Wednesday 21 December, 2005

a festive xmas for two

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 12:25 pm

Jim and I have finalised our holidays and secured accommodation in Barcelona, Zaragoza and Bilbao and on the way home we’ll visit Sans Sebastian and then break the journey overnight about half way up France at Poitiers. I am VERY excited to be going to Spain, particularly my taste buds, I cant think the word Spain without salivating! I was last in Spain as a 4 or 5year old and Jim went in the late 90’s for a conference…..his memory may be a bit clearer then than mine! Jim’s visit to Spain included Barcelona, but as it was for a conference he said he didn’t get to enjoy the best it has to offer. Jim has expressed a desire to visit cities he’s already been to before but hadn’t thought much of and when I’ve asked him why then he would want to head back his reply is that he knows he would enjoy them much more with me. It’s nice to hear that stuff.

We have decided to delay leaving until Boxing Day so we can have a festive Xmas in our own home. So the Xmas tree is beautifully decorated, including may I add, home made edible decorations, thank you Nigella! Thanks to Peta, a welcome regular here in the comments box, ok pretty much our only commenter, we know you pop by but its ok you’re shy, we understand. As I was saying a big thank you to Peta for the Xmas crackers, she tells me they are the ones with the good gifts inside. In my family you have to get the ones that give you a chance of scoring the usable mini screwdriver set, perfect for fiddly jobs like repairing the arm of your sunglasses. Last year I scored a tape measure and a nail clipper, yep Xmas it’s all about the giving. Under the tree are lovingly wrapped gifts sent from family that every time I look at I feel blessed and excited. The fridge is getting fuller each day as I gather an array of festive fare. A detailed menu has been written and the city sourced for all requirements, the new “The Best of British” supermarket that’s opened up here in Lille has come in handy for a few items I wouldn’t find stocked on the shelves in the local supermarkets. But it wouldn’t be Xmas without the mini chocolate covered puddings, again thanks Peta you are amazing, they are the most sublime treat ever! And Jim’s mum knows how much he likes the traditional Greek Easter biscuits so she sent some over adapted for xmas into the shape of a star.

So Christmas Eve we will head out for a typical French Christmas meal, how Jim will manage with fois gras I don’t know. Then at about 11pm we’ll head to the Catholic Church for Carols and midnight mass and then home for a Xmas supper and maybe the opening of 1 present. Christmas morning we’ll have crepes, ring family and then go to the Orthodox Church, yep a bit of church hopping goes on at this time of year. When we get home there will be presents and the pork, Jims request, should be ready and hopefully the crackling crackly! I found a fabulous recipe here, that includes whole stuffed apples. I am used to a seafood meal, lobster, prawns etc for xmas, it being hot in Australia at Christmas, but it’s lovely to embrace the traditional, well sort of, but a turkey for just 2 would of been ridiculous especialy when we are going away. We are both looking forward to it and as well the unique opportunity to spend it on our own doing as we please, but of course we will miss everyone. There is the possibility we may go skiing in the afternoon, just over the border in Belgium they have an indoor snow piste and they are open Xmas afternoon and evening. Though I have gone a bit over the top with the Xmas menu so we might be unable to move let alone ski!

And then the next day Spain!!!!


  1. Hi Claire,

    First time on your website and it looks great. Your Xmas plans sound lovely (and delicious). Hope you and Jim are both well and enjoy the Xmas break. We are all happy and well back here. We have a big day planned for Xmas day with Dad, etc then the Moores. Benny is very excited. Then we move on to NYE preparations and hopefully a night away here and there. Thank you for your card – hope ours makes it this side of Xmas?? Take care… Love Meg xxx

    Comment by Meg — Thursday 22 December, 2005 @ 11:46 am

  2. Salut Claire,

    Merci beaucoup pour la carte de Noel et les gateaux, ils sont très bons
    Je vous souhaite de bonnes vacances en Espagne à tous les deux
    Merry Christmas and happy new year!

    A bientôt

    Comment by christine — Thursday 22 December, 2005 @ 1:18 pm

  3. Tried the new cookware.They turned out well, but the maple
    syrup I bought wa not right. The recipe is more for pklet type
    batter, so I ll do a few adaptions and see what happens.
    The ones I made , would have been lovely with cream and jam.

    P.S I ate them all anyway

    Comment by peta — Thursday 22 December, 2005 @ 1:48 pm

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