Saturday, April 12, 2014

One habit I hope to "take home" with me...


Speaking of tables full of chatter and laughter...I must say I love the "way" the French dine. I have yet to see a cell phone at any table in any restaurant fancy or plain, inside or out! Not even sitting on the table. Not even teenagers. I have seen dozens of people on the metro or walking the street or sitting on park benches blabbing away but when it comes time to sit down at the table with friends and family...NO phones! It's wonderful! David and I have been in the middle of this hum of voices and laughter several times now and have noticed that when the French family and friends sit down at the table it is as if there is no one else in the place...they are lost in each other! I have yet to see anyone at any table NOT talking or looking around the room bored or tired or waiting for the check (which you almost always have to ask for because the wait staff is not rushing you out to fill the table again) The people come alive at the table and take h o u r s to eat! They have drinks and foods that are only consumed before the meal  called...apéritifs. An apéritif is an alcoholic beverage and a snack like, crackers, cheese, pate or olives served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Then there is the main course and then there is dessert and then there is coffee (cafe) but never a creamy coffee like cafe au lait which is reserved for breakfast or before lunch. THEN there is something called a "digestif" Which are alcoholic beverages served after a meal, to aid digestion. So as you can see this all takes a long time and the French revel in it and it is a glorious thing! I don't know if it is necessary to have all those courses but I love the idea and habit of putting the world on pause and just lolling in the luxury of family food and love. We sat next to a mother and her middle aged daughter tonight and they hardly broke eye contact as tho they hadn't see each other for days but I could tell from the packages at their feet the had probably been together the whole afternoon!

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