Christmas In The Country

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Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. The cold, snowy weather is more romantic, cheesy holiday movies make you warm and cheery, and for me, family-time are cherish able moments – never dull, always loving. This year, while it was just a small group of us: my parents, Mark and myself, we made the best of it. It was the first year my sister didn’t spend the holidays with family. She was definitely feeling it, so she drove up to the mountains, outside of Denver, for a quick getaway, while we were huddled up on a frozen lake in Wisconsin. The quietude of the snow dulled the few cars driving down the road, and the feeling of being secluded took hold. In our family, this could only mean games and booze. We laughed the nights away over Cards Against Humanity and bottles of bourbon. I honestly, haven’t laughed that hard in years. To hear my sweet, sweet mother read, “Dick Fingers” aloud, was the best moment of 2016. Dick fingers, by the way, is the perfect play for every black card.

 

Mark cooked duck for Christmas dinner – a delectable treat, the whole duck perfectly cooked. Roasted root vegetables and duck fat mashed potatoes made for a beautiful accompaniment. I opened a 2001 Couly-Dutheil Clos de l’Echo Cabernet Franc – decanted 45 minutes ahead of time – its woody, dried herbs and soft cherry notes were quite pleasing. Then, of course, more bourbon.

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Photo: Elliott Papineau

 

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The ease of train transportation between Chicago and Milwaukee made the weekend even more enjoyable. There was none of the Trains, Planes and Automobiles fear that traditionally surrounds holiday travel. We thoroughly enjoyed and needed this quick escape from the tumultuous holiday season in the restaurant industry. We have one more week of unabashed holiday parties, then Mark and I are off to Kentucky and Nashville for a week of BBQ, whiskey and country music!

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