01 January 2012

Happy New Year

I'll just say Happy New Year — Bonne Année — and Best Wishes — Meilleurs Vœux — today. I'm in the middle of cooking up a big New Year's Day cassoulet. That's a SW France dish of white beans (cocos blancs) cooked with carrots, onions, garlic, and herbs, and then baked in the oven with with slow-cooked duck legs (confit de canard), duck fat (graisse de canard), Toulouse-style pork sausages (saucisses de Toulouse), and a brined hamhock (jambonneau demi-sel).

Since we don't have a big meal on New Year's Eve or even stay up until midnight to welcome in the new year, we can eat a big meal today.

While we had the fondue pot out for Christmas, we decided
to make a fondue bourguignonne — tender steak
at the table in hot oil — this past week.

The weather here in Saint-Aignan is extraordinarily warm — this morning it's +12ºC — mid-50s Farenheit — and wet. We ended up getting at least 160 mm of rain — more than 6 inches, which is three times the normal — over the course of a very mild December 2011. The days have obviously been very gray and gloomy.

Happy 2012.


  1. Happy New Year from the Charente Maritime.

  2. Happy New Year from Sunnyvale, CA, where we have just welcomed the new year. I made it until midnight! WooHoo! No black eyed peas on the the menu this year? The beef fondue has me drooling... what a great midnight feast that would be!

  3. I've already said... Happy 2012!
    But you can't say it too many times... unless you run into February!
    Using the fondue for a meat dish is a lot better than cheese fondue... have you tried assorted meats on the plate of raw, all marinaded differently. You really need one of those multi-compartment dishes for 'nibbles' to keep the meats separate... especially if fowl is involved... and along with that... loads of frites and a green salad... very fresh bread, still warm preferably and beer, cider or wine.

    The WV is "tosiests"... so the tosiests greetings from Touraine du Sud.

  4. I did cassoulet for Christmas, but with pork. It gives very satisfactory leftovers for several days. Meilleurs voeux!

  5. Wishing you both lots of sunshine among the showers!

  6. Bonne Année Ken

    from Y and N

  7. Happy New Year from a wet and windy Brittany.

    I have really enjoyed following your blog the past year.

    Keep up the entertaining posts.


  8. Bonne Année! I love the Toulouse version of cassoulet.

  9. Wishing you both a great year.


  10. (Tim always cracks me up with his "Word Verification" comments)
    Bonne année from a balmy 84 degrees F in Los Angeles!

  11. Ton cassoulet me fait lécher les babines.

    All the best for a healthy, happy New Year and perhaps to seeing you & Walt.

    Bob & Norma

  12. I had Toulouse Cassoulet with my au pair family and their friends in Toulouse on New Years Day back on January 1, 1982 :)

    Happy New Year! To all!


  13. Jan 02, 12 -- the beef fondue still looks fabulous. Good thing I don't have the makings for it on hand.


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