feasts and fiets
It will surprise absolutely NO ONE that we’ve been eating really very well. This weekend was book-ended by feasts. On Thursday I bought way too much food from the Greek Traitteur and so I impromptu-invited our friends to come share it. They brought their half-prepared dinner along and we extended our dining table, for the first time, for a fantastic fusion meal of beef stir fry, Bulgar wheat, aubergines, peppers, carrots, meat balls, Greek salad, pastries and baguette.
Louis and his friend walking home from Halte Garderie… The friend whose family came for the evening. Love impromptu get-togethers.
But that was just the beginning. We had made plans earlier in the week to do friday night dinner (with the same friends in fact) of Raclette. This is when you set up a hot-plate of sorts in the center of the table, and do your meats and seasoned veggies on top, and then grill the raclette cheese beneath, for pouring over everything. Nomnomnom… and so very very over-indulgent. My powers of self-control were tested and found wanting. (Wanting more cheese.)
And last night we went to a feast in a much more traditional sense. The Seder is eaten the first night of Passover and begins with several readings and symbolic foods, in remembrance of the suffering and slavery of the Jewish people in Egypt, and other times in history, but also keeping in mind the ongoing and continual suffering and slavery of many people groups in the world today.
We had a great night and tried some new foods. Louis’ meal consisted of Matzah bread and chocolate cake (unleavened). Elena, on the other hand, ate everything, including most of my portion of Liver… I just can’t hack that stuff. I know, I’m in the wrong country. The French are very cosy with innards but I baulk. Highlights of the meal were, for me, the soup with matzah balls (sort of like a dumpling) and the apple cinnamon mix, which is not a part of the most traditional seders but complimented the horseradish well. Its significance is to remind us that while things are sweet, we must remember the troubled times (horseradish – bitterness) and while things are going badly, we must keep hope and remember the good things.
And then there were four glasses of wine. It was a great evening!
In between all our feasting we went on two family bike rides. Fiets is the dutch word for bike – see what I did there with the title? On Saturday we took a very casual, leisurely playground-hop through Parc Heller – mainly because I had a headache and wasn’t feeling very energetic. And on Sunday we went as far as Parc de Sceaux (pron. ‘so’) for a slightly more challenging ride, and also to take a family photo with a vaguely Parisian backdrop.
First attempt… getting there.
This was the best, in the end. Not bad considering the kids’ ages, the camera on a tri-pod, perched on a bike satchel, and that we’d been cycling…
You see, we have been meaning to get a family photo for a while but had a special request from Luuk’s sister-in-law because she’s setting up a family tree mural on her kids’ bedroom wall. And then she went and had a new baby so we were driven to act at last. Welcome to the world Maurice Paulussen!
We had some fun at the park before biking home but the weather was a bit grey.
Kicked a ball (and cuddled a baby, all at the same time… for a while)
Nice spot to sit and rest. (Check out the size of the yachts on the pond!)
I’ve been deep in my novel recently and making lots of progress… and neglecting, ever so slightly, other things (blog, husband, diet) so hopefully the balancing act goes better this week.