Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cooking with Sophie.

"What did I miss?" I asked Ana-M as she rushed downstairs to let me into Sophie's sunny and spacious Paris apartment.
I was 20 minutes late, even after leaving my morning French lessons early.
"Oh we just put the lamb in the oven. It's covered in hay, and it's wonderful!" Ana explained as we entered the apartment.
"Hay?! Did she just say hay?", I asked a woman standing in the living room, staring at my blank expression.
"Yes, but don't worry, she got it from the pet store, it's in a sealed bag, so its fresh!" Ana-M added with even more excitement.

In Paris, I've learned to keep an open mind about new experiences, especially in cuisine. I opened my mind even wider when another women explained the white asparagus were somewhat of a swamp vegetation.
Hmm, lamb cooked in hay, with a side of swamp vegetation?! "Okay." is the only thing my open mind could think as the surprisingly fresh herby aroma of hay and lamb filled the room.

"Gigot d'agneau au foin" is the name of the dish, Sophie explained in French with her soft French accent it just sounds so much more delicious.

"Did you go to cooking school?" I asked Sophie. "No, I learned everything from my Grandmama." she explained as she flipped the thinly sliced potatoes in a skillet with a quick flick of her wrist.

Carving the Lamb
A Simple Delicious Dessert

After a few more cooking tips, demonstrations, questions and answers, a sampling of a Traditional French dinner: Gigot d'agneau au foin (Leg of Lamb in Hay) was served.

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