What, really – TWENTY years!

Our usual habit is to get the mushy stuff done and dusted on the Saturday that precedes the UK’s August Bank Holiday. This year we departed from both habit and plan and brought it on a day early.

I was busy yesterday, writing my post about Internet Friends: Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness (well, that’s more or less the gist of it) when work was interrupted by the notion that we needed to head into Montmorillon for a bottle of Champagne.

That was all. Just a bottle of Champagne. After all, our big celebration meal is booked for Modena in a week or two… but as we pulled up to Leclerc, I spotted a promo banner detailing cooked Langoustines on offer. What a splendid idea – let’s have a little snack with our shampoo!

We bought the seafood, though not the intended Langoustines as we did not care for the look of them, and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot but the little appetiser spun out of control very rapidly. Fillet steak hit the trolley along with some nectarines and cream and a load of salad stuffs.

As we left the supermarket I remarked that we should have thought about some red wine to go with the steak… and we then headed off to the Cave, adding a bottle of St Emilion Grand Cru Classé to our booty.

Thus we ended up living it large last night. Some of us are today paying the price…

With the weather hotting up again and yesterday’s temperature above 30 degrees, we opted to sit outside for our meal.

My favourite brand of bubbly (Brut – always preferable and also Keto, in small quantity… who’s measuring?)

You can tell that it was a special occasion, I dug out a tablecloth!

Nibbles with aperitif are de rigueur (Keto, you note)
Possibly the World’s most expensive nuts – organic from Leclerc and roasted and salted at home (still Keto)

We began with the Champagne and nibbles, saving half of the bottle for our starter.

We pre-shelled the prawns in order to separate the ugliness and the romance by a decent interval. I added a salad garnish, some lemon wedges and a big dollop of fresh mayonnaise. (Very much Keto.)

It was our intention to make the evening a leisurely one and to “pace ourselves” so I had not made the main course yet, I lurched indoors to attempt the potentially dangerous culinary feat of perfectly cooking a rare fillet steak whilst in a slightly inebriated condition.

Oddly, it worked. It came out very well indeed.

Bottle number two came into play with the steak. It caused us some concern when the dry cork shattered into a myriad dusty pieces. We put the wine through a sieve. It smelled alright, definitely not corked, though was a little brownish in colour. We voted it drinkable but were a bit miffed, having spent so much upon it.

A very good fillet steak, with a vinaigrette salad and a red wine, shallot and mushroom sauce fait maison. (Yes, still Keto – look, no spuds!)

The appearance of meat on the table brought forth a dinner companion.

She has been fighting and has a scratched eye just now. (ah, Keto Kat!)

As the sun began to set we were joined by further company but I am pretty sure that their sights were not set on my beef.

What a relief that we had not elected to eat lamb!

Eating one’s cheese course before dessert, as the French do, is very convenient for polishing off the red wine.

That Epoisses was so very ripe that it had its spikes on and was prepared to do a 400 metre dash off the table. Fabuleuse! (Cheese is Keto….)

I confess at this stage that there were freshly-baked baguettes on the table and yes, I did eat the bread. It was worth it. With that Epoisses, it was simply heavenly.

Spreadable cheese! (Bread NOT Keto! Naughty Beth)

With the St Emilion safely guzzled, bottle number three came into play.

We broached a bottle of the Passerille that we had bought in Monbazillac the last time we visited there. (Sweet wine isn’t Keto either. I seem to be well and truly off the wagon at this point)
The dessert wine accompanied some roasted nectarines and Crème d’Isigny. (I believe that I made a little bit of a Keto effort there…)

You may be relieved at this stage to understand that we did not drink more than half the 50cl bottle…

A small digestif with the coffee. as the daylight faded to blue. (Spirits are allowable on Keto…) Should we not have had a bottle of a 20 yr old malt?

There wasn’t much in the Jura bottle so we thought we would just tidy things up a little by completely finishing it. Definitely doesn’t count as a fourth bottle in itself but the empties were definitely piling up by now.

I confess that our resistance (judgement!) had been lowered by the time that coffee was finished and we recalled some more bottles that were in need of tidying up a little.

It was, I believe, a Great Mistake to bring on the motley collection of slightly odd liqueurs that had come home with us from Spain in the spring and not just because the syrupy things aren’t Keto 🙂

Anyway, conversation was definitely lubricated and the empties collection was growing.

We sat out under the stars and enjoyed the warm summer evening and each other’s excellent company and we talked and talked about what I imagine was a great deal of rubbish. I do remember one part of our conversation in particular and that has provided me with my forthcoming first topic for my Left Luggage

It was, we think, after 3am when we packed in and staggered indoors. It was a long time after that before we gave up on our romantic evening and went to sleep.

We had fun.

One of us is definitely not having fun today. Having risen well into the afternoon , they are now, at tea-time, back in their bed!

“Never again”, I expect. At least not until we have 21 years under our belts.

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