Meal #83: Lunch

Grilled duck breast with salad and bread, Amélie's family country house, Rodez, France

This was the best duck I’ve ever had in my life.  It was perfectly rare, but still had a great grilled flavor.  It was succulent, juicy, salty, fatty, incredible!  The salad was good too, as it had lettuce and potatoes from the garden!  Who puts potatoes in the salad?  But so so good.  Thank you François!

White beans with bread and a little more duck, Amélie's family country house, Rodez, France

I had no idea this dish was even coming.  I ate my amazing grilled duck and salad and thought it was the end of the road, but no, François had more in store for us!  She brought out this simple and awesome white bean dish along with more bread and more grilled duck!  The beans were excellent, perfectly cooked with tomatoes and herbs.  And the extra duck was as good as the first serving.  This was just lunch!


Meal #81: Dinner

Vegetable lasagna, Amélie's family country house, Rodez, France

Amélie took us to her family’s country house, somewhere outside of Rodez.  It’s a super cute little farm house that has been in their family for hundreds of years.  It’s at least 400 years old, and has been added onto countless times.  It’s situated in the hilly farmland and pastures surrounding Rodez.  The view from the house was unbelievable.   We ate this delicious lasagna outside on the terrace in front of the glorious view.

Rabbit with salad and bread, Amélie's family country house, Rodez, France

This was our second course just after the vegetable lasagna, it was a stewed rabbit, awesome, with a crunchy piece of bread and a delicate garden salad with the perfect vinaigrette.

Amélie's family country house, Rodez, France

Amélie’s mother is waving to us from the kitchen window, Amélie and her cousin are on the terrace where we ate dinner.

The view from the terrace, Amélie's family country house, Rodez, France

This was our view from the dinner table!

Charity and Amélie working hard to help prepare the lasagna.

Look at that smile, all her dreams have come true!

Meal #80: Lunch

Ratatouille with little fried kale patties, Cyrille's father's apartment, Rodez, France

Amélie came over for lunch and brought with her this delicious ratatouille and crispy little fried kale patties.  We had never had these little kale patties before, but they were great.  The ratatouille was excellent, although it had no tomatoes as traditional ratatouille usually does.  The vegetables were soft and sweet, and incredible.

Traditional caneles, Cyrille's father's apartment, Rodez, France

For dessert we had this little traditional caneles.  They are spongy and sweet with a little touch of burnt flavor that gave it a sort of caramel flavor.  Excellent.

Meal #79: Dinner

Everything-out-of-a-can stew with frozen tuna pizza, Cyrille's father's apartment, Rodez, France

My magic chef wife did it again, she made food out of nothing!  We had a pretty decent stew consisting of only canned ingredients.  Sandra Lee would’ve been proud.  While its hard to say exactly what went into the stew, I do know for sure that it had lentils, chicken dumplings, and red wine.  I thought it was pretty good but Charity disagreed.  We do agree on the pizza though, it was dreadful.  Tuna and an ominous white sauce on a pizza crust with shriveled up and yellowed tomato cubes.  Wow.  When’s breakfast?

Meal #78: Lunch

Macaroni and cheese with tea, Cyrille's father's apartment, Rodez, France

Charity made food appear out of nothing.  The ingredients were scarce, but she managed to find some pasta, some cheese, and some pre-made bechemel sauce.  It wasn’t the greatest meal ever, but it wasn’t terrible, (better than that Italian place in Paris for sure).  Creamy and cheesy, just the way macaroni and cheese should be.

Meal #77: Dinner

Savory vegetable cake, Charline's house, Rodez, France

This was the appetizer Jessie baked for us at Charline’s house before dinner on the first night in Rodez.  This was a strange but very tasty cake, filled with various vegetables and olives.  It was a good precursor to the rest of the dinner.

Salad with vingrette, Charline's house, Rodez, France

This was a simple salad that Charline prepared for us.  It was only lettuce and a vingrette, but the lettuce was fresh from their garden and super tasty.  It was sweet and a little bitter, a perfect combination.  The vinaigrette was a great balance of oil and vinegar and herbs.

Tomato and ham bolognaise over pasta with emmental, Charline's house, Rodez, France

Charline’s prepared this tasty pasta dish for us, even after working all day at the bank.  She was so nice to us!  The pasta was al dente, the sauce was sweet and savory with small chunks of ham.  It was pretty good.  The cheese we topped it with, by the double handful, was the standard everyday cheddar-like emmental.  But this was the first time we noticed what it says on the bag.  Cue the laugh track.

Emmental francais RAPE

I told Charity that I wasn’t comfortable eating any cheese that committed such a felony.  Rape in French just means shredded.

Raspberry and lemon sorbet, Charline's house, Rodez, France

Nice and cold raspberry and lemon sorbet to finish out the meal.  Delicious.

Meal #76: Lunch

Steak hash with Roquefort sauce and frites, Bourges, France

This was the plat du jour at the little brasserie where we stopped at the half-way point between Paris and Rodez.  We had been in the car for so long in heavy trafic that I think anything would have tasted good.  But this meal actually was good.  Steak hash is ground steak, cooked like a burger.  I got mine medium rare, and it was delicious.  The Roquefort sauce never loses.  The frites were nice and crispy and to my pleasant surprise, drizzled with honey!  You can see it there drizzled on the plate.  What a good idea!

Sliced ham, turkey, and beef with salad and frites, Bourges, France

This was Charity’s strange lunch that took her by surprise when it was placed in front of her.

Meal #75: Dinner

Salad del mer, Paris, France

Charity and I ordered the same first course for the menu we got at this not-so-great Italian restaurant.  We were with a group of Cyrille’s friends, and they picked the Italian place situated right next to the amazing looking French restaurant, (the Italian place was much cheaper).  Sometimes it just doesn’t work out for everyone when you’re in a big group, oh well.  This salad was pretty bad.  Bad lettuce, bad tomatoes, very bad unidentifiable seafood, and a poorly flavored vinaigrette.

Duck confit with round frites, Paris, France

My second course.  Absolutely, positively, the worst duck confit I’ve ever had.  Why was this Italian restaurant even making duck confit in the first place?  I don’t know.  I’m sorry to say it because I want to hate everything about this place, but the frites were actually pretty decent, and the little cup of sauce was some kind of tasty garlic mayonnaise.  The duck was gross though.

Chocolate mousse, Paris, France

This chocolate mousse tasted just like the picture: kind of blury, out of focus.  I think it was straight from a package.  I hope this place burns down.

Salmon on iceberg lettuce with frites, Paris, France

This was Charity’s main course.  It was pretty bad.  The salmon was atop some iceberg lettuce that would’ve fit perfectly in any side salad at any American diner.  The sauce covering the salmon was equally bad and reminiscent of England’s salad cream.  Yuck.  But, those frites were pretty good.

Creme caramel, Paris, France

This was Charity’s choice for dessert course.  Following suit with the rest of the food from here, it was pretty awful.  Sweet, but lacking any real caramel flavor.  The flavor tasted like the caramel-like sauce that comes with the apple dippers from McDonald’s.  You know, the “caramel” that doesn’t solidify even after hours of refrigeration.

Meal #74: Lunch

Chicken tomato and lettuce sandwich, Paris, France

This was a simple sandwich for yet another quick lunch in Paris.  The baguette was nice and chewy, but the rest of the sandwich was lacking.  No sauce, no seasoning on the chicken, pretty bland overall.

Salad with fromage, Paris, France

This was Charity’s fromage and salad lunch.