Monday, January 9, 2012

French Food Fête

This was how we started every morning while in Paris...


With a plate full of croissants and pain au chocolat that my BIL would buy from our local boulangerie. The kids became quite fond of pain au chocolat...

Our entire group had arrived in Paris by Christmas Eve so we spent a good part of the day shopping for our Christmas dinner, knowing that we planned to eat-in on Christmas night.

We started on the Rue Lepic in Montmartre which was walking distance from "home".


We were on the hunt for a main course.

The seafood looked delicious, but proved to be too expensive for the 9 of us.


And the fact that these mini-chapons (capons) still had their feet, heads and feathers turned the kids off a bit...


I thought the feathers were beautiful.


We were also on the hunt for a Bûche de Nöel, the traditional "yule log" dessert served around Christmas time.

A patisserie on Rue Lepic gave us our first glimpse of the many hundreds of versions that we would see over the next few days...


Though the traditional Bûche de Nöel is made from a rolled sponge cake with buttercream filling and is iced to look like a log, we learned there were many, many interpretations of this annual treat.


The Rue Lepic whetted our appetite for an extended shopping excursion to the Rue Mouffetard in the 5th arondissment, where we found most of our dinner.


It was a feast for the senses.


So we shopped...


And the fromagerie put forth quite the spectacle.

The cheeses were unbelievable but there's no way we could possibly try them all in just 6 days...

But we tried.



We decided on rotisserie chicken for dinner.

I loved how you ordered everything by telling the seller the total number of people who would be eating and when you would be eating it. The vendor then chooses the quantity and product for you.

So we ordered chicken and potatoes for 9 people.

This man gave us about 10 pounds of potatoes. You can see them below, the ones that had been roasting below with chicken juices dripping all over them. Yum!


I thought 10 pounds was a lot until the kids started eating them. The were a total hit.

Our last decision was to decide on a Bûche de Nöel. They all looked so good.


We ended up purchasing two.

A dark chocolate ganache version recommended by a local on the Rue Mouffetard and a more traditional sponge-cake version from our local baker.


And here's our shopping gang, heading home on the metro with our fête...


After we'd finished our feast, we broke out the two Bûches.

Though we enjoyed them both, we decided that the decadently chocolate version from the Rue Mouffetard was the taste-test winner, hands down...


Moreover, the whole Bûche-hunting and Bûche-eating exercise, led us to coin a whole new Bûche-cabulary:

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good Bûche!"

"If I knew you were coming, I'd of baked a Bûche."

"Everything's better with a Bûche."

"Bûche, there it is."

You get the picture. We can't help it, it's what we do.

Next post, I promise to show you all the embroidery in Marie Antoinette's bedroom at Versailles.

It's a fête pour les yeux!

It's the least I can do since I didn't bring you a Bûche.

22 comments:

Mary Ann said...

Everything looks very yummy. I go to a French bakery that makes traditional Bûche de Nöel....so very decadent.

Sheila said...

Alright, you had me at the bread, the cheese and the chocolate, but Versailles? You have got to be kidding me! (picking myself up...) Great minds think alike, I guess.

Laurie said...

Wow! Thank you SO MUCH for the tour of the food! OMG -- the pastry! Your chocolate Buche was so adorable, with that snowman!

Roberta said...

I am really loving your photos and posts of your trip! The photos of the food look mouth watering........

Margaret said...

What a treat for an old shut in like me. Thank you for sharing your family and good times. I have been to Paris , but CHRISTMAS IN PARIS is a dream come true. And by the way, fantastic photography.

Catherine said...

Oh my goodness!! All that yumminess......I might just consider moving to Paris...and I love how you order the food!

Suztats said...

Wow! Yummy. It all looks so delicious.

Heather M. said...

My kids and I have a tortiere every Christmas Eve. It's a traditional French Canadian meat pie. (We live in Vancouver, on the other side of the country.) This year my newly-married daughter made it and she did a wonderful job. We do the traditional turkey on Christmas day.

If I ever get to Paris for the season, though, I will try your menu!

MosaicMagpie said...

Now I am hungry!!!
Deb

Allison Ann Aller said...

Another perfectly delightful installment of this fantastic journey! Susan, you are a National Treasure...our nation doesn't know it yet but someday it will...

black bear cabin said...

"Bûche, there it is." hahahahaha...okay, now i know we would have a good time together :)
i LOVE the group shot of all of you with your christmas feast yummies...and you said you didnt get any family shots...i love that one! But when did Jack get soooo tall? :) I am really enjoying these vacation pics....keep em coming! hugs~

kaiteM said...

Such beautiful (bucheiful) food. my preference would have been the one topped with fruit, i think it was 36e, tho they all looked wonderful. Next year i will enquire at our French patisserie for a Bûche de Nöel.

coral-seas said...

pain au chocolat has long been a favourite for Jon and me. For breakfast we liked to have a cheese and ham fill croissant followed by pain au chocolat.

I loved those food markets, the produce was wonderful. Thank you for the pictures and words that show me what a wonderful time you had in Paris and bring back wonderful memories for me.

Rachel said...

I hope you got to the fabric shops in Montmartre as well...!

gracie said...

I really enjoy "our" shopping experience in Paris! Thank you for taking me along....

Bridgette Friedman said...

Ok....now I am so starved and my tummy is grumbly!! Lovely pictures!

Judy S. said...

Definitely a Christmas to remember! Those memories will last a lifetime...and I was wondering whether you did anything fabricy while you were there! Yeah, we'll get to see....

Sandra Henderson said...

I've never spent Christmas in Paris, but did spend Easter. What memories... I can't wait to revisit versailles with you! I'm so envious! We were talking today about the Monoprix. lol We stayed just off St. Germain at L'Abbey , a little hotel there. My husband still remembers the monoprix and says it's better than Harrods to him. So, to find your wonderful posts on Paris, it's so refreshing. So happy for you!

Teresa said...

Wow! I can't believe the wonderful delicious looking treats. I have gained 5 pounds looking at your pictures.
Can't wait to hear more about your trip.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

Wendy said...

Okay I am really hungry now! What a great feast you had..

Hélène said...

Oh Susan you sure picked very good places in Paris, you are very knowledgable and your love of local foods is heartwarming.

I live close to rue Lepic and went to University close to rue Mouffetard !

I love how your family always look so happy and relaxed and ready to enjoy any gift that life is willing to give. It makes me happy.

Marty52 said...

le sigh...

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