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Discussion Starter #1
So what are you having for Christmas dinner this year? (This IS France after all, and food is super important at this time of year.)

We normally do the traditional Christmas eve dinner of seafood - smoked salmon, oysters, champagne and pop corn (ok, I added the pop corn part - need some sort of veggie...)

Then on Christmas day, I usually make something out of the Julia Child cookbook (the first one!) like boeuf bourgingnonne or carbonade de boeuf (DH isn't into poultry).

So what's on the table chez vous? Do you stick to your home country customs or have you come around to doing things à la française?
Cheers,
Bev
 

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So what are you having for Christmas dinner this year? (This IS France after all, and food is super important at this time of year.)

We normally do the traditional Christmas eve dinner of seafood - smoked salmon, oysters, champagne and pop corn (ok, I added the pop corn part - need some sort of veggie...)

Then on Christmas day, I usually make something out of the Julia Child cookbook (the first one!) like boeuf bourgingnonne or carbonade de boeuf (DH isn't into poultry).

So what's on the table chez vous? Do you stick to your home country customs or have you come around to doing things à la française?
Cheers,
Bev
Traditional English - we have drinks on Christmas Eve morning serving sausage rolls and mince pied (with brandy butter). Christmas Day is roast turkey stuffed with sausage meat one end and chestnut stuffing the other, roast potatoes, bacon-wrapped chipolatas, cranberry sauce, possibly a veggie. Followed by Christmas Pudding with brandy butter.

Drinks and nibblers to fill in the gaps :)

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Traditional English - we have drinks on Christmas Eve morning serving sausage rolls and mince pied (with brandy butter). Christmas Day is roast turkey stuffed with sausage meat one end and chestnut stuffing the other, roast potatoes, bacon-wrapped chipolatas, cranberry sauce, possibly a veggie. Followed by Christmas Pudding with brandy butter.

Drinks and nibblers to fill in the gaps :)

Cheers
Can you get the cranberry sauce ready-made, or do you have a source of cranberries? I haven't seen them in the hypermarket yet - but I've been avoiding the big stores until this week. Will check when I make my Auchan run tomorrow.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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We're a mixed bunch: French, English and French Canadian so it'll be a mixture of all the things we like, especially scallops in wine sauce, sausage rolls and stuffed capon, roast potatoes and brussel sprouts, mince pies and grandpères, waffles and maple syrup... not necessarily in that order. Hope to find some stilton!

:santa:
 

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Can you get the cranberry sauce ready-made, or do you have a source of cranberries? I haven't seen them in the hypermarket yet - but I've been avoiding the big stores until this week. Will check when I make my Auchan run tomorrow.
Cheers,
Bev
Oceanspray cranberry sauce is available in Carrefour, but we bought a can on-line from "MyAmericanMarket".

Cheers
 

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I just hit Carrefour today for the first time in quite a while. Big mistake! The place was mobbed. And the only fresh cranberries they had were in a little plastic tub - 250g for €3.50! Ten or fifteen years ago, they used to carry the bags of Ocean Spray cranberries in the couple of weeks just before Christmas.

I've found the Ocean Spray cranberry sauce around here in the jars, but not the jelly kind of sauce in cans.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I just hit Carrefour today for the first time in quite a while. Big mistake! The place was mobbed. And the only fresh cranberries they had were in a little plastic tub - 250g for €3.50! Ten or fifteen years ago, they used to carry the bags of Ocean Spray cranberries in the couple of weeks just before Christmas.

I've found the Ocean Spray cranberry sauce around here in the jars, but not the jelly kind of sauce in cans.
Cheers,
Bev
We found both, whole berry and jelly in jars at Carrefour. Bought the whole bean can on line. But our sausages seem to have gone astray - sent yesterday on 24 hours but no sign so far :(

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Discussion Starter #8
So far I see no mention of brussels sprouts. What kind of "traditionalists" are you? My one Christmas spent in the UK, everyone told me that brussels sprouts were absolutely essential for a real UK Christmas.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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So far I see no mention of brussels sprouts. What kind of "traditionalists" are you? My one Christmas spent in the UK, everyone told me that brussels sprouts were absolutely essential for a real UK Christmas.
Cheers,
Bev
June would totally agree with you - but I happen to have an allergy to certain green vegetables, even the smell of them cooking (especially cauliflower or cabbage) can turn me a funny colour. Took years before my mother believed this :rolleyes:

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My In-laws being in the Coquillage Business, naturally it's seafood and in addition to oysters and mussels, they are able to buy seafood at the wholesale price.

I was at an OVS gathering and asked the question how far back does the tradition of eating seafood through all of France go? No one seemed to know. Some of the food we find here really doesn't have a long history, for example, baguettes didn't appear until the 1920's. My OVS meeting was in Sete. One of the specialties there is tielle, a pie filled with minced octopus in sauce. This only dates back to the 1930s. I'm guessing people along the the coast ate seafood for a while but I'm also guessing it really didn't catch on as a tradition for all of France until the late 50s' or 60s'.

The day will probably be turkey or capon as we'll have to have enough for 7. Last time we had turkey, I made the stuffing and my wife liked it so I may have to make it again.

I like scallops too but prefer the taste of the North American ones which you can find at some frozen food outlets.
 

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Arggghh! Just finished my pre-Christmas Auchan run - and the place was a zoo!

Only cranberries available were in little 200gr. tubs priced at 2.49€ (which is slightly better than Carrefour yesterday - but not much). Maybe they'll go on sale after the weekend! (I just checked and a 12 oz. bag of Ocean Spray cranberries is going for $2.99 back in the Boston area - and that's delivered!)

Got two boxes of Lanvin Escargots (the chocolate ones with the hazelnut creme filling) - wouldn't be Christmas without 'em. And, at long last, a proper pot to make boeuf bourgignonne in. (Have been improvising for years now, ever since I "lost" my good Le Creuset pot.)

Will have to venture out to the marché on Thursday for the fresh stuff - and probably one last run on Saturday morning, but it's all coming together.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Arggghh! Just finished my pre-Christmas Auchan run - and the place was a zoo!

Only cranberries available were in little 200gr. tubs priced at 2.49€ (which is slightly better than Carrefour yesterday - but not much). Maybe they'll go on sale after the weekend! (I just checked and a 12 oz. bag of Ocean Spray cranberries is going for $2.99 back in the Boston area - and that's delivered!)

Got two boxes of Lanvin Escargots (the chocolate ones with the hazelnut creme filling) - wouldn't be Christmas without 'em. And, at long last, a proper pot to make boeuf bourgignonne in. (Have been improvising for years now, ever since I "lost" my good Le Creuset pot.)

Will have to venture out to the marché on Thursday for the fresh stuff - and probably one last run on Saturday morning, but it's all coming together.
Cheers,
Bev
I find if you're at the store as soon as they open, usually 0900, there's less of a crowd to deal with. The key is to have a list, stick to it, get in and get out before the mob arrives. I'm not the shop till you drop kind of person and planned my Carrefour and Intermarche trips carefully.

Cheers
 

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I find if you're at the store as soon as they open, usually 0900, there's less of a crowd to deal with. The key is to have a list, stick to it, get in and get out before the mob arrives. I'm not the shop till you drop kind of person and planned my Carrefour and Intermarche trips carefully.

Cheers
I was actually out the door here by 9h (which is good for me). Luckily I always use my GPS just in case - and as I went down the ramp onto the highway, I could see that the highway was a parking lot of trailer trucks. Fortunately, there is a fork in the ramp that takes you into a little industrial park, so I took that, pulled over to the side and reprogrammed my GPS to avoid the highway that was so backed up.

Got a scenic tour of a nearby town I have always hated having to drive through (now I remember why), but it sure beat sitting waiting for the truckers to let me into the stagnant line of traffic.

So, other than the local shopping (butcher and fresh produce) I think I'm about ready for the weekend.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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So, other than the local shopping (butcher and fresh produce) I think I'm about ready for the weekend.
Cheers,
Bev
Yep, same here. Sausages arrived around lunchtime, just need the turkey and a couple of local items. HyperU was a zoo this afternoon.

Ready, now there's a concept ;)

Cheers
 

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The regular market is on Sunday's here - and in the past when Christmas falls on Sunday, the market is busier than ever. But this year's there's nothing I can leave until Sunday, so I guess we'll just put in an appearance at the marché and go for whatever looks interesting (and maybe a few more oysters...)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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AAAAAUGHHHH! DH returned from the Thursday market to report that there IS no Sunday market this week! I blame globalization... Though I've heard that, in the US, many churches are cancelling services this Sunday - to allow the church staff to have the day as a holiday. (Makes about as much sense as the announcement I heard more than 15 years ago at the end of mass: "Midnight mass will be held at 8 pm on December 24th.")

But I made my final shopping run this morning and found my favorite SuperU no busier than any weekday (that's gonna change this afternoon!) and all the shop staff cheery and wishing everyone "bonnes fêtes."

Even scored a kg of fresh brussels sprouts (what is Christmas without brussels sprouts?) and a couple of the little "paté mousse ducks" like my mother-in-law used to serve us when we'd have Christmas dinner with her.

Happy Christmas and bonnes fêtes to all - and to all a good night....
Cheers,
Bev
 

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So far, so good :)

Happy Christmas and bonnes fêtes to all - and to all a good night....
Cheers,
Bev
And to you and yours, have a great time.

We made the sausage rolls with pâte feuilleté - little different from the stuff we are used to but they turned out great. Mince pies (pastry home made with Farine Fluide) served with brandy butter - but we couldn't fine the sucre glace and ended up using sucre extra fine pour patisser - worked well. Our first guests (all French) loved it all on our traditional Christmas morning get togther (a day early as Christmas Day is for families) and we got lots of compliments and comments like "I thought the English couldn't cook!"

Now we will stuff the turkey with sausage meat and chestnut stuffing and make some more brandy butter as the ate it all

Bonnes Fetes
 

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Now we will stuff the turkey with sausage meat and chestnut stuffing and make some more brandy butter as the ate it all
All turned out great - big challenge with the new oven as the temperature settings appear wildly off (and the movers have misplaced my oven thermometer). The 6.4 kg :eek: stuffed turkey took 8 hours to cook but it was delicious. We had friends over on Boxing Day (26th) for cold turkey dinner with all the trimmings - went down well.

All in all, a Good Christmas

Happy New Year to one & all
 

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But we're only half-way through this feasting season - invitations to lunch on Wednesday and dinner on Thursday. Then off to salle des fêtes on Saturday night. This will be our third visit - we can just about stay up for the main course which is served around 1.30am, but we've never managed to hold out to 4am when soup is served.
 

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But we're only half-way through this feasting season - invitations to lunch on Wednesday and dinner on Thursday. Then off to salle des fêtes on Saturday night. This will be our third visit - we can just about stay up for the main course which is served around 1.30am, but we've never managed to hold out to 4am when soup is served.
I was once told by my "proper Parisienne" friend that if you're invited to dinner here in France, it's "rude" to even try to leave before midnight. And this isn't even for New Year's Eve!

We're not late night people, so we don't generally do many "proper French" dinners these days.

We'll expect a full report on Saturday's feast.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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