Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Dinner at home

On friday night, we had a dinner party at home.  We had invited friends who have done many favours for us in the past, but because of my cough, the event had been postponed; however, I reached the point where, cough or no cough, I decided that we simply had to start living again!   I tried to make the menu as simple, but as tasty as possible.  As usual, the camera was forgotten at critical moments, but I did remember to take photos from time to time!!
The table ready for our guests. I have given up putting wine glasses on the table, as everyone seems to already have a glass in hand when we sit down to eat!!
We started with home-made celery soup; I used celery from the garden and the recipe I used was published HERE a few months ago. 


Of course, there was plenty of fresh French bread  to accompany the second course of fish mousse/pate, made to my recipe which I published very recently HERE.


The main course of beef casserole was not recorded by the camera!  I made up the recipe for 6 people, more or less as follows!  I fried up a few lardons, sliced onions and leeks, then added  2 kg of meat cut into chunks, together with a couple of sliced carrots. I cooked it all, turning the meat until it was browned.  Then I stirred in a couple of tablespoons of flour and  a bottle of red wine was added, still stirring until the mixture started to bubble.  I then seasoned with salt and pepper and some herbes de provence (mixed herbs); finally, I added a packet of quartered fresh mushrooms and a tablespoon of tomato paste.  I allowed the casserole to simmer very slowly, until the meat was tender.  It was just a case of adding what I felt it needed for flavour, very DIY!  We served the beef with mashed garlic potato, cooked chestnuts, peas and carrots.

This was followed by the cheese course, for which I again forgot the camera, but I have tried below to re-create the cheese board, with the some of the selection of cheese left in the fridge!

On the platter above are  (clockwise)- Emmental Français, Morbier, Coulommiers de caractère (mature), Petit Munster Géromé,  with  a morsel of Saint Agur in the centre.  The Comté was finished!

We finished off with a quince and apple tart.


Again, there was no recipe and it was very much DIY.   I lined the pie dish with bought pastry (I like saving time), and I blind cooked it for 20 mins.   I then filled the pie with quince that I had frozen last year, when I had so much from our tree.  I did cook it up lightly beforehand and I added a little sugar and cinnamon to taste.  I then sliced three large apples and cooked them very gently in a large non stick frying pan, in a mixture of lemon juice, a little butter, cinnamon and sugar.  When lightly cooked, but still holding their shape, I placed them on top of the quince.  The tart went into the oven  at 180C (350F) when we had our main course and by the time we had finished the cheese, it was ready to eat.

The dinner went well and it appeared that everyone went home more than satisfied!

I have also just updated My Life Before Charente.

101 comments:

  1. Hello Diane:
    Well, this all sounds absolutely delicious to us and we are amazed that your guests could manage to walk at all after this wonderful food. Simple food served beautifully and with seasonally fresh tastes, just as you have here, is always, for us, the best combination.

    We particularly like the idea of coming to the dining table with a glass of wine already in hand. A very good start!!

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  2. Jane and Lance, it took us many hours to get through this meal slowly, so there was time for the courses to settle. It was just on midnight that we said good night after a cup of coffee :) Diane

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  3. Good morning from costa rica my dear Diane. wowwwwwwww. I was reading your menu and my mouth was watering all over, hahaha what a delicious combination, all the menu, appetizer, main course, cheese everything was excelent, the table very well set, and the best is that all your guest were happy as well as you. I was only imagine, all the dinner and conversation. hhh Fantastic. I will check the recipe of the fish mousse and bit. I am sure that there is delicious.
    Hugs and blessings to you my dear.

    Walkiria

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  4. I love your dining table and the menu sounds delicious! Hope that cough is gone away:)
    ~Anne

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  5. It sounds like a fantastic meal, Diane. I have never combined apples with quince and I'd really like to taste the combination. The tart sounds like a perfect way to end a beautiful meal. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  6. I love the picture of your fish mousse - so beautiful and tasty too, I bet.

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  7. This dinner sounds DELICIOUS. I'm going to have to make that celery soup! :)

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  8. That fish pate looks amazing, and the apple tart too!!!

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  9. And this was a simple dinner? I'd have been there until the next morning sampling all these delectables. You really know how to put on a fine dinner.

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  10. You made me laugh with the comment about the glasses. These days, everyone drinks wine before the dinner and carries their glasses to the table. You end up with a glass forest on the table!!

    Delicious looking meal. Since I almost never capture meals, whenever I try I always forget till the food is a mess and half eaten. Oh well... some people are meant to chronicle and others not... I'm a not.

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  11. What a delicious meal to be invited to. I don't doubt that your guests went home satisfied!

    BTW today's piece on your 'life' blog was absolutely charming; such an enjoyable read.

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  12. Sounds like a lovely meal and one enjoyed by everyone who partook of it, of that I am sure!

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  13. To my eyes the Fish Mousse seems really wonderful.
    I love this kind of recipes.
    It's wonderfully presented too...

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  14. Walkiria, Thanks so much for your visit and your kind comments, I really appreciate them. That salmon mousse is a great starter and I almost always get asked for the recipe. Take care Diane.

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  15. What a delicious feast!
    And the tarte looks beautiful. I can almost smell its deliousness.
    Red

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  16. Diane, your menu is delicious. You could start doing a repas for your village :)

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  17. Anne I am quite fond of our oak dining room suite :)As for the cough I hope it will go one day! Diane

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  18. Rebecca Subbiah, I hope that they though so :) Diane

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  19. The dinner looks and sounds divine! I'm sure your guests were more than satisfied.

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  20. Mary I will mix quince and apple again with every confidence, it was a great combination. Diane

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  21. Cuisine de Provence the salmon mousse always goes down well, there was non left over! Take care Diane

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  22. Diane everthing looks so nice. I would come and be happy just for the cheese! I do the same thing forget that I have my camers!

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  23. Jen that celery soup is quite delicious. I pulled the rest of the celery from the garden today so there will quite a bit of soup going into the freezer :) Diane

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  24. cakewithlove.me, thanks for the visit and the comment. That salmon mousse is quite special and is very popular. Have a great day Diane

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  25. Gaelyn this was a simple dinner. I did most of it all the day before so Friday I had little to worry about. It really was easy :) Diane

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  26. lostpastremembered I have to agree trying to cook, serve and take photos is really beyond me which is why I missed half of the meal in photos!! Diane

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  27. gaynorB, thanks for the kind comments on both blogs, much appreciated. Take care Diane

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  28. Vere when people only leave at midnight, and there are no left overs I presume that the food must have been OK :) Diane

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  29. Andrea, that fish mousse is always popular. Thanks so much for the visit and the comment. Diane

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  30. Boye By Red thanks for the kind comment, It turned out pretty well, even if I say it myself :) Diane

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  31. Kerry no chance of that happening, 6 is as much as I am prepared to do and not that often :-) Wow it has been a busy day here with the sun shining, so much to catch up with!! Diane xx

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  32. Joyful as I said in a previous answer, if all is eaten and people only go home at midnight I presume it to be a successful meal :-) Hope I am right! Diane

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  33. Lyndsey, it is so easy to forget the camera when you are busy..... Have a good day. Diane

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  34. I am with Barbara as I am most impressed with your beautiful fish mousse.

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  35. You certainly put a lot of love and effort into the meal, the table looks lovely and it all sounds delicious !!

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  36. wow...the feast looks incredible & super tempting..:P
    Tasty Appetite

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  37. Dinner at your places looks like a serious treat with le fromage being the winner for me. Living in France must be just wonderful and keep the recipes coming, as I always enjoy reading about your delicious meals. Fifi

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  38. chcmichel coming from a chef and restaurant owner that makes me feel very good. Thanks, Diane

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  39. Thanks Jean, but because I did most the day before it really was very simple. Diane

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  40. Jay thanks I am glad it looks good to you, Take care Diane

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  41. Fifi I think I could live on le fromage but I am not sure what it would do to the scales!!! Take care and give my love to Brisbane, Diane.

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  42. Diane, can I have dinner at your house! It sounds like a very wonderful and memorable meal! Love your beef dish!

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  43. The Café Sucré Farine, ha ha let me know when you can get here :) Diane

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  44. Hi Diane .. looks delicious - altogether I'd love to come to dinner! I'd love to try the quince and apple pie .. as I've never cooked with quinces ..

    Now the cheeses look delicious .. I was talking to a half-German chap up at the Home today .. and he misses the bakeries .. and we were agree we miss the markets of Europe: oh well ..

    Anyway - delighted to hear all went well - and I sincerely hope the coughs and splutters slowly dwindle away ... cheers Hilary

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  45. Hilary the quince and apple combination is wonderful but we use quinces a lot as we have tree that is always laden.

    I always miss the cheeses and the bakeries when I am in the UK, they are very special here :)

    Re the cough, I have pretty much given up, the specialist says I have a chronic bronchial problem and this cough has been going on since October! Despite treatment nothing seems to help :(

    Have a good day, Diane

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  46. Hello Diane, what a spread.. Everuthing looked spectacular. I'm sorry to hear that you are still caughing. Love the quince-apple pie. A good addition to quince recipes... Be well

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  47. a wonderful form for the pate!!!
    I would like a piece of tart, please:)


    Life and travelling
    Cooking

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  48. Un menu très agréable et très français avec ce joli plateau de fromage ! Et une belle tarte en dessert! Vous êtes une fine cuisinière Diane!
    J'espère que votre santé s'améliore!

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  49. MARCO PASHA the quince and apple was delicious I will certainly make it again. Diane

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  50. Ola thanks for the kind comment I appreciate it. Take care Diane

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  51. Lucie. La toux ne s'arrête jamais! J'ai été très heureux avec le dîner. Fromage français est fantastique. Bonne journée. Diane

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  52. The fish paté is amazing! I bet it tastes as good as it looks.

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  53. JM I think it does but that is just my opinion!! Diane

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  54. Un dîner Des plus gourmands. Tes amis ont de la chance.
    See soon

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  55. It looks like a nice meal. Your dining room is very sunny and cheerful!

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  56. Wow, looks like the meal was a great success, and it looks so good. You are making me hungry, I better go eat now.

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  57. Hi..
    hopefully u r in your good health by now...

    WOW, what a dinner... the fish mousse really kick me out..

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  58. Nadji, Merci pour votre commentaire, Bonne journée. A bientôt. Diane

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  59. Marjie I love our dining room/ kitchen it is easy to serve a meal without missing out on any of the talk going on ! Diane

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  60. Horst, thanks for the comment, hope you managed to find something to take the hunger pains away LOL. Diane

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  61. ogyep yummy mellow the fish mousse is so easy to make and always a big hit. Take care and keep well Diane

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  62. The apple tarts, looks so sweet and delish!

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  63. DEAR DIANE, I LOVE YOUR NEW PICTURE. I SEE YOU HAVE A NEW BLOG TOO, HOPE TO VISIT SOON.

    I CAN IMAGINE WHAT A WONDERFUL TIME YOUR GUESTS HAD AT YOUR HOME, I LOVED EVERYTHING, BUT THAT FISH MOUSSE IS JUST AMAZING. CONGRATULATIONS. AND BIG HUGS

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  64. Diane, I love all, the table, the dinner, the apple tart, all look fantastic and georgeous!! Love this post:)))

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  65. Forget the cheese, you know, I adore cheeses!!

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  66. Gloria thanks for the two comments, no you cannot forget the cheese :) Take care Diane

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  67. Pamela thanks for the visit, that fish mousse is so easy to do and is very popular.
    Take car and have a good day Diane

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  68. It sounds like it was a wonderful dinner! :) Certainly looks tasty.

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  69. The Golden Eagle Thanks so much for your visit and comment. I think that it all went down pretty well even if I do say it myself. Diane

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  70. Diane, it all looks so lovely..You certainly made a wonderful meal and it looks so beautiful..
    Sorry about the cough still going. It has been a time and CaraRose is still coughing a bit..George is okay now..
    Never in my life, have I heard of so many stories with coughs..
    Take care and hoping all will be well soon..It sure didn't stop your wonderful cooking and lovely display. A true work of art.
    Carolyn

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  71. what a meal !!
    I think I might get some real inspiration here !
    anni

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  72. Carolyn, so pleased to hear that George has stopped coughing, even if CaraRose is still a bit. The specialist tells me I have a chronic bronchial problem and my lung capacity is deceased. Despite the medication I am not much better!
    Thanks for the comment and take care Diane

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  73. Anni good to know that I have inspired someone :) Have a great weekend. Diane

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  74. Everything looks and sounds so good. The table looks lovely too.

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  75. chubskulit the apple and quince is something I will certainly make again. Have a good weekend Diane

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  76. Thanks Pam it was a good evening. Hope you have a good weekend. Take care Diane

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  77. You made the preparation sound so easy but I am sure that it was hard work. I can understand why you postponed it when you were not feeling well. I hope that the cough goes soon.

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  78. Sounds delicious from top to bottom Diane. It would be anyone's pleasure to be a guest in your home.
    Sam

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  79. Yeah, life goes on! And glad the party is still on eventhough you're not feeling so well. However, I'm sure you had a great time and probably already forgotten about your cough. haha.... Wish I could join in too!
    Anyway, hope you're having a wonderful weekend too.
    Blessings
    Kristy

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  80. cheshire wife, because I did most of it the day before it really was easy, and I had time to enjoy myself when the guests were here, Diane

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  81. Sam I wish you were a little closer to join us one day :) Have a good weekend Diane

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  82. Kristy we had a great evening and as for my cough it does not worry me so much as it worries everyone else :) I have got used to it! Have a wonderful weekend and take care, Diane

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  83. It is lovely to have friends for dinner, need mind if you forgot to take pics, and amazing that you actually manage to take a few, usually I never manage, or it is so late in the evening that the light is not good... so well done, and photo of the pate is great!!

    Have a good weekend

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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  84. Alessandra, it is difficult to remember the camera when so much is going on !! You have a good weekend also, take care Diane

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  85. Wow! your blog is amazing ^^ I like it so much

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  86. love2dine Thanks you so much for your visit and very kind comments, I do appreciate them. Hope to see you back, have a great weekend. Diane

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  87. Love the pie, the last photo. Looks yummy.

    In answer to you blog comment to me on my blog. Hi Diane, no I haven't touched the Hydrangea color at all. I am told that the color depends on the soil, alkaline or sweet . Have your soil tested and see what should be done to get the color you want.

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  88. Like the new look Diane. Those sunflowers are gorgeous x

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  89. Mmmm that all sounds very tasty. You must have been busy in your kitchen for a couple of days cooking all those delicious dishes.
    Good to hear it was all a success. :)

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  90. Horst I know that the soil affects the colour changes, but that is such a stunning colour I wanted to be sure it was real. I will certainly have a go at some of my soil as that is just beautiful. Thanks for answering my query. Keep well Diane

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  91. Kerry thanks so much. After I changed it I was not at all sure if I had done the right thing, and Nigel was also not certain, but to go back would have been difficult, if not impossible. Your comment has cheered me up. I guess I just have to get used to it. Trying to keep up with the changes in blogger :)) Keep well Diane

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  92. Ellie I did almost everything the day before and it really did not take that long. In fact we we at the dentist all morning as we both had appointments!! All the dishes were really very simple. Thanks for the comment. Diane

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  93. This is just le repas as I know it from being at French friends. Easy, fresh and so yummy!
    Sounds delicious. And looks great. The "no wine glasses on the table" thing sounds common, too :-)

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  94. Ah well, dinner parties are not me any more, my diet is definitively too strict! :(
    But you are right to enjoy it as your can! :)
    I love reading your comment about my baby Linnets..... "Little brown jobs", Hahaha, that is one I haven't heard for a while!!!
    Cheers Diane!

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  95. Tina, Thanks thanks for the visit and the comment. I find eating a meal is so much more relaxed in France. Nobody is in a hurry. In the UK and South Africa we always seemed to be in a rush, life here in rural France is so much easier, we love it. Take care Diane

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  96. Noushka maybe a strict diet is what we need, we are both putting on weight! I know your diet is medical though and you have little choice.
    We always used to talk about LBJ's in S.A. in fact I have a book on LBJ's :) Keep well Diane x

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  97. So true, we still put glasses on the table but having read your post may stop as well, but now we have a living room means we can use the table extensions in the dining room, meaning more room on the table, wonder if its the same at yours though, the Bretons use the same plate for apero, starter and main, use a slice of bread to clean the plate between courses, we adopted the same as soon as we knew it, saves lots of washing, but soup still needs a seperate bowl, we drink a lot of cider up norf, but cider is served in cups not glasses

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  98. Paul and Roz. depends who I am entertaining as to whether I use the same plate all thorough!! Also as to what I am serving, we personally do not like a main course served on a cold plate. Cider here seems to be in glasses! Diane

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  99. Diane this sounds the most perfect evening. I am afraid I wouldn't be able to eat/comment on your meat dish but the other courses have me drooling. That wonderful course of cheese, oh me oh my! And the apple and quince pie to follow sounds heavenly. I think you are amazing to cook so seasonally and fresh from your garden as much as possible.

    I cook from "fresh" everyday for myself but sadly I don't have anywhere near the choice of ingredients that you have. X

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  100. Dolly from what you say here I presume that you eat both cheese and fish, Only meat is not on your menu. I have to say both of us would be happy eating fish every day but the costs have gone up so we eat what we can afford. The garden this year is well behind, normally I would be pretty much vegetarian from the garden over summer. The winter put everything well back :( Diane xx

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