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All over and done with

December 29, 2009

The dishwasher is quietly but reliably working through the final rinse. A handful of oversize objects drip-dry on the draining board. The stainless steel sink gleams where the suds have drained away.

Christmas is officially over.

Yes, I know. Strictly speaking Christmas finished days ago. But the decorations are still up, BBC Two is still using it’s Christmas ident and there’s New Year to look forward to. It’s acceptable to still feel just a little bit festive but still I can’t help feeling like the season is over.

Every year me and Significant Other try our hardest to eke out the Christmas spirit. Today saw us welcome the in-laws to the Thoroughly Good household for a late afternoon Christmas Day-esque meal featuring vietnamese spring rolls, goats cheese and mushroom tartlets (a culinary debut) accompanied by Nigella’s Christmas coleslaw. Everything finished off with a homemade pavlova. All a success. All an incredible hit. All except for Delia’s quick cheese,sage and onion bread which was on reflection a little heavy when it hit the stomach.

It isn’t the meal itself which satisfies the soul as much as the feel of my wrinkled fingers and the sight of the well-used pine worktop lit by the warm glow of the kitchen spots. Looking on it now I’m finding it difficult to deny a feeling a sense of completion, especially when I recall how the very same worktop resembled a war zone only an hour before.

Dinner parties are as much about the convivial atmosphere and mouth-watering menu as they are about the guaranteed feeling of satisfaction when the last plate is swept up from the rack and patted dry with the drying-up cloth. That’s when I know there’s the promise of an  the opportunity to slump on the sofa with a glass of wine and a good book.

And in case you’re wondering, I’m reading John Evan’s helpfully informative Journeying Boy about hero Benjamin Britten. Nice.

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