tonight i made dinner, inspired, in part, by reveillon, a meal held on christmas eve and new year’s eve. the term is based on the french reveil, meaning waking, because participation involves staying awake, eating luxurious foods and partying into the morning. ever the traditionalist, there was also a red and green theme.

i started with roasted beet soup with a dollop of sour cream and parsley on top. i’ve made this before and have always served it hot. the bright color of the dish is a nice beginning.

next we had baby spinach salad with sliced radishes, cannellini beans, and walnuts. the sharpness of the radish was nicely balanced by the mild flavor of the beans.

there were two main courses due to my sister’s vegetarianism. the omnivores had tourtiere, a meat pie that i made from pork and beef. i’ve found there is a lot of debate concerning the proper ingredients, though the meat filling is often determined by regional availability. more important, it seems, is the use of cinammon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice, spices that were brought from france to quebec before disappearing almost completely in french cooking and becoming solely french canadian. my dad raved about it, and it was reminiscent of my grandmother’s that i ate as a child.

for my sister (and, honestly, also for my dad and i), i marinated scallops two ways. one was a green tea/honey mixture that, because i could only locate mint green tea, tasted a lot like toothpaste; the other, a pomegranate/maple syrup blend was more successful though i felt that the scallops were too large for such an undertaking. perhaps next time, if i’m willing to go to the trouble again, i’ll use bay scallops.

i had intended to make a maple walnut buche de noel, but i’m not a dessert person. my sister spent over an hour making butter cream that will likely sit in the fridge for weeks.


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