Happy New Year

Last full moon of 2020

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.

Picnic by the Mediterranean

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.

Venison for New Year’s Eve

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. 

Dinner with a view

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.

Lots of candles for New Year’s Eve. Bob and two of three xats..

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. 

Lemon Brown Sugar Blueberry Pancakes for a tasty start of the New 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.

Beach picnic on 31 Dec., 2020

May 2021 be filled with happiness, good health, fun times and fabulous food. May Covid disappear.


See Today’s Taste for the blueberry pancake recipe.

If not a Tales and Travel follower, please sign up here. Don’t miss future posts.

18 thoughts on “Happy New Year”

  1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful New Year , wonderful food ,superb views of the Mediterranean .
    We send you best wishes for a more hopeful 2021 ,love Tony &Hazel .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Leah and Bob,
    John and I spent a quiet Christmas and New Year’s here in our house in the Luberon. It was just the two of us as our children and grandchildren are in Vienna and also Netherlands.
    New year’s Eve dinner was fresh salmon from St. Saturnin market, wild rice from Canada and steamed carrots and peas in pods. Dessert was John’s home made fruit cake maranated with cognac and o course french champagne AR midnight.
    We miss you and Bob and your wonderful holiday parties. We wish you both a happy and healthy year in 2021. Sandra, John and our cat, Zara.


  3. We have m abundance of deer here in New Jersey. I wish that hunters would trim the herd a bit. Just enough to keep them from devouring our shrubs and flowers!
    Your NYE looked lovely. Once upon a time I was able to enjoy that amount of wine. Not any more. 2 glasses and I’m ready to dance on any available table.
    Hope 2021 brings you and Bob joy.


    1. Thank you Shelley. I used to be anti-hunting, but have come to realize hunters play an important role in preserving the species. Over population can lead to starvation and disease. Serious hunters love and respect nature. BTW, we don‘t usually consume that much wine. I regretted it the next day. All the best to you and that Tesla in 2021.


  4. It’s always a delight to be brought along with you and Bob, Leah. Especially now. Truly enjoyed celebrating with you. Not sure if I’m doing something wrong, but when I click on the picture of your scrumptious pancakes, I don’t get the recipe. I’m like Bob, love those blueberries! Suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahhhh, what a beautiful way to start my day and for you to start your year….beautiful food, gorgeous views, but mostly loving company. May 2021 be healthy and joyous for you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All of the food looks lovely, especially with that gorgeous view as a backdrop! This reveals an appetite for life, despite the difficult year. Thank you for sharing your delicious way of celebrating the dawning of a better year.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: