The spirit of the season
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 🙂 !
#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 !!’ 🙂
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 😉 )
Cheers and drink responsibly !!