The day AFTER Christmas

2014-12-05 21.54.33I find the quiet today a bit disconcerting after eight days amidst the energy and enthusiasm of my four grandchildren. Although I’m still enjoying my annual flamingo Christmas tree.

The holidays began with a six-day trip to Oregon where my son Zach and daughter-in-law Amy are raising my two grandsons, Ryan almost 15 and Sam 11.

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At the beautiful Pittock Mansion in Portland

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Sam’s NinjaBread Cookies!

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The Oyster Themed dining room at the Pittock Mansion

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Zach and Amy whipping up great dinners in their kitchen

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Sam…the real ninja!


And I enjoyed watching the “boys” play with their Anki Drive car racing set–played on an iPad with real cars that zipped around the track on the floor. 

Then back to San Ramon for a Christmas Eve of baking…not one but two bûches de Noël plus Grandma Kinnison’s famous Christmas cookies. And Christmas day with Santa coming through with a train around the tree and much “FROZEN” bounty to the delight of the girls.

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Christmas dinner–oysters, salmon, foie gras (shipped in from New York!), caviar, butternut squash soup, filet de mignon and all the fixings

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Aveline and Estelle with some of their favorites.

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“I’m hiding!”

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Bûche de Noël

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A wonderland of new Dicken’s houses for my daughter.

And finally, a Christmas greeting to my French friends on FB via my bilingual daughter and granddaughters and a French Christmas song by Aveline.

Easy French entrée at home

crab stuffed avocadosThe first year that my daughter lived in France, just after graduating from college, she became an English-speaking au pair for a French family and took on mastering French cooking for the children in her care. On my first visit to her Paris apartment, she fixed this easy-as-pie but delicious entrée. Remembering, of course, that Americans call this course an appetizer. It always followed our favorite apéritif (pre-dinner drink) called a Kir Royal made with champagne kir royal(or if your like, non-alcoholic sparkling cider) and a dash of crème de cassis (blackcurrent liqueur) and accompanied, in the French manner, by small dishes of olives and peanuts. That apéritif became our must-have throughout all of our travels in France and even at Paris Las Vegas!

Halve the avocados and leave in shell
Mix imitation crab meat (NOT the real thing), preferably cold, with your favorite mayonnaise, adding salt & pepper only.
Ladle heaping sco0p of crab mixture into each avocado shell
Bon Appétit

NEXT WEEK: Sweet and savory crepes