Highlights of the festive season that was:
A well executed Danish Christmas eve in Woodstock, Cape Town, complete with: three perfectly roasted turkeys, agurkesalat (cucumber salad), rødkål (braised red cabbage), brunkartofler (caramelised potatoes) and ris a la mande (Danish rice pudding with a French name), good cheer and too many gifts. Somewhere on that night I managed to fit in a Woolworths mince pie too.
Beverages: Simsonsig Kaapse Vonkel (that’s Cap Classique to you) and a surprisingly fine Cabernet Sauvignon from Wildekrans.
A Christmas lunch courtesy of the lovely family of Mr. 302. In attendance were more than one published author and a lot of people from BP. I ate corned beef for the first time and enjoyed that, but I enjoyed the gammon smothered in mustard sauce even more. I managed trifle and ice-cream for dessert and wished I had room for the cheesecake that was hauled out when everyone was far too full. I got a pair of tweezers in my cracker.
Beverages: Some rather lovely Chardonnay which I forgot to remember.
Christmas to New Year: more turkey, turkey, turkey, no, not more turkey! Gobble yourself.
A four-man New Year’s eve with a feast for eight: flash fried prawns with green (in truth, yellow) mango salad and dukkah bread; later, lebanese flatbread with diced spiced lamb, hummus, baba ganoush, olives and chillies; later still, a little ice-cream for some.
Beverages: bubbles, obviously.
Highlights: sucking helium out of the balloons to say “Resistentialism is a serious business”, and watching the city from a mountainslope after sunrise.
007: a very civilised vodka tasting with 302, including Stolichnaya Premium, the one with the Bison grass (yum), a French one made of grapes (tres chic) and three or four fine Polish ones. I will have to drink them several times before I remember their names, but I do know how to say Na zdrovia!
302 served a fine meal of rye bread with locks and cream cheese, hot smoked salmon and boerekaas (Dutch/farm cheese), followed by espresso and whisky chocolates. I got to watch BBC’s The Smoking Room for the first time and had a good laugh. I also finally got to hear the Prefab Sprout Albuquerque song, which I haven’t been able to dislodge from my head since.
Can it be true that I am still hungry?
It’s been a well-nourished change of year. And these were just the name days. In the words of Gnarls Barkley, I could go on and on and on. But who cares?