I’m not sure where we get the belief that we must visit with everybody close to Christmas, even people we don’t see for months or even all year. But I think it’s a nice tradition. I like connecting to people and wishing them a jolly holiday.
Tonight two friends came for a sort of impromptu supper. They’d met once before and enjoyed each other’s company, but they didn’t seem to remember. Once they figured that out, conversation flowed, and we had a happy evening, even though we talked a lot about such grim topics as aging, death, divorce—you get the drift. What old women talk about when they get together.
It was my day for cooking disasters. I had delicious fresh green beans and a small filet of sole left from my supper last night, so I started to heat both for my lunch. Totally lost my head and tried to use the hot plate and toaster oven at the same time. Of course, I blew a fuse, which I am unable to fix because it requires navigating the space right behind my cottage. I had a cold lunch—believe it or not, it was good. And not quite cold, because both the fish and the beans began to heat before the circuit breaker went (listen to me, still talking about fuses—gives away my age).
Jordan came home, fixed the breaker, and the lights came back on. I didn’t think it suspicious that the hot plate and oven didn’t, until I tried to heat the dinner—spanikopita that I’d gotten from the Greek festival and kept in the freezer. Nothing. Hot plate didn’t work, toaster oven didn’t work. I tried to reset the wall socket, but nothing happened. I was frantically thinking what I had that would do for a cold supper, when one of my guests fixed it. Her secret: you don’t press the button hard enough with your finger; use the prong of a plug. She did, and, hallelujah, it worked. But then we had to wait for the spanakopita to heat.
I had cobbled together some appetizers (you know, like John Cornyn cobbled together the votes for the horrendous tax bill). I found a small log of goat cheese in the fridge, and “decorated” it with chopped scallion and parsley. Didn’t do much for the taste, but made it look less bare, more festive, even seasonal. And I had some of my fromage fort, the mix I make of leftover cheeses, this one heavy with blue cheese. People like it, and it seems to keep forever. So we lingered over that and a glass of wine while the spanakopita heated. Spanikopita and a green salad made a great dinner, and we had brownies—a gift—for dessert.
Getting together with friends is a wonderful custom, compulsive or not, and I treasure it. I’m looking forward to a couple of visits this week with friends I don’t see often enough and, a special treat, visits with friends in town only briefly for the holidays. It’s a good time to share the love.