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.
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.