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The spirit of the season

with 3 comments

Couple of anecdotes from the holiday season.

Scene 1: The pleasant, middle-aged Chinese woman at the hair-cutting salon greets her customer, a slightly older white man wearing over-sized glasses. With her widest smile and the best holiday cheer, she asks “So you ready for Christmas?”

….”Nah….not my festival – its not MY religion…..” answers the guy in a somewhat gruff voice ! The lady’s taken aback for a second but then they go on to talk about pleasanter subjects such as the weather and the best ointments to use in case of inner mouth infections !

Her next customer is a sweet little girl, perhaps 9 years or so – she is asked the same question, in the same cheerful manner. The little girl nods her head slightly and very shyly whispers ‘yes’ ………and then adds – and we are also celebrating the last day of Hanukkah !!! The flitting expression on the face of the Chinese lady was priceless šŸ™‚ !

#2: I was describing the above incident to a Russian colleague, who mentioned thathis 8-year old kid had told him recently, quite innocently : ‘we should have been Jewish – then we could have got to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas’ ! So his dad told him that as a Russian, he got to celebrate Christmas and New Years twice (since the Russian Orthodox traditionally follows the Julian calendar). After a few moments of thinking, his son answered – ‘ but then we should have been Russian Jews !!’ šŸ™‚

/end anecdotes/

Personally, while I am atheist (but-not-sure-could-be-agnostic-too and what-the-heck-there-is-always-FSM) – I do believe in making the best of all the religious traditions (not to mention the holidays!), especially anything that promises receipt of gifts and partaking of food and drink.

So Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Solstice, Hanukkah etc. and an early Happy New Year to all readers of this blog. Wishing you all a groovy time in the coming week.

In the gastronomic vein mentioned above, the Pondit household is preparing to entertain some guests for Christmas-eve dinner. The Menu so far, involves chorizo sausage cooked in wine, Havarti cheese, crackers and assorted dips (for appetizer); smoked ham, asparagus, roasted eggplants, and beer-chicken (for the main course); with custard served over angel-cake to top it all off.

The selection of wines include a Rioja, a Napa Valley Pinot Noir, a Beaujolais and a German Riesling. Additionally, in the spirit of the season, I came up with this somewhat sweet concoction – as a martini purist, I cannot name it a ‘martini’ – so let’s just call it a holiday cocktail.

A Cocktail for the Holiday Spirit

Chill the glass beforehand, by adding crushed ice (and soda).

3 parts Vodka (I used Friz)
1 part Cointreau
1 part Rose’s Sweet Lime Juice
0.5 part brandy/cognac (the latter is better)
pinch of Vermouth
1 part Melon Liqueur (or if you prefer a more sour drink, Apple Pucker)

Shake nicely with crushed ice, strain into the pre-chilled martini glass, slowly pour some Grenadine so that it settles at the bottom. Garnish with a slice of lime and a piece of cherry.

This is how my drink looked like:


(Note the holiday colors and the strategically places poinsettia in the backgrouns šŸ˜‰ )

Cheers and drink responsibly !!


Written by BongoP'o'ndit

December 23, 2006 at 8:43 pm

Posted in Food, Martinis, Personal

3 Responses

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  1. New look and everything. Geared up for the New Year are you ?
    Your Christmas eve dinner is pretty tempting. How do you or your wife or someone lese as the case maybe, cook Beer Chicken ?
    Happy Holidays, that’s what I say to be safe


    December 24, 2006 at 12:16 am

  2. sorry “someone else”


    December 24, 2006 at 12:16 am

  3. Sandeepa: Just trying out the new look……

    So we my wife cooks beer-can chicken using standard internet-culled recipes. Take a whole chicken, throw out the gizzards and other inner stuff – wash very well, dry with paper towel, apply marinade (we have tried Cajun, Southwestern or Rosemary/thyme seasonings and they all taste good); (here is the part where I come in) open a can of beer and drink half of it (!) – then poke a few holes on top and the side of the can; place the chicken butt-side over the beer-can and make it stand. We have cooked it both in a oven (325 for ~1hr) and also on an out-door gas grill. For the latter, I light only the two side flames and place the chicken in the middle.

    Merry X-mas and a Happy New Year šŸ™‚


    December 25, 2006 at 11:41 am

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