|Advent day 18 sparkling dry chardonnay and biere triple|
Advent day eighteen, Friday 18th December 2020
It is a week before Christmas and there was a lot to celebrate today, even the advent calendar seemed to be in tune with my mood, presenting me with a nice bottle of sparkling dry Chardonnay this morning.
The first thing worth a mention is that I have successfully tamed the French Onion tarte and am delighted to report dinner last night was tasty, edible and with no soggy bottoms or uncooked pastry. It seems sticking to my favourite rectangle baking tin, rather than the round flan dish Hugh would have preferred I use, made all the difference. I will definitely be cooking this recipe again.
We enjoyed a little bit of normality this afternoon for the first time since lockdown began, meeting up with friends for a bike ride. It might have been fresh, but the sun did shine eventually and as we had a big (60) birthday to celebrate, we did our best with mulled wine, fizz, ginger liqueur, hot chocolate, cheese, dips, crisps, mincepies and cake. There were only six of us, and we stayed outdoors and kept sensible distances between us, but it felt like a real party with fun, laughter and face to face conversation. It is the little things like getting together with friends that we have been lacking this year and it felt so good today.
At some point during our bike ride this afternoon I smashed the 5000-kilometre mark for this year on my bike, which is up by over one thousand five hundred kilometres on last year, even with over one hundred days in lockdown. I’m pretty pleased with that and will continue to keep pedalling, 2020 isn’t over just yet.
France Trivia advent calendar, day eighteen, les volailles de Bresse (Bresse poultry)
The chickens from Bresse in the east of France are so very French, with their red combs, pure white plumage and blue feet, and the quality of their meat has been celebrated by French gourmets for over two hundred years. A true Bresse bird must be raised in a specified geographical area, outdoors with access to grass and fed a strict diet of milk products and cereals. They must also reach at least four months old before being sent off to the butcher and the capons, castrated males, are raised for at least eight months. They really are the crème de la crème of the chicken world with their tender, meaty flesh that is free from antibiotics, hormones or chemicals. If you are looking for something a bit special in your chicken, maybe for a celebration meal, or for Christmas, try a bird from Bresse.