Monday, December 11, 2017

Dinde de Noël = Thanksgiving with truffes

Sometimes a light bulb goes off. Can the elaborately luxurious French Réveillon de Noël (Christmas eve dinner) be considered the equivalent to an American Thanksgiving? The anticipation, excitement and recipe search starts at least a month ahead at Salon du chocolat. Dessert first in France. The requisite buche de Noel shows up even earlier. Roast turkey is the main with marrons or even truffles - dinde de Noël. No cranberry sauce sadly.
In the train station in god-forsaken Clermont-Ferrand, French glossy, foodie magazines all shouted one thing.
Fête de Noël. What to serve, what to cook, what to eat? Obviously this must be my December Paris letter.
What to leave in? What to leave out? What to draw on the grand dinner menu? Thanks to meeting Jane Klares on the train to Clermont-Ferrand I know now to create distance between me and my sketch. Put it up on the wall and STAND AWAY FROM THE DRAWING to get some visual perspective.
And thanks to painting tree ornaments last week, it was easy to jump into painting French luxury cuisine.
The entrée (1st course) traditionally is fruit de mer - could be anointed fussed-over oysters, scallops in their shell, lobster tails. And of course paté de foie gras with a flute of champagne. Just Google Réveillon restaurant menus. You will drool.
I wanted a French confiture label to personalize each letter. Fortunately my stationary drawer is jamed with labels.
Its a lot like playing paper dolls moving the bits around till they fit nicely. Ta Da.
I had to do a lot of research investigating Christmas gateaux
Pâté de Canard en croute.
Tradionally marrons glacés end the dinner.
In my mad search around paris les truffes kept popping up. Can you believe potato chips with essence of truffle? French chefs do put truffle bits in with whole eggs in the shell inside a bottle.
La Grand Epicerie even has a truffle bar for the duration of the holidays.
When I was invited to a degustation of Provençal truffles at Maison Bremond 1830 I did not say no. Slivers of white summer truffles (lamelles) go perfectly with a bit of aged Comté cheese by the way.
That's Olivier Baussan at the counter, creator of l'Occitane, Olivier & Co., Première Presson Provence. Its two years since he took over Aixoise Maison Bremond. A step inside one of the 5 Paris shops is a step into Provence.
Fill a charming gift box (coffret) full of truffle oils, truffle pestos, truffle infused salt or lavender and wonderful olive oils if you're not a truffle fan.
Show up this Saturday 16, December and meet their producteur in the morning or afternoon.
Will he bring along his truffle-hunting dog I'm wondering...
If you make it up to the 9, rue des Martyrs shop, Géraldine will be happy to explain all. I shall pop in too, in case the truffle dog makes an appearance.Thanks for reading Paris breakfast. If you like this newsletter, forward to a friend. Gift yourself and others Paris letters, maps. I have single letters up in the Etsy shop for the rest of December.


  1. Foodwalker10:05 PM

    This reminds me of our favorite Christmas movie: Le Buche ( I don't know how to put the accent on the u)
    Watch it if you can.

    1. With Charlotte Gainsburg...I saw it too.
      La Bûche ( bande annonce ) - YouTube

    2. An even better clip..
      La Bûche - Le monologue de Stanislas (Claude Rich)

  2. Carolyn I11:14 PM

    So so pretty. Love how you paint glass, love the white areas on the duck showing reflection....,

  3. Allie in NYC11:40 PM

    As always, love it.


  4. Très bien et merci !!

  5. J'adore!I love the house boxes..the wow of the magazines..the shops..mostly that Duck terrine ceramic container you painted buche ..le champagne..les keyboard is weird for the accents circonflexes..;)Looks so festive..I am sure Montreal is also..but I am a country mouse.

    1. Did you go to the Relay when here? Your kind of can read all the magazines in the train station to kill time. No one cares. The only place in Paris..

  6. Makes me want to be in Paris in December - it is all so beautiful. So glad I can relive so much I love about Paris through your eyes and watercolors.

  7. Géraldine Maison Bremond 183010:19 PM

    Grandement MERCI ma Chère amie!!

  8. Judy J12:43 AM

    I just fall in to your drawings, Carol, and enjoy them so much.

  9. Judy H7:48 AM

    Interesting! I can't imagine turkey without stuffing and cranberries. Prime rib has been our family Christmas Eve meal for a number of years now. Merry Christmas to you��

    1. Would you believe more turkey is eaten in France than any other meat?!
      I read that though I can't believe hamburger isn't 1st. Still I eat escalope de dinde (turkey) every week thank you Picard

    2. Judy H8:44 AM

      Wow! I would have thought duck or geese��.

  10. This is a lovely post Carol. I'm missing my monthly Paris Letter, saving money is not always fun but thankfully I still have your fabulous blog. Here in Australia I make pavlova for dessert on Christmas Day, plus chocolates from our local awesome chocolatier Haigh's. What do you eat for Christmas then - turkey? Seafood of all types is popular here, plus various roasts (says me, the vegetarian!)

  11. Monique10:49 PM

    Love my Chistmas dinner letter and wishes and Picard recipes!!!


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