Sunday, July 14, 2019

Bastille Day Pot Luck

For Bastille Day the Ann Arbor Culinary Historians had a summer potluck meal. The theme was food from the French provinces. The approximately 36 attendees lived up to the challenge, bringing foods from a large number of provinces as well as from the Paris region. Each person or couple introduced the food they had prepared, and later there was a quiz about the place of origin of a long list of regional French dishes.
Len baked a Pissaladiére -- a Provençal onion tart named for a type of anchovy
preparation (pissalade) that was once popular in Nice. Black olives, anchovies,
and a great quantity of caramelized onions top a yeast-dough crust.
Simone Beck's Salade du Broc was my contribution. It contains tomato, arugula,
artichoke hearts, bell pepper, olives. and a hard-boiled egg garnish.
Simone Beck, a collaborator with Julia Child, also published two of her
own cookbooks which have very interesting recipes.
Jan Longone, one of the founding members of the Culinary Historians, brought a Salade Niçoise. In this photo,
she is adding the dressing. She and her husband Dan also supplied the table decoration: a statue of Bibendum,
the figurehead of the Michelin guides.

I was very interested in the cookbooks cited as sources for these many and varied foods. The Time-Life cookbook of provincial French foods, books by Patricia Wells, online cookbooks, Julia Child and More Company, and a number of others provided the recipes. A few more of the many dishes:

Chicken Normandy with calvados and cream. Delicious!
A superb vegetable gratin made by our friend Howard.
Provençal Roast Tomatoes and a corner of another,
different Salade Niçoise.
A liver mousse in the shape of a frog.
Champigonons à la Grecque.
Green bean salad, gougères (cheese puffs), and hand-made bread.
The desserts were really scrumptious! Here: mini-pavlovas (which under that name, actually originated in New Zealand,
but that's not important now) with a fruit topping. The recipe was in a book titled Potagers.

An apple tarte. This was gone before I arrived at the dessert table.
Coeur à la creme. There are two here: one from a French recipe, and the
other from a Betty Crocker recipe. I only tried the French one.
A fruit plate. Welcome with all the heavy food.
At the table -- including my inadvertent selfie.
I'm sending this post as a contribution to the ongoing blog event "Paris in July," hosted at the blog Thyme for Tea (link). All content and all photos are copyright by Mae at maefood dot If you are reading this at another blog, it's been stolen.


Pamela said...

Looks wonderful!

Angie's Recipes said...

wow What a potluck! So many things I wish I could try right now :-))

s.c said...

It looks all very wel executed.

Jeanie said...

Wow -- this is fantastic. It looks like the most delicious potluck of all time! And beautifully done (although I'm not so sure about the frog mousse -- I hope it tasted good!) But a very clever way to celebrate Bastille day!

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

The chicken with Calvados sounds amazing! Have you seen the Swedish cop series called "Beck?" Calvados is his favorite.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

How fun it must be to be a part of a group like this! What wonderful dishes!

bermudaonion said...

What a fun way to celebrate Bastille Day!

Shaheen said...

What a wonderful selection. I love the idea of potlucks, though there are not many around me that I get the opp. to attend. I love seeing what everyone else brings to the table. even though I am veggie, the frog shaped liver mousee made me smile, and I adore the Coeur à la crème - its soemthing that I have wanted to make for a while and not got round to it

Louise said...

That all looks so wonderful. I'm not a great fan of calvados, but that chicken dish does sounds amazing.

Beth F said...

Love Patricia Wells, and that Time-Life book, and that Julia book ... all worth having in your collection.

Stacie said...

Wow! What an awesome and delicious party, although I'd have to pass on the liver mousse no matter what shape it was in! Ha! Ha!

Claudia said...

Quite an amazing "potluck" - really a stretch for that term, with such a wonderful selection of dishes.

Carole said...

What fun! cheers from Carole’s Chatter

Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous) said...

i'm a sucker for olives so the pissaladiere looks amazing (:

Tamara said...

So Yummy! Mae, I attended a Bastille Day lunch also - but we certainly did not do as well as you and your friends. I tried to take photo's of our pot luck - but the french elements were few... Your menu looks devine and fun! inspirational. (ps Australian's think french food is a baguette and cheese!).

crackercrumblife said...

This looks like such a fun event!! That apple tarte looked insanely delicious! And your Salade du Broc sounds really good as welL!