It is hard to believe Christmas is already over and it is time to prepare New Year's Eve.
As it is more a party than a traditional meal when we stay at home, we don't cook the same way. Cold food is a good idea to shorten preparation, seafood and maybe salmon. Ham ? Foie gras ? Or we can also choose a raclette (cheese, potatoes, ham) or a fondue (cheese, bread) with good laughs.
I have made "disguised fruit" to enjoy later in the evening and kept dried fruit (walnuts, figs, dates, prunes, apricots) for the ones who don't like almond paste.
When I was young we had champagne and it was a treat because of the price. Nowadays it is quite easy to find a good one for a reasonable price.
So today was the right time to check the list to have a pleasant party time without working too much.
Have a good New Year's Eve !
I mentioned Dirk, the storm, in my last article. When I took this picture in the early morning of the 24th of December I didn't know yet what would happen exactly in Lorraine.
Our weather forecast announced gusts up to 94 km/h (58 mph) and a bit less, 83 km/h (51 mph), during the following night. The Christmas market and parks of Nancy were closed at noon to avoid accidents.
A lot of people remembered the storm of the 26th of December 1999 in the region and all the damages, power cuts, ... even if we were told it wouldn't be so bad.
In the end we had a very windy day, not as dark as 1999. I could hear the gusts on our roof and look at the neighbour's trees which were moving a lot. It rained a lot in Brittany and Normandy but not here. Around Nancy firemen were called to fix scaffoldings and cut a big tree which had fallen on a high-voltage power line.
So people were safe to travel to celebrate Christmas Eve, they just had to be careful.
We thought about people who had to face floods and power cuts in other regions of France but also in the United Kingdom where the worst of the storm happened. Today another one, called Erich, is arriving on both sides of the Channel. We shouldn't be concerned but I cross my fingers for my British friends.
Joyeux Noël à tous, Merry Christmas to you all !
We are now all preparing for Christmas Eve either by trying to finish work as soon as possible or by cooking for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Children try to keep calm and quiet and think about Father Christmas coming tonight with some presents. Some even follow his trip on the screen of their computer.
Lorraine is facing a storm called Dirk which caused damages in Brittany and Normandy last night. Winds, or rather gusts, are strong, it is very mild outside (13° C, 55° F). We think about a white Christmas but it is far too late now.
Anyway, working at home and listening to Christmas carols prepare us to have a pleasant Christmas day with our family.
Have a very good day, may this time be peaceful and joyful for everybody.
Most Christmas markets started at the end of November or beginning of December. In smaller towns they are organized in a big hall just for one week end and in bigger towns they last at least four weeks.
There are chalets selling all sorts of things linked to Christmas and winter time, and an ice-rink for people to enjoy it even if it is not snowing outside. There is one in Nancy near Saint-Sébastien church, on the new Place Charles III, and also one in Metz.
At the chalets you can buy food : gingerbread, biscuits, chocolates, dried fruit, but also mulled wine, sausages, cheese. You also find Christmas ornaments, all sorts, and sometimes cribs. In Strasbourg, you can even find moss to put at the bottom of the tree.
And of course there are plenty of ideas for Christmas presents : hats, scarves, gloves, or handbags and purses, necklaces and rings, toys for the children.
When I was young, we didn't have Christmas markets in Lorraine. I like them as it is an opportunity to meet people outside, have a chat and a drink just as if it was still summer time, with Christmas carols, smiles and kindness to feel Christmas spirit around.
When you arrive near Saint Epvre church in Nancy, you see the palace of the dukes of Lorraine, Palais ducal. It was so badly damaged in 1502 that Duke René II decided to make it rebuild.
Duke Antoine went on with this task and it seems his knowledge of Renaissance style in Italy has inspired him to order the architecture of the palace and its door.
The statue above the main door is the one of Duke Antoine, it was destroyed during the French Revolution and another one was made around 1850. It must be quite similar to the first one and the whole door looks like the one of Blois castle.
Even if this big door was inspired by the Renaissance style, you can also discover things from the medieval time, the gargoyles for example.
It is a beautiful building in the old town of Nancy, not far from Saint Epvre church and Porte de la Craffe, and also an interesting place to visit. The whole history can be discovered there and particularly an exhibition about WW1 in 2014.