Another wonderful year of club activities was capped by our Christmas lunch, on Saturday December 8. Cor and Carla B once again welcomed the faithful into their home in Ottawa South. We were a group of 12, also including Fabienne and Christian T, Beth and Jim McC, Ian and Margaret C, Claudine and Bob McL, Werner S, and Michel L.

Sadly, the early arrival of winter and the resultant appearance of the Salt Monsters kept all the club Citroëns safely at home in their garages, but we felt they were with us in spirit.

To start the afternoon, Jim McC had decided to continue the tradition he began two years ago, when he set up a wine identification challenge (also see last year’s cheese tasting story here). This year, he chose beer and munchies as his theme. While everyone else was upstairs chatting, Jim and Beth were laying out platters of Tapas, and small sample-sized glasses of several beers. The challenge was to identify the country of origin of each item. Not satisfied with the difficulty of the task, Jim prepared the recording sheets in Spanish, and offered seven possible countries, although there were only six samples each of beer and tapas.

Strategies varied among the participants (or rather “competitors”, as they quickly revealed). Some carefully nibbled the tapas, while others tried to use visual identification of the ingredients. Beers were held up to the light and then sniffed, before being sipped, slurped, or chugged. Theories were expounded upon, with most eventually being proven to be sheer and utter poppycock.

Eventually, the sheets were handed in and Jim put on his professor’s hat to get down to some serious marking. It must be noted that Michel L submitted his assignment late, and under rather doubtful circumstance, but Jim was feeling the festive mood, and let that one slip past.

Jim soon announced the results to an anxious group. The booby prize for the fewest correct answers went to Christian T. So much for field research. The best score for tapas was a tie between Carla B and Claudine McL, with 4 out of 6 correct (in fact, that means they just mixed up two answers – so close, girls!). Results on the beer identification were much poorer, according to Jim, but the best of the worst was Werner S. Highest combined score went to Ian C. All winners received prizes.

That was an enjoyable and delicious challenge. We thanked Jim and Beth for their efforts to bring us a great game. How will Jim top this next year? Suggestions welcome.

Then it was time for dinner upstairs. The kitchen island was covered in beautiful looking and beautiful smelling food. Check the photos for details. Note the Citroën theme on the tourtières.

Food, wine, good company, and lively discussions. Who could ask for more? Oh yeah, wait… how about dessert, or rather desserts. Again, take a look through the photos.

Bob McL had prepared another year-in-review greeting card, and everyone enjoyed looking through the included photos, and remembering the events of 2012. All the previous years’ cards were also present, for those needing a history lesson. As well as looking back, we also looked forward, and talked about plans for events in 2013, focusing on the annual summer gathering.

As the sun set (which happens early in these climes in December) and the cows began to call (at least for Christian), we said our goodbyes and headed home, remembering a wonderful day at the end of a wonderful year.

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