Christmas this year followed our familiar patten: 6:00pm Mass at Queen of All Saints on Christmas Eve, dinner of spinach and white beans (a remarkably delicious if frugal dish), opening presents on Christmas morning, dinner and birthday cake in the evening.
I have no established Christmas dinner menu and I don’t recall one from my childhood. This year I made a sort of mini Beef Wellington with a red wine sauce, pilaf of wild and brown rice, and braised kale with garlic and red pepper. 2007 Frei Brothers Cabernet Savignon.
I had a Very Oxo Christmas this year—my wife gave me a couple of new spatulas (at least partially a pretext for throwing out my old spatula which had become quite disreputable), a large stirring spoon, and a perforated stirring spoon. She also gave me a couple of DVDs (more about these later), a Wii fitness and exercise game, and some new pillows. I gave her a Stephen Sondheim’s new book, Finishing the Hat, and a Makita compact driver-drill and an impact drill along with the matching drill bits. My wife is an extraordinary woman.
I received some very lovely wooden stirring spoons from two of my siblings and the latest Supreme Court Law Review from some dear old friends as has been their custom for many years.
As our Christmas brunch I prepared some of the country ham I received in the southern care package we’d received from other dear old friends.
During the day we watched two of the DVDs I’d received. The commentary to the Crosby-Astaire musical Holiday Inn was extraordinarily good. I recommend it highly. Did you know that Fred Astaire was actually drunk when he did the drunk dance New Year’s Eve number in the film? Neither did I. Film historian Ken Barnes’s treatment of the blackface Abraham production number struck exactly the right note: rather than sidestepping it or deprecating it he put it in context. IMO that’s how we should be dealing with the aspects of our history of which we are less than proud rather than simply denying they ever happened as seems to be the case today.
I wish all of you Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or simply a peaceful and restful day. Celebrate the good!
I neglected to mention some presents, one a very significant one. My wife gave me a Japanese tetsubin teapot. Very nice. I also received an Oxo cheese grater.