It’s over. Gone. 2020 – the terrible, horrible year we need to forget.
However, we were very lucky and had a pleasant last day of that dreadful year. Glorious sunshine. Bob and I went down to the seaside on Dec. 31 for our coastal walk, even saw picnickers on the beach. We had our picnic with take-out sandwiches, sat on a bench enjoying our lunch, sharing some of it with seagulls and pigeons. The sea is my therapy.
The food greatly improved later in the day: A gourmet New Year’s Eve dinner delivered from a nearby restaurant, L’Hippocampe (the sea horse). Due to Covid, restaurants in France have been closed since late October. Our dinner was exquisite, and no slaving in the kitchen involved.
Cerf (venison) Facon Civet et sa Polenta was the main course. Cerf is a large European deer. Hunting is tightly regulated and popular in France, however most venison comes from farm raised deer. The meat has a lower fat and cholesterol content than beef. It was melt-in-your-mouth tender and full of flavor. Polenta stars and mini vegetable puree concoctions were perfect accompaniments, all in a rich sauce. Deer is expensive, considered a delicacy, and usually only found during the holidays – unless you happen to know a hunter.
The meal began with an assortment of canapes. We chose two different entrees so we could share and taste each: Terrine de Langouste aux Corail d’Oursin (crayfish terrine with coral of sea urchin) and Foie Gras de Canard mi cuit aux Figues (half cooked duck foie gras with figs). You can never go wrong with foie gras, a holiday must in France. It took first place, but the terrine was good.
Earlier in the week I found fresh cranberries at the supermarket – rare here. I snatched up two boxes and made cranberry chutney which was good with the deer, and the cheese course which preceded the dessert, a treat labeled Gourmandise. We are not sure what it was, but it was creamy and yummy.
Wine – no rare, pricey vintages for us. We are easily pleased and began with a white, a Touraine Sauvignon, followed by a Burgundy, Hautes Cotes de Nuit. The finale, a regional speciality, Limoncello. All in all – a delicious and delightful way to bid farewell to a wretched year.
We awoke to rain and clouds on New Year’s Day. We were happy to stay indoors and watch the New Year’s concert from Vienna, my New Year’s ritual which always brings back fond memories of visits to this fabulous city. Brunch followed, featuring Lemon Brown Sugar Blueberry Pancakes. Bob is a pancake man. I much prefer egg concoctions. He also adores blueberries. I was happy to make a New Year’s treat for him. I liked it too thanks to Ligonberry syrup which we brought back from our cruise trip in Norway. I need to find some more of that delicacy a bit closer to home.
May 2021 be filled with happiness, good health, fun times and fabulous food. May Covid disappear.
HAPPY NEW YEAR. BON APPETIT
See Today’s Taste for the blueberry pancake recipe.
More on Hungary coming: FOOD.
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