Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas in Provence.

Darin and I spent the weekend with a friend and his girlfriend who reside in lovely, Aix-en-Provence. I was surprised that it was as cold as it is here in Annecy and had to don the winter coat and scarf. It was nice to get away, no less. Two miles from our final destination, our muffler (literally) drops out from under our car. Luckily, we could pull off the road and wait for some friends to meet us and temporarily fix it so we could make those final few miles. I think our friend used Scotch tape...or maybe it was Elmer's Glue-All to put it back together. The next morning we had to get a brand new muffler. Thank you Santa. :(

I knew we were in for a huge Xmas dinner so I tried not to eat most of that day. For apps, we had fried feta cheese balls, endive leaves with creme fraiche, and Beaufort cheese and grapes on toothpicks. Those items were served around 9 pm therefore as soon as they hit the table, they were gone in seconds. It was like fighting for your life. Dinner began with oysters. From what I can't remember, this was my first time eating oysters. I enjoyed my first two. They tasted like they were pulled from the Mediterranean minutes before. As I was about to eat the next one, Darin says, "Emily, look what happens to the oyster when you drop lemon juice onto it." I reply with a shocked face, "Um....they're still alive?!?!" I sat there for about 10 minutes to let it sink in that I was eating things that were still alive. Screw it...I had about ten more after I decided they were too good to pass up. The meal continued with crepes filled with a sweet cream and smoked salmon. Next, we had fois gras spread on bread and topped with an onion and raisin chutney. Then we had Bambi's mother sided with mashed potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce. By that time, it was midnight so we then exchanged gifts. That took about an hour. Then we went back to the table for dessert. There is a typical cake eaten at Xmas called, Bûche de Noël. It's in the shape of a log and usually consists of chocolate mousse filled with fruity flavored cream filling. It was rich, yet quite delicious. There's another Xmas tradition (that may only be typical of Provence) of eating 13 desserts for Xmas. They had plates of chocolates and nuts and fruits and nougats and jellied candies and marzipan candies that were barely touched by this time in the evening. Such a memorable experience! I just don't understand why my husband doesn't cook like this for me every night...

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