In the Nepalese restaurant called Mooli a dish called Seku wa Barbat consists of tender pieces of boneless lamb "with" the menu says, "a kiss of spice"..
While listening to the traditional carol service from Kings College Cambridge on BBC Radio 4, I roll out pastry for mince pies, make circles of the pastry with the rim of a wine glass, spoon mincemeat into the tarts and cover the filling with more disks of pastry, which I glaze with an egg and milk glaze, pierce with a cross to let the steam escape. The music and the readings from the gospels help concentration and inspire a sense of the appropriate, if not the eternal. Christmas cards are displayed in a suitable places all over the house, and, by the front door in the hall, hangs a bunch of pagan mistletoe . A turkey awaits the usual services in the cold cupboard which, when this house was young, used to be a coal hole. I am momentarily troubled by the feeling that I am engaged in a sentimental charade, and that maybe the feelings of goodwill and kindness that surge in my foggy brain are ersatz emotions picked up from habit and brainwashing.
Then, to quote my friend Anna, who on such occasions would probably say "Pish!" to such negative thouhgts, I say "Pish". And a happy Christmas to all who step by and visit this site, and who are kind enough to say hello from time to time, and whom I have come to regard as good and dear friends. A few years ago, I would never have thought that such links could be made with people of like mind and interests living in the USA, Australia, India, France, the West of England, the North of Engand , Tunbridge Wells even, and who knows where else. This is a good time, despite all the attendant horrors, to be alive. To all of you I raise a virtual glass and wish that it were a real one poured for you: A happy New Year!