Food of course is a very important item in their preparations. As happens now in our country, the man of the house is often the cook. We were lucky as many of our friends owned hotels or restaurants, so the cook was an expert! You may now be thinking, why weren’t they busy in their establishments? It’s because they almost all close on Christmas Day.
I only know of one chain of restaurants that open, but not for the general public! They are called “Courte Paille” (Short Straw), because they have thatched roofs. They are round with benches running around inside except for where the large open fire stands. When you order your meat or poultry you watch it being taken out of the chest-like fridge and put onto the flames to be cooked.
Every December there is a competition for the best decorated restaurant. One year at Rennes they put the decorations too close to the fire and the thatched roof caught fire! On Christmas Day, they only open for homeless people who get a free meal. What a generous idea!
My friends this year are starting, as usual, with seafood. Mixed shellfish topped with langoustine angels. Ask me if you want to know how to make them. Ostrich steaks are popular for the main course. Then the cheeses and finally a chocolate log, always ordered from the bakers in advance. So you see a minimum of cooking. Even the cook can rest and relax!