It started with a case of mistaken identity.
I'd met Stephane when he was out visiting our Sunnyvale office. He was a jolly, personable fellow who worked in IT for our Paris office.
A year or so later, I was planning a trip to Paris and planned to work out of my company's office for a week before gallivanting around the French countryside. I remembered Stephane and sent him an email asking if he could set me up with a workspace while I was there. "Mais bien sûr!" (but of course!) was the response I received.
Once in Paris, I navigated the Metro and the rain and made it to the office. Upon my arrival, the admin led me to Stephane's desk. The gentleman who greeted me was NOT the Stephane I'd met in the US. Luckily for me, Stephane 2 also worked in IT so he hadn't thought it strange that I'd asked him to set me up. Once connected on my laptop, I consulted the corporate directory and realized I'd looked up the wrong Stephane in the wrong Paris office. D'oh! I imagine it would be similar to looking up the name Steve in a US directory.
Years later I found myself traveling again, this time to the Amsterdam office. Stephane 1 had relocated and was now working out of that office. I made sure to look up the correct contact info this time and made sure to say hi once I'd arrived. He was so friendly and welcoming! While there, he helped organize outings and dinners and showed me the local scene. One night he even had me over to his house where I met his wife and family. While there Stephane expertly prepared for me French crepes filled with seafood poached in herbs and cream. The dish was so delicious that I think it beat out pretty much all of the food I'd tried while in the Netherlands.
And when Patrick and I got married and were heading to Cairo for our honeymoon, we ended up with an 8 hour layover in Amsterdam. Stephane picked us up from the airport, took us to his house for brunch and then gave us an abbreviated tour of the Amsterdam canals and districts. He even let us *ahem* borrow *ahem* some memory cards for the camera (I think we'd accidentally checked ours in the bags). It was more than we could have asked for.
And so, last week my dear friend was in town and we were desperate to get together. Being French and a wine connoisseur, I thought it would be fun to take him to wine country for some local tastings. And to make it extra special, I thought I'd make us some crackers so that we had munchies for the trip.
Unfortunately, we never made it up to wine country (due to work obligations), but I still made the crackers as a way of saying thanks.
Stephane, I am so grateful for your generosity and friendship over the years. I wish you could stay longer so we could go play. Until next time, mon ami!
cracked black pepper and blue cheese crackers, gluten free
Adapted from Joy the Baker.
Use a good quality blue cheese that has been verified gluten-free. Alison of Surefood's Living has a good list of gluten-free blue cheeses.
Makes about 60-70 crackers.
This recipe is part of a monthly recipe roundup called Let's Lunch. This month's theme is gratitude and is led by Rebecca of the beautifully photographed Grongar Blog. If you’d like to join us, go to Twitter and post a message with the hashtag #Letslunch, or post a comment below. To see all my contributions for Let's Lunch, click here. And before you go, check out my fellow lunchers’ posts below!
- Pain au Levain from Rebecca at Grongar Blog
- “Plumb” cake from Lisa at Monday Morning Cooking Club
- Gratitude Fried Rice from Linda at Spicebox Travels
- Seafood Chowder from Lucy at A Cook and Her Books
- A Thanksgiving tablecloth tradition from Lucy at In a Southern Kitchen
- Gratitude Soup from Rashda at Hot Curries and Cold Beer
- Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar (gluten free) from Linda at Free Range Cookies
- 5 Minute Wonder Soup from Elenaore at Wok Star
- Pumpkin Roll with Pecans from Anabell at Glass of Fancy
- Green Tomato Salad from Rene at My Kitchen and I