mercredi 1 décembre 2010

C is for Chocolate and Curry

Tu me mets l’eau a la bouche — you are making my mouth water

The other day we went to one of our favourite local restaurants. At one stage, I trotted off to the ladies. Unfortunately, when I tried to wash my hands, a piece of the chic soap dispenser broke off and fell down the plug hole. Using various means, which I won’t go into here, I managed to retrieve it and stuck it back on the bottle, albeit in the wrong place. All this took some time and Gavin and the friend who was with us were about to mount a search party to see if I had locked myself in a cubicle. It has happened. The friend in question will remember the time we went camping in France together in our youth and I locked myself in the loo at a campsite. I managed to shout ‘au secours’ several times and was eventually rescued by some burly young men. It is difficult to make a dignified exit after that, while clutching a toilet roll.

Gavin, in turn, came back from a trip to the gents laughing at a notice he’d spotted. It read: ‘Nine out of 10 people love chocolate. The tenth is lying'. No — and it was cruel to laugh — the tenth is me. I can’t eat chocolate. Even one Smartie gives me such a bad migraine that I have to lie in a darkened room for a day. (Luckily I do not have this reaction to red wine or cheese.)

Given this sad affliction, we always ask whether a dessert has any chocolate in it, however unlikely it may seem. We did it that day. “Non,” said the waitress. When the dessert arrived, it had chocolate sprinkled over it and an artistic swirl of chocolate sauce. We pointed this out. The response was that it was just a little bit. I settled for ice cream.

Most Brits living in France pine for a decent curry. They are not easy to find. We recently discovered two lovely ladies who run a curry delivery service. We are somewhat out of their delivery area, but they will arrange to meet you at a mutually convenient spot. We opted for the car park of the swimming pool we go to in the winter. At the appointed time, foil containers were transferred from one car to another, like a scene from a bad spy movie. It was worth it. Lamb balti, sag aloo… delicious!

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