At precisely 7 p.m. each evening, my Belle-mère’s stern warning call, “à table” resonates through her Paris apartment. “A table” in French means “To the table! Right Away”! (I’ve only been late to her dinner table once after falling asleep in the bathtub and I don’t recommend it for those wanting to make an impression on a proper French woman.)
Not too long ago, my Alliance Française French classmates and I decided to form a monthly potluck dinner group – a time outside of class devoted to French food and French conversation. It is no surprise that we settled on “à table” for our group’s name! It fits, right???
A recent wintry soirée d'octobre marked our first meeting, and we dined à côté d'un crackling fireplace, sipping vin rouge de Provence. Members dutifully brought quiche, tapenade, camembert, salade, baguette, pots de crème & baba au rhum. We kept our conversation – French conversation that is – on track, too (in case you’re wondering). Oui, Oui, it is easy to resort to the familial native language, but… we à table members persisted. Most notably, everyone aided one another instead of interjecting austere grammatical pointers. It worked ‘cause we’re all excited for our next get-together. Maintenant, à table!