This is officially the last Christmas my husband and I will spend alone – well, not really alone, but as a pair. Perhaps this is why it was so important for my husband to find a tree. We unfortunately waited until the last minute and missed the small window where the Weihnachts vendors were tearing down their decorations from the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market), so he spent Sunday, the day I was baking, running around town looking for ein Wiehnachtbaum (a Christmas tree) zu kaufen (to buy).
Luckily while my husband was at work, our friend found one!
For our (pseudo-)French dinner my husband and I made the following:
Basic Salad (a delicious offering with balsalmic dressing and soft cheese, provided by one of our guests)
Fresh Basil Pesto with fresh pasta
Brussel Sprouts (a la Annie)
Baked Goods for Dessert
So, the plan was to have people join us between five and six o’clock in the evening and begin eating right away. My husband had wanted to begin with wine, cheese and caviar and then move to the dinner table with the other dishes above. So, once our friends arrived I immediately set about opening the wine and getting our friends to have a seat on our couch.
After about an hour we moved to the table and began with the Coquilles and Cheddar Gougéres. This was followed by a small portion of pesto, then salad and more delicious and hilarious conversation. Our guests had much to relate to each other about. We are all expats, the majority of us in Europe but one of our guests came all the way from Japan (a full 24-hour plane journey)!
During the main part of the meal, we brought out the Duck Confit, Spinach Pie and Brussel Sprouts (which is even better when cooked in duck fat!) at the same time and let people serve themselves the portions they felt they could take; this was around eight o’clock or so. More wine and conversation flowed and we finally finished and moved back to the couch around ten o’clock, but still had the dessert to eat.
After we finished our dessert, I passed out gifts to our friends and we finished the night with more funny and, at times, wonderfully touching conversation and the occasional funny video from YouTube.
The morning after, while I finish this post and drink my coffee, all I can smell is the duck fat. It isn’t as awful as it sounds, or might smell. But, it is a good thing I have not had morning sickness at all thus far during my European pregnancy. One of the things my husband and I discussed as we were waking up this morning is the opportunity to one day have a larger house, with a grand living room (and multiple bedrooms) so that our friends and guests can gather together and enjoy good food and good company, since it seems no matter where we live it is one thing we love to do, host our friends and family and their friends and family!