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Clever cooks a virtual feast...


Let's have a French luncheon!


a sidewalk cafe in the So. of France

July 2001: While I recover from my quick trip to France, I'm still thinking about those cafe meals. The French love to eat and they also love to take their time while doing it. They got quite impatient with us if we tried to hurry the process. It's nearly unforgivable to ask for the bill before the dessert has been cleaned up and the last drops of the wine poured and gulped down. 

Since it's really too hot to prepare those wonderful French stews and elegrant three course meals, let's fix something simple, yet totally French, like Salade Nicoise. It's a wonderful little concoction that Americans will love. 

But in the French tradition you must start off with a Kir, which you make by adding a few drops of Cassis to a dry white wine of your choice. (Or if you'd rather, serve champagne and Cassis. It's beautiful and very refreshing.) For an appetizer, begin with French-style Tapanada. For dessert, serve a variety of French cheeses, like brie, camembert and chevre, along with some chilled grapes. It's easy. Most supermarkets carry all the ingredients you'll need. (FYI: Cassis is blackberry liqueur. Make a quick trip to the liquor store for a small bottle!)

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