No Boxing Day in France

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Unfortunately, there is no Boxing Day in France. We had to pack up everything in Normandy and leave last night which was very sad. I couldn’t believe how much stuff we’d acquired in just over a week! There were all the Christmas decorations for the tree and crib and table of course plus the holly from the forest and mistletoe from the apple trees. But we also went to two other dépôt vente places and came away with all sorts of wonderful things for the new house in Blois, including a lovely old 5-branch ceiling light that Relationnel managed to drop when putting it into the car for the return journey – fortunately it didn’t shatter and the crack shouldn’t be too noticeable when it’s attached to the ceiling. We didn’t buy the Australian guitar or the aggressive GI!

When we got home to our apartment in Paris,  it all had to be unpacked of course which was complicated by the fact that the bedroom ceiling had been repainted during our absence. A few months ago, large drops of water suddenly started to appear on the ceiling above the bed. Apparently, the gutters on the terrace of the flat above us were blocked up. By the time they were unblocked, the paint was peeling off in large flakes. So all the bedroom furniture was in the lounge and we couldn’t put it back until we got the curtains back from the dry cleaners today.

Gathering holly

To console ourselves, we finished off our home made foie gras that turned out to be the best we’ve made yet (must have been because I dropped the iPhone in it during the process) accompanied by the delicious compote de fruits vieux garçon (bachelor’s fruit compote) we made on Saturday (recipe below – requires expertise in making caramel which I do not have but that fortunately Relationnel does) and the rest of the Pierre Adam Kaefferdopf gewurztraminer 2006. There were even a few slices of pain brioché au miel left to go with it.  Followed by smoked salmon, lychees and Rozan chocolates with our coffee. A nice way to end off Christmas day.

My scales told me this morning that we’ll be eating grilled fish and chicken and steamed vegetables for the rest of the week … in preparation for New Year!

Compote de fruits vieux garçon 
 
Ingredients : 1 apple, 1 pear, 6 dried abricots, 6 prunes, 6 cl of port wine, 80 g of honey. 
 
Peel the apple and pear and cut them into 1 cm squares. Chop the dried fruit into 5 mm pieces and soak in the port wine. The recipe doesn’t say for how long but it was probably about 20 to 30 minutes because I was using the only large saucepan for something else. 
Put the honey in a large saucepan and caramelise. You have to use fairly high heat. Quite suddenly, it all froths up and this is where the expertise comes in. If you cook it too much it burns. The trick is to squeeze in some lemon juice at just the right moment to reduce the heat and stop the caramelising process. I did the squeezing. Relationnel said when. 
Then you add the apple and pear and cook for 3 minutes followed by the dried fruit and port. You let them stew for at least 20 minutes at moderate heat, stirring often to prevent sticking. 
You can keep it for a week in the fridge.
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7 Responses to No Boxing Day in France

  1. Lelaina says:

    There is a Boxing Day in France but only in Alsace & Moselle, not fair ;(

  2. This is very interesting and confusing…I am in the process of finding a vacation apartment in Paris for the week between Christmas and New Years…Both rental agencies that I have contacted said we can check in on 12/27 or we might be able to pay an extra fee to check in on “Boxing Day”……being from the US I have never heard of such a holiday and don’t know if they are just trying to get me to pay more….they claim France is packed with vacationers because of this holiday?? Your thoughts …Thanks!!

    • Fraussie says:

      Hmm, I wonder if your agencies are British or Australian-based and the owners celebrate Boxing Day. Rentals are usually Saturday to Saturday in France but because Christmas and New Year have been on weekends for the last couple of years, the Saturday-to-Saturday system has been messed up a bit. But this year, Chirstmas Day is on a Tuesday so I really don’t know where the problem is. I’ll tweet around the rental agencies I know and see what they have to say! In the meantime, have you tried Petite Paris? Tell Regina I sent you.

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