I bought this mat for my back door as a surprise message for my husband…it was code for, “We are having dinner at home tonight”. Friday night is date night at our house, and we alternate who plans the evening. With the cooler evenings, I’m choosing more and more to cook dinner at home on the Friday nights I am responsible for. Maybe the book, “Living Forever Chic” really did have an impact on me!
As I have mentioned numerous times, cooking is not really my forte. I do, however, really enjoy the other aspects of entertaining at home. It’s embarrassing how many serving dishes and utensils I have…some I’m not even sure what to do with! My pantry is not stocked with food staples, instead, the shelves are piled high with every kind of glassware, tableware, bowls, and vases. I could set the table for 40 and still have spares. A weakness for fabric ensures that there are plenty of ironed tablecloths and napkins on hand. There is never a shortage of candleholders (every size) or candles.
What I like best is setting the scene…a dinner table can be set up in almost any room. A table for two can be small (it could be a folding card table) and chairs can be moved from elsewhere. A table in the garden or with a view of the garden is my absolute favourite. Lighting is sometimes a challenge, however, candlelight always casts the most flattering and enchanting light. Flowers from the garden lend a casual air and music from your personal playlist completes the setting.
This Coq Au Vin recipe (from the Australian Weekly cookbooks) is my go-to when I want to make a special dinner, even though, in France, this is so not a special occasion dinner. The cookbook automatically opens to this page and as you can see it has been splattered with ingredients numerous times. I always double it because everyone loves the leftovers. This is a perfect recipe to cook the day before because it actually tastes better the next day. I use the full bottle of wine, and instead of using all of the chicken parts with the skin on, I use boneless, skinless thighs, and it seems to always taste très bon
This is our ‘table for two’ in front of the fireplace for tonight and, yes, Coq Au Vin is on the menu… and to borrow a line by Jack Nicholson from the movie, ‘Something’s Gotta Give‘, “I think I hear French music.”