A few weeks ago I asked FB what he wanted for his birthday and he said nothing but a nice dinner. Of course I had to turn it into something much bigger and more complicated than that so the idea morphed into what will be the first of many Le Diner Etrange. We are having a mix of people over tonight and the only rule is that you must bring a strange dish or a strange ingredient which will then be attempted to cook into a dish. "Strange" is totally subjective here. A friend of mine suggested a watermelon/feta salad with some grilled swordfish in it. I went to the fish market today and asked for swordfish, he didn't have any but suggested Requin. "Uh.....oui, d'accord!" Sounds great! I got home and looked it up. Requin is shark. Uh...ok. I will now be serving watermelon/feta/olive/shark salad. LE DINER ETRANGE!
My opening cocktails are supposed to be red and blue jello shots. Why? Duh....F-R-A-N-C-E is red and blue, U-S-A...ALSO red and blue. See the connection here? In actuality, I think it's because I selfishly just want to see French people suck down a jello shot at a Parisian dinner party, that's pretty much all there is to it.
I ran into a problem though. I cannot find Jello anywhere in this city. I even tried to find just plain gelatin. At my local market, if I ask for something, it is usually followed by a question of how I will be serving the item. As the French grocer asked, I choked down a laugh, cleared my throat and slowly tried in French to explain what a jello shot is as though I was explaining a delicacy. The perplexed look on his face told me it was never going to happen. How exactly do you describe a jello shot accurately? "Oui pardon, vous avez plain gelatin? I need to mix it with hard alchohol and some juice, freeze it and then suck it out of a syringe...or just some tupperware will do."
The French will be receiving a touch of REAL New Jersey CLASS tonight.....