Joyeux Noel and Happy Hanukah!

Hello, fellow campers, wanderers, and food lovers!

Well, here we are again ready to celebrate Christmas and the year’s end. This year seems to have gone by very quickly, and maybe that’s a blessing after all. What a year it’s been! We have lost so many souls to the dreaded Covid and the resulting lockdowns have devastated businesses all over the world. This holiday season will be like no other, as we can not be with cherished family members who do not live near us. With the cold winter weather setting in and the lack of family it easy to get a bit down in the dumps.

The willows at the edge of the lake

But in spite of all of this, there seems to be an upwelling of gratitude within the human spirit. We have become acutely aware of all the blessings we have been taking for granted for so long. Our memories of shared dinners with friends and family have become precious, and we yearn to return to normalcy. We take long meditative walks and have gotten to know ourselves better, which in turn will make us better people. Here is a picture of the lake across from my house here in the Loire, where I take frequent walks.

One thing that has exceeded all expectations is that everyone has been cooking up a storm! What the heck else is there to do when you’re on lockdown? I’m sure everyone who imbibes has also learned a lot more than they knew before about fine wines and spirits. (Within reason of course!)

This one was yummy!

We have all become epicureans, launching ourselves at complicated recipes and lengthy baking projects. When all of the restaurants re-open they are going to have to please a newly sophisticated client. I mean where have you seen a Tarte aux Poire like this? It’s my go-to recipe.

Pear and Frangipane tart

So keep your spirits up and keep cooking and experimenting in the kitchen because it is good medicine. And don’t forget to feed the birdies! It’s cold out there!

A Blue Tit at the feeder outside my kitchen window

Have a wonderful holiday season and don’t forget to gift all of your friends a copy of The Gourmet Girls Go Camping Cookbook! After all, we can all still go camping!


Denise, Gail, and Lindsey

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