The Bistro

The Bistro

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Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

3,650 replies on “The Bistro”

On page 4 of the Bistro comments, Suzy Conover asked a question on March 10, 2016. She asks how Gamache inherited his dog, Henri. Suzy, he was Emilie’s dog and when she died in A Fatal Grace, Gamache adopted Henri.

Hi, Cathryne – I hope that cold stays away now! Doesn’t it know that spring is upon us? Here in the northwest, summer with all it’s sizzling heat has descended for a couple of days. We go from a 60 degree day to 90 degrees, to what is supposed to be 85 today! Two days ago, we needed the heat on – and now, we wish we had our window fan in, but tomorrow is supposed to go back to 60… crazy weather.

The tomatoes had a savory relish on them – I almost always find shortcuts to things, and in this case, I’m trying to replicate a remoulade sauce I had with some fried green tomatoes in Old Salem. They wouldn’t share their recipe, so I had to wing it, and I usually can get close to the taste. Mine wasn’t right there, but it was good, and hubby loved it I started with a red relish (I think it’s usually called Hamburger Relish in the stores). If we liked spicy foods, I’d probably start with a chili sauce, then I added diced garlic and crumbled bacon. It was tangy and a good complement to the tomatoes. Of course, you can’t find green tomatoes in the stores, either, so I went with a very firm heirloom tomato that is always green with red streaks in it. A nice combo.

I don’t blame you for listening to Still Life again – it’s nice to go back to the beginning and know it’s all ahead for these folks, isn’t it?

Julie, I’ve been meaning every day to let you know how much I loved your 26 dish dinner menu, with pictures! What a wonderful idea for your special celebation(s). And, afterward, no financial regrets! Pretty dishes and table, great memories.
Everything looked and sounded delicious, but my mind keeps coming back to the sautéed chicken livers and fried green tomatoes. What was on top of the tomatoes? I’m going to have to try those, if nothing else. My husband cooks more than I do these days and it would be fun to surprise him. Your idea was brilliant and I’m so glad you shared it with us.
I’m just finishing Q’s Legacy as I go through Helene Hanff’s books with such pleasure. A lovely woman.
i hope everyone is well, I’ve been worried with the Bistro so quiet, but maybe just silent comings and goings. I’ve been in and out without speaking as we’ve been passing a spring cold from 2 year olds to 5 year olds to their parents to the grands and back around again. I hope to not hear another cough for a long time.
Beat wishes to all as we navigate The Cruelest Month. I just listened to Still Life again, couldn’t help it! Enjoyed the remembered pleasures and, as always, marveled at a new joy here and there.
Recently read the new Jacqueline Winspeare, Journey to Munich. I liked it very much.
Again, best wishes to all.

Quiet here – what’s everyone reading? I’m in the midst of an “Emma” re-read as it’s the 200th anniversary of the publication and it’s what the Jane Austen group is talking about this year. As well, Vern and I are reading a biography of Carol Burnett (we’ve been reading a lot of light biographies in hopes that they’ll be interesting/funny for the last thing before sleep, though there aren’t many that manage it, hahaha. As the authors are usually amateurs in the field of writing, they’re often just loosely gathered memories, with varying degrees of charm to them. Carol Burnett is better than most, though very light. We’ve found that those that give a sample to download first, put all the good stuff in the sample, and the rest is not much. Imagine!

I’m also reading for myself, a memoir of a house cleaner (I can’t for the life of me, now, think what about the blurb got me excited about this). It’s okay, but again, not earth-shattering. I think after that one, I’m going back to Louise for awhile…

Hope everyone is well and out enjoying spring (or fall) days…

Thank you, Nancy. I did have to break it down into steps – anything that could be done ahead of time was, and anything that could be frozen was…There were a few things that had to be cooked up “on the spot”, but not that much – even the beignets, I had fried the day before, then popped them in the oven to heat, which also helped to get rid of some of the oil… they were nice and light. I had lists and lists and lists, hahahaha.

Food has been much on my mind lately, what with the Nature of the Feast, among other things. Way back in October, Vern and I had our 25th anniversary. At the time, I had wanted to go to a very fancy restaurant here in town, but when he checked out the web site, Vern balked as it had gotten very snooty and seemed much more interested in themselves than their patrons. One part in particular bothered him when they actually said, in a roundabout way, that they felt the need to “teach their patrons” how to dine appropriately. I looked around for another restaurant that would suit my yearning for elegance (hahaha) and found one based on their own organic farm that only offered a 10 course tasting menu, along with the right wines – for the low, low price of $700! Well! Reading the reviews of that one, there were quite a few who came away hungry and had to stop at Burger King on the way home. I KNEW that one wasn’t going to fly, hahaha. I finally decided that I could do a tasting menu – and I decide to make it 25 dishes for our 25th anniversary. The 25 dishes would be encompassed into 11 courses, and I started to plan, but almost immediately got intimidated, and one thing led to another and instead of for our anniversary, I did this for his birthday last week. I added a single dish for the birthday, so now had 26 dishes! If you are interested in how it went, here’s a link to a description plus pictures….http://www.inthecompanyoffriends.com/Dinner.htm

Julie…..how in the world did you do it all? As one who doesn’t like to cook, I salute you. That meal is truly amazing! I’m glad you enjoyed doing it. You should be very proud of yourself. I never heard of anything like this before. I’m in awe.

Just watching a Criminal Minds episode with people on a bus being killed by the nerve gas Sarin! Different delivery method though but curious coincidence.

I am trying to eat healthily but every time I come to the Bistro all I can smell is steak and frites!!

Yummmmmmm – I love the way Beauvoir orders food. Never mind the veggies, meat and potatoes – fried, preferably! Add a glass of red wine, and a fireside – what more do you want?

Maybe something happened during the recent turmoil…not sure. Just don’t want anyone to think we aren’t listening. It can be horrid to post and get overlooked or feel ignored.
Return to warm weather here…winter seems to have gone on holiday. It certainly isn’t hanging out here.

Hmmmm – as I read the first page, besides the jumble, I think we have lost the discussions of the earlier books – I think this starts up while we were discussing The Long Way Home… I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to find that there just wasn’t room for everything. I kind of “dipped in” here and there – page 5, page 15, etc., and it all seems to be later stuff. So, either it is REALLY mixed up, or we’ve just lost the early stuff…

I know what you mean, Anna – I’m going to go back and take a look too. Maybe post something at the beginning of how we’ve been just adding to the end rather than answer individual posts, and maybe we can get to see some of the new things people post.

I just had cause to look back at the posts on page one of the Bistro. I discovered some people appear to have posted there recently but I am not sure as the dates of our posts seem mixed up…start in April, jump to October. Is anyone else experiencing that. I wasn’t sure whether to respond to people who have posted there because I am not sure whether the posts are jumbled.
To anyone who has written lately please tag on the end of the posts here and we will say hi. Don’t want anyone to think no-one is listening. I will go back and read from the beginning but it is a bit muddled. Something like this post. I am tired I fear.

Thank you all. I am glad you enjoyed it. Hugs back to you Nancy and Cathryne, Barbara and Julie. Feels like I finished a marathon as the story took longer than I thought but characters will have their say regardless of any other plans!
I love that photo Julie. How clever to find it. Exactly right.
Don’t worry Cathryne about the reference. I hope it wasn’t too cheesy.
The good news is that my books have been percolating away while I wrote Evangeline and I got stuck into the edit of two and a smidge of three last night. It is necessary to take a break from a novel as you go back with completely different eyes. I have a much better read on one of the subplots as I have been doing buckets of research involving books with over 600 pages that I have been munching through. I don’t try to write police procedural so with their hyper accurate details but I do like to be as realistic as my imagination will allow…leaves room for a degree of license.
I am so happy that kept us amused and filled a little of the time before AGR is published.

Well Done. I enjoyed every word. Thank you Anna. Not only are you a gifted person, but generous as well.

Hear, hear! The amount of time this took away from your serious writing, not to mention the care of your mum and dad, and all the other things on your plate is really something I ought to feel bad about. But…. the result was certainly worth it! Loved every word! Early on, loved the Fox and Collie image

I knew the way the toxin was administered, but never got really close to figuring out who and why – brilliant! Agatha Christie would be proud, indeed.

Ah ha! The truth at last! Very cleverly done. I think Agatha Christie would be nodding with pleasure at your elegant solution. I’m already looking forward to another Fox and Collie mystery. Don’t laugh, but it took me a while to get the Fox and Hounds reference! All the better when the penny finally dropped.
Your story was just the distraction and fun that I needed, thank you! You really are very talented and, just as important, willing to put in the effort to make it all work. I hope it is giving you as much pleasure as it is giving us!

Thank you, thank you, Anna! I marvel at your amazing imagination and enjoyed every bit of the story. You certainly have a bright future in writing!

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