Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Once, there was the most magical dinner.

The crew of the Saint Vallerie staked in and tied down to a scandalously central bank in Auxerre, France at sunset. Seven of the crew disembarked to explore, and S and I sauteed aboard to transform cassoulet for two or three into dinner for nine. El Capitan suggested dining ashore. S surveyed the resources from the increasingly delightful foredeck.
We trundled the tables and every chair across to shore, pulled up the gangplanks, replaced them farther forward, and carried everything to the foredeck. Deeply short on chairs, we improvised benches out of gangplanks balanced on chairs. A sheet became the table cloth as I madly quartered and steamed strategically filling artichokes as a starter. Pressure-cooked haricots blancs had already power stewed in the pressure cooker with a mildly outrageous quantity of multicolored Joigny farmers market carrots and our meagre looking two legs/thighs of duck confit. The concoction was bubbling away in out one glass casserole in the tiny boat oven, crispy duck fatted crumbs toasting on top.
The dueling cathedrals created an unforgettable scene as the rest of the crew trouped home to steaming artichokes and white Burgundy. An utter victory. And in striped shirts.

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