29 December, 2006


Although as Alyssa rightly points out, if we started observing the sabbath in London when the sun really sets, only a few of us would have got out of our showers in time. I forget, being a local, how early it gets dark. Of course, I love it, and start getting nervous when the sun isn't down by the time Avery's homework is finished.

Speaking of, can I say how wonderful it is when she doesn't have any? Sorry.

The crowning glory of the reunion of the "Kristen and Alyssa Show," that staple of family entertainment, was the chance for Kristen to eat matzoh ball soup. Of course, it was also vastly important to show Annabelle Avery's school (I don't know who yawned harder, Annabelle or Avery, although most of Avery's energy was taken up refusing to walk up the steps: "I have to walk up these steps every DAY!"). But I insisted. Then we had a nice snack in Patisserie Valerie in honor of Alyssa's sister Val, and came home to make Shabbat dinner. Not, as Alyssa assures me, that they do this every Friday night, but it was a nice coincidence that the first available night to do it was... Friday. I can tell you right now that there's almost no point posting the recipe for the soup. It's like... it's like having Mozart play the piano for you, and at the end you ask him where he got his sheet music. Perfection.

Pastrami and salt beef from Selfridges, rye bread, weird pickles from the supermarket, good German mustard, soured cream, homemade applesauce with one apple left unpeeled, as per Alyssa's Nanny's recipe. "What? When on earth did you have a nanny?" I asked, horrified that an entire chapter of Alyssa lore might have been lost to me during our long years of friendship. "No, my NANNY. My grandmother! Yes, I had a nanny. When my mother was doing what?" We all simply tucked in and were happy. Of course the evening degenerated into the children's renditions of "Bop Till You Drop," from High School Musical, which I am afraid has thoroughly supplanted any lovely Christmas carols as the Song of the Holiday. Ah well, every silver lining has its cloud.

Tell you what. I'll ask Alyssa for the soup recipe, and then you and I collectively can try to figure out what she's left off, to keep us in her thrall. Meanwhile, I have the leftovers...

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