Colby and I spent Christmas Eve in colonial Williamsburg, where carolers and people donned in period costumes whisked down the main street strip in horse-drawn carriages and buggies. We hoped for snow that day, but somehow the fronts keep resisting us, and we only seem to get cold and wind. After we left, my grandmother got 5″ of snow; here in Bethesda we got next to nothing!
Williamsburg is chock full of holiday decor that while simple and muted, is fresh, unexpected, and authentic. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of wreathes, which might have been annoying for Colby, but I sated him with beer and a serving of cottage pie. After shopping, eating, and perusing Mermaid Books, a fabulous used bookstore and antique shop, we headed back to Quinton for Christmas Eve dinner, mass, and a heaping dose of holiday tradition. Thank you, Southern roots, for you give me wine jelly and Smithfield ham.
We exchanged gifts, and Colby was sweet enough to buy some movies for me, some being ones that we misplaced in the move and that I’ve been dying to watch, others that I wanted but couldn’t buy just yet. Julie & Julia, one of my favorites from last year, and a documentary (I’m a docu-freak) about NYC Ballet revisiting the Marinsky stage in St. Petersburg. Along came Mastering the Art of French Cooking–a pricey read I’ve been quietly longing for. Color me inspired! I’m cooking French food with flair (yeah, yeah, I’ve only started with the basics, but I feel French when I cook with such quantities of butter, and Colby genuinely compliments my dishes, so we’re on to something).
And it seems to be cooking cum ballet, as I’ve been plié-ing and rond de jambe-ing with whisk in hand. I’ve even dreamt about both dancing and cooking, and though they weren’t positive reveries–in the cooking dream, while I had an inspiring collection of copper pots, not one of my dishes turned out; in the ballet dream, my teacher violently objected to the way I was holding my hands, which I blamed, and without hesitation, on my brief turns with the Balanchine technique.
So that’s where I am. More on cooking later. Potage Parmentier (leek and potato soup) was a quick and inexpensive success. Rigatoni with Béchamel was also rich, hearty, and perfect for Christmas dinner. Molto saporito. Okay, I just looked that one up, but learning some Italian is on the docket for this year, too.
I could get used to not working…
Post Script — Wedding is five months to the day!