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By now you must be thinking that I have gone through all of my relatives and no, I haven’t just yet. Today we welcomed my cousin, her husband and their nine children, none of which are twins, at my Tantine’s house. She is the one who is my chauffeur’s mother and my mother’s sister, who is currently staying there as well. At 11:30 this morning my Tantine, Tonton, the baby girl and I got into Tantine’s car to help prepare for the arrival of two carloads of small human beings and their parents. We didn’t come empty-handed, my Tantine made a terrine of potatoes, tomato and zucchini with creme fraiche and swiss cheese, she also brought the roast beef, the bread and the apricot tart. Tantine L. at her house had made a tiramisu and a huge mushroom, avocado and tomato salad. She also spent all day Wednesday making Vietnamese spring rolls for all of us, for later today at dinner. The roast beef and the terrine were simply for lunch.

We sat down to eat, mind you we were 17 divided between two tables, at 12:30, we had the hors d’oeuvre of gratton on toast rounds, gratton is a type of pate, and cantaloupe. The salad was the appetizer, next came the roast beef and terrine, followed by cheese and salad and then the two desserts. My cousin Didier and Vivianne stopped by for dessert and left after coffee.

Since we were killing time until it was dinner time to get back to the business of eating, we played cards for a while and then went for a walk around the neighborhood. When we got back, it was time to sit back down and tackle the Vietnamese spring rolls, to be brief, there aren’t any left. We went through the spring rolls, the lettuce and the mint as if we hadn’t eaten just a few hours before. On top of that we finished what was left of the apricot tart and graduated to ice cream. I tell you it almost feels like I have entered in the French marathon of family dinners, I am not complaining, they are just too great to pass up. The food, the laughs and the conversation, it’s the best.