Réveillon 2009

New Year’s Eve – Le réveillon – 2009. It was a cold, crisp evening in Dinan. The lights were lit and the town was all dressed up:

Outside our little abode, our star was flashing on and off in a crazed manner as it was wont to do:

Inside, we were gearing up for the last meal of the decade…

Upon arrival at our rental property in Dinan, we had been thrilled to find a raclette grill in the cupboard and I had resolved to make use of it at least once since it’s the sort of thing you might buy but never use or, in my case, not buy because you would use it so little that it would not justify the cupboard space it took up.

We didn’t make the most traditional raclette fixings ever but it was a great accompaniment to Neil’s famous roast chicken (brought to us by Santa, didn’t you know?!)

Santa also bought us some nice bottles of wine to toast the new year:

And we set the table with care:

The raclette needed a little supervision, it was a bit wonky:

But we worked it out…

Accompanied by haricots verts, bien sûr!

And chicken and potatoes:

And the desserts…

Now I know, I know – you purists out there will be horrified at our store bought (and not even in a pâtisserie) desserts but part of the fun of being in another country is trying out products you don’t have at home, though you can now buy these crème brûlées from President’s Choice (and who doesn’t love the President?) and I think they need to be tested out. I digress, however… Cathy and I were totally enamoured with the “Astonish your friends” label on the packaging and I can tell you there were lots of astonished looks as we prepared the desserts (well, it was quite late into the proceedings by then…).

Crèmes brûlées for Neil and Cathy:

Comes with its own little package of sugar to make the “brûlée” part.

Fondant au chocolat for me. Complete with its own pot of crème anglaise. I could drink the stuff neat, me.

Tarte au citron (from a real bakery) for Alicia. She had been hankering after one all trip and finally found some lovely individual ones in Cancale.

(inset astonished face here at the wonder that is the crème brûlée doing its thing!) :-O

And some more drinks, of course!

Done! Replete and happy.

We didn’t make it much past midnight (we are getting old and we did start the evening fairly early) but it was pretty much a perfect réveillon – good food and wine and good friends. Who could ask for more?

20 Responses to Réveillon 2009

  1. Divina Pe January 6, 2010 at 12:39 #

    Your posts are always full of delicious foods. I miss raclette. I love them.

  2. Conor @ HoldtheBeef January 6, 2010 at 14:09 #

    Haha, Santa strikes again!

    Did the crème brûlées come with little disposable blowtorches as well? 😀

  3. Natalie January 6, 2010 at 15:51 #

    I was wondering if you got a disposable torch as well! The pictures look great. I didn't even know what a raclette was, but that looks so neat.

  4. French Cooking for Dummies January 6, 2010 at 16:23 #

    Your pictures look fantastic. I just quit taking pictures at night time, but now I see it's possible to get good shots!
    I bet that Mercurey 1999 tasted like heaven 😉

  5. whineaux (Dawn) January 6, 2010 at 17:25 #

    I love raclette! We had it for Christmas eve!

  6. Neil C. Phillips January 6, 2010 at 18:56 #

    It did, Veronique! (Yes, I'm the one who picks the wine…) 🙂

  7. Cathy January 6, 2010 at 20:08 #

    I think that's when we left the couscous in the microwave………….

  8. Fuji Mama January 6, 2010 at 20:09 #

    Aaaaaah, wow, this brings back memories! The last time I had raclette was my last evening living with my host family in Paris. Wow, it has been way too long! LOVE the Santa picture. 🙂

  9. high low January 6, 2010 at 21:11 #

    Great Santa photo! Nice food pics too.

  10. Tasty Trix January 6, 2010 at 23:51 #

    What fun! And I totally agree – I love grocery shopping away from home and finding fun and crazy products!

  11. The Duo Dishes January 7, 2010 at 00:55 #

    Bonne Annee! This looks so comfy and homey. You really enjoyed yourself in France.

  12. pTsaldari January 7, 2010 at 01:41 #

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  13. penny aka jeroxie January 7, 2010 at 05:33 #

    It looks all so exciting. I have never seen a raclette grill before!

  14. taste traveller January 7, 2010 at 12:12 #

    Fitou has to be my favourite wine region. You really had a wonderful time in France! Happy New Year!

  15. myblissfulbites January 7, 2010 at 15:52 #

    Happy New Year Mardi! Looks like you had a fabulous party (love the champagne!) When home in the States, I don't like buying many packaged products but, like you, I find it fun to find things in other countries!

  16. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite January 7, 2010 at 20:59 #

    Divina – I love raclette too, don't have it often enough!

    Conor and Natalie – no blowtorches but you just pop them in the oven under the grill (broiler) for a few minutes! They're magic. And Natalie – you would LOVE raclette!

    French Cooking – it was delicious!

    Dawn – snap!

    Neil – you DO pick good wine.

    Cathy – we didn't use it!

    Fuji Mama – it's a neat dish isn't it?

    High Low – 🙂

    Tasty Trix – grocery shopping is my favourite thing to do in foreign countries!

    Duo – it was great!

    PT – you are too kind…

    Penny – you would love the raclette, I am sure!

    taste traveller – I am quite partial to the Fitou as well…

    myblissfulbites – Thanks! Shopping in other countries = so much fun!

  17. Carolyn Jung January 10, 2010 at 04:38 #

    Any meal that icludes a mountain of melted cheese is a happy feast, indeed! 😉

  18. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite January 11, 2010 at 00:47 #

    Carolyn – indeed!

  19. dorie January 22, 2010 at 02:22 #

    Neil makes a cute Santa — and it looks like he has a little experience with these things. When I stuck my head in the circle, I forgot to get the rest of my body behind Santa's, as you can see

  20. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite January 22, 2010 at 02:25 #

    Ah but Dorie your post included so much buttery delicious goodness that I am sure noone even noticed the rest of your body there! Thanks for stopping by!

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