Friday, May 6, 2011

Our Family in Montreal

Whenever we cross the Canadian border the stated purpose of our trip is to visit family, which is true. Margot’s uncle Gerry, a priest ordained for almost 50 years, lives at the Grand Seminary on Sherbrooke right in the heart of downtown. We always have a meal with him when we are in town.

In one of my posts about our trip to France in February I introduced Eloy, Gerry’s friend. Eloy lives in Broussard right outside Montreal. Our custom as long as Eloy is in town has been to dine with he and Gerry either in the city or at Eloy’s house. Several times we have enjoyed dinners with Eloy’s family or friends from Miami. A true pleasure for everyone! Paella has been served more than once, and rum, wine and lots of laughter are always in large supply.

Eloy & Francoise (married during our trip to France) are back in Broussard enjoying some time with Eloy’s local friends and hosting family and friends from France. The goal is to move to France once the house is sold, but I am sure having fun in the meantime is high on the list. As luck would have it everyone was available for a Saturday meal, and Eloy offered to host. We were also lucky enough to have caught Marc (a friend of Eloy’s that we made on the France trip) free and he joined us as well. What a family!

We talked, laughed, looked at pictures and enjoyed snacks and wine for quite a while. Gerry was making us laugh with stories of watching the Royal Wedding the day before. It reminded Margot of her Mom, a fact that Gerry takes as a quite an honor. One this whole group shares is a fondness for enjoying difference kinds of wines. You know how happy that makes me! For snacks we brought a couple different whites and gave hosts choice to what was opened. The option on the Willm Pinot Blanc was exercised. I hadn’t had this particular Pinot Blanc before, but was fully expecting a nice subtle wine to meld with a variety of different food based on recent experiences with the style. We were rewarded with very fruity aromas, a wonderfully balanced medium to light wine with citrus on the way out. Francoise made guacamole and the creamy avocado with the wine was a great match. I could see Francoise savoring her sips with a smile

Dinner was a special request for Gerry. He didn’t make the trip to France on the count of his ongoing battle with cancer. We all were heartbroken, but went with a greater sense of purpose because of it. Since he missed the trip he requested a Provencal style dish with pork in it. Having had this prepared by Francoise in her home and knew what he was going for and clearly was looking forward to what she came up with. She made a Pork Tenderloin en Croute or something akin to it. She actually made two. She clearly has known all of the people involved here either in this life or a past one! The pork was perfectly cooked with puff pastry, onions, seasonings, mushrooms working together all over the place.

For dinner we went Cotes du Rhone to whole way. Francoise was gracious enough to share it with us and her family when we were there and when she cooks as she does the wine must live up! We found the 2008 Parallel 45 from Paul Jaboulet Aine. Eloy actually came and asked me where I got it for future reference. It was a slam dunk with a bit of pork, pastry and mushrooms, just like being back at Le Petit Trentin (Francoise’s house). The wine is very hearty with complex flavors and that hit of acidity to make the flavors pop. Francoise and Eloy opened a bottle of Chataeau de Grezels 2008 Cahors, a Malbec/Merlot style. The wine was good but seemed to be missing its edge. Francoise was the first to notice it though, it became Cahors with the food. And indeed the same bite from above brought this wine out to the place I expected to find it. Very nice!

The red wines were enjoyed through the cheese course which Margot and I were honored to have been asked to bring. We loved participating in this facet of family meals in Provence, and couldn’t imagine not recreating it here at home.

For dessert Francoise served berry sorbet with fresh cut strawberries on top. Marc shared a bottle of Peller Estates 2006 Late Harvest Riesling. What a great glass of wine. My love for sweet and dessert wines is no secret, and this one was certainly an overachiever! A very perfumed nose with honey, dried fruit sand a profound sweetness in the center. It went fast, but great minds think alike!

We talked again for a while before everyone needed to head on back to their homes for the night. Margot and I would be getting up early the next day to head home, and although I would be staying up for a while at the hotel, it is nice to be able to kick back with a beer after driving home.

We look forward to our next trip to Montreal. We can never really get there enough on the count of all the other adventures we end up in the middle of. Till then, we have the memories.



1 comment:

Torviewtoronto said...

glad you guys had fun :)