Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Wrap-Up

       The carcass of the chapon is in the big green enamel pot burbling away into soup. The Brussels sprouts, parsnip purée, roast potatoes, stuffing--the chopped celery and onion mixed in with lots of leftover baguette plus sage, rosemary and thyme from the garden--and gravy are all gone, reheated for a last dinner with Karen and Rob, our friends who stayed here for Christmas. The last of the bûche de Noël went while we watched Love, Actually, an annual tradition guaranteed to leave you teary-eyed.

     Here we are getting into the spirit on Christmas morning with glasses of bubbly before we sat down to scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. 
      Brunch over, it was time to start peeling, chopping and mixing--and discovering "oh, ****, the chapon still has its head on." I hadn't thought to check but at least the innards were gone. What we needed was a chicken guillotine. Instead, Peter used our huge Asian cleaver. Stuffing into the bird. Bird into the oven. It all gradually came together. 
      More friends arrived at 3:30 p..m., the foie gras and more bubbly came out, and then the bird and all its trimmings. 

    Next came cheeses from Spain, and some considerable time later found Isabelle in the kitchen adding a little dusting of icing sugar to the individual desserts she'd made.

   In fact, she'd brought along two desserts. Even though we didn't think we could, we all managed a slice of her luscious chestnut-cream bûche de Noël

   Most friends left a bit after 11 p.m. and then the rest of us snuggled in to the sofas, threw another log on the fire, and caught the AbFab Christmas special on BBC. 

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