Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Waiting for St. Sylvestre

Pile them high and ...

When I went to my favorite supermarket today I could hardly find my way - there were walls and walls of oyster cases stacked all over the place - a sure sign that "Le Reveillon de St. Sylvestre" - New Year's Eve - is coming closer.

...sell them not all that cheap...

After all the capons, turkeys and poulardes, the goose liver and Bûches de Noël (the traditional creamfilled Christmas dessert) for New Year's Eve and the next round of gluttony it is mostly seafood - lobsters, crawfish, scampi, oysters and scallops that are being served. The choice and quality is most impressive and so I had a real hard time to decide what to choose when I went to scout out what is on offer today.

Up for inspection - fresh oysters

... or rather some crayfish from Cuba?

... and what about scallops and some clams?

After much looking, sniffing and discussion I have made up my mind - we'll have some crawfish with a homemade mayonnaise and a scoop of fresh salmon tartare for starters. Since that is all I am in charge of this year I can happily lean back now until the 31st when I have to get up real early and do the shopping, because all the good stuff sells out real fast - The Provençal are dyed in the wool gourmets.
And because that is so I just know we'll have a real feast coming up - I have heard rumors of a whiskey-poularde and  I know that the cheese board comes from our wonderful local cheese shop. And then of course, just like last year, we'll have "Les treize desserts"  to see in 2011 in style. Can't wait!

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year 2011!


  1. Hello Barbara! Gosh, it looks and sounds absolutely divine! Here in Istanbul we don't get seafood like this for some reason and I am really envious! Is it typical to have it for New Year? It makes me quite homesick for France, I must say! Perhaps next year I should go and visit my cousins.

    warmest wishes for the new year,


  2. Bonsoir Claudia, if you love seafood, you definitely have to come and see your cousins (with a petit detour to Vaucluse maybe?) - especially at the "Reveillon du Nouvel An" the tables are groaning with seafood. As they say where I come from: I'll eat one oyster with you in mind! All the best for you and your family for 2011,

  3. This is exactly the reason why I would love to live in France! THey do celebrate the New Year right. Happy New Year to you.

  4. I was shocked when I was at the store this week to see all those cartons of oysters sitting without ice or refrigeration. I guess we are overly cautious in the US and the health department makes such a huge issue about keeping oysters chilled in restaurants. Of course, I am trying to get used to seeing eggs on shelves and not in the refrigerator case - so much to learn about how things are done in France. It will keep me busy for years to come.

  5. Susan: Happy New Year to you and the Trout, too!
    Michel: I guess things are just a bit more relaxed here - and there are not that many people here dying from food poisoning :)