TUESDAY 25 DECEMBER 2012 CHRISTMAS DAY WITH LA FAMILLE BLANC
Christmas Day with Maman Blanc
In many homes across the world, the Xmas lunch was being prepared. Kitchens are busy. My Maman started at 6am this morning: she cannot help it. I joined her at a respectable 7am.
The wine is being cooled, the silver is being polished. Maman's best tablecloth - the silvery one - is spread across the table. Le gâteau à la crème is baking, the escargots are bing stuffed with garlic butter. I am contemplating the opening of 120 oysters (with the wrong knife!), and then I shall go for the searing of six Canards du Challand (delicious ducks). My pruneaux d'Agen are steeped in a Martell XO cognac and a light syrup. By midday the ducks will be cooked to a golden crips.
Papa is shuffling about, singing "on a pas tous les jour 20 and…!" (he is 91!!). There is so much activity. Maman, now a diminutive 4 feet 5 inches, comes back from the baker, loaded with 20 crusty baguettes - this is tradition. There is a huge Christmas mean being prepared at the Blanc house.
I have made so much XO cognac butter to be served and flambéed much later with the Christmas pudding (some traditions I have brought over from England with me).
This is how Christmas should be.
My sons, Sebastien and Olivier have been booked for the clearing and washing up - they know the deal!
I wish you all a merry and happy Christmas, wherever you are.
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