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Dreaming of Christmas

Who'll join us in 2010?

I know we promised ourselves in March we’d have our first Christmas in front of this fireplace this year. Well, we’re frowning today because we know for sure we won’t make it. No hard feelings though.

Just looking at the fire makes me dream away: the scent of burning logs, the picture of a huge 12-f00t-tall tree full of decorations (and we have enough, since I started collecting Christmas decorations when I was 18). I imagine our best friends drinking wine and eating petit fours or some other sweet treats. The table will be set in white linen with our best crystal. The huge living room will be full of warmth, laughter, and our energy. On the menu are my îles flottantes in lobster soup, a light salad with Peking duck, a bitter ice, some roasted meat with turnip, a plateau of French cheeses, and a minty honey sabayon.

So, who wants to opt in for 2010?

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Treacle Trick

Treacle |ˈtrēkəl|noun

British term for molasses.

• figurative, cloying sentimentality or flattery: enough of this treacle—let’s get back to business.

We had this idea for a long time. Our biggest question was how to become involved and respected in the village. Since we are Dutch (foreign!), not very good with the French language, and basically exotic for most people in the French countryside, we came up with the Treacle Waffles Trick.

We bought 80 packages of traditional Dutch waffles, stuck invitations on each of them, and delivered them in all the mailboxes of Tourteron. Fifty of the 180 inhabitants came over to meet us and to see the mill. It was a huge success. We met the mayor, the noblemen, the attorney, and the baker. Most of the close neighbors came over to shake our hands.

We’ve also learned that the French do not drink wine nor eat cheese at a reception. That’s food. A reception is not for food. They prefer to drink beer, cider, gentian or even plain water. They also don’t eat meat or sausages (food), although they empty the potato chips in a blink of the eye. Next time we’ll buy only these for sure. It’s much easier, anyway.

Ever since our Waffle Reception people salute us when we drive by. They even come over to the mill to talk about the Citroen 2CV that we’d like to buy. We’re happy that we made some friends that day!

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