A proper welcome to Mr. H – Une entrée réussi pour Monsieur H

(En Français plus bas) Super long post. Sorry!

This post is dedicated to Mr. H and his parents as well as Holly Ross, who all know and show that family is everything:0)

I feel so stupid you guys! Steve had told me how great it would be to create photo carousels so people could see the pictures better. I thought that was a great idea and started to look for a solution: a new host, a different WordPress theme, transfer everything to WordPress.org and get plugins… After weeks of research, I noticed the little “create a carousel” tag on the side of the image gallery. I pressed it and VOILA! When I tell you we rush too much!! :0) Just click on one of the pictures to launch the carousel.

Anyhow. Here are some of my favorite pictures of Mr. H’s christening this weekend. My favorites are the ones of Mr. H in his cradle looking like an angel and the one of the ladies having a quick bite to eat in the kitchen before dinner service (they didn’t see me:0)

My niece didn’t want me to cook this time. I insisted. To tell you the truth, during these big gatherings, I feel much better in the kitchen, away from the noise and the never ending conversations… Does that make me a bad person?

I made foie gras sandwiches (recipe in the next post) and jumbo shrimp tempura. There were 60 guests + 20 kids. I thought I’d never see the end of that deep-frying session. They all love my tempura, so I made the effort. The main course was a canard confit hachis “Parmentier” (basically one layer of home-made mashed potatoes, one layer of duck confit, one layer of foie gras, another layer of mashed potatoes. The whole thing covered with Comté cheese and baked until golden brown. One spoon of this is about 1000000 calories:0(

As for the wine, we had 9 Magnums of Lusseau and 1 Jeroboam 1975. A Magnum (in Bordeaux) is 1,5L or two bottles. A Jeroboam of Bordeaux is 5 litres (the big bottle in the picture). + many bottles of Champagne of course:0)

In our region, the baby is baptized like anywhere else, but we also add a very special traditional christening routine. The Godmother and Godfather, rub the baby’s lips with a clove of garlic and bring a teaspoon of red Bordeaux wine to it’s mouth (the wine just touches the lips. Mr. H did not ingest any alcohol I promise!). This is an ancient tradition. In the old days, garlic protected infants against many illnesses and red wine was (still is) a great antiseptic. The kings of France were baptized this way. This is fitting as Mr. H is one of the very few true aristocrats in the family:0) When the little ritual is over, the Godparents have to eat the raw clove of garlic and drink the whole bottle of wine. In this case, it was Ausone 1995…

As for the dress, it is about 160 years old. The first baby wearing it was my Nephew’s great great grand father…

Click on any image to see the full gallery:

Voici quelques-unes de mes photos préférées du baptême Mr. H ce week-end. Mes favorites sont celles de Mr. H dans son berceau ressemblant à un ange et celui des dames cassant la croute dans la cuisine avant le service (elles ne m’ont pas vu:0)

Ma nièce ne voulait pas que je cuisine pour ce baptême. Il est vrai que la dernière fois, j’avais préparé 15 plats pour 90 personnes tout seul en cuisine et avais donc manqué tous les évènements:0) J’ai tout de même insisté pour faire les entrées. Pour vous dire la vérité, au cours de ces grands rassemblements, je me sens beaucoup mieux dans la cuisine, loin du bruit et des questions qui m’embarrassent … Je crois que cela fait de moi une mauvaise personne…mais bon…

J’ai fait des sandwichs au foie gras (recette dans le prochain post) et un tempura de crevettes. Il y avait 60 personnes + 20 enfants. Je pensais ne jamais voir la fin de cette session de friture. Ils aiment tous mon tempura. J’ai donc fait un effort. Le plat principal était un Hachis “Parmentier” au confit de canard (une couche de purée maison, une couche de confit de canard, une couche de foie gras frais, une autre couche de purée. Le tout recouvert de Comté et gratiné. 100000 calories la cuillère:0)

Pour le vin: 9 Magnums de Château Lusseau et 1 Jéroboam de Lusseau 75. Plus le champagne bien sur:0)

Dans notre région (comme dans plusieurs régions viticoles Françaises), le bébé est aussi baptisé à l’ail et au vin. La marraine et le parrain frottent une gousse d’ail sur les lèvres du bébé et lui donnent une cuillère à café de Bordeaux rouge (le vin ne fait qu’effleurer les lèvres. M. H n’a pas ingéré d’alcool! :0) Il s’agit d’une tradition très ancienne. Autrefois, l’ail était utilisé pour protéger les nourrissons contre de nombreuses maladies et le vin rouge était (est toujours) un bon antiseptique. Lorsque ce petit rituel est terminé, le parrain et la marraine doivent manger la gousse d’ail crue et boire toute la bouteille de vin. Dans ce cas, un Ausone 1995…

Quant à la robe, elle a environ 160 ans et fut portée pour la première fois par l’arrière arrière grand père de mon neveu.

73 Comments Add yours

  1. becky6259 says:

    Absolutely beautiful baby! And your wonderful photographs capture the whole occasion very well — it looks like everyone had a wonderful time! And I know what you mean about liking to be in the kitchen more than being out in the middle of the throng and, no, it doesn’t make you a bad person!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Good! I was getting worried about my mental health:) I must say, that, as I am getting older, I cope poorly with noise…

  2. rkutchjm says:

    Is that grandpop with the dog?

    1. My French Heaven says:

      My nephew’s dad:)

  3. Ta sensibilité et ton aptitude à capter “LE MOMENT” pile quand il le faut sont toujours au rendez-vous. J’y étais, et tes photos magnifient chaque instant, le rendant éternel et intemporel. Ces instants volés pourraient être d’hier, d’aujourd’hui ou encore de demain…
    De vraies photos en somme. Bravo encore !!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Merci mon vieux! J’ai quand même au moins 80% de déchet. Par contre j’en ai des super de toi. Je ne les ai pas affichées car je ne veux pas trop exposer la famille ds le blog. Je te les envoie par mail. Bises

  4. Mr. H is undoubtedly one of thee most beautiful babies I’ve seen – apart from several of my nieces, I have to admit. Wow, did they get attention as kids!! People used to stare and point at them in public places.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      We did feed the piglet that day:) And good genes seem to run in our families. Although in my case, I think the good looks went directly to the kids and skipped my generation:)

  5. Oh you take the most beautiful photos! And you’re right, the baby does look angelic 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! I must say that I had a good model:)

  6. cathynd95 says:

    Oh my do you ever capture the moment in your pictures! Absolutely wonderful, once again!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Cathy! We really did have a great time:)

  7. Jeanette says:

    Gorgeous photos of what was clearly a very special day!! Just wish I could have washed up and enjoyed some of the leftovers because the menu sounds delish:-)

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks J! It really was delish:)

  8. Wendy says:

    Absolutely joyous & lovely Stephane!!!!! Thank you for sharing your family, and your traditions with us!!!! I too, enjoyed the sneak peek of the ladies in the kitchen….that is usually me (at least if I am lucky enough to hide away in the kitchen, much prefer to be in there!) Love, love, love it! Looks like my kitchen, working hard! So much love…….your photography speaks straight to the soul.
    Blessings~ Wendy

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh thanks Wendy! Thank you so much:)

  9. ocelot81 says:

    Nice collection of pictures 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:


  10. Lynda says:

    Amazing! All of it. The baby, the gown, the food, and the photographs. A rare day indeed! Thank you for sharing it all with us, Stephane.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you Lynda! For all of it:) It was a very special day for a very special kid:)

  11. cookazido says:

    Your photos melt my heart. What a beautiful baby!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you! Mr. H is indeed the most adorable thing ever! 🙂

  12. What an impressive menu! I feel like such an amateur in comparison. Wonderful pictures and what a gorgeous baby Mr. H is!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks E! He really is gorgeous:)

  13. Lesley says:

    I’m practically speechless. Beautiful, all the way around.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Lesley! It was a blessed day:)

  14. What a beautiful baby! Sounds like a great baptism, garlic, red wine and all!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! It really was a great day:)

  15. Francesca says:

    The christening tradition is really amusing. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You’re welcome!

  16. Clanmother says:

    A day of joy, laughter and celebration. You are blessed!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! I really am:)

  17. What a beautiful Christening. You have made me feel nostalgic. I’ve just pulled out the photos of my children’s Christenings so many years ago. You have created some wonderful memories for Mr H. Stephane. Perhaps when he is a teenager he too will sit down with you, look at these gorgeous photos and ask you to tell him all about this very special day.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m sure he will. I hope I live long enough to see the day:) Thanks for your lovely comment. It touches me very much!!

  18. terrepruitt says:

    Great photos. Garlic is an antiseptic, too! So I am curious . . . are you cooking AND taking these pictures? I agree with Chef Mimi and Pride. Amazing!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I can also tapdanse at the same time:) Cooking has always been a passion of mine. Actually my passion is for eating really. My interest for photography came much later…:)

      1. terrepruitt says:

        Dang! A man of many talents. I think that your passion for food helps you with your photography. It is as if you have the “eye” needed to take a breath taking picture. Your talent for plating up the food in a beautiful way, for setting a gorgeous table . . . (etc.) . . . translates well into taking a stunning shot! At least that is what I am thinking . . . .

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Wow! I’m keeping your comments in a special file from now on. They will be part of the feel good toolbox I use on days I’m down. I will be eating my favorite comfort foods, watch the sound of music and read your comments:)

          1. terrepruitt says:

            Ha, ha! Well, great then. Maybe my comments can help you feel as happy has your blog and pictures make me. We can be kinda “even”. 🙂 I bow to your talents!

          2. My French Heaven says:

            You are way too kind! 🙂

          3. terrepruitt says:

            (I meant to type “happy AS, not happy HAS”) Tee hee!

  19. Steve says:

    The carousel idea is terrific, very Gestalt. Looks like a great party.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I owe this great improvement to you! You were right. It is so much better than having to scroll down all the time:)

      1. Steve says:

        Are you sure it was me? I did suggest a number of things but no longer remember what 🙂

        1. My French Heaven says:

          So sorry! No, it was Grumpytyke:) You always give such great feedback. I got confused:)

          1. Steve says:

            LOL…I thought I might be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s!

  20. grumpytyke says:

    I’ve had a quick look through your “long post”, enough to know I’ll be back for a more leisurely read and meander through the pictures, as usual super! For the moment, I just want to say that I’m delighted you’ve adopted ‘le carousel’; this is one of the real ‘goodies’ from WordPress. A suggestion, think about adding captions to the pix – someone before me left an envious note about your skills in cooking and photography, but you’re pretty good with words too!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I don’t know what to say! Thanks!! I love the carousel thing. It was my first try, but I will use the captions in the future:)

    2. My French Heaven says:

      You know what? Prompted by Steve, I re-read my comments and it was you who gave me that great idea to put my pictures in a carousel! So thank you and sorry for the inexcusable mistake my friend!!

  21. Oh my stars! I feel like I have been teleported to France when I am looking at your pictures. My most favourite post yet!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much!!! I think it’s my favorite post yet too:)

  22. hollykaann says:

    That is wonderful! Every child should be welcomed into the world in such a way, how blessed he is to have such family around him. You menu sounds wonderful. Thanks so much for the dedication, you are very kind.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It was a blessed day:)

  23. Oh my goodness, where do i begin? The baby is beautiful, as are all of your photographs. Yes, I would prefer to be in the kitchen away from the conversation but I’m not sure I would want to be in the kitchen preparing tempura for 80. You are an angel! What a blessed event for the baby and your family! And that canard confit dish sounds divine.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much! I usually don’t know how to take a compliment, but these few words go right to my heart:) The duck confit thing is my niece’s specialty and it is delicious indeed:) Real comfort food!

  24. I feel like I have been blessed just to witness this digitally! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful moment with us. The carousel of images very nice.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you my dear! It was a wonderful day indeed!!

  25. ann perrin says:

    You obviously have a much better cellar than we do! Truth is we don’t actually have one any more here on our hill in Saltdean. But overlooking the sea has to be our compensation!
    But the post was lovely and the choice of pics exceptional, we are drawn in.
    It reminded of a book I adore that I have read both in French (my French is not good) but more recently in English about a peasant family, because it is so beautifully written.
    I am even going to try you lovely dish, we still have a tin of duck confit from holiday and I think I still have a tiny tin of frois gras too…
    But can have the next recipe for the slimmers pleaseX

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Ann! Let me know hos the dish turns out!!

  26. P-Girl says:

    So beautiful! And I love the collage of images!!!! 😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! If you click on one of them you’ll see the full carousel:)

  27. Finally!!
    Warmth…people can feel it…i can feel it too…! Your reportage is bringing warmth..it is more than “nice photos”…family, feelings, cultural heritage…all of this mean a lot, do you realize it?
    you have captured the details….you have captured souls.
    (for not saying you have also captured MY DOG…I’ve had two of them…the first one all black, and Leonardo…my beloved arlequin!::))
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you my dear! Many people are afraid of these dogs because they are so big, but they are the sweetest things aren’t they? 🙂

      1. I grew them both and saw them getting old…To me, each one of them was more than a dog…don’t know how to explain it (you know, when Leonardo was a few months old, thiefs entered the house…turning back i found everything broken and no dog…i was so desperate!! for the dog, most of all…found him a few hours later in the neighbourhoods…such a joy!)…
        i’ve choosed them because of their attitude…and the proportions have never been a problem..atleast for me…You are right, they have a good character, good patience, but never make them really angry!…

  28. juliabarrett says:

    Beautiful baby, beautiful tradition.

    1. My French Heaven says:


  29. Luffy Moogan says:

    Fabulous montafe, Stephane. What a lovely family. And well done on what sounds like superb catering!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks L! We had a great time:)

  30. chef mimi says:

    Oh my. what a lovely menu. and lovely pictures, as always. why are you so good at photography????? and cooking???????!!!!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are being too kind darling Mimi. And look who’s talking! 🙂

    2. Chef Mimi, I totally agree! Just not right, that he has been gifted with photography and cooking!!!!!!!♥♥

      1. chef mimi says:

        It’s not fair. But you should talk – you’re a photographer!!!!!

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