We’ve gone green! No, not just my wife and me — the whole countryside. For the past many days, the Greater Daglan Area (or GDA) has been foggy and rainy. But today, Christmas Eve, the sun broke through and it’s all beautiful.
Just before noon today, as we drove back to Daglan from shopping at the Gourdon market, we passed by this small waterfall on the Céou River just outside Bouzic. For most of the late summer and early autumn, the river at this stage had been almost dry, because of a shortage of rain. But now the water is flowing, and the grass is growing. Have a look:
Beauty aside, what is Christmas Eve without a bit of a feast? My wife Jan and I are completely in accord with the French tradition of having seafood at this time of year, and in fact for many years our own traditional Christmas Eve meal has been bouillabaisse.
When we lived in Toronto, the stock for Jan’s bouillabaisse always included clam juice, which we could buy in small bottles. That proved impossible to find here, no matter where we looked. So we settled on buying a bouillabaisse that was already prepared, in a bottle, as the starting point. Then Jan thinned the soup a bit with white wine and some Ricard (pastis), and added the fresh seafood we bought this morning at the Gourdon market.
Jan’s choice of seafood included fresh clams, langoustines (Dublin Bay prawns) from Brittany, a piece of white fish, circles of squid, and some giant gambas (large sea shrimp) from Madagascar. And it was superb — even better than what I ate in the restaurant L’Oursin Bleu on the harbour of Villefranche-sur-Mer this fall (described in the post “5 things about the Riviera,” September 19). Here’s my bowl of bouillabaisse:
Naturally, that wasn’t all we had for lunch: there was a kir royale to begin, a bottle of white wine to accompany the soup, some fresh bread, and Jan’s delicious chocolate mousse, topped with whipped cream. Trust me, dinner tonight will be modest.
Not modest at all, however, are the good wishes from Jan and me to all the followers of Radio Free Daglan. From the very heart of the GDA, we wish you all the best for a very Merry Christmas!