It seems as I get older the year seems to slip through my fingers- and now I find myself, once again, in France on Christmas Eve.
Christmas has many connotations for many people; if you are religious, then you know the whole nativity story; you may also know the story of King Harod and his whole fit to kill all the babies- those stories are not so much my cup of tea.. so I tend to see Christmas as a gathering time; a time where we all can get together and eat until we explode, drink until we can't see straight and wake up to pillage whatever is under the tree.
In France, there is so much more; traditions of course are around- the typical sapin de Noël and the Christmas buche. However, I find, here we tend to enjoy just a little more.
Tonight will start with an enormous supper...
Course 1: Oysters and champagne
Course 2: Smoked salmon, buttered toast and Foie Gras (if you're a vegetarian.. you are missing out) w/ a nice sweet white wine.
Course 3: Some main dish of meat/a side of vegetables
Course 4: Fruits
Course 5: Assortment of delicious cheeses
Course 6: Bûche de Noël, or a 'yule log' a rolled up cake... with buttercream frosting.
Course 7: Digestif and Papillotte
At the end we will all roll around the house and digest while plotting when we will deliver our gifts downstairs. The goal is to not be seen by anyone, a sort of pseudo-Santa.
To describe what it's like to experience a Christmas in France would be like trying to describe the delicacies in a Foie Gras; it's 10x better than any Christmas in America because it incorporates this sentiment with food. Eating is always an integral piece to our culture here, but Christmas ups the ante and makes it a holiday where you can't leave your seat because you are so full. Yes, the moral apprehensions with Foie Gras remain- but it's simply a part of a culture. If you're going to drink the Champagne from France, you have to try the Foie Gras.
Tomorrow I'll be getting pictures up, so the enticement of the meal will be before your eyes. I hope anyone out in the States will be eating heartily as well, and if not, I 'chine' to you and will eat a piece of Foie Gras and some oysters on your behalf!
Merry Christmas and Joyeaux Noël!