It is time to start baking cookies for Christmas. Time to think about the menu and order your meats. time to think about  some aperitif to toast with your champagne. And time to dig up the old memories.

Salmon and créme frâiche with blinis and topped with some caviar is an old favourite for high occasions. And loved by all. By changing and adapting it a little, we can still enjoy tradition ; bringing in some new without throwing out the old. Spark it up a bit, freshen it up.


  1. Serve the aperitif with some blinis on the side.
  2. It can be made in bigger portions and served as a starter.
  3. Créme frâiche can be added to the mayonnaise to make it creamier…add to your taste.
  4. Before topping the glasses with the mayonnaise/créme frâiche mixture, leave for about an hour in the fridge to become a bit more firm, or else it will be too runny.
  5. Instead of the smoked salmon a tartare of good raw salmon can be used.
  6. Use tomatoes instead of salmon if you are a vegetarian.
  7. Don’t use an expensive caviar for the topping..a lumpfish caviar works fine.
  8. To make a quenelle of lumpfish caviar: use two spoons and slide a dollop of lumpfish caviar alternatively between the two spoons until you have an olive shaped quenelle. Slide the one spoon from front to back on the second spoon under the quenelle. Repeat once  or twice until you are happy with the shape.  See photos above.

…shaping a quenelle…

During Decembers I have a habit of digging up all old things and remembering. That is what I think winter is for after all. Reflection. Reminiscence. I reorganize drawers and closets, throw out old magazines, go pick them back up an hour later…Browse until early morning hours through old photo albums, discover old letters….like my own and those of my parents. The ones we dug up in our cave in the garden. Photos and letters are stories. They make us cry. They take us back on distant roads and make us laugh. They make us glance in the mirror to see the traces time had left.

…good wishes and happy writings…

…an old brown suitcase for embracing  old memories…

How will we be remembered and looked upon one day? Will someone have an old filled suitcase somewhere  where our picture dwells? Or will our picture appear in a virtual realm in a hyper contemporary room…or not at all. Will someone also look at us and cry and laugh at once upon a time…

…once upon a time…

Somewhere old becomes mingled with the new and we wonder…when is old really old.  Memories have no sense of time. Yesterday can be long ago and tomorrow can still be far away.

…a mix of old and not so old…

May I never forget. May my brown suitcases never be empty.

Do you have an old brown suitcase?

*Truc et astuces de grand-mére:

If your vinaigrette is too salty, place a cube of sugar on a teaspoon and rest it in the vinaigrette for about 10 seconds to absorb the salt and then remove the teaspoon with sugar cube.

6 thoughts on “Salmon and avocado aperitif and an old brown suitcase(aperitif de saumon aux avocats et la vieille valise)

  1. First of all order of exposition/vernissage:)…love the little gravy boats for the apéro..I wish mine were see through:) me:)
    They are not..

    Great idea..I use mine rarely..Your eye has given me a different perspective..I will plan around my little white opaque set of 4:)

    Do I have an old valise?I’m sure I did many yrs ago…


    I have an old picnic basket.. a dining room set.. dishes.. linens and love..
    Photos.. of all the ones I have loved ..and all the ones I never had a chance to~

    I hold on to all.
    I look through photos and cards occasionally and shed tears too..I must admit since my 4 grandsons have arrived..I am happy to say the occasions have been less..
    Is it the lack of time now? Or the little holes in my heart plugged in?


    This is a post I wholeheartedly can understand..appreciate..and enjoy..

    Thank you~
    Et ton p’tit poisson aquarelle est formidablement en forme:)


  2. Ca me plait beaucoup. What a gorgous presentation and delicious way of combining the elements. I love this! And the tomato version for veggies is nice too.


  3. Noelle – Your blog has been one of the treasures of 2009. I look forward to it with such pleasure – the writing, the sentiments expressed, the photography, and, of course, the food!!


  4. Hi Ronelle,
    Thank you for your wonderful posts. In the last year since I have found your blog I have enjoyed great recipes and moments of calm, reflection because of your thoughts and expertise in explaining your views. These last few posts have helped put me in the Christmas spirit. I needed that!


  5. Love the look of that dish – such a classic combination, beautifully served!

    And yes!! I do have an old brown suitcase – the one I carried to school with me every day of high school, filled with memories and letters and papers. One of the best things that happened to me in 2009 was having all our stuff shipped over here from South Africa, so now I can also look through my old photo albums till early morning.

    Thanks for a beautiful and evocative post 🙂


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