Time for another update! We’ve been to a lot of places lately, time went so fast! We’ve met Christmas in France, New Year in Holland and we’re in London now! Our holidays were nice ans cosy with our families. French people love good food and wine, preparations sometimes start weeks before Christmas! The Christmas is celebrated both on 24 and 25, both times excessive meals are being prepared. This time we cooked it together with my future mother-in-law! The meal consisted of 7 dishes.
We started preparing a couple of days before Christmas.
Decoration is a very important part, of course! We chose golden and red combination.
French people never put everything they’ve got on the table at once, dishes are being served one by one. It all starts with aperitif: light dishes accompanied by a cocktail or champagne.
By the way, if you liked something let me know, I’ll give you the recipe! I’ve also made the mini pastry roses, perfect for occasions like this!
After all guests are there, we can go to the table and go on with starters. They can be served in many different ways: in glasses, spoons or like canapes. Looks good, tastes good!
A part that is never missing at Christmas dinners in France is oyster, snails and shrimps. This year I finally learned to appreciate oysters! By the way, we discovered an amazing oyster bar in Paris – Regis. I’ve never tasted oysters as good as theirs! But you have to book in advance as the place is always full. People from all over the world come there to eat their oysters!
Then comes the famous fois gras, another traditional part of a French Christmas dinner. By the way, wine shoule be chosen for every serving separately. For exactly you serve cocktail or champagne for aperitif, a starter normally goes with dry white wine, fois gras with sweeter white wine (sweeter kinds of dry wines or moelleux). Meat is served with red wine, poultry and fish with white wine.
Fois gras is always served with a toast or gingerbread (pain d’épices), jam and salt. You cut a small peace of your fois gras and put it onto the toast. Never break it or, even worse, spread it! Put a bit of jam on top (my favorite is onion one) and add some coarse salt. Yum!
Fois gras is usually followed by the main dish. I love seafood, this year we had sauerkraut (choucroute) with seafood trio of salmon, scallop and gambas.
French always eat cheese after the main dish. Normally it’s served on a special plate with a knife. The plate is being passed from one person to another and everyone cuts a piece of cheese he or she likes. French eat it with baguette. This year we served cheese with a bit of honey, walnuts and grapes.
The last but not the least: desserts! This year we had lots of them, but the traditional is only one: Bûche de Noël. I was too late to take a picture of that so I’ll only show you my creations: frozen bananas in chocolate and chocolate salami!
In Holland it’s all much more simple. For Christmas people often do gourmet/wok. You put different kinds of meat, fish and poultry on the table and guests serve themselves. They choose whatever they like and then cook it with a sauce in a special mini-pan. You enjoy talking while you eat and as you can guess, you don’t have to prepare a lot, which is perfect if you don’t have that much time!
For the New Year the Dutch have a different tradition – oliebollen. This is kind of fried donuts without holes. They are really good! My favorites are Berlinerbol (oliebol with cream in it), appelbeignet (oliebol with apple and sugar) and plain oliebol with raisins.
Dutch people take oliebollen seriously: there is a whole website dedicated to it and every year they make independent tests through the whole country to choose the best oliebollen. Ours came out 8th which is a great result so there were a lot of people waiting in the cue! I must say, they were really good!
January 1st we woke up pretty early because it was time for us to go to London! We decided to take a boat from Hoek van Holland. I’ve always wanted to travel by sea. The boat was great: there were plenty of restaurants, cinema, Duty Free shops, computer games…I wanted to film a vlog for you guys but as soon as we left I discovered that I was…sea sick! So we’ve spent the whole time in our cabin.
Sale is going on in London so and there are so many people it’s incredible! It’s almost impossible to go shopping, I tried yesterday and I spent so much time on just walking on the streets, they’re so crowded you can’t move! But nevertheless, if you know interesting places in London, or brands, please let me know! The weather was great and finally I decided to hide in the small side streets. While doing that, I discovered this beauty!
Voilà! This is my little update. How did you spend your Christmas and New Year?