Last Friday our boat neighbour Thierry and his partner Marie Ange invited us to dinner on their boat. What a Burgundy feast!
Thierry has been a good neighbour to us since we arrived in Chalon. First when our bikes were stolen, he came with me to the police station and did his best to get the Gendarmerie to help us find them. Then when our bikes were thrown in the water, he found them and pulled them out. When the car broke down, he helped me change the battery.
He and Marie Ange only speak a few words of English but we have managed to communicate well. He says that over the months my French has improved – I say he now speaks French with an Irish accent, as he understands my French where others do not!
They went to great effort. Thierry could not get the fish he wanted from the local possonnier (fish merchant) so he drove miles to find a restaurant who would prepare the dish he wanted (he wanted us to have fish caught in the Saone river). He wanted to give us a special Bourgogne meal.
The Menu was:
Entrée – Eggs Meurette. (poached eggs in red wine sauce with bacon and onions)
Main Course- Pôchouse, this dish based on Saône river fish, generally pike, eel, trench and perch, all cooked in white wine and served with toasted bread and rice.
Followed by a plate of local cheeses
Desert – Galette des Rois (a cake of kings, pastry cake filled with almond paste)
The meal was of course accompanied with wine. We had as an aperitif Crémant de Bourgogne, A Mercury Grand Cru white wine to go with the fish followed by a good Burgundy Red with the cheese. We also had Normandy cider with the cake (Thierry said it was the right thing to do- I did not object)!
In the Galette des Rois, they hide a ceramic piece and who ever get it in their slice gets to wear the King’s Crown. I was the lucky winner as you can see from the photo.
We had a great night – all the conversation in French and at about 1 am we made our way back to our boat (not too difficult as it was the next boat).
After a few hours sleep we were off again with Thierry and Marie Ange to the St Vincent Tournante (previous blog on this) – we are gluttons for the good life of France and the hospitality of the people of Burgundy!