Kicking off Christmas
Sim’s extended family is pretty big. His dad is the youngest of 6, so it’s pretty difficult to celebrate Christmas together on Christmas Day (or Eve, as they tend to do over here). The solution? Simple. Three Christmases. The first was celebrated yesterday with the Guyots (Sim’s mum’s side) at chez Besacier in St Sym.
A typical French Christmas lunch is … long. And yesterday’s lunch was typical!
The guests arrived between 12:30 and 1. In this case it was Sim’s grand parents, aunts, uncles and cousins – we were 24 in total. We began with a champagne aperétif (no, I tell a lie – we began with kissing everyone twice, but I’m getting used to that!) and some delicious aperétif snacks.
We played a musical game to determine our seats for the entrée, and drew numbers for each course thereafter so that we didn’t sit with the same people twice. Well, hardly. A nice way to catch up with everyone! Entrée consisted of smoked salmon, foïe gras, bread, and wine. Of course.
I seem to have misplaced my camera during the vegetable, meat and cheese courses – must have been all that swapping of chairs, sampling of wine and trying to remember all the French I’ve learned in the last 6 months! The vegetables were a cardone gratin and green beans, and the meat was duck with fig sauce. The cheeses were brie, chèvre, morbier, comte and blanc. Plus bread and wine…
We had three desserts, traditional log cakes called bûche. One chocolate, one speculoos and one ice cream. We also had a dessert dessert with coffee, in the form of the witch’s house from Hansel and Gretel, made by Sim’s German aunt. It got demolished pretty quickly once we got the go ahead! Plates of chocolate, biscuits and fruit were plentiful as well.
We had a rest after that. Did some dishes, played cards and Rummikub, read, napped…then it was time for tea! Yes, really. We ate cold cervelas and salad (and what was left of the house) with bread and mineral water.
Then it was 9:30pm and time to call it a day. Night. French Christmas lunch!