’t easy. The waiter – who looked about 18 years old – was in a mass confusion when his hand-held computer wasn’t reading the same thing we told him. Some of us ordered eggs, some eggs and bacon – and we all had brioche and baguette in abundance. I had an oeuf à la coque (soft-boiled egg) with 4 perfectly sized pieces of baguette served beside it- just right for dipping in the gooey egg yolk. A feast for the eyes! The brioche was chewy and the mie (crumb) matched my egg yolks – toasted to perfection. We ate it with raspberry or apricot jam; I had mine nature. We had to ask more than once for the honey. Glad we did. It was a sugar rush produced by fancy bees in the South of France. The baguettes were sliced lengthwise, perfect for dipping into our piping-hot bowls of coffee or hot chocolate. This is a typical way you could have your morning cup a joe in la France. It’s also perfect for warming up cold hands.

We spent about 2 hours in all sitting outside. There wasn’t a single boring moment – a gang of trumpet-wielding gypsies even passed by in song. When I couldn’t feel from below my knees, it was time to go. Paying the bill was easy. At the register, we told the server what each of us had and paid separately.

Mmm.

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