Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekend in the countryside

Saturday night we were invited to a dinner of raclette and potatoes.  A very typical old French meal cooked from the heat of the fireplace. 

Our hosts Cynthia and Fabrice with darling neighbor from Australia, Circe.

Raclette is also a dish indigenous to parts of Switzerland. The Raclette cheese round is heated, either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners' plates; the term raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning "to scrape," a reference to the fact that the melted cheese must be scraped from the unmelted part of the cheese onto the plate.

Traditionally the melting happens or happened in front of an open fire with the big piece of cheese facing the heat. One then regularly scrapes off the melting side. It is accompanied by small firm potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions, and dried meat, such as jambon cru/cuit and viande des Grisons.

Sunday morning was the brocante in Verteillac.  The first Sunday come rain or come shine, this brocante is held and so many of us show up. Unfortunately there were not many exhibitors and I was unable to add to our French Vintage Home treasures.  Hopefully next time I will have better luck.

Late afternoon I was invited to a party at the beautiful home of very good friends for champagne and Galette des Rois.

La galette des Rois (literally "the flat pastry cake of the Kings"), a cake celebrating Epiphany, is traditionally sold and consumed a few days before and after this date. In modern France  the cakes can be found in most bakeries during the month of January.

Tradition holds that the cake is “to draw the kings” to the Epiphany. A figurine, la fève, which can represent anything from a car to a cartoon character, is hidden in the cake and the person who finds the trinket in their slice becomes king for the day and will have to offer the next cake. Originally, la fève was literally a broad bean (fève), but it was replaced in 1870 by a variety of figurines out of porcelain or—more recently—plastic. These figurines have become popular collectibles and can often be bought separately. Individual bakeries may offer a specialized line of fèves depicting diverse themes from great works of art to classic movie stars and popular cartoon characters. The cakes are usually sold in special bags, some of which can be used to heat the cake in a microwave without ruining the crispness of the cake. A paper crown is included with the cake to crown the "king" who finds the fève in their piece of cake. To ensure a random distribution of the cake shares, it is traditional for the youngest person to place themselves under the table and name the recipient of the share which is indicated by the person in charge of the service.

Formerly, one divided the cake in as many shares as guests, plus one. The latter, called "the share of God," "share of the Virgin Mary," or "share of the poor" was intended for the first poor person to arrive at the home.

The French President is not allowed to “draw the kings” on Epiphany because of the etiquette rules. Therefore, a traditional galette without figurine or crown is served at Elysée Palace in January.

Yea!!! I got the "feve", that should mean a great year ahead.

Cake plate with dome from Target

Raclette grill

If you don't want to make the raclette in front of the fireplace, you can make it on this great grill.

I always try and include things I love and I hope you love them too.  You can click on the bold letters above and get details of the items if you would like to learn more about them.

Another very beautiful and full weekend and I didn't have to cook a thing. I did get to wear the Galette des Rois crown all evening as my reward for getting the feve.

Holiday parties are over and it is time to get serious about le régime, really serious.

A Bientôt........


No comments:

Post a Comment