My first Belgian Christmas dinner was not too, too different from the ones I’ve had elsewhere…lots of caloric overindulgence followed by attempts to work off the meals–to no avail of course! Because tons of cooking usually means lots of leftovers which means even more eating the next few days.
Anyway, I was invited to a lovely Christmas dinner which started around 6:30pm with some apÃ©ritifs and finger foods…
Then it was time for the appetizer–escargot and wild mushrooms lasagna,
and my hostess made a non-dairy version for me:
Then the entrÃ©e was a plate of various types of Belgian seafood specialties–saumon fumÃ©, flÃ©tan fumÃ©, crevettes grises, and maquereau fumÃ© avec grains de poivre, and sprats fumÃ©s–my favorite was definitely the smoked mackerel:
At this point I was already quite full. But there was another round of grilled sea bass with spinach puree for those who did not want roasted chicken. Did I already mention the mushroom gravy and potato fritters? The photos stopped at this point because I could barely move from my seat; I was afraid I’d have to be rolled out of their dining room.
But something else rolled on to the table and it was a plate of special cheeses from around the world, including one of my favorites, the French ComtÃ©…I know, I was more stuffed than a Thanksgiving turkey but I saw the delicious baguette and I had to have some with the cheese:
And then what we’d all been waiting for all night…dessert. The first picture in today’s entry shows that sinfully delicious melts-in-your-mouth-chocolate-blended-with-crushed-almonds-then-chilled concoction, complemented by fruits, mango sorbet, and other Italian biscuits and candies. The actual name of this cake is Sicilien au chocolat. But OMG those grapes? They were sensational…they were rolled in sugar then frozen. They explode in your mouth in taste and texture. So simple yet so satisfying! This picture is of someone else’s plate that also included home-made tiramisu:
I simply died, and died again this morning when I ate another chocolate heart that was in my doggy bag. By the way, the gorgeous fruit you see below (aka Chinese lantern or coqueret) also goes by the poetic name of l’amour en cage:
Anyway, it’s not really a Christmas dinner unless some presents are passed around, right? Lucky for me I was also included in a few surprise presents! There were books (always a treasured gift for me),
trinkets (btw, that’s that Gucci cardigan I posted about a few entries ago when I picked it up on my way to Taliesin West; it’s worn over my Cavalli black knit dress…remember when I said knits were the perfect attire for big dinners?!),
and a plushy feet warmer shaped like a pig:
OK, also head warmer if you’ve had too much vino:
I hope you had a good Christmas day, too.