The holidays are over, almost…..
The cookies are gone, we’ve finished the liqueur-filled chocolates….
Time to get back to the real world.
I got the notice in the mail the other day that I’m being scheduled for my physical exam.
It’s done every five years here.
Long-time readers will remember that it was during my last physical (which was also my first) that I discovered I was fat by French standards. (You can read about how I got Fat in France here and, if you’re curious, you can read about our assembly-line physicals here.)
I knew I would be summoned this year but I wasn’t expecting it until summer. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be right after the holidays.
Had I known I wouldn’t have baked so many cookies.
Lighter eating seems to be in order for the next few weeks and these potatoes and carrots are perfect. They’re cooked together in stock with bay leaves. Most of the stock will be absorbed, giving them a deep flavor and light glaze.
No butter needed.
Braised Potatoes and Carrots with Bay Leaves
Total time: 35 minutes
- 2 carrots, cut into large sticks
- 2 potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 2 bay (laurel) leaves
- enough chicken or vegetable stock to just cover vegetables
- Put everything into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are done and chicken stock has been absorbed. If there is any stock left, pour it off or use it elsewhere.
- Remove bay leaves and serve.
I say the holidays are almost over because we still have Epiphany or King’s Day coming on the 6th of January.
It’s not an official holiday in France but it is celebrated with a special King’s Cake and, often, a glass of something bubbly – like sparkling apple cider.
In Spain, however, it’s both a holiday and a big celebration. Cities, towns and villages will have a parade on the evening of the 5th, and the holiday gifts are exchanged on the morning of the 6th. In recent years, I’m told, a few gifts may also by exchanged on Christmas, but Christmas is more of a religious celebration than a gift grab.
Andorra, where we lived for 7 years, embraces the traditions of both countries.
In front of one of the biggest stores in the country the children can sit on Santa’s lap, asking for gifts, right up until the 25th of December.
On the 26th of December Santa is replaced by the Three Kings and the children line up to ask the Kings for whatever Santa forgot. The Kings stay until the 5th of January.
That’s a long holiday season.
My Christmas is being packed away tomorrow…..
I’m out of cookies.