To start with a little backstory, I'm lucky enough to be spending the holiday season with a wonderful French family I met through my high school exchange program. For Christmas eve, we travelled to Tours, France, a large town in the Loire Valley. We stayed in a beautiful chateau, Le Clos d'Amboise, with an amazing view and very quaint accommodations. The castle and the architecture in town were perfect examples of the French atmosphere that I love so much.
For Christmas eve dinner, we visited friends at their house 5 minutes from the Loire. The dinner we were served there was absolutely incredible. We spent the evening with friends, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, in-laws, brothers, sisters... all told there were about 30 of us. I hope you enjoy these photos. (I must admit, I got a couple strange looks from taking pictures of the food, but it was all in good fun, and quite worth it!)
|A view from the bridge of the beautiful Loire at sunset on Christmas eve.|
|The castle in Tours.|
|Our view from the window of the chateau where we stayed on Christmas eve.|
(I don't have a picture of the first "course." It consisted of homemade sangria with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and finger food like mini hot dogs and pastry wrapped duck pâté.)
|Here is what remained of the oysters when I thought to take a picture. When we started, there were probably at least 50! They were huge, and delicious!|
|We ate the oysters with this sauce, a simple balsamic vinaigrette with diced shallots. It was quite strong, but a great complement for the oysters.|
At this point, I was almost full. Starting to think about dessert... when I was told by the French girl sitting next to me that there was still much much more to come...
|Third course: baked lamb in a gravy with potatoes and carrots. This was exquisite. Unfortunately, I only had the stomach space for about half of it, but I tried! We each had our own little casserole dish with a lid and everything.|
|Fourth course: fromage! Cheese is a very common course to eat after almost any meal in France. This cheese was goat cheese, and it was extremely strong... so strong that I could only eat a few bites. I still didn't have much room for it anyway!|
|...and of course, no French meal would truly be finished without a few bottles of Champagne!|
How do you celebrate Christmas? Do you have a multiple course meal? What foods do you eat? When do you open presents? My French friends are all curious, so make sure you leave a comment :).
Have a wonderful New Year! Until next time! Live Enriched!