Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Swiss Gouter

gouter (goo-TAY)
1. an afternoon snack 2. to try something 3. to savour
Anne-Valerie is holding Augustine who won't be put down, so it's me who carries out the galette des rois this year.

Eglantine calls everyone to eat. "A la table."

Romain, Achille, Emma the Brave and Mighty Mouse charge out of the bedroom where they were playing chateau. Marine lets go of Marie-Claude's pant leg long enough to climb into a chair. We're a big group, the ten of us, a body more than when we met three years ago.

Anne-Valerie settles Augustine into her seat so she can slice the galette. The golden pastry cuts easily into generous wedges. Achille crawls under the table and begins to call out names.

"Eglantine." He's chosen his little sister to get the first slice. She smiles and takes the plate from her mother.

"Anne-Valerie." Achille's mother serves herself with an embarrassed smirk.

Next is Emma, followed by Mouse, Marine, Marie-Claude, me and Romain. At last, his best friend is served.

The kids tuck into their slices as we moms pass out cups of 'syrop,' a drink made from water mixed with grenadine. Emma opts for water by itself. She's never developed a taste for the stuff. I don't blame her.

"C'est moi, le roi!" Romain has found la fève, the little figurine baked into the galette. This one is Dora L'Exploratrice. Romain dons the gold paper crown that comes with the cake, making him king for a day. His first royal act is to bestow Dora to Marine.

The kids finish eating and go back to playing chateau while the mommies move to the couch to sip tea and talk of things that women who share motherhood talk about, no matter what language they are speaking or where they're from.

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