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The minute his heart didn’t feel quite so tight

As previously noted I am fresh and frisky from celebrating my first Thanksgiving.  To mark this momentous, and possibly newsworthy occasion I set about making a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner.  I like the idea of Thanksgiving and would be very happy if more nations adopted the notion.  Pondering, however fleetingly to reflect on what one has to be thankful for can never be a bad thing, surely?   After one of the most epic Googlings of all time I concluded that this year I would be cooking two turkeys in the space of a month and a day because it is unforgiveable to not serve turkey for Thanksgiving and equally de trop to forsake the fowl for Christmas in  England where we will be celebrating this year.  Having settled on what I thought would be a good enough array of trimmings to sink a dry-docked battleship and simultaneously feed the navy on the leftovers I set about the bird.  The fact is that I have never ever been knowingly under-catered and being in this land of the copious plateful  it surely would be hugely rude to break my habit.

Turkey then.  The first challenge was to find one small enough for HB2 and I to eat on our own and not have the poor fellow (and The Bean who is NOT poor) gobbling nothing BUT Gobbler for the rest of November, the entire month of December and ad nauseum (potentially literally) beyond.  But find one I did and once I had apologised to it profusely and several times that it had not been pardoned by The President and instead had found itself in my poshed up paws, I brined it and roasted it exactly as I always do at Christmas. We don’t possess a roasting pan so we bought two disposable ones and cleverly fastened them together to form a sort of dutch oven with the aid of bulldog clips pinched from top secret paperwork Two Brains is working on.   The turkey was duly ready on time, The Bean had welded herself to the the oven door by the snout, intoxicated with the heady cooking aromas of a bird that weighed 1.5 times a Bean.  We lifted it onto its plate and one leg fell off. Fortunately my deft husband managed to snatch it in mid-air before it reached the shark-like jaws of the waiting Bean.  We managed to wedge the leg vaguely in it’s original position and if you didn’t look too closely it looked only slightly inebriated and wholly enticing.  I should own up that our own impending inebria helped this vision enormously.

Some while later and utterly turkey-comatose  we drowsily talked of Christmas.  For what sort of a Christmas would it be without a fine turkey bird bronzed and gleaming like a drumsticked Olympian God?  Well actually last year we were only three for the feast so we had guinea fowl and two years prior to that, our first married Christmas, and alone together in France, we  had a collective rush of blood to the head and opted for a fish.  A turbot in fact which we bore enthusiastically from the fish store on Christmas Eve, like Samuel Whiskers and Anna Maria preparing to set about the unfortunate Tom Kitten with suet and string. On Christmas Day  it occurred to us that we had not asked the chirpy girl on the fish counter to faire vider le poisson (to wit, gut the beauty) which would not be a problem for either of us except neither had the teeniest clue where a flat fish stashes it’s innards.  Hallelujah and pass the tambourine for Google …. a swift search revealed that they are, indeed not remotely where one would expect them to be.   Standing majestic and mighty  over the fish like Christopher Lee in role as a High Priest preparing to slaughter a virgin Two Brains plunged our sharpest knife from on high with lethal accuracy and our sharpest knife rebounded like a comedy rubber blade off it’s innocuous lily white skin as though it were a trampolene.  After a short pause I rather tentatively suggested scissors.  I’m not too humble to share that this was, frankly, a moment of genius.  The fish didn’t stand a chance against my snippers and I rather smugly and, may I say, with positively surgical dexterity, cut it open and  emptied it’s vital workings.  That complete, we stuffed the neat little cavity with herbs and citrus and stood reverently surveying it’s  buttered and lemoned and parsleyed allure … it had the air of a slightly macabre still-life …. strangely attractive (something I was once called by a drunk in  a friend’s living room and which I embraced as a compliment – one must cherish such delights from wherever they stem, I have always felt).  So there’s one personal myth burst … I have merrily told everyone over the years that Christmas isn’t Christmas without a turkey bird but clearly my tongue is forked …the truth is that two out of three of our most recent Christmas meals have been devoid of the indispensible gigantic fowl.

You might ask what has prompted this little sojourn into my various kitchens and indeed what value you have gained (except to know who to call if you ever need to gut a turbot or stick a stray leg back on a turkey) …. the answer lies in this week’s weekly photo challenge titled ‘It’s Not This Time of Year Without ….’ of which a cornucopia of sparkling entries here.

What can I not do without as I join the merry carnage that constitutes the season of goodwill and until this year was all about Christmas but now includes Thanksgiving too in my half-baked paradise?

Snow.  I absolutely must have snow.  Or at least I must hope it will snow.  And that is really what it is all about for me.  The notion and hope of decency and delight.  The idea that people can be kind to one another.  The concept that sharing is the right thing to do.  I have always included waifs and strays at my table.  And I always will.  Maybe in the run up to Christmas I will include a few of their stories.  Not because I have a trumpet to toot but because humble stories can speak to good hearts.  And because a humble story is where it all started ….

 dscf4449

PS:  The essential PS.  The title is from ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ by the masterly Dr Seuss.  My third daughter can still recite it word perfectly having done it as her School Christmas Play at the age of 9 and her younger sister can recite it word perfectly because she sat in on all the rehearsals waiting for this inevitably late mummy to pant up the school drive to pick them both up.  The very end goes like this:

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
And what happened then? Well...in Whoville they say,
That the Grinch's small heart Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light,
And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast!
And he, HE HIMSELF! The Grinch carved the roast beast!

This perfectly Christmassy image of snow covered holly was taken in Cantal.  In February.  Holly is called ‘houx’ in French (pronounced oo) which I always take every opportunity to say because it amuses me.


														
100 Comments Post a comment
  1. Absolutely brilliant…and the snow covered houx, divine!

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • Thank you so much! It was a wonderful excuse to use that image and I enjoyed writing the nonsense so it is lovely to hear it was well received!

      Liked by 1 person

      November 27, 2016
  2. Love it. A turkey is just for the moment! Christmas is Christmas because of who you wish to share it with. In your heart and in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • Now why am I unsurprised that you instantly get to the heart of the message? You are such a treasure, Claudette and one that I give thanks for having met in this strange blogging world we exist in. Namaste 🙏🏼

      Liked by 1 person

      November 27, 2016
  3. Fabulous piece, as always. I’m pleased to hear you had a great Thanksgiving or, as we Brits know it, the dress rehearsal for Christmas. Your culinary skills are way beyond mine – maybe I should invite Theresa May round to pardon my Christmas fowl. Or perhaps Teresa May instead, she might be more fun! Looking forward to hearing how your British Christmas goes. If you’re lucky, you may get a chance to see Oo Willoughby on TV 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    November 27, 2016
    • I think the Queen should be pardoning turkeys …. although that would be a full-time job given the current political shenanigans, do we think? Oo Willoughby … you are simply a genius! I think Thanksgiving is quite a good thing and well-timed, since it sort of puts the brakes on Christmas until the day after. Whereas my memory of Britain was that I would start to get irritable in September, refuse to engage with it and then realise it was Christmas Eve and I hadn’t done a blinking thing! I’m really looking forward to this year and will certainly keep one posted! 🎄

      Liked by 1 person

      November 27, 2016
      • Absolutely! So many to choose from. Never having experienced Thanksgiving it has always seemed to me to be like another Christmas Day, and much though I love Christmas doing it twice in a month would be too much! One of my Canadian blogger friends told me that they do it in October, which I think is far better! I moan about all the Christmas stuff starting so early in the shops but get dragged into it every year. Decorations do not go up until a week before the big day though, certainly not this month like some do. I look forward to your progress 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • One of our Christmas traditions which I HATED as a child and then merrily inflicted on mine is that the decorations don’t go up til Christmas Eve. She was a smart bird and I think it had its roots in occupying 6 over-excited children when she was busy prepping for the big meal but it actually makes the whole thing so much nicer …. the tree comes down before midnight on Twelfth Night and the decorations all go away (Oo thrown out of the door with any other greenery) til next Christmas Eve. Thanksgiving actually felt quite different to Christmas (no tree, no parcels) and I’m told many cook ham for 25th December to avoid an overdose of Gobbler!

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • That sounds a great plan. My Mum used to stick us in front of the telly, but in those days it was usually something like The Mikado so you can guess how well that went! I think you’ve rewritten a carol, by the way: The Oo and the IV, very 21st century. And then there’s the pop singer Oo Johnson, of Frankie Goes to Oowood fame. I can see what you mean about the differences, but I’m horrified at the thought of Christmas without a gobbler 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • You’ve got me in stitches with those Oo and IV ideas! Just make sure that the turkey didn’t die in vain … cook it well and with love. This is what I try to do with all meat (it doesn’t tame the vegans but it does go some way to assuaging my conscience – even when a leg falls off)

        Like

        November 27, 2016
  4. Every year I wish for a white Christmas, it very very rarely happens. I remember one Christmas in Devon, there were a great many of us, we had just sat down to eat around 2pm and the first flakes started to fall outside the window, steadily it continued for the rest of the day and night. The following day we were pulling sledges, bundling babies up in blankets and helping toddlers who had fallen over, it is still one of the Christmas’s I remember most clearly, snow does that it seems! We too have had many Christmas’s with an assortment of additional people turning up at the last minute, just as you say, that is what Christmas is all about, goodwill to all men, singing carols, sharing and being together.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • Oooops, sorry meant to add, we have had several Thanksgivings with friends in America, likewise, so wish we had the holiday here too, I love all that it stands for. Big hugs for a lovely Sunday xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      November 27, 2016
      • I’m sure many go over the top and miss the message just as many do with Christmas but overall I think its a lovely tradition and I would gladly do it again … though we did have gratin dauphinoise (sans cheese the proper way) instead of mash but please don’t let on 😉 xxxx

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        November 27, 2016
    • You don’t surprise me on the waifs and strays …. you have that air in abundance! Snow does add something magical – frost can suffice but snow is the literal icing on the Christmas Cake. I’m resigned to warm and rain in England this year but I can close my eyes and imagine ….. ❄️ xxxx

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      November 27, 2016
  5. lindywhitton #

    Christmas is a time I love, full of lots of family traditions and the pleasure of adding new ones as the family changes. The turkey sits side by side with a lasagne in our house as number 1 son doesnt like any roast meats! Most of all its about that feel I ng of sharing time and building memories with those we love. ( oh and eating lots of everything thats only eaten at Christmas!)
    Thanks for sharing your Christmas memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • It is a beautiful time of year – a time to care and a time to share …. what could be lovelier! I’m glad you enjoyed the piece – it means a lot to me, as you know 😊

      Like

      November 27, 2016
  6. munchkinontheroad #

    Wishing You and Yours a happy, healthy and snowy Christmas,my “strangely attractive” friend!
    Warmly, Donna (once told that they didn’t know what it is but I have a certain je ne sais quoi”….I, too, have decided to take that as a compliment 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • Heeeeey! You get the Gold Star for picking that bit up …. it’s one of my favourite moments of all time and still never fails to make me smile when I think of it! I don’t expect we will get snow in England (it’s almost unheard of in Oxfordshire at Christmas) but I can close my eyes and dream ❄️ x

      Like

      November 27, 2016
    • Oh by the way, I would be hugely flattered if I was told I had je ne sais quoi …. deliciously mysterious!!!!

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      November 27, 2016
  7. Firstly, VEGAN!!! So, no Like.

    Secondly, the last time I remember it actually snowing on Christmas Eve night so there was snow on the ground Christmas morning was 17 years ago when my then 6 year old and 2 year old grandchildren came. Their faces when they opened the curtains were a picture to behold. I wrote a story about it for them. It was truly magical. My gabd-daughter had prepared very seriously and thoroughly for Father Christmas’s visit: she wrote a sgn directing him to their room, amother asking him to llease take off his boots as we had just had the hall carpet cleaned, and was not impressed when she found her little brother sitting on the stairs munching Rudolph’s carrot! They will be visiting again tihis Christmas Eve for the first time since then – we usually see them Boxing Day – but this time I fear Father Christmas and Rudolph will have to fend for themselves! 😊

    Glad you enjoyed your first Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • I respect and admire you as a vegan. I’m afraid I have a bent halo in that direction. Many years as a vegetarian (though always eating dairy) and then a fall from the perch but in truth we still favour a vegetarian diet most of the time. I love the story of your little grand-daughter (particularly the instructions to Father Christmas to de-boot and not mess up he carpet) …. I hope this year will be as delightful for you all. I will be in England and have all four of my daughters with me for the first time in four years. Since my elderly mother is likely to panic at the hoards descending on her we have hired a cottage for the two of us, girls and recently acquired son-in-law just down the road from mamma. She is taking the dogs – The Bean plus her best friends Brian and Barry who belong to eldest daughter and husband. My mother favours dogs over people so it is entirely possible that we will get a message to bring her lunch to her with sufficient to feed the dogs and not have her at the table at all! I can’t wait and can even let go of the fact that snow is about as likely in Oxford as real peace descending on this torrid planet we are intent on destroying but I can always hope … namaste 🙏🏼

      Liked by 1 person

      November 27, 2016
  8. I’m with the Grinch.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • I with the Grinch at the end of the piece ….

      Like

      November 27, 2016
      • Organized jollity is impossible when you have factions spoiling for a fight. Organized eat-ins make me poorly. The spend-fest in general is wearisome. Christmas is for small children. It shouldn’t be obligatory for those of us who feel we’ve outgrown the need for Santa Claus.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • Christmas for me this year is with all my daughters for the first time in four years. We are renting a cottage near my mother so that she doesn’t feel invaded and behave like a repulsive brat as she did when we made the mistake of staying with her two years ago. We are doing Secret Santa … one gift per person on a budget that suits my two student daughters. The fact that I will see my second daughter for the first time since her sister’s wedding in August 2015 is my gift. We will decorate the house with greenery that we gather on a dog walk and a string of fairy lights because I like them. When people give in to the nonsense, the compulsory it is a recipe for failure but if you see it as an opportunity to be together when mostly you are apart it takes on a different value. By the way, when my girls were growing up I was a single mother unsupported by their father who sat like a bluddy leprechaun in Ireland sticking two fingers up because the British and Irish had no reciprocal arrangement on maintenance. It was frugal and it was exhausting but it was fun. Maybe that is why I find my inner Grinch is tamed!

        Like

        November 27, 2016
      • My mother’s dearest wish for our life partners was always that they wouldn’t be Irish. I understand why.
        Maybe I’d feel different about get-togethers if we were apart for any length of time. But we’re the nuclear family thrown together with no breathing space and no relatives to offload the burden onto. They are five adults now (well, four and one ado) and as such you either like em or you don’t. It’s suffocating and tiring. My Grinch isn’t inner yet, it still has the upper hand.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • He’s not Irish …. we had a house in West Cork and he left us (me pregnant with the fourth daughter) and has lived there ever since. I try not to be bitter …. it merely lines the face unattractively. As for one’s children, they ARE a minefield … two of mine were absolutely repulsive the first year I lived in France. I invited all of them to come and spend Christmas, my mother too and we offered transport to them all. I had rocks hefted at me by the two eldest. My husband, light of frame but made of girders propped and mopped me up and persuaded me to stick to plan A and not buckle under the pressure to go for what would clearly be a miserable Christmas in England. We ate fish (as documented here) and I am so glad that I did. The future is a mystery to us all and now I have four daughters who WANT to be together at the table and I predict only the most manageable and predictable of arguments that are actually good natured and born of the closeness that siblings can enjoy. So do what you and your husband want to do. They are all adults and will grow up if it is expected. I wish you a happy life rather than a happy Christmas. Actually I wish you content. Which is my greatest wish for anyone.

        Like

        November 27, 2016
      • What a pity you couldn’t get the slacker extradited. I don’t know anything about the dynamics of your daughters, but we have a sibling rivalry problem that won’t go away and upsets every family gathering. It’s predictable and wearisome. Arguments turn personal and vicious and not being physically very strong, I resent the effort I put into these family dos. I hope they will all grow up one day and stop seeing every disagreement as a personal attack. Until then, I I’d rather put my hard hat on and lock myself in a padded cell.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • I honestly sympathise. It is a question of growing up but of course if, as a parent, one suggests it to the supposedly adult child it just embitters more. One day I shall buy you a coffee or an apero and we can discuss our various children and literature and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. I send you hugs.

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        November 27, 2016
      • Thank you 🙂 I hope we will meet up once I have escaped the perma-parent state. No grandchildren on the programme either, so I’m hoping we’ll have a breather of a few years once we finally make it out of Bordeaux. Can I have an apéro please?

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
      • No grandies here either and happy to keep it that way for a good while to come. They will all sort out, I promise. I was fortunate in many ways …. as a single mother with very limited means, they all knew the expectation was that at 18 they had to leave home or pay me rent. This manifested in a variety of ways of course and they all boomeranged at least once but I think when the options are limited and the entitlement is less one is somehow firmer. And they couldn’t play one of against the other which is a trait I have seen so often in young adults ….. Apéro it is – on me!

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        November 28, 2016
      • I’ll hold you to that! We have brought up the subject of rent and they always agree that it’s a reasonable request, but when it comes to shelling out there’s always a hic. One reason why we’re pulling the rug out from under their feet. Literally.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
      • I remember when the second daughter moved back in with me to do a year’s college course. The rule was that if they were being educated I didn’t charge even though they did Saturday jobs. The following summer, course finished and I was moving again this time to a smaller place in the town. By this time she was working full time. I knew she would balk at renting a room so I said that I was planning to put her things in a storage unit whilst she found a place. Askance she said ‘but what about the spare bedroom’ …. I replied that it was to be my office and was not available. She found a charming little stable conversion and lived in it very happily for 2 years (even evicting not one but two flat mates in that time because they were too untidy!!). Tough love they call it here and it does work – you need nerves of steel, a strong shoulder to cry on and the rear view mirror taped over when you drive down the road. I’m right behind you giving you the shove you need and right in front of you calling you on with that apéro!

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
      • If they had proper jobs I wouldn’t have any compunctions, but they don’t. The eldest has just got one and lives with her young man who does have a sensible job. The second strings one dead end job after another and lives in subsidised accomodation because she couldn’t stand living at home any longer. The third one has only just decided he doesn’t want to go back to university and has got a restaurant job. The fourth is having a year out working before going back to university in September. It’s always been delicate asking them for money and god knows what they’re going to do when they have to pay Bordeaux rents, but as you say I shall close my eyes and my heart and…run!

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
  9. Wonderful that your first Thanksgiving was a delight 🙂 Before moving to the US I’d never prepared a whole turkey. Naturally I had to learn that quickly! A well made turkey is probably my favorite thanksgiving food.
    After thanksgiving was finished we drove to the mountains to cut a christmas tree. We did get some snow 🙂 my daughter and I decorated the tree, and the rest of the house yesterday. The tree is 8-9ft tall and probably the biggest tree I ever had. it was a lot of fun decorating it. We do need to get some candy canes today, then the tree will be all set. Enjoy the rest of your weekend my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • What a lovely day! I used to love trimming the tree as a child …. the excitement of waiting for my father to bring it home! And when the girls were growing up the tradition continued. I look forward to living somewhere that we can cut our own again … I think they would arrest me in Massachusetts 😉.

      Like

      November 27, 2016
  10. Glad you had a great turkey dinner. Hope Bean eventually got a piece of that leg.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • The Bean is swelling to the size of the bird …. she gets all the giblets and also scraps set aside as we carved and more when the carcass was being stripped! Gratin Dauphinoise was a heavenly addition 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      November 27, 2016
  11. Poor deprived Bean! (Though not for long, I suspect).
    The turbot tale made me laugh….I have visions of an Aztec high priest, all dolled up in gold and feathers, ready for action on top of his pyramid and having to be assisted by a lady with scissors….
    Did you have a turbot kettle?

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • I have been treated to the most frightful impersonations of Christopher Lee ever since I read him the piece …. punishment indeed and I am not going to tell him about the Aztec Priest for fear of him dressing up in turkey feathers but I love that image – it fits! The Bean is now a broad Bean due to all the expressions of love in her preferred way – meat.

      Liked by 1 person

      November 27, 2016
      • Is the Bean traveling to Europe for more turkey?

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • She is …. she’s quite a dab hand at the flying now. I’m going ahead to England to stay with mother and fetch the car and two weeks later driving to Roissy to fetch Bean and Brains. This is, in part, because she can’t fly into Britain except as freight which is prohibitively expensive whereas flying to France she travels bagged in the cabin. We will spend 10 days in France and then fly back to England for the festivities (read into that all my daughters and mother at the table which will be a triumph or a disaster but nothing in between!). We are renting a cottage near to my mother so that she doesn’t have to have us all staying … the time we tried to make THAT work was enough to put the Grinch back off Christmas.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • Good grief, woman….never mind half baked, more like perpetual motion in paradise…
        Good luck with the family feast….the cottage down the road from your mother sounds a very good idea to me….

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • The Brains wouldn’t have it any other way 😉 Explanations to the ridiculous amount of travel to follow ….

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
    • Oh no turbot kettle but I have a wonderful and ancient dish of my grandmothers …. enamelled metal in two parts which is my go-too for roasting meat and if I put a rack in the bottom it functions well as a fish kettle too. And no need for bulldog clips!

      Liked by 1 person

      November 27, 2016
      • I remember those dishes. Lucky you to have one still. When her mother died my mother wasn’t interested in any of the kitchen stuff – which was, in retrospect, a great pity.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • When Granny died my mother asked everyone what they would like from the house. People fell on the antiques and the Victory Pikes (genuinely from the Battle of Trafalgar) and various other valuable nuggets but I loved that old bird and I had her chipped enamelled ashtray which was always at her side until she gave up the filthy weed at the age of 82 because the price rose to whatever she felt was too disgraceful and much of her kitchenware …. I’ve never regretted it.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • Yes, they all lunge for the obvious, don’t they.

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • I remember being livid that my brother had taken a rather beautiful Georgian bureau broke the mechanism and it just sat broken. These days I just smile and think good luck to em!

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
  12. I sooo needed a post from you today. I just left my dad and a sad pist is writing itself in my still reeling mind. Thank you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
  13. We just finished celebrating Thanksgiving in Cornwall–off schedule and off menu, as always. We’re traditional as far as bird, cranberries, and pumpkin pie go, but since everyone brings something, we inevitably end up with a quiche, roasted vegetables, and other screamingly nontraditional food. But it’s a great party all the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
  14. Sounds like you had a lovely American Thanksgiving….I love reading your writing…..poetic and carefree…..we also had turkey this year…but in pieces…just the legs for hubby and small breast for me, so my bird looked as if though it had meet the butcher ahead of time…LOL even though I was raised that Christmas is turkey and ham, I too have gone off the rails….LOL last year I made Roladen with all the German trimmings….and the year before I believe if I remember correctly….we had Italian…eggplant parmigian and Chicken parmigiana with all the trimmings of an Italian feast…enjoy your trip home for the holidays…..xxxxxkat

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • Did it have two legs or three!!!! Love the idea of the different cultural Christmas’s …. I know you are well versed in Italian and of course German food so I’ll bet they were delicious! This year I am in a rented cottage with all the girls for Christmas (plus two brains and my son-in-law) with my mother gracing us for lunch. The kitchen looks pretty basic so I have told them that it will be paired down and they must each tell me what they absolutely can’t do without. It could be a triumph, it could be a disaster!!! Thank you most of all for the lovely compliment on my writing. That really means more than you can know xxxx

      Like

      November 27, 2016
      • 3 legs….LOL the cozy cottage sounds delightful….I am sure no matter what comes form the kitchen will be delish….have a wonderful holiday with your family….the best kind….xxxkat

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • We will. Kat, I haven’t seen my second daughter since her elder sisters wedding in August 2015 (she lives in Malaysia) … that in itself will make Christmas magical! The food will be fun – it’s the only way to treat it. No bluddy stress (good theory, I have 😂) xxxx

        Like

        November 27, 2016
      • do your write under your real name???

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • Not the one I use on FaceBook 😉 xx

        Like

        November 27, 2016
      • I know…I couldn’t find anything no matter how creative I got…LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • 😉

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        November 27, 2016
      • And if you feel stress creeping in wine is the answer to that….LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • Wine has the answers to most of my anxieties!!! Xx

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        November 27, 2016
      • okay didn’t mean to ask , but I would love to read a book you wrote….you can private message me on FB if you want…no pressure…

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • I will send you a copy of m last book when I get back to France where it was published (in English) …. I will PM you 🙂 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • thanks I would love that….

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
      • Or hate it!!! 😂

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        November 27, 2016
      • nope…..never hate..dislike maybe…but I am sure I will love it….lol

        Liked by 1 person

        November 27, 2016
  15. Oh O, your stories are so amusante (with or without an e, I’m never sure) and your turns of phrase are delightfully original – “pass the tambourine for Google”. You are in fine form today!

    Liked by 1 person

    November 27, 2016
    • Thank you my dear … my fettle was obviously on form! I think it has an ‘e’ by the way but never forget I’m une vache espagnole when it comes to Française 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      November 28, 2016
      • A Spanish cow? Too funny!

        Liked by 1 person

        November 28, 2016
      • It’s a genuine French expression ….. and I do!

        Like

        November 28, 2016
  16. Osyth, your posts always brighten my day and this one is no exception. What an honor to celebrate Thanksgiving this year with you. Yes, I know I was not there in person, but I was in spirit. And did The Bean get any leftovers? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    November 29, 2016
    • You were at our table, Terry. And we raised our glasses to you and your bright future because we are willing it to be that way. The Bean is now The Broad Bean on account of all her tidbits and leftovers …. she has booked her place for next year already – I don’t think she’d forgive me if we weren’t back in the US to do it all again 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      November 29, 2016
      • The Bean is very smart! We are leaving soon to travel to pickup Roxy, I hear she may not come back with us – she has enjoyed her visit and made herself at home. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        November 29, 2016
      • I went to pick up The Bean from my mother once having been away for 10 days and she shunned me! They know which side the bread is buttered and they know how to wound!

        Liked by 1 person

        November 29, 2016
  17. Still have so much turkey…

    Wonderful post, dear girl! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    November 30, 2016
    • Thank you! There is no balance between buxom bird to grace the platter and what is humanly possible to eat on the day …. but the leftovers are an art in themselves at some level, I think 😊

      Like

      November 30, 2016
      • I think you’re right. It’s amazing how many dishes can be created with turkey meat!

        Liked by 1 person

        November 30, 2016
      • I always tell the turkey that it did not die in vain if it’s come to my house because it will find itself the heart of so much creativity which I’m sure must have been it’s life’s wish!! 🦃

        Liked by 1 person

        November 30, 2016
      • Haha!
        I had a very similar conversation with my own bird after my husband accused me of undue violence towards it…

        Liked by 1 person

        November 30, 2016
      • These were blesséd gobblers!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        November 30, 2016
      • They were indeed. Ours was very tasty, and is the gift that still keeps on giving…

        Liked by 1 person

        November 30, 2016
  18. Lovely Fiona xxx

    Like

    December 3, 2016
  19. I can’t imagine what a meeting with the ‘shark jawed’ Beanie and the ‘devilish Dolly’ would be like… I suspect fun to watch although Dolly (otherwise known as ‘Dobby’) is only small and put a fair size Boxer in his place yesterday! How could you though Osyth – Xmas WITHOUT Turkey – now that’s ‘renegade’ ….. Oh hang on … oh yep… for the last 2 years it was a rather grand (if I say so myself) Beef Wellington… well actually year 1 it wasn’t so grand as the meat was overdone.. but I learned from that mistake (as I have with many others and then not learned from a few over the years!)… so last years Mr Welly was pretty darned good!
    Great post Osyth sharing and inspiring some lovely memories.. thank you… xx

    Liked by 1 person

    December 9, 2016
    • Thank you Wendy …. our girls may be small in stature but they are big on feist! Beef Wellington is a wonderful choice for Christmas lunch and I’m sure this year it will be more succulent, less boot (sorry – couldn’t miss that opportunity!!). Enjoy (and I’m glad you enjoyed my little ramble) xx

      Liked by 1 person

      December 10, 2016
      • I think I’m gonna need some of Dolly’s ‘Feist’ over the next few months so will be doing some ‘learning’ from her.. I love Turkey but the rest of my family really aren’t keen so Beef Wellington it is again this year.. I always love your ‘rambles’ Osyth.. Fab! xx

        Liked by 1 person

        December 10, 2016
  20. “Gutting a turbot” really ought to be slang for something, but I can’t think of just what…

    Liked by 1 person

    January 25, 2017
    • Oh let’s set our minds to just what … I so want to say ‘he was getting a turbot’ in a slangly way or ‘he was on the turbot’ or just ‘turbot’ …. this is now my mission for the week!

      Like

      January 25, 2017
  21. Thank you so much for the pingback …. it’s much appreciated 😊

    Like

    November 27, 2016

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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