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Monday, 22 August 2011

Cooking With Love

I have discovered something so powerful, so transformative that I wonder that I was blind to it for so long.  Let me backtrack a little and explain.  Recently, I did some renovating in my kitchen and dining room.  I agonized over light features, sinks and countertops.  I fussed over paint chips and the perfect finishing touches.   I replaced all the tired appliances in my kitchen with whizzy new ones with a bewildering array of features.  In fact, the features were so bewildering that I dared not use them!  Monsieur, however, took up the challenge and treated me to a culinary feast that would have impressed a Roman emperor.  The day started off on a lovely note with a bouquet of perfect blooms.  You will notice that the roses are not quite red and not quite pink but that eyecatching union of the two.  Now, I know that a red rose signals passion and a pink rose signals love so for the twain to meet in perfect harmony in the velvety petals of a rose, what better opening act could there be than that?  But there was more to follow.   Monsieur prepared tartines of Chaource cheese which is a wonderfully rich cow's milk cheese made of triple cream, an earthy pork pate and slices of baguette.

All the while, this Muscovy duck, stuffed with oranges and  farmer's sausage was roasting away.

Fingerling potatoes and shallots finished off by roasting them in duck fat.

The piece de resistance was dressed with a Concord grape reduction made with white wine and pan juices.  The tart sweetness of the grapes were an unexpected counterpoint to the richness of the duck. 

Only the best china for Monsieur's efforts so everything was served of course on Wedgwood china.

There is one other ingredient to this feast of culinary delight which lifted this meal from the extraordinary to the sublime and will, I guarantee, do the same for any meal.  It is that it was done with an abundance of love.

So what was my wondrous discovery?  That all the renovating and decorating in the world counts for nothing without that missing "X Factor", loved ones living, loving and laughing, transforming a house into a home.


Micupoftea~ said...

Lovely roses! What a treat to be able to feather your nest with things you choose to make it your own. Thanks for visiting my blog~

Kathy said...

I completely agree - you can make things as beautiful as you like - but it is all empty without the presence of those wonderful faces of those you love! Isn't it grand to share your life with such a wonderful person - I feel blessed and I can see you do too! Thank you for sharing your wonderful, insightful post with A Return to Loveliness,
God Bless,

Diann said...

So True! We can really get caught up in our surroundings and not even see the people that fill those surroundings.

Jann Olson said...

Wow, now that's some fancy cookin. I had a hard time pronouncing some it. LOL! What a super man you have. A kitchen without love is definately a loveless kitchen. Just wanted to let you know that I received an award today and I am regifting it to you. Check out my blog when you get a chance.

Red Rose Alley said...

I visited your blog today - I saw you on A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson. Your blog is so pretty and creative. I really liked the first William Morris quote that was on your side bar. Me and my daughters just stared a new blog, and we would love it if you could visit us and follow. I would enjoy coming back to visit with you and seeing your wonderful ideas. Hope to hear from you, and have a terrific Wednesday. Oh, we have a beautiful picture of Canada on the post that I did yesterday.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Bonnie said...

What a delightful post! I love your philosophy that without love a house is just a house not a home. I will say you did have a great culinary experience too. Sounds like a wonderful meal.

I appreciate your visit.

Shirley said...

Wise words to think about day to day..reminding us to see what is in front of us that we hold most dear.
Have a wonderful day..

Debbie Moore at Slice of Pie Entertaining and Cookbooks said...

What a beautiful post ... and the perfect sentiment. You are so right ... our loved ones make everything perfect ... although, one who can cook is even more perfect!! Thanks for sharing and thanks for visiting my site.

Red Brick Shanty said...

Amazing dinner! It is the best when the hubby makes dinner, it really makes you feel loved. Especially when he goes through the trouble of setting the table with the good china and flowers!

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