Monday, 24 December 2012

Christams Eve

The tree has been up a week, the cats have not attacked the baubles and the weather is singularly warm: 15C, but at least it has stopped raining and yesterday we even had sun!

Our tree this year
Tonight we'll be having a plateau of fruits de mer, as we did the first year we were here: crab claws, langoustines, lobster and large prawns. There's a nice Picpoul de pinet chilling in the fridge. This is a very dry white wine from the Montpellier area in the Languedoc. It will go well with the seafood.

Yesterday we gave the oven a clean, or rather set it on its self-cleaning mode and let it do its thing. We have never had a self-cleaning oven before and we were quite impressed with the result, especially as it saves an enromous amount of hassle. Apart from a few tiny areas by the door it was sparkling clean and all ready to go for Christmas Day cooking.
Favorite ornament: a glass dove
Tomorrow we'll be roasting a caneton [duckling] spiced with star anise, cinnamon, cloves, thyme and bay leaves. To go with this will be cherries in a wine/port sauce which is also flavored with the star anise, cinnamon and cloves. It's a recipe I found on the internet which sounded very nice and it will be interesting to see how it turns out:- we will let you know. We wanted to try something a little different from the usual caneton a l'orange, lovely though that is. Veg is kept simple, honey glazed roast parsnips, haricots verts and for Niall some roast potatoes. We'll have a Saumur-Champigny, Les Loups Noirs, from the Domaine Nerleux which we wrote about here to drink with the meal.

I've already baked a large mince pie, somehting I always do rather than make lots of little ones. It's nice to have a proper slice with some creme fraiche. I use an ancient 8" pie dish which is older than I am--my mother used to use it.

So we are pretty much prepped for Christmas.

Here's wishing you and yours wherever you are Happy Holidays!

Naturally Katinka has to have the last say.....
Setting up the tree last week


19 comments:

Perpetua said...

An unattacked tree with cats in the hous? A Christmas miracle. :D Your Christmas menus sound delicious. Ours will be traditionally English, and we left the Picpoul de pinet at home, as DS enjoys selecting his own wines.....

A vey marry Christmas to you both.

Perpetua said...

Or even a merry Christmas. :)

Note to self in New Year - learn to proofread comments before publishing!

Susan said...

We breached the M&S mince pie packet last night. Thank you for bringing them over.

And as I said to you earlier -- that cat is a card!

Bonnes fêtes !

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - blog-sphere is littered with my typos :-)
We'll see about the menus--we still have to cook them ;-)
Safe journey to DS with all that terrible weather you're having.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Susan - glad you liked them we thought they were pretty good too. So good in fact that our box didn't last beyond early December :-)!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Susan - as for Katinka .... well you said it purrrrfectly!

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Nous vous souhaitons un Joyeux Noël et une très bonne année 2013. Nous ésperons que vous passez d'excellentes fêtes de fin d'année

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Elizabeth - Merci et joyeuses fêtes à vous.

Perpetua said...

We're already safely ensconced, thanks, though the journey on Saturday was a nightmare. It's weather to stay snugly indoors.

Tim said...

Pauline et moi wish you a "Verry Moorrey Christams".... damn... lust mearn knot two kreep tying t'Bandy Brutter... fy gingers met feasily uddled! 'Ic!!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Tim - LOL! And a well brandy buttered Christmas to the 2 of you too :-)

the fly in the web said...

That duckling sounds very tempting...and I laid covetous eyes on mother's pie dish when in England with her.....
Have a wonderful time under feline direction.

Jean said...

It all sounds wonderful.
Have a very merry Christmas and see you next year.....eventually !!

PS owning my grandmother's stewpot is something I am always proud of.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly - we'll see ... the cooking time for a 5lb ducking the recipe calls for [which is roughly what ours weighs] seems to be incredibly long so may tweak things.
The pie dish is pyrex & early 1950s at a guess and has survived I don't know how many moves!
The feline direction will do doubt be masterly!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jean - yes we must try harder in 2013! :-)
Bet you are, there is something special about inherited cooking utensils.

Vera said...

That duckling recipe sounds gorgeous, and I hope that you thoroughly enjoy it. We are having stir fry left-overs from yesterday, which we thought was Christmas Day - got our dates muddled up!

wcs said...

Enjoy your day! Bertie has shown no interest in the christmas tree, luckily for us.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Vera - enjoy your leftovers! Happy Christmas to you .... today ;-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Walt - The same to you and Ken :-).

Funny isn't? We know of cats who go nuts with a tree full of ornaments; ours are just not interested.