Sunday, 5 January 2014

La Fête des Rois Mages, Epiphanie

Well here we are in January 2014 the New Year has started and we are at the last holiday of the Christmas Season, Epiphany.

The weather in Canada has been frigid and made for a difficult start for this new year, power failures in major cities, snowfall, extremely cold weather. During the Season we travelled to see family and we entertained friends and neighbours at home, we were also the guests of friends for dinner.

H. Bosch, Adoration of the Magi, c. 1499

We also celebrated with our friends L & Y in Montreal their first wedding anniversary at the restaurant of the Sofitel with a nice champagne luncheon. They had kept their nuptials secret for one year and announced it by sending a beautiful agenda of their courtship with photos. A real labour of love given the elaborate script in 3 languages.

Plum Pudding flambé at dinner on New Year's Eve 

We had our traditional Plum Pudding flambé and some good champagne, one bottle being a Moet et Chandon 2004 vintage. It had a wonderful taste of crisp apples and honey. We listened to the traditional 74th edition of the Vienna New Year's Day Concert from the Golden Hall of the MusikVerein on Austrian Radio. We also played operettas by Franz Lehar and Will waltzed with Nora who was a bit lost.

We also received from our friend J.H. his traditional Christmas Fruit Cake, for the last 30 years each year we get one and they are superb. I do not think that even a person who is not fond of fruit cakes would be able to resist his creation. In a class by itself, I do not know how he does it, if there is some secret in the recipe but they are unlike any other fruit cake made by anyone.

John's Fruit Cake 2014

2014 is a Municipal Election Year in Ottawa and in Ontario for that matter. In Ottawa voting day is October 27.  Lots of new challengers to the posts on City Council and Mayor Jim Watson is running again. The issues are multiple, from the LRT train tunnel construction, public transit, intensification of the centre core of the Capital, re-development of major city streets and the new plan favouring pedestrians and cyclists. Possibly a more European approach to city life.

We are also celebrating the 450 Birthday of William Shakespeare and the 150 Birthday of composer Richard Strauss. It is also the centennial year of the start of the First World War (1914-2014) which had a great impact on Canada as a Nation.

In 2014 we are travelling to Salzburg, Austria for the Music Festival in early June and to Stratford, Ontario for the Shakespeare Theatre Festival.

Prosit NeuJahr!


  1. A good fruitcake maker is worth his weight in gold! Does John need more friends? I'm available!

  2. I think I would like to have the flaming pudding recipe..any chance of me getting it? ...

    1. Jackiesue NO problem I will get it for you. The one Will uses was the favourite of King George V and remains to this day the one used by his grand-daughter Queen Elizabeth II.

  3. Is Will a leader or a follower?

    1. I do not know you should ask him, I was busy drinking champagne and listening to music.

    2. . . . drinking champagne and listening to music . . . now that is a great way to keep busy!

      Happy New Year!

    3. Jason thank you and same to you all the very best in the New Year! Happy Scotch drinking.

  4. It all sounds (well mostly... the 74th "edition" might have put me to sleep)... but the rest sounds wonderful. I have had a couple of unbelievably delicious fruit cakes, so will never write one off. I didn't have any this season. Nor did I have any champagne... Then again, I didn't have any freezing temps or snow. Stay warm and cozy.