Last night was interesting. I decided to take what I had learned from this week's cooking class, and apply it in a real life situation. Here is what we cooked in this week's class:
Potage Parmentier (Leek
and Potato Soup)
Tournedo Henry IV (beef filets with artichoke bottoms and bernaise sauce)
Pointes D'Asperges Au beurre (asparagus tips sauteed in butter)
Clafouti Aux Poires
Bottom line? The French love butter. Henry IV was a fat ass and Parisian cooking involves a lot of suffering for aesthetic purposes only. I don't think I will ever peel a small waxy potato and then use a melon baller to make small rounds of potatoes again. Or trim the little baby leaves off an asparagus tip. Seriously.
But? The artichoke cups filled with bernaise sauce placed on top of a filet that has been seasoned and encased in bacon? Crikey, it was good. And when I paired that with some plain roasted asparagus and roasted potatoes? Good stuff. I even found an easier recipe for pear clafouti (thank you Ina Garten).
We had a small, but interesting group from my husband's work. A nurse that he works with, that is married to a game warden, and another doctor that specializes in helping people die (can't remember the Latin name) that is married to an Economics professor. I spent most of my time talking to the Death Doctor.
I had never heard of her specialty before, but it makes perfect sense. After a person is given a terminal sentence, she assists with their pain management, works with hospice and ironically, spends a good amount of time convincing the patient's original doctor to let them go gracefully. She said she gets a lot of satisfaction out of comforting families, and helping folks live out their last days with dignity and peace. Surprisingly, she said most of her job frustration is from working with the other doctors. They have a hard time letting go- of accepting defeat and letting their patient die. It goes against everything they have trained for, worked towards. She chastised my husband last night for giving a family hope, when she felt there was none to be had. He vehemently disagreed with her, and at one point, I thought someone was going to take a bath in bernaise sauce. (not really, but it makes for a tasty visual).
She is comfortable with death. She's not jaded. She loves the interactions she has with patients and their families, and really feels like she is bettering a situation. That day, hours before she hightailed it over to our house for a cholesterol-laden meal, she was helping a 37 year old that had been diagnosed with cancer and had 2 weeks left to live. She has 2 young kids.
Heavy. Heavy meal, heavy discussion.