Christmas in Normandy

Merry Christmas one and y’all! 🎅🎄

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I come from a French Normans family and this is where I traditionally spend Christmas. The whole period is a culinary feast and each family has their own tradition (or should I say obsessions?), mostly revolving around food; mine this year was a perfect fruit loaf quest that I will describe in another post.

I have been eagerly looking forward to the holiday for several weeks as usual, the bubbly Champagne, the roasted chestnuts, the smell of the decorated tree and the glitter in my grand-parents eyes. And I got just that, wonderful family-time 🌟💝

A Normand Mulled Cider recipe

As a Christmas present I wanted to share my mulled cider recipe, a very Norman instant holiday warmer and always a great hit.

*Ingredients:

– 1 bottle of cider (75cl)
– 2 dashes of calvados or rum if unavailable (optional)
– The “4 spices” : 1 teaspoon of cinnamon / half teaspoon of ground ginger / 4 cloves / grated nutmeg
– 1 sliced apple
– A couple of orange slice or a clementine
– 1 spoonful of honey
– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

*Directions

Simmer while stirring gently, add more honey if required after tasting
Serve warm in your favourite mug, with an apple slice, a ginger biscuit and a Maupassant novel. (Nuit de Noël can be found for free here in French but many other free download of his short stories can be found easily with a simple google search)

“I will tell you,” said Matthew. “Last year I found only twenty rasieres (an old dry measure) of apricots. There are no more, but those are the only things to make cider of. So I made some, and yesterday I tapped the barrel. Talk of nectar! That was nectar. You shall tell me what you think of it. Polyte was here, and we sat down and drank a glass and another without being satisfied (one could go on drinking it until to- morrow), and at last, with glass after glass, I felt a chill at my stomach. (…)”

Un Normand by Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893)

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