Christmas Dinner 2011

As we had guests from Singapore and the United States this year, we celebrated our main Christmas Dinner on the 24th – Christmas Eve – like the French do. As usual, it was a seven course gala affair and a lot of fun…

 

The Lees' and Bretts' at Christmas

 

  • Pan-fried Foie Gras on toasted brioche, with miniature Amaretto jellies and a selection of homemade chutneys
  • Red Cabbage Gazpacho with Cucumber Brunoise and Pommery Grain Mustard Ice Cream
  • Tiger Prawns flambéed in Pastis with its herbed butter sauce
  • Homemade Rosé and Raspberry Sorbet refresher
  • Freerange Roast Turkey – served with Chestnut stuffing, Goose-fat roasted potatoes, Parmasan parsnips, Carrots sautéed in Honey and Ginger, Green beans wrapped in bacon, with Bread and Cranberry sauces and Gravy…
  • Cognac-laced Christmas Pudding served with homemade Cinnamon Ice Cream
  • Blue Stilon cheese served with Port
  • Coffee and homemade chocolate truffles

I personally love the look we get when people realise we are serving Mustard Ice Cream.  It is classic.

The idea of Mustard Ice Cream sounds very bizarre I know, but the flavour combination of the Red Cabbage soup with the ice cream is simply delicious.  Also, as it uses wholegrain mustard, the ice cream is not as strongly flavoured as you might imagine, but has a more subtle kick to it…  As savoury ice creams go, I think it is a winner!

I also love the richness of colour of the Rosé and Raspberry sorbet… which just coincidentally matched the red Christmas underplates brilliantly! No planning there… No, really! 😉

Homemade Rosé and Raspberry Sorbet

Everything was spot on.  Timings were good.  The free-range turkey was lovely – wonderfully flavoursome and moist.  I hate dried Turkey breast meat that many places serve, instead, this was simply gorgeous.  We actually cook the Turkey upside down to help maintain the moisture in the breast, and then turn it near the end to brown the meat.

We do not normally get to photograph our food as we are typically too busy concentrating on cooking and serving it – so we are very grateful to Yih San for all the photos that he took.  I feel they really capture the mood, vibrancy and colours!

 

Christmas Turkey dinner

I also love Helen’s table decorations.  It is all the multitude of little things that go to make up a truly wonderful experience…

 

Christmas Day in Chamonix

Christmas here in chalet Maison Jaune is always very special….  and this year was no exception…. 
Beautiful sunny day, with just a hint of mist in the valley, and the snow conditions were amazing!  Soft, groomed, empty pistes….  (everyone else must have been inside opening their pressies!)

Helen and I got out to ski in the morning for a few runs… as per usual, calling our families from the Prarion ski lift, before dashing in to finish preparing the meal, and opening the Champagne at about 4 o’clock….

Red: traditional colour of Christmas

Red: traditional colour of Christmas

To wash down the seven courses, there was Champagne, Pouilly Fumé, and  nice St. Emillion Grand Cru Classé.  The meal included Fois Gras, plus the obligatory roast turkey with bread sauce and all the trimmings, and Christmas pudding, of course….  delicious…. 

All in all, it was a long day, but very rewarding and enjoyable… 

Our Christmas tree had a luxurious red theme this year

Our Christmas tree had a luxurious red theme this year

Christmas trees and more snow…

Firstly, it has been snowing all day here in Chamonix valley.   Pretty much non stop. 

The few skiers that are out are enjoying off-piste conditions on the local blue run! 

Forget snow melts and Foehn winds.  There is more snow here now than we’ve seen in years!  Amazing. 
The snow plough cleared the chalet driveway this morning at 7:30 – and there is now almost 20 centimetres of fresh snow on it!!

Photo taken 15:20 this afternoon

Photo taken 15:20 this afternoon

We were a bit concerned that the local garden centre would sell out of Christmas trees in the next couple of days when most chalet owners get theirs.  So, Helen and I set out down the hill through Les Houches to fetch this year’s Christmas tree.    The roads are amazingly slippy – even with snow tyres. 

In the village, the snow ploughs are busy clearing the roads and pavements.  People are out shovelling their driveways.  It was surprisingly busy.

Having chosen a lovely 2 metre tree, we brought it home.  I love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree – that delicious pine smell lingering…  We got some Holly branches for decorations too. 

Christmas is coming!!

Christmas is coming!!