Have a Rolly, Polly Christmas

Forget a holly, jolly Christmas. Here in France, celebrating is all about what’s on your plate and in your glass, which makes for a very rolly, polly holiday indeed. Here’s a re-cap of our four spectacular days of over-indulgence.

Friday, December 22
Dinner at our house with Yannick (Johann’s best friend from high school) and Delphine

Cheese and crackers, sliced sausage, Spanish-style tortilla, olives, Champagne, pastis and martinis
Entrèe: Green salad, Sancerre
Plat Principal: Salmon poached in sweet white wine and glazed with honey and BBQ sauce, wasabi mashed potatoes, steamed zucchini, more Sancerre
Dessert: Bananas flambée with vanilla ice cream, mint and pear liqueurs

Saturday, December 23
Christmas celebration at the in-laws’ house

Olives, peanuts, chips, rosemary breadsticks, pastis, martinis and Muscat
Foie gras with fig confiture, selection of other patés, three types of bread, Sauternes. Smoked salmon with lemon wedges and buttered rye, white Bordeaux.
Plat Principal: Guinea hens, gravy, potato croquettes, green beans with garlic, Gigondas
Fromage: Selection of Chevre, Brebis, Roquefort, Camembert, Gruyère, more Gigondas
Dessert: Italian Panettone cake, fruit salad with almonds, Champagne

Sunday, December 24
Event: Christmas Eve dinner with Johann’s grandparents

Fried raviolis filled with cepes, gougeres (mini gruyère biscuits), cocktail sausages, green olives stuffed with Roquefort, black and golden roe on buttered toast rounds, Champagne
Entrée: Oysters, shrimp, terrine of salmon mousse, more Champagne
Plat Principal: Turkey with pork sausage and chestnut stuffing, gravy, potato croquettes, green beans with garlic, more Champagne
Fromage: Selection of Comte, Emmenthal, Tomme, Camembert, Bleu de Bresse, Chevre, more Champagne
Dessert: Buche de Noël (traditional French Christmas cake), fruit salad, more Champagne

Monday, December 25

Event: Traditional English Christmas lunch with our British neighbors and their family

Gougeres, olives stuffed with Roquefort, Champagne cocktails, mimosas, pastis
Entrée: Smoked salmon with lemon and buttered rye bread, Sauternes
Plat Principal: Roast capon, sausage and chestnut stuffing, roast potatoes and parsnips, sausages wrapped with bacon, carrots, brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, Côtes du Rhone
Dessert: Traditional English Christmas pudding (which is flambée) buche de Noël, Champagne, mint liqueur, and a frothy, egg-noggy, lemony drink that I was not given the name of (when asked what was in it, Rachel just replied, “deliciousness”)

So as you can see, the Christmas miracle is that we survived all this excess without anyone needing to be taken to the hospital. I won’t try to tell you we didn’t enjoy it, though. We did. Hope your holidays were as happy and we send you our best wishes for a wonderful 2007.


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