While we're unable to stay focused on things like painting the last few feet of woodwork in my kitchen, trimming the hedges, and anything else that really has to be done, Marian and I have been able to maintain our dedication to (and enthusiasm for) our annual Alphabet Dinners - our way of ringing in the new year. See last year's posting for a little more background on our tradition.
This year, we experienced a minor change in scheduling as daughter #2 wanted to host a soiree of her own. We therefore rescheduled the Alphabet Dinner for the following day ... and didn't that work out nicely? We rolled an E and treated ourselves to a decadent breakfast of EGGS BENEDICT made with EBONY FOREST HAM (that's from the darkest corner of the Black Forest for those of you who have never been there). The fruit accompaniment proved somewhat of a challenge since elderberries aren't in season. We had to embrace the mother tongue and go with ERDBERN - that's strawberries auf Deustch. Hey, its our game. We can build some wiggle room into the rules if we like.
Our other challenge was the beverage. Try finding a champagne off the shelf made by a vintner whose winery begins with an E. Again, we had to wiggle a bit and therefore enjoyed an EFFERVESCENT beverage with our eggs and erdbern - a really nice non-vintage brut from Gruet Winery in New Mexico. We also bought a bottle of ECHELON's 2006 pinot noir to get a head start the evening before our breakfast.
The movies? EASTERN PROMISES, a brutal portrayal of life inside the Russian mob, and EVENING, a sappy end-of-life reminiscence starring the usually stellar Vanessa Redgrave. Is that all that's left for a woman of Ms. Redgrave's generation? Playing a soon-to-be corpse who chases moths in her dreams? Best thing I can say about these movies is that we got to see Viggo Mortensen naked and covered in Russian prison tattoos.
What we learned from this year's meal is that we need to roll the Scattergories die a little earlier - say around Thanksgiving - to allow plenty of time to plant and harvest the elderberries.