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A 1780 Festive Christmas Feast in a French Vineyard Mansion




The long oak table in the château's dining hall was laden with delicious offerings for the Christmas feast. The vineyard owner's family gathered together, wearing their holiday best. The children's eyes widened at the spread - plates of oysters, bowls of consommé with sherry, a whole poached salmon decorated festively.

The main event was a grand bouef en daube, made from prized cattle raised on the estate. The beef was braised with red wine, onions, mushrooms, bacon and herbs for hours until meltingly tender. It was served with roasted potatoes and a red wine reduction sauce. A salad of winter greens from the greenhouse provided brightness.

A buche de Noel cake drizzled with chocolate completed the meal. Father Jacques led the family in prayer and blessings for the meal. The children laughed and played as the adults enjoyed the food, wine and joyous atmosphere. Truly, a wonderful Christmas feast celebrating the season.

Oysters on the Half Shell

Ingredients:

  • 12 fresh oysters

  • Lemon wedges

  • Cracked black pepper

  • Hot sauce

  • Lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Shuck oysters carefully leaving on the deep shell. Discard flat shell.

  2. Arrange oysters over ice on a platter.

  3. Garnish with lemon wedges, cracked black pepper, and hot sauce.

  4. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over oysters before serving.

Consommé with Sherry

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups beef or chicken stock

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced

  • 1 stalk celery, diced

  • 1 tomato, diced

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1⁄4 cup dry sherry

Instructions:

  1. In a pot, combine stock, vegetables, and herbs. Simmer 30 minutes.

  2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.

  3. Return broth to pot and simmer 15 minutes more.

  4. Stir in sherry just before serving.

Poached Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb salmon fillet

  • 3 cups white wine

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • 5 black peppercorns

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients except salmon in a pan. Add enough water to mostly submerge salmon.

  2. Bring poaching liquid to a gentle simmer.

  3. Add salmon fillet, skin side down. Poach 7-10 minutes until opaque.

  4. Remove salmon and serve garnished with lemon slices.


Bouef en Daube - French Braised Beef Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs beef chuck, cubed

  • 1 bottle red wine

  • 2 onions, quartered

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 10 white mushrooms, halved

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 strips bacon, chopped

  • Flour, oil and seasoning

Instructions:

  1. Coat beef in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Brown the meat in batches in hot oil.

  2. Add wine, vegetables, tomato paste and herbs. Bring to a boil then simmer 2-3 hours until tender.

  3. Remove bay leaves. Adjust seasoning and serve stew over potatoes.

Buche de Noel - Yule Log Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

  • 6 eggs, separated

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • Powdered sugar

  • Chocolate buttercream

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a jelly roll pan and line with parchment.

  2. Whisk egg yolks with sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in vanilla.

  3. Whisk egg whites with salt into soft peaks. Fold 1/3 into yolk mixture, then fold in remaining whites.

  4. Fold in flour and cocoa powder. Spread onto prepared pan.

  5. Bake 8-10 minutes until set. Loosen from pan and roll up in towel to cool.

  6. Unroll, spread with buttercream and re-roll. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Read about this family in the book: Templar Freemason: The Circle Completes


As we bid adieu, let me extend my heartfelt thanks for embarking on this illuminating journey from science to historical fiction with me. Your presence and support bring the past to life through my content. Don't forget to tap that like button and gallop along into the universe of my YouTube channel at https://www.YouTube.com/@theWatcherInTheFall for never-ending adventure at the intersection of History and Historical Fiction. Be sure and visit my community often - there's always something fascinating to hear, see and explore. You will find quite a few intriguing artifacts through our community site. I'm all ears and super curious about your thoughts. Drop a line or two, and let's turn this channel into a space where we dive into the depths of history through the power of imagination, together. I'm your trusty guide, Ron Townsen, navigating the halls of historical fiction. If you've had a blast and fancy buying me a virtual drink of coffee, head over to Ronald Townsen Presents | Patreon. It's like a cosmic tip jar for storytellers like me. As we gallop onwards through the universe of historical fiction, remember: our imaginations are the spur, and the past is not gone - it's just the beginning. Thank you for being a stellar part of this storytelling caravan. Stay curious, be awesome, and let your imagination continue to ride through the ages!

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