7/27/2005

The Feast of St Anne

Yes, that title sounds a bit pompous for those of you not familiar with feast days for Catholic Saints. In Catholic countries, like France, the feast day of the name of the saint after whom you are named is celebrated in addition to your birthday.

Cards, gifts, parties, special meals are all possibilities and probabilities for the featured name-sake from friends, family members and anyone who knows or remembers. You might get a "bonne fête " (happy feast day!) from colleagues, neighbors or your local baker as well. It's quite a royal feeling for the day!

This is such an instilled practice in France that the names of the saint feast days are listed on ALL calendars and even mentioned every evening at the end of the weather report!

"Tomorrow, we'll be losing 2 minutes and 06 seconds of sunlight and don't forget that tomorrow is the feast day of all people named: John. So many people you know, know it's your special day, unlike birthdays, that we tend to omit from common knowledge as time creeps up on us.

There are lots of saints out there, like Anne, Pierre (Peter), Paul, Mark, Thomas, Martha, even Monique, Arnaud, Viriginia, Diane....(these are all members of my family)! It gets difficult to find a St Sydney (my 6 year old daughter) or ST Alison, even if she is one!

Mine was yesterday and for once in the 13 years that I've been celebrating it (before that I was ignorant to having an extra, "celebrate ME!" day full of gifts, kisses and general festiveness) my Sweet-Cheeks hubby FORGOT! The only person to remember was our friend Christophe, who called to wish me a happy feast day.
But this isn't an entry to complain about a forgetful male, it's to tell about the feast I created for us!

* Champagne & foie gras (not homemade) for the appetizer

*baked scallops for the first course with a bit of basmati rice
*baked salmon with a persillade and cream sauce & steamed vegetable medley
*ripe camembert wedges with crusty baguette
*all washed down with a lovely Bordeaux, Saint Estephe

I prepared the Salmon. I bought a half salmon, filleted. I baked it "en papillote" meaning wrapped in aluminum foil. This is a great "no clean up" trick. Baked right in the foil, there's no mess to clean up; simply peel back the foil and toss in the garbage bin (minus the baked fish of course!)

I cheated on the rest of the meal, buying items from the catering section or ready made section of the supermarket. (Hey it's my special day, why should I be slaving in the kitchen cooking?!)

But I did do the Crème de Persillade, garlic & parsley cream sauce for the fish and the steamed veggies. I'm entering that separately here. Despite the preparations on my part, it was a lovely evening as we sat out under our "au vent" covered porch, gazing at Coulonges's XI century church bell tower... Summer in France. You can't get much better.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought your husband's name was Arnaud? Who's Anraud?

2:29:00 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

That's a typo. Yes, It's ARNAUD! I will fix it :-)

3:18:00 PM  

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