Trip to France, December 2012 and January 2013

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As usual, I go to France this time of the year to celebrate the Holidays with my mother and friends. I left Philadelphia on December 18th, went straight to Tours to prepare a very special celebration where my son Ezra and his girlfriend Kayla would join us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I was happy to go to the Butcher to order my Rabbit Loin which I stuffed with figs, and to go to the farmers market to pick up the best Valencay and St. Maure cheeses. I also bought cheese from Perigord called Echourgnac. I discovered it a few years ago at my cousin’s house in Andernos. It is made with nut liquor. I was at the vegetable market picking up an assortment of wild mushrooms, little baby maches, and salsify (it is delicious cooked with the juice of the roasting rabbit). Then I went to the best pastry shop and chocolatier in Tours, La Chocolatiere. (http://www.la-chocolatiere.com/) I ordered a big ice cream of caramel, chocolate, and pralines, made in the shape of a sled. I also ordered an assortment of macaroons, which they put together forming a pyramid. As I was paying for this, I felt somebody observing me intensely. I turned around and a tall, elegant woman stared at me and finally said “Ah, Michele!” and I said “Ah, Dominique!”. She was the babysitter for my children 35 years ago, and I had not seen her since. She invited me to her house for a glass of wine, and we promised to see each other more often. She’s married; her husband is Mark, and her son is Arthur, like my late husband.

Ezra and Kayla arrived in time to help me carry all the food home to prepare the feast of Christmas Eve.

Our menu was:

Rillettes de Tours, Crevettes Grises, Bouquets, Huitres d’Arcachon

Escargots de Bourgogne

Filet de Bar au Beurre, Blanc

Lapin Farci aux Figues

Salade Verte aux Radis

Assortimente de Fromages

Tarte aux Poires

Glace au Caramel

Assortiment de Macarons

Pousse Cafe

We started at 7:30 pm, and finished at 3:30 am. All this marvelous food was “arrosé” with well-selected wines.

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