Dec 26, 2013

christmas in london

yesterday, the streets were a cyclist's almost-dream: free of even the slightest trace of london buses though not free, unfortunately, of london drivers. then, in the afternoon, to deepest west london. there was too much cheese but that was ok, polish mushroom borscht, many interesting bottles of wine—including one brought at considerable inconvenience from barcelona that i was particularly looking forward to drinking again*—and christmas music. a lot of christmas music. suddenly, dense white smoke was everywhere, followed by thrown-open doors and windows, an overturned bowl of very delicious ice cream mix, a crying baby. through the smoke and the respiratory distress, we discerned that the oven was the source, of course, of course: our goose was nearly cooked. there is nothing like kitchen chaos to bring people together around the table, especially if that table is in the room that doesn't have smoke in it. plus, now i know: never forget to put water in the roasting pan when cooking a goose.

today is for making bread, getting the goosefat out of my cellphone and left sock, and studiously avoiding oxford street where vast amounts of money no doubt are changing hands.

* the casa pardet 1995 tempranillo reserva is a beautifully reserved, composed, alive wine—a rare (but fortunately not the only) anomaly from the country of strident fruit and Too Much Wood. it had seemed ok, if a bit depressed, the night before when i decanted it, only revealing its hideously corked nature when i opened it again just before dinner. tw, who is wise in matters of the vine, says: "I have never had a wine that seemed fine then turned out to be corked. I have had many that seemed iffy and then turned out to be truly fucked."

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