Monday, September 10, 2007

One of my Favorites

Due to a last minute trip to the Northeast of England to scout for wedding venues, I had the chance to catch up with the boy's family. I went on my own. Very scary I must admit, to be going on my own to visit the boy's family. Luckily I was welcomed with open arms. Staying at the boy's aunt's charming Guesthouse, I had also timed my visit to coincide with the boy's parents and drag them along to view venues with me.

While the boy has featured on this blog, the boy's family, less so. Except for, of course, the devilishly wonderful grandmother whose protests about not being able to finish dessert often taking up to twice the time it takes for her to inhale the dessert, beating out all the others at the tables.

The boy's family, in simple terms, are wonderful. Warm and funny and a bit nutty, just like one of my favorites from the market in Aix, a concoction called "Noix et Champignons". Noix et Champignon is like a pesto made of walnuts, mushrooms, olive oil, dried tomats and pine nuts. A jar of which the boy's thoughtful mother never fails to bring me.

It has been a lifesaver many a time, pulled out for guests to spread on crackers, mixed in with pasta and served either hot or cold, a spoonful mixed into a weak sauce to give it body and even served as a bruschetta for a first course.

Coming home to an empty fridge, the boy's mother saved me once again and I dug out the jar from my suitcase and dinner was on the table within minutes. As we sat eating our meal, I recounted to the boy how I was making fun of a hall named "Shafto" when his entire family (mom, dad, aunt, grandparents included) broke into song! Singing something about Bobby Shafto and buckles on his knee, the whole family joined in, finishing the song before resuming the conversation. Although a bit surprised, I found myself happy to be joining a family in which breaking into song, like the musicals I grew up with, was nothing unusual at all.


susan said...

Dear Jess, you are so lucky that the Boy's family is so nice and welcoming. When N and I and his daughter had a four-hour layover in London before flying to Edinburgh, we met up with his parents (at Jamie Oliver's parent's pub - my steak was cold and congealed!). His dad is a sweetie but his mother ignored me - I think she said hello but that's it - she didn't even say goodbye. Maybe she thinks if she ignores me N will change his mind about marrying me and will dump me in favour of a nice, young Jewish girl with child-bearing hips.

Sui Mai said...


Oh dear... yes, the best way to get your children to listen to you is to criticize their choices. Worked for Jewish mothers throughout the years, I'm sure.

You even had a steak and not a pork based product. That's trying in my book!