Monday, January 14, 2013

Veille du Jour de l'An

{Papa aka Ed Asner, Brother-in-Law in his special 'Gap' sweater, and The Husband, who I swear is not actually a giant}
Disclosure: This post is about my New Year's Eve, and more specifically, my New Year's Eve dinner. Please forgive my food photography, it's horrible, like really bad. However, I did get a new camera for Christmas, and I've vowed to actually read the manual this time, so fingers crossed you'll start seeing much prettier photos here. In the meantime...

Here's the thing about New Year's Eve... I'm not really a fan. It's just so... "Look at me, I'm New Year's Eve! I'm sparkly and shiny and the best time ever!" And honestly, I'm like, "shut the H- E- double hockey sticks up... you're not, and nobody likes you" and then punching it square in the throat.

There, I said it.

But this year something fantastic happened, my New Year's Eve was spectacular.

Not wanting to go out-out, we decided to stay in Le Petit Village and dine at Chez Agathe, our local restaurant, for their special New Year's Eve night. Papa and his wife were going, along with their BFFs, The Germans, Brother-in-Law, Child Bride and of course, La Petite (because why shouldn't she ring in the New Year instead of being tucked up in bed like a normal 21 month old?).

We were short one person though... my mother opted out. She's not a big NYE person either, and usually volunteers to babysit for the night, so this time, she got to babysit Fifty with a bottle of Montrachet and a West Wing marathon (now wouldn't it have made sense for her to watch La Petite along with Fifty? Yeah, I think so too).

We arrived at Chez Agathe's at nine.... Champagne for everybody! (Starting off New Year's Eve with anything else is basically blasphemy. And so what if we had already shared a bottle with my mother. C'est la vie, no?)

Flutes in hand we settled into our table while La Petite played with her favorite toy...

La Petite is clearly her grandfather's granddaughter. Let's just hope she doesn't try and shoot it.

After the Champagne, we had Kir Royals and amuses bouches to nibble on (truffles on toast and boudin with something on top - I don't know what that something was because I'm not a huge fan of boudin).

See that weird breaded thing in the little red pot in the photo above? I know that it doesn't look like much but oh my Michelin stars it was divine! It's an egg, soft boiled to perfection, breaded and lightly fried, atop a sauce of fois gras. There are no words to describe this egg, no words that can properly do it justice. It was the egg to end all eggs. All I can say is, it was sublime. I loved that egg.

So after the Champagne, Kir Royals, toasts topped with truffles, boudin thingys and the egg to end all eggs, dinner began.

Dinner was six courses (bonjour gout, ça va?). The entrée was a choice between Noix de St Jacques juste saisie et sa réduction au Champagne (scallops in a Champagne reduction) or Trilogie de Foie Gras Maison. I had the scallops and The Husband chose the fois gras. (Actually he wanted the scallops too, but I wanted to try both, so he caved and ordered the fois gras. One of the many reasons why I love him.)

And for the second entrée (that's right... the second entrée... and we haven't even gotten to the main course yet) we had Tempura de Gambas dans sa nage façon Bouillabaisse (Tempura battered shrimp swimming in a Bouillabaisse sauce. Another winner).

After amuses bouches and two entrées, we needed a rest and that rest came with a Pause Provençale...

Have you ever heard of Granita... you know, that slushy, Italian dessert? Well this is red wine granita... the greatest palate cleanser there ever was. (I would have licked the inside of that glass dry if I could have. I'm not proud.) 

After our 'rest', it was time for the main event, le plat principal... 

There was the Cochon de lait confit façon aigre-douce et sa pomme golden caramélisée (suckling pig with golden caramelized apples) which is what I had above. And the Civet de Lièvre en longue cuisson, comme le faisait ma grand-mere (Agathe's grandmother's Hare recipe). The Husband had the Hare and I would have taken a photo of it, but I was too busy eating. Apologies.

Because this is France, after our main course, we eat cheese... a lot of cheese...

And because this is The LPV, and we tend to be a bit on the silly side in The LPV, this happened... 

That's me on the left and Papa on the right. Why did we have this headlamp thingy at the table? I have no idea, I don't even know where it came from or who it belonged to. But you can't have a headlight thingy at the table without putting it on, right? Right. And do you see the back of a man to the right in the background of the photo of Papa? Well that's some guy from England. Mrs. German had gone over and introduced herself when she heard them speaking English, then she called me over because of course I had to meet them. Because all English speakers in any non-English speaking country must meet and become friends. Those are the rules.

After the cheese we had café gourmand for dessert. It was another perfect course, but by that point, 2013 had already arrived and I was too busy playing with my new headlamp thingy and talking to English people to bother taking a photo.

And then to bid a proper adieu to 2012, I made everyone go around the table and say what they had loved the most about it, and of course we had to toast to each and everything that everyone said (because I like to make people participate in drinking games that they didn't sign up for).

Bonne Année tout le monde !

(two weeks late...oops)

N'importe quoi.

(that means whatever)



  1. I'm not a fan of NYE either - but if mine was like yours - that food! - I'd definitely change my mind.

  2. You read my mind... I'm not an NYE fan for the exact same reasons (last year's trip to the Milwaukee bars leaps to mind...), but this year it was similar. Seven courses of awesome-ness in Italy will definitely made a person reconsider their opinion. But where was our Granita? We didn't get any of that... I'll have to send a note to our hosts to correct that on any future visits. ;)

  3. What a night! I would be positively fat if I lived in The LPV. You always seem to have such fun!

  4. Sounds like you had a rollocking good time.

    Did La Petite fall asleep at some point or was she rockin' and rollin' to the end?

  5. I'm not a NYE fan either normally, obviously I need to celebrate in Provence!

  6. Santé! Happy New Year!! (And don't apologize for your pictures, I like them. Thanks for sharing!)

  7. It all sounds just hysterical! And what amazing food!! Wow - it kinda puts Turkish cuisine into perspective ... Happy New Year to you too!

  8. that's so funny your mom stayed home to watch a west wing marathon! (to think that is on tv in LPV!!)

    the food was ga-gorgeous and that egg....... soft boiled, breaded and lying atop a bed of fois gras? well, it had me at hello.

    such a cute foto of papa and sons (he does look like ed asner!)

  9. That egg thing looks insane. And I'm with you on Boudin, blech!

  10. Wow, sounds like a very tasty New Year's Eve. I would like to try that egg myself. Was it soft boiled before they deep fried it? Of course, anything is good served over a foie gras sauce. Gregory definitely looks like a very tall man if not a giant! Have a good day.

  11. I'm so with you, NYE isn't one of my faves. Too many expectations to 'HAVE FUN' that I just end up drinking too much. What's funny is that my mom was supposed to have NYE with us too and ended up backing out the day of and staying her hotel with wine and Law and Order.

    Your photos aren't bad at all. They did their job of making me extremely hungry and wanting fried egg foie gras balls and red wine granita. : )

    Did you guys do any dancing?

  12. There isn't a single dish I wouldn't have eaten there. That's exactly the kind of food I adore. That said, I don't do New Year's Eve, preferring instead (it just seems natural to me) to spend it alone and reflect upon the year that is ending. You know, what did I do right and wrong and how can I better myself. No resolutions though!

    Still, if I'd been invited to eat all that the next day there would have been nothing left on any plate. I'm glad you had a good time and may I wish you, your family and evertybody who reads your blog a very happy if belated New Year!

  13. So much fun!! Yes, perhaps La Petite should have stayed home for this late night occasion. But really, who would miss out on a party like that?:)

  14. Hi Sara, Happy New Year!
    I saw your comment posted just below mine on "Ivan's A Normandy Kitchen." Sara and Louise are names that go for generations in my family, so they caught my eye. In fact, my middle name is Louise - which I have always used as my name.
    I also saw that you like "Anne of Green Gables" and the Outlander series, not to mention the Beatles and Fleetwood Mac. Favorites of mine. My grandmother was a second cousin to L.M. Montgomery, so of course I love the Anne books and spent part of my childhood on the Island. So I thought I'd follow your blog. It looks very interesting. :)

  15. Nice start to your food blogging career - I still haven't read my manual (my to my hubby's dismay) and just wing it!

  16. Sometimes, when reading about food or drink (cheese, scallops and most things alcoholic? I approve of all these things) I have the desire to lick the screen and/or invent a scratch&sniff computer. This post had me considering both options. Good lord, if you have to celebrate NYE (yeah, I'm not the biggest fan either, I like your throat punching idea) that's the way to do it!

  17. All that food looks and sounds delish! I don't even know how to soft boil an egg...but sounds so good!! Happy New Year!

  18. that looks excellent! (side note: I hate that blogging makes us all think we need to be "food photographers." can't we just take pictures of our food? who has time to STYLE it when you just want to EAT it? the end.)

  19. I think I would've thoroughly enjoy my NYE if it had involved 6 delicious courses as well!

  20. Oh drool! All the lovely food! Absolutely my idea of what NYE should be about!

  21. after this post i have concluded that norway sucks when it comes to cheese options. please have fifty bring me some.

  22. Yum that food does look delicious! Looks like you had a grand ole time in the LPV.

  23. WOW! Your photography can't be that bad, because I want to eat my computer right now. Looked alright to me, obviously!

  24. The food looks amazing!

    And I love the head-torch photos, very funny.

    I'm not an NYE fan either, much prefer Christmas!


  25. Is boudin the same in LPV as it is here (Québec)? Because here it's downright yucky!

  26. I am not a fan of NYE either but eating is a good way to spend the night!

  27. I'm coming to France next year to party it up with you.

  28. So this is the food you were telling me about! ALL THAT CHEESE!!!!!!!


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