Friday, August 14, 2009

January 2000 - From the original Chocolate Diaries


We hope each of you made it into the Y2K with no problems and had as much fun as we did! We were in France with a mix of Americans, British, Canadians and French. We were there to celebrate with friends, family and good food!

This was a communal dinner, a kind of French "pot luck". Actually, there was no luck to it. There was a well thought out plan, and everyone involved is to be congratulated! The evening began with champagne and hors d'oeuvres. The following hours were spent enjoying foie gras, noisettes de veau with sauce aux morilles, (a petit ratatouille and galette de pomme de terre were served with the veal), salad, a fabulous cheese platter, and a fruit salad. The grand finale was Pierre's Bomb Glacé

The kitchen crew worked in perfect unison, as each course was served. Food-lovers love being in a kitchen, and we were all especially happy to be in a kitchen in France, bringing in the new millennium.
The preparation of the 'Bombe' was a labor of love, and as you can see, Pierre had very good help. It was made of chocolate ice cream with a parfait of Grand Marnier with raspberries. There was just enough chocolate mixed with the rich taste of cream, liquor and fruit! We were in Heaven!

In between courses, we were entertained by the singing of French and English Christmas carols and assorted other French songs. We finished the evening with the extra large box of Pierre's chocolates and coffee. As we parted company, we all agreed that this had been a magical way to greet a new millennium!!

In the first issue of the Chocolate Diaries, we showed you some market photos in Uzés. Uzés is a charming town near Avignon. The Midi Libre, a newspaper from Nimes, named the Saturday market in Uzés, the prettiest one in France. We agree, and love going anytime we can! The photo below shows a rare chance to see The Place aux Herbes in Uzés without any activity.

We enjoyed a quiet walk in the town, studying the beautiful architecture and imagining what it was like to live there many years ago. Since the weather was brisk, a stop for coffee and hot chocolate at La Nougatine really hit the spot! This bakery-pastry shop-tea room, opened on Boulevard Gambetta a few years ago. We enjoy going there for a coffee and croissant or pain au chocolat in the morning on Saturday market days. The tearoom is so pretty and comfortable. It's the perfect place to sit and make a list of all the things we want to buy in the market. In the summer, be sure and go early! This market is so popular with the hoards of tourists that come to this area in the summer, that it becomes difficult to park or even move in late July and August.

The French take chocolate seriously. So do we. We were delighted when even at Mr. Bricolage (the hardware store) they had a basket of small chocolates to give to their customers. They were offering chocolat noir 72%, which is the best. Similar baskets with chocolate were in the banks, in restaurants, and even at the France Telecom office! It was perfect: not a gooey lollipop or peppermint in sight!

We hope you are all thinking seriously about Valentine's Day! Pierre and I had our first date on Valentine's Day! Now, a quick 26 years later, we are hoping we can help to inspire and ignite true romance for all those reading this! Of course, the answer is chocolate. Pierre has created a beautiful heart filled with chocolates for the occasion. You can order the heart in milk or dark. Each one is filled with a special assortment of milk and dark chocolates. The 'cupid' is dark chocolate filled with a cognac ganache, the double hearts come in dark chocolate with a raspberry center, and milk chocolate with a praliné center. There are also some dark truffles with a Grand Marnier filling! Ohhhhhh, so good!! If you are serious about romance, and we do hope you are, this heart box is the perfect gift for your Valentine.

All of our chocolate boxes will have special wrapping for Valentines' Day, so any box you choose will be romantic and beautiful.
St. Valentine's Day comes just once per year so don't miss your opportunity to let your Valentine know how special they are!
Thanks for subscribing to The Chocolate Diaries. We are working on a Hot Chocolate Tasting. Our panel of experts will be gathering soon to taste several brands of hot chocolate mix. Stay tuned, because these folks really know their stuff! We hope you enjoy our message, and as always we look forward to your comments.

A bientot! Pierre & Rainey

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