Monday, 31 December 2007

Réveillon !!!

C'est ici!
OK. So we have all been un peu malade, but Nic and I are certainly fine now and LeeLee (although not able to face food) is SURE she is well enough to go to her friend's house to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Poor Richard is still feeling queasy though, but brave enough to face réveillon - La Sesquière style.

So that is what we did. CELEBRATE!

Our neighbours were hosting it at their house again - which is so convenient for us. Only the shortest possible distance to stagger! It was a truly wonderful evening - thank you so much Chrys & Eric!!
About eight of us went round in the afternoon to set up the table etc and make as much as possible in advance. Then a quick siesta, wash & brush up and all fifteen of us arrived at 20:30 ready to party.

First drinks, cocktails and canapés (and lots of socialising) for about three hours - and did I mention the dancing and singing? And yes, that is me in the hat. Then the marathon started ......(might have the order slightly wrong in places - but I was drinking all the time! I am sure I have missed some of the courses out as well ?!)

1. Fruits de Mer.Two full platters of raw oysters, raw mussels, raw bulots and cooked large prawns. And aioli made by Josette in the afternoon - she is an expert!!

Don't know about you but unless it is cooked - my view is that it can go and swim in someone else's stomach ... I can testify though that the prawns were super!

Richard took one look and realised his tummy was still very unwell and needed to take things gently!!

2. Smoked salmon & blinis.

3. Foie gras & toast.

4. Brouillard.This is lots of eggs (just collected from under the chickens), butter and a little créme fraiche whisked up together. Then you grate in LOTS of truffles. There was so much you could barely see the egg! This is left to sit for a few hours for the flavours to develop, and then whisked over a bain marie until it starts to thicken.

I have never liked truffles (too musty a smell and taste for me) but these local very fresh truffles gave it an absolutely sublime taste!!

Eric & Chrys keep their own chickens, so store a few eggs with a truffle - to absorb the flavour.
5. Wild, locally found & picked ceps, sautéed in butter with garlic and parsley - yummy as well!

6. Pigeon in a salmis (?) reduced sauce then put on raisin bread.

7. Green beans.

8. Hare, caught locally and then spit roasted over the fire in the sitting room. Bread slices are put underneath to catch the juices, and it is basted regularly throughout. When it is cooked, it is cut into portions, and then special fat is put into a special cone which is heated/melted over the fire and drizzled over the meat. Very tender!

9. Apple and /or lemon sorbets, with Calvados or Grand Marnier.

10. Duck breasts roasted over the open fire.

11. Cheese platter of about six different types.

12. Selection of minature cakes, etc.13. Special epiphany cake with fevres hidden inside - baked in a round and incredibly light and flavoured with orange flower water.

Richard managed to survive the night but ate virtually nothing - did not want to risk bringing it all up again unfortunately.

Nic and I took it slowly, having a little bit of most things. Everyone was struggling, and so a few courses were deferred until tomorrow....more about that tomorrow!

We enjoyed wine throughout, with a sweet one with the foie gras and champagne at the end.

A great time - with wonderful neighbours and friends. Just what it should all be about!

We crossed the road to our beds seven hours later at 3:30am - after promising to be back tomorrow (or is that today?!) for lunch....

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