It first started with my best friend, Susan and I driving my daughter, Rita to Ottawa, Canada where she was going to live for six months with her friend, Rebekah. While there, we visited a nice French cafe. When Susan heard Rebekah speaking French to the baker, Susan fell in love with the language. We traveled home, fantasizing how we would open a French bakery, speak French and call the place Fabulous French Friends. That's where it ended.
Susan then invited me to a book discussion class where we met a gal named Sarah, who is a retired French teacher. When Susan found out, she told Sarah how we wanted to learn French. Sarah arranged a class in her home for Susan, myself and another lady, Charmaine. For six weeks, we attempted to learn French. During the beginning of this French class, I was on "sabbatical" writing - no cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, babysitting, socializing (this included taking French), so I would sneak out of the house to take my French lessons. I would tell the girls that I felt like I was cheating on my husband. I justified that it would help my memory by learning a foreign language. Then I had an idea that I would surprise Norm with a French dinner for our anniversary.
The anniversary of our "first date." Norm always remembers and I don't which is usually the opposite. I was determined I would remember this year and with justifying my French lessons, this made it perfect for me. I had three months to get the French down, prepare for the dinner and surprise Norm.
For the next three months I planned for the event. I shopped. I found some dishes. I bought a French apron at a little French boutique in Maplewood. I searched for French instrumental music. I borrowed French cookbooks from Kim and Ruth. I scoured for recipes. I practiced my French. I found a betty bargain book of France.
I spent three full days prior to the event getting ready. On Monday, I got creative and made collages with the pictures from the book. I made hanging mobiles with the photographs. I created a card with French words. I made the menu. I gathered different items I would use to decorate. I practiced my French some more.
On Tuesday I took a trip to the grocery store. And then started preparing ahead what I could, starting with the Lemon Sorbet. I continued practicing French. "Bon anniversaire du mariage."