Saturday, December 19, 2015

Advent day 19, party time

French Village Diaries advent calendar party time
Mincepies, homemade cake, chocolates

Welcome to day 19 of my advent calendar and as it is a weekend, here is a little catch up on village life. This week marked the last aqua gym session of the term and due to winter maintenance work on the pool, we now have a two month break before starting to shift those extra Christmas calories. I'm not sure finishing the term with a pre-Christmas party was the healthiest of ideas, but it was certainly good fun. 

I may be the newbie to the group (and the youngest by a few years too) but I'm going to miss the hilarity that has quickly become routine for my Tuesday mornings at aqua gym. The end of term couldn't happen without a little something special and so we slightly shortened our exercise time to ensure we had plenty of time to sit (in the empty paddling pool), drink coffee and indulge in the tasty delights we had all come along with. One thing I have learned since joining this class in September is that these ladies know their food, every week what they are cooking and eating is their main topic of conversation.

French Village Diaries advent calendar party time
Pre-Christmas party

I made a batch of mincepies to share, which went down very well, although I did have to list the ingredients and method at least six times as the French can be a little unsure about eating something they don't recognise. As an English ambassador in rural France I consider it my duty to spread the word, and the love for mincepies at Christmas.

French Village Diaries advent calendar party time
Genius plate carrier

One of the ladies arrived with this totally amazing bag that is pretty, functional and very French too. A soft fabric bag to carry a plate to a shared meal or picnic, where the handles ensure the top of the bag is kept clear of the contents of the plate, genius! I have severe bag envy. Dear Father Christmas, if you happen to be reading this I would love a bag just like this one please.

My featured book today is also full of delicious French treats and should you wish to walk off a few calories, it includes a lovely guide to some delicious sights to see in Paris too. Teatime in Paris!: A Walk Through Easy French Patisserie Recipes by Jill Colonna is a beautifully illustrated recipe book, with easy to follow, step-by-step instructions to help you achieve perfect patisseries in your own home. You can read my full review here. Both of Jill's books would make perfect Christmas gifts and links to Amazon can be found below.