Christmas highlights

Family gathering and special treats were at the menu of our Christmas delights in Aurillac.



As a family, we were lucky enough to be together and in good shape, the two elderly, who are 90 and 93, my sister, her husband, their three children and myself. We were in a good position to celebrate Christmas 2015.

Our gastronomic choices were rather classic, with food and wines purchased from the local market, retail shops and supermarkets.
I just added a few delicacies to make the event a bit more special:

Raspberry and blackberry jams*

My sister rented a flat in town for three nights, where they would have breakfast. So to start with, I gave them two jars of my best jam: one blackberry and one raspberry. Jam on toasts around black coffee…

Lime infusion

I prepared infusions in the evenings. I had picked lime in June in the countryside near Aurillac. Although not the most fragrant, it was good, with a scent that lightened us after a night of shellfish-eating and gift-opening around the Christmas tree.


Freshly picked lime, 23 June.

Apple compote with blackberry coulis*

It was our best moment. We served dessert at lunch on Boxing day, as we were taking advantage of our last hours together before my sister’s family would go back to Paris.

My father had asked the day before what we could have for this last dessert and I said “why don’t you make compote?”. He found it a good idea.

So he made some, with apples from “le jardin de Saint Simon”, which my mother used forty years ago to satisfy the “gourmandise” of her husband and kids by making various puddings.


The compote was made with these tasty cooking apples. Photo 12 October.

I opened a jar of blackberry coulis to go with it. My sister, who was sitting next to me, was delighted. “This mix is so delicious… And do you remember compote with meringue? It was so great!…”.

I couldn’t agree more. She was talking about one of the puddings we liked most as children: whisked egg whites with sugar slowly cooked in the oven on a bed of apple compote mixed with an egg yolk.

We cherished that moment.

Apple compote with blackberry coulis.

It won’t stop there. My sister’s family only opened one jam jar for breakfast in their flat. My god-daughter kept the raspberry one, to take it with her to Canada in January, where she studies… Surely she will think of us when she eats it.


* The blackberry jam and coulis eaten this Christmas were made using the recipe included in this article: Blackberry jam or blackberry coulis?  The raspberry jam is the “cloudy seedless jam” you can see here: Clear jelly or cloudy seedless jam? .


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