Once in a while, when everything is just right, there are moments of magic. One can live on moments of magic.
Three very good friends of mine and I had our “Family Christmas” this past Saturday. We originally discussed going out to dinner… but two who enjoy cooking decided to create a special evening for the group. It was as follows:
Champagne with fresh raspberries
Cheddar Cheese mustard crisps
Blue Cheese Souffle (OMG – my eyes rolled back into my head when I ate this!)
Carrot soup (made from scratch with local carrots) and Asiago croutons
Seared duck breast over potato latkes with brandy glaze (the first time ever I ate duck that hadn’t been shot from the sky the day before).
Ragu of roasted winter vegetables (bought at the farmer’s market that morning)
Now, when I was a child, I often heard the before meal prayer “revised” to: “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, who ever eats the fastest gets the most.” And so I am still often the first person finished with any meal. On Saturday, however, I actually found myself savoring… enjoying the mini orgasm my taste buds were having in my mouth. I don’t ever remember having that experience before – and I don’t remember being the last to finish before. This was a holiday meal you won’t find at Denny’s!
Auto tour of Christmas lights. I was amazed at how many homes had signs saying to tune into a radio station that the house (or in many cases 3 or 4 houses together) were tapped into. My absolute favorite was the lights that danced to “Dueling Banjos.” Entire streets of neighbors in the city had worked together by decorating every single house on both sides of the street for a two block area and they named it “Candy Cane Lane.” Movies were shown on garage doors, people were standing around outdoor firepits drinking hot chocolate and other festive drinks, and I even saw the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story” in one front window. One string of houses had a Santa sitting in the garage with a line of children waiting to see him, and the house had their front windows filled with Teddy Bears. I guess I was a little amazed that during this tough economic time, neighbors were coming together to make the holidays extra special for each other and the greater community.
Croquembouche (tower of cream puffs filled with vanilla pastry cream)
The evening was pure magic – and that I can live off of during the unknown days ahead. Memories of a special evening are priceless.
Here is wishing you and yours moments of magic this season and in the year ahead.