I’m such a lucky bitch. Yup. Sure am. My parents rock. So I work hard as hell right now to hit the jackpot and take care of them (and pay them back!).
They sacrifice all things extraordinary to provide an exceptional life for me and my siblings, even as adults.
Two years ago this month, I was atop the Eiffel Tower celebrating my b-day with my parents. Just the three of us. They took me to France to party like a rock star! All expense paid 3-week trip! Had a $1,000 dinner the night of mi cumpleaño in Paris. Then rented a Benz and drove to Monaco for a 6-day stay!
We went to the French Riviera, Nice, Cannes (where I bought my first Louis–bad investment) and what’s that bougie place.. uhm.. you know where Diddy goes every year and has an all white yacht party. It’ll come to me.
A few days before my b-day, our host, Miguel (a Cuban expat living the life in Paris and my dad’s best-friend), took us to Lye (Le Val de Loire region), 2 hours South Central of Paris. There, he has a bad ass little mansion of sorts. He calls it “Chateau Marianao” (the neighborhood where I was born in Havana).
The place is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.!
For 3 days we went castle hopping, visited a cow farm and had fresh fromages de chevre, roasted chestnuts at the neighbors house, walked a mile to buy baguettes from the only bakery in the town and played dominoes while sipping on Cuban espresso and armangac!
Of course we ate, too. A combination of me and mom cooking while the fellas sparked the fire to offer us sexy warmth. Pan Cubano, guayaba con queso and baguettes with olive oil and tomato. Love it. That was at the chataeu.
Eating out was beautiful in that it was very simple. Nothing like the anticipated $1,000 dinner a few days ahead back in Paris. Very laid back and unassuming. You might think that translates into burger and fries type of food.
Oh so not the case. As I’m trippin’ about losing an earring at the chateau (I paid all of $1 for it at Urban Outfitters), the fam is debating where to sit. So I order and walk back to the mansion to harass the tour guide.
(mami, me, Miguel, his son Alejandro and papi)
And they say I’m OCD. They didn’t find it so I hastily went back to the food post to find the most gorgeous tomato on my plate. Sweet Jesus You are awesome! The natural things You give us to harvest, I’m so thankful for!
Look at this lamb dish with REAL potato au gratin with roasted tomato! Need I say more! I think mom, dad AND Miguel ordered the same thing! Alejandro, being 15 & lacking a discriminating palate, ordered bistec ave pomme frites.
I will forgo main entree’s for dessert. Case in point: the warm fruit bed cooked in wine!
Someone KISS ME RIGHT NOW!
And someone did, 18 months ago. My soulmate paid me an unexpected visit, to which cooking a romantic dinner was all but required. There were other things to take care of, you know! But I broke out the heels an cooked anyway, as a labor of love for him. I made sushi and had plantains on the side. Then it occurred to me that I’d WOW him. He’d had my food years back, but never a dessert like this.
The warm fruit relish pictured here came to mind. I made it for him, topped with homemade whip cream and it was officially ON!
The one I had in Lye, France was incredible (pictured). The pictures really don’t do it justice. Do they ever?! Let’s see, served with a succulent cake, the fruit was drenched in wine and sugar–can’t remember for certain–with cinnamon and maybe cardamon. Who knows and who cares! The stuff was great!
Orgasmic kind of great!
That trip was fabulous. I found my earring after all! And then I even considered moving there and finding myself a French man. He’ll take me shopping and I’ll cook for him. Maybe even a trip to the Alps.
Nothing like it has topped that trip. I want to share more of that adventure with you guys. So maybe sometime in the next month I’ll post pictures and more stories on eating in France. I’m sure you want to know why we paid $8 for a shot of espresso. Ridiculous.
In the meantime, enjoy the recipe of the warm fruit dessert. I swear its to die for. And even better, it’s super fast and easy. I was working off memory, so I modified it and added some of my fave liquor, different fruit and used honey instead of sugar. Oh and I’m certain they didn’t have cloves in theirs either–something I love!
Oh the place we also visited was Saint Tropez! How could I forget! Talk about exclusivity and tres chic! Yes, that’s where we paid $8 for a single shot of espresso! Good LAWD!
MY DRUNKEN WARM FRUIT RELISH IN WINE & HONEY
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced in half
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup green apple, chopped
- 1 cup green grapes, peeled
- 1 cup peaches, chopped
- 4 cups GOOD dry white wine, (not Reisling)
- 3 splashes Grand Marnier
- 1/2 cup honey
- powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp. nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon or cardamon
- 3 whole cloves
- pinch of salt
- a few mint leaves
Add wine to large saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add fruit, all spices and cloves. Turn heat to medium and reduce for about 10 minutes or until fruit is almost tender. Add honey, Grand Marnier and pinch of salt and stir. Cover, lower heat and cook for 5 minutes. Serve immediately in bowl and top with whip cream or confectioners sugar! Garnish with mint leaves. Serve with bread pudding or pound cake or anything you like. Serves 6.
Eating in Barbados (a must read!)