A dose of calm amidst the frenzy? Or have things started to settle down? Here in France, the snow has paralysed the North, leaving Paris and its airports in disarray. I truly feel for those that are waiting and hoping for their loved ones to join them. Time to get a bit weepy while singing "I'll be home for Christmas" after having tucked into a bit too much of the Grand Marnier. In Arles, we have been spared but the sky is a solid sheet of steel and letting in as little light. If we are lucky, things might shift just enough so that we get to see the stars on Christmas Eve on our way to the midnight mass...
The last bit of bustle in our house is of course, food-oriented. The buche has been ordered--oh my do the French take the idea of a "Christmas Log" to a whole new level. And there will certainly be none of the famous Provençal Thirteen Desserts at our table as we are going for a rather richer option than dried fruits and nuts. We have again this year put all ideas of being reasonable aside and are going for what we love, "The Three Chocolates". Is this supposed to be an illusion to the the three wise men? Entirely possible. The description roughly translates as: chocolate biscuit, creamy mousse that is a half bitter, half sweet with a bit of "ivory" (elegantly said) with a profiterole icing. And though we are only two this year, we ordered a portion for four. You never know who may turn up at the door.
The butcher shop, Mere-grand, is reserved only for special occasions but as this is one, I plucked up my best dog voice and somehow managed to get a drooling Ben to "stay" outside the door, an act which made a pair of elderly ladies giggle with delight. The owner put in a quick phone call to his distributor and managed to locate a small pheasant that we will pick up tomorrow so that it can sit for a day before being cooked. Remi will make his own sausage and chopped liver stuffing. I asked for chestnuts as a side dish and it seems like we will be starting with escargot. All of this is for Christmas Eve, which takes precedence over the 25th here in importance. It is a day for family and yes, as I have mentioned, I am missing the rest of mine though I am well aware how blessed I am to have Remi and Ben.
A little gift for those of you who love holiday music but feel that you are going to pull your hair out if your hear George Michael sob "Last Christmas" one more time. Turn into Christmas Lounge radio by Soma FM either on iTunes or on their website to enjoy such laid back tunes as Julie London swinging "I've got my love to keep me warm" or Peggy Lee whispering a very behind the beat "Jingle Bells". You'll thank me that you did.