Our good friends John and Lee-anne had invited us for a lunch that started a bit after 1 p.m. and saw us wandering home through the village about nine hours later. There was a walk in there somewhere and a spirited carol session around the piano so it's not as debauched as it sounds....quite.
We began with hot sausage rolls, then moved to the dining table for oysters, followed by foie gras. After that, we got into serious eating. There was a chapon--a capon, a castrated rooster if you want to be technical--and sage-onion-and-apple dressing. Kate made a marvellous dish of Brussels sprouts braised with lardons and white wine. Lee-anne roasted pork stuffed with prunes, tender enough to cut with a fork, and made broccoli au gratin. Leeks, carrots, potatoes parboiled and roasted while, like an actor between gigs, the bird was resting...two ovens-worth of food in all.
Sometime later, we ate dessert, a fruit cake but made with chocolate which made it the best, moistest fruit cake I'd ever tasted.
Champagne, blanquette, white wine, red wine and, for the men, a concluding shot or two of single malt. Friendship, memorable food and wine, singing and laughter. It doesn't get any better than that.