25 December 2009

God rest ye merry, gentlemen

Years back, Before Children, I got the spouse tickets to see Patrick Stewart in his one man performance of A Christmas Carol at Caltech. It was a lovely and memorable show, and when I found it was available on tape, I picked up a copy that we always listened to at Christmas.

Enter the son, who became wholly fascinated with Mr. Stewart's performance and by the age of 4, was quoting huge portions of the tapes, accent, intonation and all.

We read him Dickens' A Christmas Carol and he was thrilled. We purchased the Alastair Sim film version, and he watched with an intent sort of glee. Then came the moment of truth.

"Mama, will you make goose for Christmas dinner? I want to know what it's like."

(Yes, the kid is my son. Through and through.)

And given my own fascination with the marriage of literature and food, language and food, culture and food, I decided that I'd give the kid a whole Victorian Christmas dinner, down to the plum pudding and sugarplums.

Epic Fail.

It looked beautiful. It smelled wonderful. The son loved it. Everyone loved it. My mother-in-law, who hadn't had roast goose since her girlhood in Germany, waxed rhapsodic.

In short, I was doomed.

For the last ten years, save perhaps one, Christmas dinner has been goose. Neither the son nor the daughter will budge on this point. Tonight, eating her third helping of roast goose with goose gravy, the daughter murmured appreciatively:

"Goose pie, goose soup, goose sandwiches..."

I raised an eyebrow. That was a new one.

"Okay, maybe not," she conceded.

"Don't forget goose fajitas," the son chimed in.

(Yes. We've had goose fajitas.)

There never was such a goose.

Go sing a good song: "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," a traditional English carol.

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