When is the right moment to buy a Christmas tree? Too early and the needles will have fallen by New Year’s, too late and you miss out on what could have been an extra week of pine scented Christmas beauty. Over the years I’ve figured that around the 10th is a good moment but my impatient heart stole a march on reason last week when the kids had a day off school, a Friday no less. That was it for me, a day off in December simply calls for getting a tree and cooking up a festive lunch.
So we got in the car and went on a tree hunt, or more precisely of places that sell trees. Louise dressed up for the occasion, as she always does, the rest of us came as we were. On our way to finding “our tree” we drove past countless other trees, some with leaves, some bare, a few evergreen Magnolias and my favorite, the ones that have lost their own leaves but are draped in the most beautiful green ivy dresses that would put any couturier to shame. The most curious trees this time of year, I find, are the pomegranate and khaki trees, very Tim Burton-esque, with no leaves and curious delicious fruit that just hang their defying, it seems, the laws of nature. The leaves are long gone but the fruit linger on.
In our family we have different philosophies on how to choose a tree. The kids, predictably want the biggest one (they won last year), Oddur, my husband, wants the first decent tree we’ll find, as if chance had chosen it for us. I am the difficult one, I want the tree that speaks to me, that gives me a sign, the one that says “Let me be your tree”. Our first stop was the closest one, a little “jardinerie” near our home. Last year we arrived one minute too late and they slammed the door in our faces. But we are not holding grudges. After a while of examining the trees, my husband had found his, my kids were asking if there was anything “much bigger”. The man asked “what, do you live in a palace?” The kids had an empty look on their faces as if whether the tree would fit into the house or let alone the car had nothing to do with anything.
I was getting restless, ready to leave and continue my search when a cat (I am very fond of cats) appeared from under a tree. And not just any cat. A black, three-legged cat with a red ribbon around his neck. He gave me a funny look and just sat there for a while as if to say “do I have to spell it out for you lady – don’t you see this is the best tree, and I’m a specialist.” So that was our tree. And the cat was right, it’s a nice, well-balanced, perfectly sized tree. As for the cat he appeared at the jardinerie some 6 years ago with 3 legs and an open heart. Now he’s an expert on all things green.
Back home we gave the speech we always give. “Don’t be too excited, be careful with the ornaments, they are very precious”. Then the kids get too excited and one of the ornaments breaks. Then they freeze, look at their father with fear in the faces. But because it’s a special occasion we will let them off lightly and so it goes. Same thing every year, it really has become a Christmas ritual. This year it was a guitar that broke. I can just imagine all the ornaments in the attic, in the moments before we take them out, giving each other a solemn look and thinking “This is our moment guys” – but also “who is it going to be this year”? We keep all the broken ones though, they are quite lovely in their imperfection and I suppose souvenirs of good times.
We listened to Christmas music, we had port and cheese, a fabulous beetroot salad with the crispiest Bigorre black pig slithers, a roast duck with a very satisfying stuffing and a heavenly port gravy, wine from Pessac. And to finish this sumptuous lunch, a heavenly vanilla crème de marrons (vanilla chestnut cream) mousse.
A good time was had by all.
Beetroot & Jerusalem artichoke salad
2 large beetroot peeled & cooked
6 small Jerusalem artichokes (topinambours), peeled
½ head of red cabbage
2 shallots, sliced
A few sprigs of chives, finely chopped
4 slices Bigorre black pig bacon, finely sliced (alternatively, if you can’t find this variety, choose a good-quality bacon)
Coarse sea-salt & black pepper
Slice the beetroot (peeled and cooked) into ¼ inch slices.
Place the ‘Bigorre’ bacon slices on a frying pan, pre-heated on a medium heat. Cook on both sides until crispy and golden. Set aside on kitchen paper to absorb excess fat.
Pre-cook the Jerusalem artichokes in salted boiling water and 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (a little trick I learnt to ease digestion) for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Slice into rondelles.
Slice the red cabbage finely and place in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a 2-3 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on a medium heat. Cook shallots for 3 to 4 minutes, add the Jerusalem artichoke slices and cook for a few minutes on each side until slightly golden. You want to keep them al dente. Set aside.
In the same pan, add a little bit of olive oil and gently cook the beetroot slices on both sides for 2 minutes.
Place the beetroot slices on a plate, add the Jerusalem artichokes and shallots. Scatter the red cabbage all over, sprinkle finely chopped chives and place the slice of fried ‘Noir de Bigorre’ bacon (or a lovely piece of bacon) on top. Just before serving, drizzle a few drops of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste.
Roast duck with apples & port gravy
1 duck, approximately 4.5 pounds/ 2 kg
1 kg/ 2.2 pounds approx. apples, peeled, cored and halved
120 ml/ ½ cup port
400 ml chicken stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
A few sprigs if thyme
Coarse sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper
25 g/ 2 ½ tablespoons plain flour
For the stuffing:
2 apples, peeled and cubed
A handful of chopped walnuts
1 onion, sliced finely
1 clove garlic, sliced finely
2 tablespoons port
Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C.
Rub the duck with coarse sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper, as well as inside the duck’s cavity.
Prepare the stuffing:
Peel and slice two apples into cubes. Slice the onions, garlic and coarsely chop the walnuts. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a frying pan on a medium heat, cook the onions for 3 minutes, add the apples, garlic and walnuts and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of port, reduce for 2 minutes and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Insert the stuffing in the duck’s cavity, place the duck in a roasting pan, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and rub all over. Transfer to the preheated oven for about and 1 hour and 45 minutes (depending on your preferred cuisson). Turn the duck mid-way for 30 minutes, then turn it back breast and legs up and add the halved apples. Drizzle the duck and apples a few times with the juices.
Spoon all the juices, (discarding excess fat) from the roasting pan and place in a saucepan on a medium heat. Whisk in the chicken stock, flour, thyme and port and cook until sauce reduces and thickens to a thick gravy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons butter towards the end and stir until melted.
Remove the duck from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with the apples and port gravy.
Chestnut vanilla cream mousse with marrons glacés and chocolate
This mousse, so heavenly, so creamy yet light, so nutty, something straight out of my childhood, a vanilla crème de marrons (vanilla chestnut cream) mousse, with chunks of marrons glacés & chocolate flakes. Since I was a child, I’ve had a particular love for vanilla chestnut cream. I always had a small tube in my schoolbag, and it was my sweet escape!
1 ½ gelatin sheet (approx 3 g)/ feuille de gelatine, soaked in cold water
280 g/ 10 ounces crème de marrons/ vanilla chestnut cream
200 ml/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream/ crème liquide entère
4 marrons glacé/sugar-glazed chestnuts, chopped into small chunks
50 g/ 2 ounces black chocolate/ chocolate noir, coarsely grated
Soak the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes, until soft. Heat the chestnut cream in a saucepan on a low heat until the cream is warm, stirring constantly. Add the gelatin sheet until completely melted. Stir until smooth and set aside until completely cooled.
In a large glass bowl, whisk the cream (with electric whisks on a high-speed) until stiff, and gently combine the chestnut cream, lowering the speed until the mixture is blended. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in the refrigerator (or a cool environment) for at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, scatter the marrons glacés and chocolate flakes.
103 thoughts on “”Almost Christmas” Lunch”
Mimi, I love that roast duck. It’s the one I would always make for my British father. I haven’t made it since he passed away and so maybe this is the year again since I’m leaving Vancouver for England for a while. I’m also glad to have your recipe which uses Jerusalem artichokes. Did I ever tell you about the time I planted a few in my very small city potager? Well, They ran amok and still pop up from time to time. (Buy those things are persistent) I have Dec 15th as the Christmas tree day because it has to stay up till the feast of the three kings, (my grandma’s rule) Jan 6th. Except if we spend Christmas in England, then the artificial tree is put to use in Vancouver because this is a wooden house and the risk of fire is to major. But I also have a collection of glass ornaments and I think they whisper to each other in the box too. With us it’s one of the cats usually. 🙂 Thank you so very much for the cassoulet recipe; I’ve already forwarded the needed ingredients to Robert in England and will make it as soon as I get there. 🙂
Glad you got the cassoulet recipe! Enjoy this festive season! Mimi x
What a beautiful Christmas Story, with the children, the black cat and the scent of duck, sweet apples and crispy bacon. Wow!
Merci Sarah! It’s such an inspiring time of the year! Wishing you a glorious December month! Mimix
Gorgeous meal, worthy of a tree-trimming day! We always have special edibles for tree trimming too, along with warm spiced wine and sweet delicacies to keep our energy up while we hang ornaments. Christmas music in the background…such a special time, isn’t it? That vanilla marron mouse looks amazing!
Oh how I love warm spiced wine! I can’t wait to make some this week-end! I just love this month, let’s all enjoy every single day! I hope you will try the chestnut mousse recipe – it’s divine! Mimi x
This is just lovely! What a beautiful setting for a lovely pre-Christmas meal. I loved the story about the ornaments and their thought process each year.
Thanks for always sharing.
Merci Laura! Always a pleasure to share – I hope you will enjoy the recipes! Mimi x
Oh, was I happy to see your new post arrive in my email. Glorious photos, of course, and most of my favorite foods altogether in a beautiful lunch. I love all this good stuff and I can never have too much Christmas.
Thank you for your kind words Linny! Wishing you a beautiful december month! Mimi x
beautiful photos and lunch. that duck is absolute perfection!
Merci Noreen – I hope you will enjoy the recipes! Best, Mimi x
I adore Christmas time! Love hearing what yours is like complete with the recipes.
My husband roasted two cornish hens yesterday with croutons and brussels sprouts. Our salad was sliced celeriac (our current favourite veg) with a mustard cream dressing. We drank champagne while decorating the tree with our girls. Fun!!
Please do another post before December 25! What a lovely present for your readers!
Loved hearing about your lovely meal, I can’t think of a better way to decorate a Christmas tree than with your family and champagne! Mais bien sûr, I will certainly post a little Christmas treats – I am already thinking about it tonight 🙂 Wishing you a magical month! Best, Mimi x
Merry Christmas Mimi! I was just wondering- do you know if there is an American version of vanilla chestnut cream? I have never heard of it. Or perhaps there is a specific brand that you use? Thank you Mimi- I cant wait to test each of these recipes!
Bonsoir Megan! I love the Clément Faugier brand – I have always bought it, it’s a real classic. I also like the one from Bonne Maman (the jam brand). I heard you can get this is specialised delis, or perhaps online? I googled ‘Where to buy crème de marrons online’, and there were several links as well. I hope this helps! Joyeux Noël! Mimi x
Thank you very much Mimi- that is a big help! There are so many interesting ingredients that are not available in the states- but knowing that Bonne Maman (one of my favorites as well!) makes it is fantastic. Thanks again Mimi- your blog is continuously gorgeous and a great inspiration to those of us that are just starting in the food blogging world!
Hi Mimi, wow you have already a X-mas tree, how nice! We also will go in the forrest next weekend and hope to get a nice one. Your duck looks very delicious. I made my 1st duck one week before, but it needs to be improved at all 😉 I wish you a nice Xmas time with your family! nice greetings from Hamburg, Nadine
Wishing you a lovely festive december month Nadine! May you pick the prettiest tree in the forest! Mimi x
Thank you Mimi! I try my best 🙂
Happy Holidays Mimi, Love the photos of you and your kids, gorgeous. What a beautiful Christmas tree you chose (with the black cat’s help) I love it.
Your duck recipe with the stuffing looks delcious I would love to try it. I love love the Chestnut vanilla cream mousse with marrons glacés and chocolate, it is on my list now! Thank you Mimi xx
Merci Rowaida! I can’t wait to see all your lovely festive creations on IG! And cngrats once more your your beautiful feature on Martha’s blog 🙂 Happy holidays! This is a special month for you 🙂 Mimix
I always put a blanket or quilt under the tree while decorating. It has saved a lot of sadness from breaking ornaments.
Thanks for your recipes and wonderment you share.
Thanks for the tip Patty! I once had a red quilt for the tree, but it disappeared a long time ago! Happy holidays! Mimi x
This is incredible! I cannot wait to try making a whole duck this Christmas Eve. Perhaps this recipe? Thank you for sharing and inspiring always.
Yes, why not? Duck is so tasty and an old-fashioned elegant dish, definitely a festive feast! Wishing you lovely holidays! Mimi x
I have that same ornament. Love that it reminds me of where I’ve been and where I’m going.
The little suitcase? That’s a cute one – I got it at Fragonard, a perfume store I love in Paris. I just adore watching the ornaments on the tree, each one of them tells a little story 🙂 Happy holidays! Mimi x
Qu’est-ce que tu peux me faire rêver avec tes recettes et les photos qui les accompagnent! Je pense faire un gâteau avec cette mousse aux marrons… je ferai un gros meringue avec cette mousse pardessus. Je suis sure que ce sera délicieuse!
P.S. Maintenant que je sais que tu aimes les chats, je t’apprécie encore plus!
Quelle belle idée! J’adore les meringues, et la mousse sera parfaite pardessus! Bonnes fêtes! Mimi x
So the Son was home yesterday to help trim the tree……he announced since he couldn’t find DUCK in the grocery store he was going to get his hunting license!
The other SONs dog ate three ornaments today and yes, we seem to always lose just one too………..in the decor process!Everything looks delicious……and you were on another blog the other day called HOUSE OF EDWARD.I think that’s the name……..she was talking about books and cooking!I of course, said I know HER in the comment section!!MERRY MERRY……..your children are adorable……and those puppies………..GORGEOUS!
Oh have a merry Christmas Contessa! Is your son really going to get his hunting license? 🙂 Sorry to hear you lost 3 ornaments yesterday, I hope they are replacable? I am off to Paris soon and I can’t wait to visit a few of my favourite stores and find a few more ornaments! I love retro ones, from the 50’s. Do you have any tips? Joyeuses fêtes, Mimi x
But I did think I could send a small box of ornaments from CALIFORNIA!Good to know what YOU like!
I hope NOT about the SON and the license!!!I do not like the thought of guns and killing animals….
These Boys tend to PUSH a bit especially their MAMMA!
But you would know NOTHING about that………YET!
Enjoy PARIS!How could YOU NOT!
Ok, then he was just teasing you! I can’t wait for Paris! Will tell you all about it, and certainly think of you in that smashing red dress buying a baguette! Mimi x
You made my day!
Oh glorious! Roast duck and chestnut mousse! Christmas tree, dark eyed children and funny dogs ensemble!
Thank you ! Made my dreary new England day shine.
Thank you for dropping by Nina! Wishing you a lovely festive season! Mimi x
Un matin, j’allume ma télé, sur ma chaîne préférée et là je découvre une nouvelle émission de recette avec mes paysages environnants…. Je cherche et je découvre votre blog…. vous avez, avec votre époux capté la magie du Médoc qui nous tant séduit il y a 20 ans .Nous avons vécu sur plusieurs continents, mais ne nous sentons “chez nous” qu’ici…
Votre blog valorise notre région. Avez-vous lu “le cuisinier médocain” ? Je vous le recommande.
Il y a deux jours, j’ai acheté un nouveau four, depuis trop longtemps, je cramais tous mes gâteaux, c’était devenu légendaire. J’attends un nouvelle plaque de cuisson.
Et si vous m’aviez redonné envie de cuisiner et surtout d’apprendre ?
En tout cas merci pour la magie de votre blog.
Un grand merci à vous Véronique – vous ne pouvez pas imaginer comme je suis touchée par votre commentaire! Cela fait 3 ans que nous vivons ici, et nous découvrons tous les jours avaec grande joie la vie et culture Médocaine. Nous avons eu de la chance de rencontrer des gens d’une gentilesse et d’une générosité débordante. Ma cuisine est très simple, rustique, je suis une maman avec une ‘ribambelle’ d’enfants à nourrir! 🙂 J’ai récemment cuisiné avec un nouveau four, il faut prendre son temps à le connaitre 🙂 Chaque four à son tempérament! Merci pour la recommendation du livre ‘Le cuisinier Médocain’, j’irai à la librairie Mollat pour faire des recherches! Je vous souhaite de belles fêtes, et surtout, de beaux gâteaux! 🙂 Mimi x
Je ne comprends pas la traduction de mon message. J’écrivais ; vous m’avez redonné envie de cuisiner et j’ai acheté , non pas une redingote mais un nouveau four (traduction très drôle).
Merci encore pour votre réponse.
I am so inspired by the blog posts you and your husband publish. I am an aspiring food photographer and enjoy your photos and the stories that follow! Thank you for inspiring me back in the States all the way from France!
Bonjour Tamara! Thank you so much for your kind words! It is a huge pleasure to share our lives with you. Wishing you happy holidays! Mimi x
This has to be my favorite all-time post of your Mimi; the MARRON GLACÉS and mousse and chocolate? This is culinary HEAVEN! And the photos, my goodness, ce sont beaux! Anita
Bonjour ma chère Anita! So happy to hear you enjoye dthe post – now I hope you will enjoy the recipes! I must say that mousse was divine, and a lovely French reader inspired me to make a meringue cake and garnish it with the mousse – lovely idea for a Christmas cake, non? Bonnes fêtes Anita! ps: did you get the right chocolate? did you make the mendiants? 🙂
So delightful as always, Mimi. It was 0°F the day we trudged through the farm to get our tree – it was beautiful, but miserably cold, nevertheless I’m thrilled we did it. For a changed, I decided to get not the prettiest tree we could find, but an interesting one, so it’s a Charlie Brown tree for us. This will be an interesting experiment and we might end up getting another tree if it doesn’t work out. Thanks for sharing your beautiful family moments!
Love the idea of a ‘Charlie Brown’ tree 🙂 I do undertsand what it’s like to feel cold – it’s unusually cold in Médoc these days – I get comfort from wearing my thick Icelandic wool sweaters! I am sureyour tree will look lovely once decorated! Happy holidays! Mimix
You got mi mimi this time with the Tim Burton-esque trees! Lovely post, as always 🙂
Merci Kristina! Happy holidays! Mimi x
Love the beetroot and Jerusalem artichoke salad..delicious. The pudding is a delight too. I always find the principal course quite boring, be it duck, goose or capon. It’s the beginning and end that do it for me:)
I do agree with you … up to a point. I am particularly fond of this delicious salad and I just adore the crème de marrons mousse. So they were the highlights of this meal for me too. But now imagine this. Take one piece of juicy duck breast, now rub it in the port wine sauce and add a piece of apple, then put it in your mouth and enjoy all the flavors. Now take a small sip of the lovely wine …
Hello Mimi, Thank you once again for sharing a bit of your family life… the red boots outside sustaining the tree, the pretty little dress directing the whole scene and the serene smile of mother wondering when she shall go in doors, of course a delicious meal shall follow only to end with a charming little smile hiding behind Mr. Nutcracker. And one must not forget the photo man, patient and gray. Everywhere, everywhere, pre- Christmas tonight!
I shall try the delicious looking salad. Your recipe with the sausages and grapes from a previous post was well
received around dinner table, Merci! Truly, your post is so inspirational, I selfishly request that you keep delighting our senses. Until next time…a peaceful waiting.
Oh Gee Gee you are so poetic! It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you 🙂 Happy to hear you enjoyed the grape sausages. I shall not let you down and make an extra-delicious post very soon 🙂 Happy holidays! Greetings from Médoc, Mimi x
This past weekend we went for a trip along the north Douro River bank until we got to a small place called Marco de Canavezes for an excellent meal. And, like in the past years, we are always amazed how Tim Burton-esque Pomegranate and Persimmon trees are! It was funny when you mentioned it 🙂
Aren’t they just so peculiar, yet demure and beautiful! How lovely Marco de Canavezes must be! Happy holidays, Mimi x
You are a great writer and cook. I love your stories and pictures. By chance I found you and so happy I did. Greetings from AZ where I decorate my cactus! It is beautiful and so festive too. Patti
Thank you so much Patti! Wishing you a beautiful month of December, Mimi x
Hey, I talk to cats, too, lol! He’s a beauty, isn’t he? I gave in and picked up our tree at the weekend, and of course my daughter persuaded me to get an enormous one, which I had to saw at for hours so that it would fit into the stand. Seeing the tree beautifully decorated and twinkling makes it all worthwhile doesn’t it? Love the thought of the decorations talking to each other in their box! Thanks for a year of deliciousness, Mimi (I’ll be making that duck), and happy holidays!
Oh thank you Zelda for keeping me company in this little blogging world! It’s such a lovely feeling to chat with you (over the blog!) – it’s a bit like being pen pals! I do agree, December runs by so fast, let’s make the most out of it – I want today till the 24th to go extra slow! Vive Noël! Mimi x
Likewise. As with all the best writers, you make it feel as if you’re there chatting to us. You have a rare talent, Mimi. x
What a lovely story, I also look forward to getting our tree after Thanksgiving. We will be heading up to Upstate New York this weekend to cut down the perfect tree. That chestnut vanilla mousse sounds just divine!
Wishing you a great week-end then! It will be so much fun! I hope you will enjoy the chestnut mousse! Happy holidays, Mimix
My perfect Christmas tree is the one with roots that grow a bit each year. And most important leave untouched our woods.
In Italy I have the tree that we use from when I was a teenager and every year or every time I went back for Christmas it was a joy to find it still there. Together with all our old ornaments.
The chestnut mousse sounds delicious and deserve a try for sure!
Happy Holidays together with your beautiful family!
How sweet to hear Daniela! Sounds like beautiful memories! Wishing you happy holidays! Mimi x
This has to be my favorite post of yours so far. Everything about it is so incredibly gorgeous, Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!
Oh I am so flattered! Thank you! Will this be your first Christmas with your adorable dog? I just love seeing him so happy in all your shots! Happy Holidays! Mimi x
Aww thanks 🙂 and yes it will be our first Christmas with her!
Your photos are gorgeous. Your recipes look amazing, too! It looks like your family is having a lot of fun. What precious children. 🙂
Bonsoir Shana! Thank you for all your kind words, I am so touched. The kids do have a lot of fun (except when they have to wait longer for my husband to take the dessert photos!). Happy holidays! Mimi x
Mimi – I’ve just finished reading the article in bon appetit about your house, family and many adorable dogs. The article brought me to your blog which is a delight to read and see all your lovely photos. Next your yummy recipes.
The picture of your Christmas tree and the children with the puppies darling. Just as cute as the picture with you arranging roses with your beautiful dogs cheering you on.
Thank you for sharing your lovely live. Patti
I’ve been transported once again, where family life is full of good looking and behaving children, wonderful food, timeless rituals, where nothing ever seems to go wrong! A breath of fresh air, you are…
We are off to Paris tomorrow for a family Christmas, first in 3 years. My kids can’t wait to decorate the tree which their grandmother has been waiting for them to do. I will be watching, sipping a glass of wine, listening to xmas carol, and maybe sneaking in my mother’s kitchen to cook this amazing looking vanilla chestnut cream of yours! Snow would make it even more special (we live in Mexico!)…Here is to a wonderful Holiday season to you and yours.
What a fabulous blog, Mimi! I loved “What goes well with rain?” I could feel the dampness and smell the wonderful aromas. You are a treat to read!
Fantastic! Delicious menu for Christmas (and I located in ‘La Boqueria’ the Jerusalem artichokes, the I will try your recipe). I want to convey my admiration for Louise for her look perfect for the occasion, and Hudson for his big smile with nutcracker that creates a perfect ending to this wonderful post. Thanks again for your whole family the magic and joy that you share. Merry Christmas.
I feel as though I have stepped into a magic world! My trees are up but we’ll get Rick’s this weekend and of course there will be “discussions.” I can’t imagine a better sign than a three-legged cat with a bow! And I had to chuckle imagining the ornaments’ conversation — who is it this year? Thanks for sending me on a magical journey!
Merry Chrismas Mimi! Your photos are beautiful. I was happy to see your newpost. I love the vainille cream mousse whit marron glace. Thank you.Lovely.
Everything about these pictures looks amazing – from the food to the nature, and your hair is very pretty. Thanks for sharing!
Absolutely wonderful pictures! And such a fabulous meal!
A gorgeous lunch. In Denmark, roast duck is traditionally served at Christmas.Much better than turkey to my mind.
Lovely wintery scenes with a lovely wintery menu. Children and Christmas, there’s nothing more delightful………except very good food and exceptional good wine!!! Un tres joyeux Noel a vous et votre famille. A votre santé Mimi xx Anita
What kind of crème de marrons do you use? I can only find the one in can or tube where I live, but it’s very thick. Is that the one? I just want to make sure it actually blends well with the gelatin! Thank you! Also, I would love to be able to find printable versions of your recipes, I want to try so many!!
Thank you for sharing your lovely tree hunting day. I hope your house is filled with the wonderful smell of your beautiful tree! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family…
wishing you and all your family a very happy christmas from all the garveys in Ireland .really enjoy the stories and recipes .my wife is getting her hair done then we go tree hunting and celebrate with a glass of red wine or two after .The best this year is our daughter Clodagh is flying in from Australia today so all decorations have to be up .We are cooking a butterflied leg of lamb on the bbq christmas day (our kids favourite)
looking forward to next years recipes
Your description of Louise getting dressed up for the occasion suddenly reminded me of myself at that age–always trying to immerse myself deeper into the moment, with a sense of reverence for ritual and tradition that demanded an outfit and deportment suitable to the event!
I love how meats and wine are paired here. My mouth waters. These meals create warmth and during this season, they create magic. I love how magical and effeverscent life can become when Christmas arrives. The anticipation, the ornaments, the stories, the decor, the candlelight, the music, and the spirit are all captured when loved ones come together and it is reflected from your heart into your hands as you prepare each meal. What a blessing it is to experience it and thank you for sharing your magic with all of us. Merry Christmas. Many blessings of everlasting joy to you and yours!
Ah, I love your christmas-tree-story! And your meal looks so delicious. Perhaps I’ll give the duck a try…
You are welcome! Happy holidays! Mimi x
Such beautiful photos, as always. Love that cat!
Thank you! Mimi x
Love the cat under the tree story. The Bon Appetit article is great. The kids want the onion soup and cavados chicken for Christmas. I had hoped for pheasant. Merry Christmas.
Hi Mimi – we live in the French Alps (near Val d’Isere) our mummy is a cook and she always looks at your blog, it is very pretty. She showed us your dogs once as she really likes them and we have seen you have some puppies – what make are they – they are so sweet.
Dolly 8, Lola 7 et Bibi 7. xxx
Hello girls! So sweet of you to say hello – thank you so much for dropping by! Our dogs are mostly smooth fox terriers, but we also have a few Jack russel terriers and one big German pointer (the big chocolate dog!) called Gertrud! I hope you were spoilt by Santa! Wishing youa merry Christmas! Mimi x
I heard of your blog through the latest Delicios Australia magazine. I am glad that I did. Have a merry christmas and I am looking forward to all 2014 posts.
Au revoir, Elly
Looks really gorgeous)
What a nice post. It’s a real pleasure to read your blog posts.
Can I ask where have you purchased those great cups and saucers where you served the chestnut pudding? I’m totally in love with them. 🙂
Happy holidays, Emma
Mimi, would love to see pictures of your beautiful home. Merry Christmas xx
Please can you share your cassoulet recipe. I adore your blog, the photos and wonderful recipes. I very much look forward to your book, it will be exquisite.
As beautiful as always! Your country christmas looks stunning, I love the colours (green, red, brown), they’re so very festive.
With a glass of wine, I have spent the past evening and I am quite charmed by your blog. So beautiful, thank you so much for charing your life with us. Greetings from Northern Germany and the best wishes for an amazing 2014
So happy to hear you like the blog Wiebke! Wishing you a happy new year! Best, Mimi x
Thank you Mimi for this fabulous duck reciepe. I’ve prepared the stuffing exactly as you did and it was perfect with the roasted duck and apples. I have also tried your Jerusalem artichoke creme reciepe and it was very good.
Thank you for this lovely blog.
Hello from provence!
Merci Agathe! I am so happy to hear tou enjoyed the recipes – it always makes my day! Bonnes fêtes! Mimi x
Hi Mimi…nice to write you, since I am a great fan of your blog. I’ve prepared the roast duck today for my parents….sumptuous and delicious! Merci…from Italy.
Dear Mimi, I had never before made duck or gravy and tried this recipe for my German thanksgiving dinner. Everything worked perfectly and tasted amazing! Everybody loved it. Thank you for providing the recipe for a wonderful gatherin around the table. x