It’s not quite an annual tradition, but the Sunday lunch planned and prepared and served by the Anglophones of Daglan for members of the Club de l’Amitié (Friendship Club) is not just a success, but an event clearly welcomed and enjoyed by our French neighbours. Which is, of course, the idea.
For a bit of background, you can have a look at my posting of May 2, “The Anglo lunch: Take 2.”
Yesterday’s lunch at the Salle des fêtes attracted some 60 club members, which means a lot of food and drink was needed. Which in turn, meant a lot of work for the volunteers — residents who were born in countries where the first language is English, such as England, Scotland, and the United States.
My personal role was to arrange and then serve the cocktails as guests arrived, and I had chosen Pimm’s No. 1 Cup (to which I added extra gin, the requisite fruit garnishes, ice cubes, and a splash of 7-Up) and Buck’s Fizz (Prosecco, rather than Champagne, with orange juice). Since Pimm’s No. 1 is hardly known in France, it proved to be a great conversation-starter — usually beginning with something like “What in the world is this?”.
Once we got rolling, it was all good. At the start, however, I felt like the proverbial one-armed-wallpaper-hanger, as I madly tried to mix drinks as guests poured into the hall. Then a number of friends chipped in, helped organize the glasses for me, and pour and serve some of the drinks. After the drinks had been handed out, we all sat down for lunch.
Volunteers had set and decorated the tables, and it was all quite lovely. Have a look:
All the food was bought and then prepared by volunteers, some of whom cooked in their own kitchens, while others used the kitchen in the community hall. Here’s just one example of the care that went into the meal — some beautiful home-baked loaves of bread:
So, you’re asking, what did we eat? Good question. We began with cock-a-leekie soup (a traditional Scottish chicken-and-leek soup). This was followed by potted chicken (somewhat like a pâté), served with that home-baked bread. Then came the main course — fish pie, served with a salad.
Following French tradition, a cheese course came next — featuring English cheddar and an English blue cheese. This was a break from our first Anglophone lunch of two years ago, when we followed the British tradition of ending the meal with cheese. It turned out that this was a step too far for some of our French friends, so this time we ended the meal with dessert — a Scottish creation called Cranachan, which combines whipped cream, some oats, lots of raspberries, and a touch of whisky.
Oh, and there was lots and lots of red and white wine throughout the meal.
Now here’s a look at the hall as service was in full swing (please note the Canadian flag on the wall at the right, which came from you-know-who):
And to close out this report, here’s another view of the tables as lunch continued:
A key sign of a successful meal is that people linger, and linger, and linger. And yesterday, they certainly did. (Okay, I admit that I got so engrossed in chatting with Dutch friends that I had to be booted away from our table, so the hall could be tidied up. Ours was the last table to be put away.)