1. Louis XIV’s favourite colour was blue, especially a dark and vivid blue. This blue was the colour of the costume de sacre, worn by French kings during their coronation ceremony. Another name for this colour is ‘royal blue’.
2. You know what figs, melons, peaches, asparagus, peas, st. nectaire cheese, and oysters have in common? They were some of Louis’ favourite foods. If any of these foods were present at his table, they would be gone within minutes.
3. Louis loved the smell of citrus fruits, and this all came down to his favourite perfume ‘orange blossom’. In his earlier years, he wore an array of different perfumes. In his older years, however, he could only tolerate ‘orange blossom’.
4. Even though he was at war with the Dutch, that didn’t stop Louis from having a keen interest a certain flower; the tulip. Tulips were his favourite flower; however, they were not planted in his gardens until after the Treaty of Nijmegen was signed in 1678.
5. Louis’ favourite opera was “Atys” by Jean-Baptiste Lully. That’s how it got the alias “the king’s opera”. It was said that Louis would hum some of the arias out loud.
6. I bet most of you have heard about Niccolo Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’, but you haven’t heard the fact that it was Louis’ favourite book. In his memoirs, Louis stated that this book was his ‘favourite nightcap’, meaning it was his favourite thing to soothe him before going to bed at night.
Homemade chili! There are of course tomato based ingredients. Also peppers, if you note the green. Three kinds of beans, though you can’t see them because we puree them up so the kids can’t ew them out. Onion. Then of course spices. Standard stuff. We have the options of cheddar cheese and/or Oyster crackers to mix in. You can see I optioned both. This is a mild chili with the kids in mind. But yummy!
As the chill of winter settles into the air in France, happiness radiates a glowing warmth throughout the halls of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, with students and staff beginning to prepare for the holiday season. The palace’s already ornate design will become even more immaculate over the coming weeks, with twelve giant ice sculptures-each depicting a different day from the Twelve Days of Christmas-standing tall and impressive around the dining chamber, wood nymphs prancing to and fro while airily humming carols, and silver ice fairies native to the Pyrenees glittering like fireflies against ancient tapestries.
House elves will busy themselves by switching the dorm rooms’ light summer linens with silk sheets and velvet comforters, and the dinner menu’s boiled lobster and summer pudding with pot-au-feu and raclette, to keep the students warm and their bellies full. Over the years it’s become tradition for the attendees of Beauxbatons Academy to leave gold chocolate coins behind on their pillows during the holidays as a “thank you” to the elves, who can be find in the kitchens on any given night nibbling on their spoils.
Finally, on December 21st, the holiday festivities will get into full swing, starting with a Christmas concert put on by the school’s choir and led by the wood nymphs. In the days following, students will engage in enchanted snowball fights, decorate their dorm rooms with tinsel and everlasting icicles, participate in winter charms competitions overseen by professors, and go for carriage rides across the frozen grounds. Rounding everything out on Christmas Eve is a feast + formal winter ball known as Fête de L’hiver. Students will get their fill with plates and plates of breads, cheeses, fish, oysters, foie gras, snails, green beans, wild boar, and la bûche, then take to the dance floor in the palace’s ballroom to waltz the night away. Because of Fête de L’hiver’s popularity, many students choose to stay behind at the palace during the winter break, where they will open and exchange gifts on Christmas day with their friends instead of their families before having a light breakfast over wizarding crackers and winter hymns.
Here’s a recipe I got from my mom for my favorite potato soup! I love it because it is so easy to make, really tasty, and makes lots of meals (one batch makes enough for about 5 or 6 big servings).
You will need:
One package frozen, diced, hash brown potatoes. This usually comes in a 32oz bag, but doesn’t have to be exactly that size!
One can condensed cream of potato soup
One box vegetable broth, also about 30oz
One 8oz bar cream cheese
Anything you like to use to top! I like pepper, shredded cheese, and oyster crackers, but get creative! Green onions, bacon, shredded carrots, spices, anything you like!
My favorite thing about this recipe is that there is no measuring. Just throw the whole packages in your crock pot!
Empty the whole packages of potatoes (still frozen), condensed soup, and vegetable broth into your crock pot
Cook on low for 6-8 hours
Meanwhile pull your cream cheese out of the refrigerator to soften. If you are worried about leaving it out too long you can microwave it for 10 seconds at a time until it’s soft, but not melted (remember to take the foil off before microwaving!)
Approximately a half an hour before eating add the cream cheese in chunks, stirring just to combine.
Cook another 30 mins to an hour. Stir again before serving, top, and enjoy!
This soup will also keep well in the refrigerator, I like to store it in individual serving sized containers.