Gourmet Girl Denise here from the Loire Valley, France.
Here in France most of the stores are still closed and will be until after New Year’s Eve. And the temperature has fallen below zero, so it’s a time to stay indoors in front of the fire and cozy up to my kitty cat Milo.
Christmas Eve, I spent with my friends at the Moulin Bregeon eating Fois Gras, roasted and stuffed Chapon, and for dessert a Buche de Noel. This is the traditional dessert at Christmas over here and they can vary a lot. Some are made of ice cream and some are made from a rolled ganache cake that is filled and frosted with buttercream then decorated to look like a yule log. A Chapon is a neutered rooster that is the size of a small turkey. It takes two hours to cook and boy was it delicious! It’s a roasted chicken on steroids!
No Chrismas in France is complete without roasted chestnuts. I found these under a huge tree next door and tried my hand at roasting them. I burnt a lot of them so I am going to need a bit more practice!
On Christmas day I was invited to join an English couple who I met recently for Christmas dinner with their family. There were oysters on the half-shell, shrimp, smoked salmon, Coquille Saint Jacques, (scallops in a cheese and cream sauce) and marinated squid for starters. Then came turkey, ham, my butternut squash gratin, Brussel sprouts, and for dessert my pear tart and a Buche de Noel. Needless to say, I waddled out to my car after dinner in pain. So much food! I am sure you all had similar experiences with your families. It will take a while to get over the food coma.
So soon it will be 2019 and we are all thinking about whether or not we should tie ourselves to any resolutions for the new year. I resolve to look back at 2018 and be proud of all I have accomplished this past year. Isn’t that a better way to start a new year? Acknowledging what we have achieved with gratitude? I think it sets a positive light that will guide us into the coming year. And let’s face it. Most of us don’t keep New Year’s resolutions anyway.
So eat, drink and be merry and enjoy yourselves! What did you have for Christmas dinner? Let us know!
All our best to you and yours,
Denise, Gail and Lindsey