Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Joyeux Noël

If you're anything like me, getting ready for the Holidays means running around frantically trying to get everything done on time. Whether you're traveling to be with your family, or hosting Christmas at your house this year, remember to enjoy this special time and stay safe.

Do you and your family have a special tradition for Christmas? We would love to hear your story and how your tradition got started.

Perhaps you don't have a Christmas tradition, but it's never too late to start one. Putting up the Christmas tree together, baking cookies for Santa, or even taking a family picture at your favorite location can become a great tradition.

Each country celebrates Christmas differently. Let me share with you what a traditional dinner would be in France.

Christmas Eve dinner is called "Le Réveillon de Noël". The menu varies region to region and family to family, but the common attributes will be special-occasion foods served over multiple courses. Yes, we can sit for hours at the table!

We start with a festive aperitif, which in this case will most often be Champagne and Amuse-gueules (small appetizers). That includes everything from peanuts in a bowl to an assortment of elaborate canapés. Then we will serve the foie gras, on sliced bread with a sweet wine (Sauternes). Oysters, shrimps and smoked salmon will follow. Let's not forget the escargots!

At my house, we had a roasted goose, or duck served with chestnuts. It can also be venison, or a rack of lamb depending of the region. We usually accompany our meats with green beans or mashed potatoes. After that comes the plate of cheeses! Lots of wonderful flavors. for dessert you can't find anything more traditional than "La bûche de Noël". It is a log shaped cake made with a buttery cream, topped with colorful figurines. So as you can see, Christmas Eve dinner would be our family's tradition."

Joyeux Noël 
Merry Christmas