Preparing to Leave

Christmas celebrations are over for the year as family start to head back to their respective homes around the world. The Christmas tree will come down tomorrow and other signs of Christmas will be put away for who knows how many years. This has been our first family Christmas in Victoria BC in over five years. 

But now, the time is fast approaching to pack up and head back to France and Languedoc. The weather there has been clear, warm and sunny. Friends wrote that the Christmas market was truly amazing this year and the dinner at Le Grand Cafe was a sell-out success. For our Canadian friends experiencing their first French Christmas, it was a highlight.

Reading over my book, Travels in Languedoc, I am reminded of the delights of finding the village Marché de Noel and sampling all the special foods and wines. Three years ago, M et Mme Aluze presented their first vintage of wines along with the home-made patés and saucissons. Last year, Mme Arnaud featured the family recipes of sanglier et figues (wild boar & fig) served on pain d'épices slices. Hm-m-m. 

Along with several other items, I followed the recipe in the book to make the pain d'épice for the book launch on Dec. 20th and it was a tasty reminder of Mme Arnaud's small gift last year. It's wonderful to be able to recreate memories of life in Languedeoc when we can't be there in person. But soon, we will be enjoying the treats of January and spending time discovering more secrets to a memorable visit.