January 1, 2010

January 1, 2010!

My first post of the New Year! How exciting! Here is what we did to ring in the New Year..... What about you?! Tell me what you did to celebrate!


Meet our host and hostess:
Our beautiful hostess, Frederique and her debonair husband, François.. a very gracious couple and dear friends!

Solène-- She and her brother, Stan were my very first students almost three years ago!

Party favours to ring the New Year in with....

The "kids table," I thought that this was very sophisticated... They were all absorbed in conversation and it was like
watching aspiring young adults at work.. Bravo kids!! I was greatly impressed-- age ranges from almost 11 - 15!

Here is François giving advice on how to eat an oyster-- Just kidding.. I don't know what they were discussing but it was

just before the kids got the oysters...

Our host and hostess laying out the traditional "oysters" on the table....

A close-up

Oysters - a New Year's tradition.

Stan looks happy to try his first oyster!

Stan and Hadrien inspecting the oyster.

Astrid is checking out the oyster.
Stan swallowed the oyster whole...

He looks rather surprised/startled, doesn't he! Hats off to Stan for trying his first oyster!!!

Meanwhile, at the adult's table...
The adults look less affected by the prospects of oysters... I wonder what the training for "acquiring a taste" for oysters involves....

It's a staple here in France and present at both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve meals. For the VERY FIRST time in my life, I agreed to try it... since François made it himself.... I spread a little on some of Cecile's DELISH homemade pain d'épices and then covered it with fig jam... You can barely see it! Well, I tried it and NO, I didn't like the taste... BERRK!! No foie gras for me, thank you!!

Can you see the foie?

Here's Alex's helping of foie gras:

It did get rave reviews... Hats off to you François!

Main course: Caramelized onions over roasted veal and pureed potatoes with chives with a side of sauce au maurilles (a sweet cream sauce with mushrooms).

This was Alex's plate. I also tried the veal and though I think it tasted good, it's just not for me!
But, again... Hats off to François. He cooked up a storm and prepared a BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS dinner for everyone! I feel very fortunate to have been included in their New Year's celebration!!

The Cheese: Two words "MON DIEU!!"

Olivier put together this elegant platter of cheese for our after-dining pleasure! Wonderful assortment and very delicious!

Camembert, Conté (3 years aged), Pont l'éveque, chèvre, St. Nectaire, and one more (the one with the orange skin, but I can't remember the name). Ohhh, a cheese lover's heaven, I assure you!

This was my modest plate... and the bread was simply DIVINE- with walnuts and raisins,
pain feuilleté.
I'm sorry that I didn't take pictures of our wine selection. We started with Kir with sweet white white- au cassis, frambroise, et pêche. I had the peach and it was pretty good.
Next we had vin pouilly fumé- and though it was a dry wine, I really liked it! I guess my taste for wine is improving! After that we had an Alsacien white wine that was sweet and very tasty. Next were two different red wines, dry... I don't remember the names. At the end, we had CHAMPAGNE, what else?!

The Dessert: Floating Island or Île Flottante

I have NEVER had this before so another first for me. It's made from balls of firm but soft meringue and then they're places in a bowel of crème anglaise. Isabelle made this and it the cream sauce had lots of fresh vanilla. There were some other desserts but unfortunately, I didn't take pics. I think I was so enthralled with just the floating island, it was hard to focus after that... Oh.. I have some pics of my Christmas cookies...

And... That's it for the MEAL!!! It was FABULOUS! It was a great experience to spend our New Year's with some really nice people and their kids... It was very mellow and relaxing, too!

Happy New Year Everyone!


Notes from Noël said...

Happy New Year!!! What a wonderful party you went to and the food looks delish!!

Leesa said...

Hi Noelle!

Happy New Year to you, Tom and Christopher, too!!
It was a really nice party... Hope you had fun, too!!

Jennifer K said...

What a meal! It's funny because I usually hate anything with liver, but I kinda like foie gras. It's the oysters that I have a hard time understanding. I think they're OK, but not a big deal. Obviously I'm in the minority around here!

Leesa said...

Hi Jennifer.....

I didn't like the foie gras.. Guess it's an acquired taste... I never plan on tasting oysters.. YUCK! There is NOTHiNG about it that appeals to me and I wouldn't even do it on a dare or for money.. YUCK YUCK YUCK!
Some people eat brains and feel or whatever.. Fine, they can eat it and like it..
I'll stick to my own likes and dislikes, thanks!!

Take care and have a great weekend!