11th March 2017
commensal , e ( commensaux pl )
nm/f companion at table
The French word commensal comes from the Medieval Latin commensalis, meaning "sharing a table", from the prefix com-, meaning "together", and mensa, meaning "table" or "meal".
It is also a word in English, derived in turn from the French, meaning "eating at the same table" in human social interaction.
I think it befits our supperclub in so many ways. Our companionable eating and sharing at the same table is the obvious one, and its multinational heritage. But there is yet another meaning of the word. It’s a biological one. In ecology, commensalism is a class of relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits without affecting the other. So Medecins Sans Frontieres benefits from your eating, quietly in the background, and some of our guests never even notice.
But MSF notice, and the people whose lives they help save all over the world, so a heartfelt “thank you” from them for the over £60,000 donated by our commensals.
In celebration of this French word, please come and join us for our provincial French supper club. I have just been in France and brought back the kind of foods that my friends cook for me over there.
This is not the typical French food you find in restaurants, but much more homely traditional cooking, perfectly suited to our winter months. And, the desserts....
We have some demi-sel pork (salted pork), which is a crucial ingredient in cassoulet, along with smoked sausage and frozen french sausages. I also have a little cook book of terrines I found in the local brocante, that has served us well in the past. We have gesiers confits (preserved gizzards - delicious) and coeurs de palmier for a fantastic salade folle.
So come and enjoy some of my friends' lovely cooking (whose recipes I stole!)
Salade folle - composez vos-même avec
Terrine de courgettes,
Salade de champignons cru
Coeurs de palmier
Paté de foies de volaille fait maison
et le vrai vinaigrette
Make your own "crazy salad" with terrine of courgettes, real preserved gizzards, mushroom salad, palm hearts, home made chicken liver pate, and real vinaigrette
Cassoulet de tradition
Traditional cassoulet with salted pork, smoked sausage, lamb and beans
Pommes Dauphinoise (v)
potatoes baked with cream and garlic - heaven!
Poulet au vin blanc, gousses de l'ail et feuilles de laurier
Chicken cooked in white wine with whole cloves of garlic and bay leaves - a truly delicious dish
Ratatouille a la Provençal (v)
Sometimes I think my neighbours could drown in this quite easily, so much is made…
Tarte d'epinards et du roquefort (v)
Tart of Roquefort cheese and spinach
classic caramelised apple tart
Gâteau des Poires façon Anjou
Anjou pear cake
Mousse au chocolat noir
Real dark chocolate mousse
Cost will be £45 of which £35 will go direct to that French charity, Médécins Sans Frontières! Please e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org with any bookings