TRAVEL with pat and lew

Brigitte comes to dinner

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 22, 2007

I love to cook, although I still classify myself as a beginner. So why not invite our neighbor Brigitte to dinner?

Well, there were lots of reasons. The apartment, without the terrace available for eating since it’s too cold, is too small for company. And how dare I think I can cook an interesting meal for a French woman who is probably a real cook?

Finally, we’re leaving early the next morning for Montpellier and IKEA, so cleaning up afterwards will cut into our sleep time.

Undaunted, the invitation is offered and accepted.

We squeeze the chairs around the too-large table in the too-small kitchen, now made smaller by the clothes washer. Brigitte arrives and it turns out fine.

We talk, using a French-English dictionary that Brigitte has brought and our little Franklin electronic translator.

We eat, and Brigitte says the potato encrusted salmon is good. She’s very polite.

“You know,” Brigitte says as we ate our pastry dessert (purchased, not home baked), “French people do not go to each other’s homes to eat. We go out together to restaurants, but only family gather to eat at home.”

We are appalled at our social blunder, and then pleasantly surprised.

“But this is good,” Brigitte says. “When you come back in June, I’ll invite you to my apartment for dinner.”

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