It was almost surreal . . . from the delicious meal Sandra cooked to the piles and piles of spectacular gifts to the classic American Christmas carols playing in the background.
Let me begin at the beginning . . .
Did you know that Pere Noel (Santa Claus) delivers his gifts to the children of
Sandra has had her house decorated for weeks, and the garland, the tree, the lights . . . even the garland around Shadow’s neck (he’s their adorable black lab) was perfect! And I have mentioned before how much Sandra loves the US, right? As you can tell by some of the artwork in the background.
Dado, Max, and Josey arrived first. The kids stared around, wide-eyed with surprise. Suddenly it dawned on them – maybe Santa had already visited our house, too.
Santa brought Josey a baby doll – and
Dado picked out perfect gifts for Sandra,
Apparently, it is French tradition to eat dinner on Christmas Eve at midnight. Luckily the Bruns took pity on the Americans, and we ate closer to 9:00pm.
Dinner was spectacular. Sandra spoiled us with several traditional French cuisine treats.
The first dish was salad . . . mixed greens, tomatoes, and des gesiers de canard confits. That means that the salad was topped with sautéed fig and duck gizzard. You all know I am an absolute food wimp, and Sandra knows it, too. So, she didn’t tell us what we were eating until I told her how delicious it was. I was serious! Even after she told me what it was, I ate every single bite on my plate! The salad was served with foie gras de canard (duck pate), which I also loved.
We were all absolutely stuffed after the salad course, but there was more yumminess to come. Sandra had made a roasted, stuffed turkey, mashed sweet potatoes with cinnamon, sautéed potatoes, and chestnuts. It was all absolutely delicious.
Dessert was another French tradition: la buche. This is a dessert shaped like a log, either made with ice cream or cake. Sandra had two ice cream versions: crème brulee and fruits rouge (strawberry, raspberry, and cranberry). Mmmmmm!!
Our contributions to the meal were strawberry margaritas (this was a special request from Sandra) and homemade shortbread cookies (Mike’s grandmother’s recipe!). The margaritas were a great party starter. Unfortunately, we forgot about the cookies in the excitement of the buches. I hope the Bruns ate the cookies!
The children all played together like a dream. It was really impressive. All those new toys, and Noah and
One of the big hits of the evening was the Hannah Montana tattoo parlor. Oh my. Josey may be the next Kat Von D.
Throughout the evening, Sandra was playing her favorite Christmas music. Her favorites include Christmas carols by Frank Sinatra! It was terrific. Several of us were singing along – in English – during this fete de Noel! Sandra and Noah even took a turn on the dance floor.
Merci mille fois, Sandra & Jean-Louis, for the terrific and unforgettable Christmas Eve in
Love to all!