Un Joyeux Noël chez les Rocheforts

Pictures top row: Tiny but pretty Peruvian crèche, our dinner menu, one for each guest with place card.

Pictures bottom row, The Christmas table and Harriet and Philippe posing in front of it.

Christmas Eve chez les Rocheforts. I was in charge of the turkey, wild rice, sweet potatoes, cheese plate etc. Philippe took care of the aperitif, drinks, foie gras, accompanying wines and everything else including making the place cards and the menu. I forgot to suggest that we name the cheeses on the menu but here they are:  a Mont d’Or from the mountainous Jura region, a Soumaintrain (from Burgundy), a Montbrison (a mild blue from Auvergne), a chèvre, a Swiss Emmenthal and for variety, a Shropshire (bleu cheese with a startling yellow colour, from the U.K. ). In case you didn’t know, I have a real passion for cheese and always try to introduce ones that even my French family aren’t acquainted with.

My brother-in-law brought and opened the delicious oysters, the Marseilles family offered us beautiful roses in a rare colour (pale coral-pale pink and the grandchildren pitched in to help me set the table and serve. Santa did not appear this year because the youngest grandchildren – the believers – were elsewhere. We regretted their absence – it’s always such fun to watch my oyster-toting brother-in-law sneak out of the room and return in his Santa suit.  (He’s a man of many talents).  

Right before Christmas, I realised my last year’s Peruvian crèche was on the missing list so I hurriedly crossed town on the metro in search of new figurines which I found at the Boutique d’Amérique Latine. My daughter-in-law brought me some moss to set them in.  A lovely Christmas!

3 thoughts on “Un Joyeux Noël chez les Rocheforts”

  1. love seeing these photos. Very elegant as well as festive.
    What were the winners on the cheese ? Would be interesting to see if there were clear winners or losers or if the talley would be across the line.
    And dare I ask? What will your St. Sylvestre table be like? But no pressure….

    1. Hello Jacqueline, The Mont d’Or is always a winner as it is a lovely, delicate creamy cheese associated with Christmas and the New Year (you won’t find Mont d’Or between March and late August, it’s definitely a winter cheese). The Soumaintrain and the Montbrison were big hits as was the Shropshire, all for different reasons. The Soumaintrain is surprisingly mild on the inside (careful not to touch the sticky odorous rind!), the Montbrison is a mild, creamy blue my guests particularly appreciated. I don’t know its story – will have to ask my fromager next time I’m in the shop. The Shropshire (in the Stilton family) doesn’t usually find its way on to a traditional cheese plate but with its bright yellow colour it stuck out and was a pleasant surprise. I have several good books on cheese. One of my favourites is by Roland Bartélemy and Arnaud Sperat-Czar. It’s called “Cheeses of the World”. When I’m really really curious about a particular cheese, I “go to the book”. Anyway, this is probably way more information than you asked for! Regarding New Year’s Eve, we are (fortunately) invited out! Happy New Year!

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