The meaning of La petite bette’s holidays

This text is part of the special notebook Pleasures

Manon Lapierre is not a chef, but her recipes make a lot of people happy. Quebec Queen of Outdoor Cooking and the Hot Air Fryer (air fryer, in English), the one he started with his partner, Lionel de Souich, the La petite bette project in 2014 is followed by more than 350 thousand people on its various platforms, and his books are at the top of the charts. But beyond the recipes, Manon is also an heir to family traditions, mother of twins… and a fan of the holidays! So how does she prepare and what are the best tips to make our lives easier a few weeks before Christmas?

Manon, what do the holidays mean to you?

I would say family, tradition and food, all mixed together. As my mother comes from a large family, when I was little, the parties Christmas brought together more than 50 people. After midnight mass, we ate and unwrapped gifts until early morning. Then, I grew up and met my partner of French origin, with slightly different festive traditions. Now we celebrate December 24th in small groups with an aperitif dinner and the next day we have a big brunch.

However, as my mother wanted to continue our old family tradition and didn’t have space to accommodate everyone in her house, she started organizing this meal at my house. In the beginning she brought the dishes, the dishes, everything! Since then, I’ve picked up the torch and every year, sometime in December, I host 20 to 25 family members for a period of time. lunch gourmand.

What is your “snack” like?

It’s a mix of lunch and snacks. It adapts well to my personality, because I like to combine tradition and modernity; simplicity and chic. Specifically, my snacks happen in two stages. First of all, we gather around the kitchen island to eat a variety of snacks: gougères, blinis, baguette croutons or my famous warm brioche breads served with foie gras, rillettes, gravlax or even with my hot cod sauce, artichokes and spinach. I also have great success with my Velveeta Crab Rolls, a twist on our traditional layered bread sandwich.

Then everyone is invited to sit down for the main course, served in the center of the table. On the other hand, the latter is not always typical. Depending on the year, I can prepare meatball stew, ham or tourtière from Lac-Saint-Jean, but I can also prepare garnished sauerkraut or a cassoulet from Toulouse. I think these choices are influenced by my life as a food blogger, because I have to come up with Christmas recipes months in advance, so I’m a little fed up with making them in December, ha ha! As for desserts, which are not my strong point, most of the time my mother prepares them.

How does La petite bette organize itself to accommodate so many people?

Preparing as far in advance as possible! I’ve regretted not liking my guests so much that now I make a lot of preparations to avoid being stuck in front of the stove on the big day, so I prepare a lot of snacks in advance, which I heat in the oven. . air fryer at the last moment. Preparing in advance also allows me to save by taking advantage of discounts on certain products. For example, in September I bought duck legs, which I preserved and vacuum-sealed to prepare for the holidays.

I also recommend that you plan your menu by taking a look at what you already have at home. For my part, this summer I brought mackerel from the North Shore and lobster from Gaspésie that I had split and frozen. So I’m going to use it to make gravlax and stuffed rolls.

As for the large centerpiece, my approach is to prepare something that isn’t too delicate and that can sit in the oven for another 15 minutes without ruining the meal. Monitoring the cooking time of a roast beef or discovering when cutting it that my salmon Wellington is not flawless, no. If you can do without a dose of unnecessary anxiety when receiving, do so without hesitation!

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This content was produced by the Special Publications team at Obligation, relating to marketing. The writing of Obligation did not participate.

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