Last night, we actually had all 3 of the kids here at one time, for our family Christmas dinner. The older kids are spending the holiday with their mother this year and the youngest is coming with us to Saint Raphael for the next two weeks (some day maybe we'll get the holidays in better sync).
As this is the only time we'll all be together to celebrate the holiday, we planned a huge feast:
- Champagne (with Champommy for the minor)
- Entrées of fois gras and Boursin on toasts, and escargots in little puff pastries (so you can eat them with your fingers)
- Plat/main course of magret de canard (the best part of the duck, and I'm not sure how to translate it to English but I never ate anything so good when I ate duck in the U.S.) with potatoes cooked in the duck fat
- Tossed salad
- Dessert of Christmas cookies made by my sister and niece (BIG hit!) and the requisite bûche de Noël
- And of course... GIFTS!
Bûches (et Bûchettes) de Noël in a Parisian bakery window
If you feel full just looking at that menu, imagine eating it all! It was wonderful, though, and Georges outdid himself with the main course and with planning the whole thing (and shopping for much of it, too). We were both exhausted at 11:45pm when we fell into bed, between the dinner (and Georges worked yesterday, too) and all the packing and cleaning (what I did most of yesterday).
Mainly, I got my biggest kick out of seeing how happy Georges was, having all his children together. It's getting harder and harder to do that, given that the olders are in university and don't live at home (La Fille doesn't even live in Paris so we see her even less); they are starting to have their own lives, and this is how it will be from now on. At least we still have the Garçon around for a few more years yet.
What I want to know is: when will my lovely French husband and step-kids stop teasing me about how I pronounce bûche (log) versus bouche (mouth)? My mouth, even after all these years, won't necessarily make the French "u" sound, and it comes out like "ou" and that's a whole 'nother word. This is why phonetics is so important in the French language; slip just a little bit and God only knows WHAT will come out of your mouth and get you into trouble. Unfortunately, achieving French nationality does not automatically confer upon the new Français(e) total and complete knowledge and perfect pronunciation of the French language. Yeah... I wish.
"Mouth of Christmas", indeed.