An English Christmas in France

Christmas (9)This is our second official English Christmas in France after moving here in 2014 and it's still very English. I know that if you move to another country it is customary to follow the culture and I think we are doing quite well but old habits die hard, so it's difficult to give up a lifetime of tradition.   We had a very English Christmas and, as my elder son and his girlfriend were joining us, we ate more than usual! The French people generally celebrate the main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve. Often they have oysters and foie gras, followed by a main dish of guinea fowl or another dish followed by cheese, then the 'Bûch de Noël' to finish. Father Christmas eventually makes an appearance and everyone finally gets to bed at sometime in the morning! For many years we have always had seafood on Christmas Eve and it was only recently I discovered that this was an English Christmas tradition too, although the origins I think possibly go back to Italy. Now we have just added the oysters to our crab, prawn, salmon, (sometimes lobster and langoustine), salad on Chistmas eve. We  always start the evening with a whole Camambert baked in the oven and served with toasted bread. Christmas (7) Then we move to the seafood. I love the fact that this meal is refreshing and very easy ahead of the bustle of Christmas day. Christmas (13) It would have been rude not to have dessert so I made a mousse using a Jamie Oliver recipe for Chocolate mousse. I left out a few ingredients as I didn't have them. It was extremely rich and I will definitely be making it again. Chocolate Mousse We started our Christmas day meal in a French way with an 'amuse bouche' that I made a couple of days before. Often in restaurants little morsels of food are served as a taster before the starters are served. This was very simply some ripe avocado whizzed up with some lemon juice and crème fraiche and then I added some smoked salmon whizzed with creme cheese and dill and then refrigerated overnight. It took a while to get the consistency right as I had to pipe it into the angled glasses. This bit was not fun! It was very tasty though so I'll have to find a way of getting it in. Christmas (5) The starter was a cheese and bacon tartlet made with butter pastry. I made the pastry a couple of days before and left it in the fridge. I baked the cases blind and baked the filling on Christmas eve so I could reheat on Christmas Day. Christmas (12) The main event for us is still turkey and we always had  a free range bronze turkey in England. We have now found some lovely people who rear their own animals locally and our very passionate about their welfare. For the last two years they have provided us with fabulous bronze turkeys. We always have cranberry sauce, stuffing and 'pigs in blankets'. Pudding is always mince pies and Christmas pudding. I think perhaps that this tradition may go next year as only three of us like it! And if you are wondering, we never made it to the cheese board. It had to wait for Boxing Day.... Christms So we have now waded through roast turkey, cold turkey, turkey pie, turkey tikka masala and turkey soup. The freezer has buckets of stock to keep us going.......just New Year to get through now! I hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas and I would love to wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thanks for all of the support in my first six months as a blogger Amanda xxx                                            

2 thoughts on “An English Christmas in France

  1. By any country’s standards, you all enjoyed quite a feast. Everything sounds wonderful and I’m sure tasted even better. Wishing you and yours much joy and peace in 2016.

    1. Happy New Year to you too. Yes, the food has been fun to make and eat but I’m worn out now. I expect you are too!?

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