The first of December is officially the day we “start” the festive season here in our home. Our tree gets decorated today, we switch on our fairy lights, hang a garland and listen to the first Christmas music. Then we end the day with a nice dinner by candle light.

To kickstart December 2007, a little ambiance…


A full moon in Andorra…


“I saw the angel in the marble and carved and set him free”, said Michelangelo…


Shimmering crystals…




A portion of dessert…




Montlouis moelleux…


Lanterns in the snow…


A White Christmas…

After all the decorating and cleaning up afterwards on this first day of the season, an easy meal is the only option. This vegetable dish is quick, there are no measurements and the hardest work is just peeling some onions and poaching an egg or two, which can be left out of course! Open a bottle of wine, finish off with a scoop of ice cream and a sauce of your choice – I love a berry coulis, but when push comes to shove, I can enjoy a vanilla ice cream just on its own. Sit back with an espresso and enjoy the lights and music and spirit of Noël.

May your December be filled with gratitude and joy.


Vegetable gratin

  • vegetables of your choice, cleaned or peeled and cut into chunks – in the photo: sweet potatoes, red onions, brussels sprouts, parsnips and mushrooms.
  • a pickled lemon, diced
  • 2 branches of fresh rosemary
  • 2 bayleaves
  • a  few slices of a creamy camambert cheese
  • a poached egg for each person
  • créme fraîche (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
  2. Place the chunks of vegetables in an oven pan and drizzle libereally with oil. Season.
  3. Tuck the bayleaves and rosemary inbetween the vegetables.
  4. Bake the vegetables until tender.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve a portion into an ovenproof bowl.
  6. Add a dollop of créme fraîche (optional)
  7. Cover with a slice or two of Camambert cheese and put under the grill until the cheese has melted and the vegetables have a nice caramelized appearance.
  8. Slide a poached egg onto the cheese and drizzle some olive oil and finish off with some ground fresh pepper.
  9. Serve warm with brown rice, quinoa or a whole wheat bread.


13 thoughts on “First day of December

  1. absolutely wonderful photos…we are still few days away from christmas but im already in the right ambiance watching those photos….it reminds me of my childhood days when i used to help my mom decorate our table for the grand feast..:-) and i love that vegetable gratin..can i have some? glad to discover this blog


  2. You make me homesick and longing for my parents’ house right now. Just a year ago I was there and it seems like an eternity. The richness of the colors and composition of the pictures is very heartwarming.


  3. Oh breathtakingly beautiful. Thank you for sharing. And the vege gratin sounds wonderful. I never thought of putting camembert on top!


  4. Ronell, we too put up and decorate the Christmas tree on December 1st. 🙂

    Your Vegetable Gratin sounds delicious and I’ve already noted it down to do one day soon. I would never have thought of putting poached eggs with baked vegetables so I’m looking forward to trying it out. Just one question – Is the pickled lemon included in the baking process or added afterwards? I’m presuming it is baked with the vegetables?

    Your pictures are gorgeous!


  5. oh i love your blog, your pictures are stunning and the vegetable gratin, i just want to curl up with my own little pot of it and pierce the yolk of that clever little poached egg. mmmm really nice recipe!!


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