You would think the New Year, since we celebrate it so simply (partying, singing, dancing, drinking) in the States, would be the same in France.
Not so. Here are a few important observable differences.
1) The New Year’s group text message. What is up with this? Seriously, I don’t see the point and I hope I will never write one. I guess the idea behind it is that you send an SMS shortly after midnight to the people who you wish were there, but more often than not, I think people just check everyone in their phone contacts and send the same message. Where’s the personal touch? I much prefer the…
2) New Year’s card. Along the same lines as the American Christmas card, but obviously, sent out a few days later. Unfortunately very few of my friends are grown up enough to do this, and I can’t really blame them, since I don’t take the time to do it either. But then, I’m still attached to the Christmas card, and I suspect that if I sent them out people would think I was just weird or particularly religious.
3) (UPDATE) I forgot one! The New Year’s Bise: When the clock sounds midnight (okay, I know there are basically no clocks in any actual houses that do that), everyone in the room turns to each other and does the bise with everyone else in the room, saying happy new year at the same time. This part I actually find really sweet.
4) The New Year’s Eve dinner. The French don’t have Thanksgiving (sad) but I think they catch up on their extra meal on New Year’s Eve. I still prefer to have these two huge meals spaced out by a month rather than a week, but last night I finally got to take advantage of this tradition and the fact that some French boys like to cook (okay mostly just my French boy and I take advantage of this all the time but whatever).
So last night we had a few friends over, making a party of eight, and Ju made a fancy dinner.
For the aperitif, we had toasts with foie gras and hard boiled quail eggs as well as a tomato/honey tartine.
For the starter, we had this beet and cucumber soup:
For the entree (American meaning), we had stuffed quail, fennel and potato purée, and pommes dauphines.
We had a cheese course of unremarkable cheeses except that I did splurge and buy one of the local goat cheeses.
For dessert, we broke in our new chocolate fountain:
It’s not very big but it turns out you really don’t need a very big one. We used two or three dark chocolate bars (the kind from the grocery store), melted them in the microwave, and mixed in milk, vegetable oil, and rum to get it thin enough to drip. You fill the reservoir (that metal bowl-like part) and turn it on and then it works by itself. We used our fondu sticks to dip fruit and marshmallows in the chocolate.
Then we came upstairs and played games until 5 in the morning in front of our twinkling, drying-up Christmas tree.
So yeah, happy new year!