Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Feast to Remember

Was it the popping of the cork?
(All photos by LBG.)

Was it the fizzy bubbles rising to the surface with their whisper of good things to come?

Was it the surprise treat that the husbands had mysteriously disappeared to shop for the day before?

Was it the Christmas crackers ready to be pulled apart to find the paper crown and little toy hidden inside?

Was it the sight of two handsome men bustling around the kitchen in a perfect storm of cheerfulness?

Was it the masterly carving of the roast goose, done with a skill and speed that astonished all who witnessed it?

Was it our friends' dining room which shimmered and glowed with the promise of the meal to come?

Was it the talking and laughing and interrupting and clinking of glasses?

Was it the heartfelt speeches of the children?

Was it the plates piled high with goose, stuffing, roast parsnips, potatoes, mushy peas and gravy?

Was it the sticky toffee pudding castle which broke coming out of the Bundt mold and was rebuilt with a heroic use of toothpicks? Was it the thick moat of toffee sauce that surrounded it?

Was it the candlelight?

In the words of the great man himself,

"And thus the evening passes, in a strain of rational good-will and cheerfulness, doing more to awaken the sympathies of every member of the party in behalf of his neighbor, and to perpetuate their good feeling during the ensuing year, than half the homilies that have ever been written, by half the Divines that have ever lived."*

It was a Dickens of a night.


* From "A Christmas Dinner", 1835

13 comments:

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Methinks it twas the mushy peas and the tartan jacket.

Glamour Drops said...

It looks like an absolutely enchanting affair. The tartan jacket, the bubbles in the coupe...what more does one need?

Emily said...

I love a man who is not afraid to wear a tartan blazer! And I love seeing people use this type of champagne glass, vs. the newer fluted ones. So old Hollywood!

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness...this is just all kinds of wonderful. Trying not to be too envious!

24 Corners said...

It was the view of that wonderful dining room that brought up thoughts of Old Hollywood for me...the entire home must be absolutely beautiful!
Piero looks divinely dapper and festive in his Tartan jacket...and the whole evening especially warm,cozy, and very Christmassy...I'm sure Charles would have felt right at home.
xo J~

(Mr.24 has wanted me to make a Toffee Pudding for years...I might just have to acquiesce, it always sounds delicious!)

Lily said...

What a merry & charming feast... the only kind to have!
And for some really cozy fireside descriptions of a lovely faraway Christmas world, dip back into The Wind in the Willows when Ratty and Mole go tramping through the snowy woods and end up chez Badger. Simply marvelous!
Happy New Year!

Kate said...

Happy and Merry belated. First of all, I adore the Divine Italian's Christmas blazer. Second, how was the goose? I'm contemplating for New Years' Eve.

We have a similarly Dickensian feast EVERY year. Roast Beef, creamed spinach, creamed potatoes, and figgy pudding with brandy butter. OK, this year the creamed spinach included phyllo and feta, gravadlax is served as a starter, and the figgy pudding includes California persimmons, but we do get bonus points for standing around (every year) and singing "Now bring us some figgy pudding." My family is cheesy like that.

Beautiful Things said...

How wonderful. Glad you had a good Christmas. x

Bay Area Tendrils said...

My husband needs to talk to your husband;-) Caviar cravings.. to accompany the New Year's Champagne.

p.s. I've been remembering my Bloomsbury adventures on Alice's Garden Travel Buzz .. yearning for more summery visits to Monk's House & Charleston!

Lisa said...

I'm salivating over the toffee pudding with a moat of toffee sauce surrounding it. to hell with the diet (said the duchess), I'll eat today and diet tomorrow!
not sure about the mushy peas though. what is it about peas and the British? My last trip there
(2010)featured the green orb in many a form. It got to the point I started photographing each meal because they all had peas. (I don't much care for peas so I took note and was glad my mother was not along to admonish me to eat my peas.)

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Vikas Mel said...

That is looking amazing, and what a Merry Christmas feast, i love to do the same , but i celebrate my Christmas buying the gift from here and sending them to loved ones.

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