Sunday, January 03, 2016

A copious and quiet evening into the New Year

Our New Year's Eve was a quiet and pleasant one. I'm not sure if it was what we wanted but it was certainly what we needed. When we returned from our "out of town" Holidays on the 28th, we were happy but fried. We decided to ignore our suitcases, ordered some grub, made a fire, watched a movie and played with our new toys and treasures. We pretty much cocooned ourselves in which was also great timing as a snowstorm was about to start. Our bare, snowless area went from greyish green to instant white that night. The denial (for me) was over, kids were ecstatic, winter officially arrived. I have to admit, for now, it's pretty.

My father was expected for a visit but we had to juggle the dates a bit to give the snow blizzard enough time to spew out it's white fury. We decided to wait and go by feel, depending on what the weather was serving. I'm happy to say that 2 days later my father made it for New Year's Eve. He joined us early on the 31st just in time to shovel our driveway (sorry p'pa) and to help me to the store for some last minute purchases. Once done, we cozied ourselves inside, got set up, made a fire, opened a bottle of Caribou and it was chin-chin right away! :)

I took out some Kalamata olives and some St-Albert cheese curds (the girls love both) while my father opened a perfectly ripe Roquefort and sliced a crusty baguette along with some good dry sausage which I think was a Rosette de Lyon (kids are addicted to it). I just added butter to the table and we just kept munching until we realized we had to stop to save room for dinner! That was round 1. Even the cat joined in.


Round 2 was a hearty dish called: Ragoût de boulettes et de pattes de cochon. I'm not sure why it sounds better in French but the translation in English is: Stew of meatballs and pork hocks. I hope I didn't lose you after this. Ha ha! You should know that the words don't work for me either. :) That said, it's a delicious and hearty Quebecer classic worth trying. Tender morsels of pork (pulled off the bone), happily swim with meatballs made of ground pork and spices in a rich gravy made from the cooking liquid and beef broth for more body. A vegetarian's nightmare. We followed this recipe from Ricardo.

My girls were being hams. Very appropriate.

It was delicious but I'm not convinced it's THE recipe I want to repeat next year. It was lacking a little something (maybe acidity) but for a first timer, I definitely recommend it. We even talked about non traditional additions like Maggi sauce (my German roots talking) and mushrooms. Maybe a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar, or wine... We like to break rules! I'm definitely looking for variations and will keep playing. It's traditionally served with potatoes and we added nice yellow ones but because of it's luscious and savoury gravy, we opted to serve it over egg noodles which believe me, was verrrry satisfying. Napkins a must!

After a couple of days, leftovers are amazing and I have to say that the potatoes were definitely the prized pieces I was looking for yesterday! Pickled beets, especially if homemade (and at room temperature), are also a big winner with this. This dish made me eat half a jar but back to our New Year's Eve feast! Red wine was poured and boy was I happy as a pig in shit. Terrible Pun intended! ;)

As we ate, we realized we had no room for dessert. Which was great because there was none. Ha ha! Well, I planned it simple. Vanilla ice cream (with raspberry swirls in it) and lots of fresh berries. Plump blackberries (a favourite with our 5 year old) and very sweet raspberries (a winner with our 8 year old).

All were happy. My father went for a nap, I went online, tasted a 10 year old tawny port I received from my father earlier (not bad with ice-cream and walnuts) and took it easy.

Marc and the girls played new video games. Low-key is the best way to describe it. As we got close to 11h00 pm, my little one begged me to take her to bed. She's usually a party animal and danced till 3h00 am last year but not this time. She was done. As she settled in with glee, my father woke up from his slumber just in time to take out the bubbly. Geneviève definitely wanted to stay up with us but she doesn't care for bubbly or fizzy drinks. She was happy to cheer with McIntosh apple juice! With the help of the laptop and a live connection to the big countdown in NY, we counted and cheered and that was that! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Within seconds we settled down. :) Marc got on the phone with family while my father and I settled at the table. After 20 minutes, Geneviève announced that she was done and went off to bed.

Here is Marc with our first selfie of 2016!! We finished the bubbly which turned into fancy fizzy, fuzzy navels. We didn't last long. By 1h30 am Marc was heading upstairs but I had just enough energy to tidy up and chat a few more minutes with my father while making a little chair (a tradition) with the remains of the New Year's bottle. I have a drawer full somewhere... Future post. :)

I hope that this new year is an easier one. I could use it! Wishing everybody a good one. 

Happy New Year! 
smile emoticon


  1. Sounds like it was a pretty awesome New Years Eve! Wish we could have been there to bring in the New Year with you guys! :) 💜

    1. Thanks for reading Katherine. Having you over would have been fun! :)