Mulled Wine and Chestnuts with the Locals

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It’s one of those dull and dreary rainy days in December with little motivation to venture much further than the fireside but our local association, Les Amis des Grouets, is having its annual mulled wine and chestnut evening just down the road at 6 pm and we missed it last year.

This year's Christmas cake

This year’s Christmas cake

The Christmas cake is in the oven but this year only Jean Michel was able to stir and make a wish in person. Black Cat and I chatted on skype while I was making the cake (she was ironing in New York!) and she made a virtual wish.

So, umbrellas open, we call in to collect Françoise and Paul on the way. As we get close to the church, we can hear accordion music and see fairy lights.

We pay our annual dues and buy a ticket each. Fortunately, there are a couple of tents (no doubt the same ones that were used for the bread baking day in May when it was also raining …) but surprisingly, the rain lets up completely.

Accordian player

Accordian player

We are given a white paper bag to collect our chestnuts and raffle tickets to get a plastic cup of mulled wine. We’re allowed refills, we’re told.

Quite a few people eventually arrive but very few children which is a pity. However, the ones that are there have a lovely time roasting marshmallows over an open fire.

The chestnut burner is manned by Norbert, who was the baker on bread baking day, and the postman who doesn’t actually live in Les Grouets but likes the neighbourhood so much that he comes back after work.

Roasting marshmallows over the open fire

Roasting marshmallows over the open fire

We are starting to recognise a few people. Françoise introduces a neighbour who is a retired mason and once did some work on our house, but he can’t remember the details.

I explain to his wife how to make foie gras au sel as we spent a fun day last week with Françoise and Paul and Susan and Simon from Days on the Claise teaching them how to devein foie gras ready for Christmas. For a detailed description of our workshop, I suggest you go over to Susan’s blog.

Françoise, Susan, Simon and Paul tasting the vouvray used for the foie gras

Françoise, Susan, Simon and Paul tasting the vouvray used for the foie gras

In return, the mason’s wife promises to send me her kugelhof recipe. I’m not a great kugelhof fan but it seems this is a variant so I shall try it out for Christmas. Which reminds me that I should also make Liliane’s gingerbread cake as well.

All_About_France_blog_linky_xmasI’m linking this post to Lou Messugo’s Christmas edition of the All About France monthly link-up. For other entries, click here.

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