ABOUT THE CLASS
Enjoy a week of family style country Holiday activities - decorating, shopping, and exploring our festive village streets, and of course, making and eating great food. This is the time of year for luxuries - oysters, foie gras, gravlox, duck, chestnut soup, roasts, exceptional wines, Pâtes de Fruits, cakes, tartes, meat pies, and chocolates ... A week of decadence with time for playing games, enjoying a cup of vin chaud, or a walk in the brisk air. If children have joined us, they will likely be invited to help with the cookie making and decorating.
SAMPLE SCHEDULE and MENU
Saturday evening 6PM - WELCOME DINNER
Sunday 9:30 THINGS THE FRENCH LIKE TO EAT
Morning class will include a visit to our local bakeries to pick out morning treats. Later in the day we can wander up to sample the gourmet foods being featured at the market. As observed throughout France, Sunday dinner will begin at 2pm and last until the last bite has been taken and the last wine drunk.. possibly very late in the evening. Until then we will be preparing the feast, and begin filling the sideboard with holiday desserts and sweets. Throughout the day, you will learn to shuck oysters safely (if you don't know how to do so), open sparkling wines (if you don't know how to do so), make crusts, cake rolls, cookies, and Pâtes de Fruits. In preparing our dinner, we'll cover making fish stews, how to grill duck without making a mess, and cook potatoes in duck fat. We'll start with the requisite l'Apero, followed by an entree (starter) of rich Oyster Stew, a plat (Grilled Duck Breasts, Roasted Wild Mushrooms, and Gersoise Potatoes), followed by Salad, Cheese, and Dessert. With this we'll drink the local Madiran wine.
Monday 9:30 HOLIDAY EVE
Today will be busy - making gifts in the kitchen, adding to our stash of sweets, possibly shopping, decorating and getting ready for evening, learning all the while how to make an ambitious feast. Lunch will be quick - charcuterie, bread, cheese, salad and wine bought at the market along with some of the desserts we've been making. Tonight we will be having Oysters on the Half Shell, Foie Gras, Salmon Gravlox, and Pousse Rapier for our l'Apero. Dinner will start with Seared Scallops, followed by a Roasted Chicken or even a Turkey cooked with Chestnuts, Leeks, White Wine and Cream served with Parisian Gnocchi and followed by Salad and a Cheese Plate. After a rest, we'll tackle our numerous holiday desserts including a Bouche de Noel.. Tonight we'll have a selection of fine wines and wind down with coffee, likely well past midnight.
Tuesday 10:30 DAY AFTER THE FEAST
Today will be slower paced. Those who wish, may help me prepare a late morning brunch with Baked Eggs and Spinach, perhaps Pain Perdu (French Toast), perhaps a tender Quiche, Ham, Fruits in Wine, Brioche, Confitures, and other treats served with Champagne. Later, we'll start a casual dinner of slow cooked Pork Roast to be served with Cooked Apples and Salad and Cheese. If the spirit is willing, we'll try to polish off the remaining desserts.
Wednesday 9:30 LEFTOVERS
Today we will be cooking seriously again to make all of the good things French people make with their leftovers... Soup, Hachis Parmentier, Vegetable Gratin, Double Crusted Meat Pie, and Chicken Baked in a Bechamel, For some this is the best part of the week. You can eat whatever you like of these for lunch, or if you'd prefer you can compose a salad from luxury leftovers - Foie, Gravlox, and Buttery Fried Bread Sticks and more leftover desserts. Dinner will bring us down to earth - Soup, Hachis Parmentier with Roasted Vegetables, and an Apple Tarte Tatin.
Thursday 9:30 GOOD BYE
I will personally cook you a large brunch, present gifts and recipes, and we'll say our goodbyes.