Third Banquet and Excursion to St. Émilion

Salut! This is Baquet Team #3 checking in: Emily, Cate, Macalah, and Charlton. We are here to fill you in on our time cooking and enjoying un repas de Pâques traditionnel in Bordeaux!

We knew we wanted to serve a traditional Easter meal for Banquet #3, which meant doing a little bit of research beforehand! We gathered ideas and then finalized our menu with Professor Caldwell over an inspiring lunch at a local restaurant. There, we made our game plan: make a grocery list and getting to it! We spent the rest of that day wandering the aisles of Auchan and picking out most of our ingredients.

We got an early start on Saturday morning. While Charlton and Macalah ran around town picking up cheese, bread, wine, and dessert from the Marché des Capucins, Emily and Cate got to work in the kitchen prepping veggies and working on their knife skills.

Our first challenge of the day: fighting off the pungency of some small, yet powerful onions. After a few shed tears and a sack of onions, the knife work of our French Onion Soup was complete. But, we weren’t in the clear yet as we quickly discovered that the French do not believe in boxed stocks! Luckily, we were able to use bouillon cubes that we found in the depths of Caldwell’s pantry to create our stock and get our soup underway.

Served alongside the French Onion Soup were bundles of prosciutto wrapped asparagus. This was the easiest thing we cooked all day long so we were thankful for a little break in chef-ing! We were also thankful that, at this time, we were rewarded with a refreshing drink made by Charlton- Punch aux canneberges de Palatium inspired by a drink we had tried the day prior at lunch with Professor Caldwell. However, those who had finished the apéritif paired their soup with a red wine called Château la Croix-Davids (Bourg).

Next, we prepared a casserole dish of scalloped potatoes to serve alongside our lamb roast and veggies. This led to our next challenge of the day: discovering that Professor Caldwell’s oven was indeed “French” sized and not “American” in the slightest. Because the oven was so much smaller than we were expecting, we had to cook components of our meal at different times since not all dishes would fit in the oven at once. But, as usual, on s’adapte and we made the potatoes ahead of time and planned to heat them up later on!

With a little help from Emily’s dad, we got the lamb roast underway. Emily prepared a marinade to cover the meat, which included dijon mustard, garlic, and some herbs which she showed no fear in covering the meat sans gants (without gloves). We placed the roast on top of a bed of carrots, onions, and brussel sprouts, and managed to squeeze her into the oven.

Waiting on the meat to cook, we had to shift things up a little bit. We decided to serve our salade and cheese course before the main plat. This is not a traditional format for a French people, however our guests were getting a little bit hungry and the cheese and salad were too good to resist! So, once again, on s’adapte, and we served 4 different cheeses with dried fruit, jams, and fresh strawberries and we opened our second bottle of red wine, a Sablet (Rhône).

As the cheese course finished, the meat was ready to be carved and served with the roasted veggies along with it. Charlton stepped up to the plate and carved the two legs of lamb and Macalah assisted in plating the meal! The potatoes never totally finished cooking, but the group appreciated the taste nonetheless. This course was served with a red wine from Graves called Pierre Saint-Maxime.

Next on the menu was everyone’s favorite course- dessert! We served a traditional Easter cake that was layered with raspberries, sponge cake, and cream. This was accompanied with a sweeter, white wine Domaine Chiroulet (Gascogne).                      

To finish the night and celebrate our hard work, we decided to serve a digestif, an after-dinner drink that we had studied, but had yet to try. We poured small glasses of Cognac for each guest and put on some brave faces as we sipped the brandy from Cognac, France. We got some mixed reviews, however we all agreed that we preferred Charlton’s Punch aux canneberges de Palatium far better than the strong liquor.

Please find below our final dinner menu. We worked together to create names for each one of our dishes. Some of the courses were named after people, some after different places, and some in light of the holiday season. While we all had a great time cooking and dining together, we can all agree that we are now that much more appreciative of our own parents for all of the hard work that they put into making great meals for us when we are home!!  

 Apéritif: Punch aux canneberges de Palatium

Entrée: Soupe à l’oignon de grand Pierre et Asperges à la Périgourdine

Plat: L’agneau à la famille Sully avec ses légumes pascaux et les pommes de terres de Maman Mac

Salade: Salade et sa sauce Quai Riche’

Assiette de Fromage: Persillé’ de chèvre, Roquefort, Reblochon, Morbier

Dessert: Le gâteau de Pâques traditionnel

Vin de Mac et Charles: Château la Croix-Davids (Bourg), Sablet (Rhône), Pierre Saint-Maxime (Graves), Domaine Chiroulet (Gascogne)

Digestif: Cognac

Hoppy Easter everyone!! On s’adapte,

-Emily, Cate, Macalah, and Charlton!