Sunday, December 11, 2011

John Baxter's first French Christmas

For last week's Weekend Cooking post I reviewed John Baxter's Immovable Feast: A Paris Christmas. My quote today comes from that book and is describing the author's first French Christmas with his new extended family.

This quote comes from page 19:
With Jean-Paul present, the meal could begin. A few minutes later, he took his place at the head of the table, and the other dozen guests arranged themselves, with me at the foot.

The marathon of Christmas dinner commenced.

I'd been warned what to expect. After the foie gras, we'd be enjoying white boudin veal sausage  with fried apple, then roast pintade - or guinea fowl - a grating dauphinois of sliced potatoes baked with cheese and cream, accompanied by green beans and carrots, followed by cheese, and Francoise's twenty-five-egg mousse - each course with its wine, including champagne with the dessert.

The goose liver was delicious enough for one to spare little thought for the poor bird that produced it.We smeared it into fresh white pain,, larger brother of the more familiar baguette, washing it down with '84 Bordeaux from Madame's own cave - which was literally cave, hollowed out of the rock on which this house was built.

The women never stopped handing around plates, offering more foie gras, and returning to the kitchen for bread or cornichons. Jean-Paul exchanged a few phlegmatic words with Jean=Marie, then fell silent. From time to time he would tilt a wine bottle away from him and stare at the label, as if it might have changed miraculously into a better year.

Page 19 - Immoveable Feast - A Paris Christmas


  1. Man oh man, my Christmas feasts pale in comparison to this one! Great post!

  2. I know! He certainly knows how to talk up the food!



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