We plus daughter Stephanie cooked Christmas dinner for ten at Julee’s home in Newport, TN (not the home of the Jazz Festival). We roasted beef rib, Jule did a turkey, and together we prepared sides of green beans with bacon, garlicky potatoes, cranberry relish, velvet cake, pecan pie, and six bottles of Cristalino Spanish champagne. Absence of tips notwithstanding, we think our guests enjoyed the repast.
We discussed my high school classmates who now star on Duck Dynasty, and how A&E should have known they were playing with fire airing a redneck reality show. Phil had it right, from a southern 60’s white kid’s point of view: we didn’t see black people being abused. We just saw life the way it always had been. Water fountains and restrooms in the biggest retailers were labeled “White” and “Colored”. Blacks rode on the back of the bus. Neither Phil, Silas, nor I ever spent a day in our first twelve years of school with a negro child. “Negro” was the color term of choice in that day, and was considered respectful.
A&E will eat fried crow and reinstate Phil once the smoke clears. Duck Dynasty is A&E’s most profitable show, and with an estimated $80 million profits to date on their line of clothing (Oy, so much for camouflage?), the Robertsons have enough money to duck hunt longer than their unborn great grandkids will be able to see those birds. As I write this, word is out that the rest of the family has closed ranks behind Phil and is prepared to discontinue the show. Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, is in their camp, along with Miss Sarah Palin. The 1st Amendment cuts both ways.
The day after Christmas Julee’s friend Jen invited us to her place for an afternoon in the mountains of Tennessee, complete with “light hors d’oeuvres and other refreshments”. What a spread it was! I loved the pumpernickel, prosciutto, and cucumber sammidges. Jerry made some walnut and powdered sugar cookies (your mom and mine baked them with pecans). There were assorted crackers and three excellent cheeses. And there were nuts, chocolates, three kinds of sweet jellies, jalapeno olives, plus Cristalino punch, bourbon, and jolly good Scotch.
And what a view! When it’s warmer they sit on the deck and watch the sun set. Their dogs run in the woods but have the sense to come home when they get tired. Jen & Jerry’s place is truly a mountain home done right.
If you’ve ever wondered about the British/Canadian custom of Boxing Day, Jen (who was reared in Britain), explained it to us. It seems the lords and ladies of the manor package up the leftovers from their Christmas feast and pass them out to nearby villagers and employees on December 26. The foodstuffs, and maybe some re-giftings, go into boxes. Hence, Boxing Day.