Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Noël in Belgium

This year, and the same with many other exchange students, was my first Christmas away from home. While it was sad at times, my Christmas in Belgium was very fun! Like most, or all, countries in Europe, Christmas Eve is more celebrated than the actual day of Christmas. So, on Christmas Eve, my family and I prepared a lot of appetizers and a meal to eat in the evening. I feel like the preparation for the meal is almost comparable to the Thanksgiving meal. We ate the meal in the evening, and we also opened gifts, instead of in the morning as I normally do in the United States, and went to the midnight mass at the cathedral in Namur. After we returned home at about 2 AM, we ate our dessert and then woke up the next morning and went to my host grandma's house (the mother of my host dad) in Rochefort. We ate a big lunch in traditional Belgian style (with appetizers and different entrées and dessert) and then afterwards we went to the parents house of my host mom in Liège to visit. As usual, I will let the photos do the explaining, because they are better at it than I am! 

I hope that your Christmas was great, and best wishes for the new year!


This is my host grandma telling a story about American and German soldiers during Christmas time in World War II. She explains how there was a farm with soldiers who were about to fight, but then stopped because it was Christmas. (Stop! C'est Noël.) At the end, she says how the things that happen at Christmastime are incredible. 



Starting off the meal with some champagne.
(December 24, 2012)



An appetizer with salmon, cream cheese, and fancy eggs on top. (Some of these photos were really dark so I had to brighten them and that's why they are a little washed out).
(December 24, 2012)



Mini bowls of cheese and nutmeg soup!
(December 24, 2012)



Scampi with cocktail sauce.
(December 24, 2012)









 Mini omelettes with mushroom, cheese, and ham cubes.
(December 24, 2012)



A slice of Italy! Tomato, mozzarella, and olive with pesto. 
(December 24, 2012)



Salad with cheese, vinaigrette, and croutons.
(December 24, 2012)



I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the meal, but here was the first plate: foie gras, salad, onion jelly, and brioche. It was my first time trying foie gras. While I wasn't a big fan, it never hurts to try!
(December 24, 2012)



I got the best gifts I could ever ask for! Some watercolor paints, brushes, and some plants (a cactus and a cool rose decoration).
(December 24, 2012)



Every Sunday morning, my host family and I have these awesome pastries. Since Christmas is a special occasion, we had them twice in one week! You eat well in Belgium. 
(December 25, 2012)



My host dad reading the newspaper at my host grandma's house in Rochefort.
(December 25, 2012)



Belgian tomatoes! The real deal.
(December 25, 2012)



Even the plates are festive.
(December 25, 2012)




My host dad and his brother.
(December 25, 2012)



Champagne: day two.
(December 25, 2012)



My host cousin let me use his fisheye lens to take a few photos! Here, we are washing dishes: a team effort.
(December 25, 2012)



Everyone around the table during dessert. It's kind of a bright photo, but I am hiding in the back next to the window. A terrific Christmas, indeed!
(December 25, 2012)

3 comments:

  1. Love it! Looks like a beautiful (and YUMMY!) time :)

    -Meg

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  2. I LOVE the video of your host grandmother.....

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