Brittany and the Vendee. How have lived so many years and not tried them??? Thanks to Greg, the moment is recorded for history! Not very good photos of me, but hey, it's hard to look glamorous as you slurp an oyster.
After a palate-cleansing boule of pineapple ice cream swimming in homemade juniper berry eau de vie, we moved on to the next platter: puff pastry cups filled with ris de veau, a classic French dish, again homemade by Christiane. Ris de veau was my second 'first' of the night. Ris is the French culinary word for sweetbreads, and although I've eaten liver, heart and of course, Rocky Mountain oysters, this dish was my first taste of thymus gland and pancreas. Small pieces diced and mixed with a flavorful gravy filled the pastry with a rich, chewy sweetness. I liked it a lot!
Salad followed, then a cheese platter with five choices: Emmenthaler, some cabecous, a lovely orange mimolette with a crusty rind, a chunk of beautiful blue veined Roquefort and a round of Epoisses. Third 'first'....the Epoisses, one of the grand stinky cheeses of France. Smells awful, tastes delicious especially with a sip of champagne.
Are we done yet? Nope! We were offered two flavors of ice cream molded into loaves. One was two kinds of chocolate, the other raspberry sherbet covering a rich vanilla. Then, coffee, sweet cherries soaked in vodka, and a box of chocolates. Now, we're done! And it's 2:30 am. We have truly welcomed the New Year in grand style. We've eaten, drank, kissed, sang Auld Lang Syne, and laughed.What a fun way to ring out the old year and usher in the new.
|Brittany oyster with its fluted, black-striped edge.|