So, I just have to say that I love my family. Most people, almost all people, actually, if they were off traipsing in Montreal and read my pseudo-tragic posts about poor Mojo would say to each other, “That sucks. Computers … what are ya gonna do?” and go about their day. What did my family do? They read my post, then went straight to the Apple Store and bought me a replacement. (Actually, they went to the first store that sold Apple products, only to be told that, unless you live in Montreal, you can’t buy a computer from them. THEN they went to the Apple Store.) AND … Cara gave me a new set of pots and pans, and Megan had a shirt made for me that reads “My Other Shirt Is A Pants” which I told her I wanted made for me, but never expected anyone to actually do it. In short, best birthday EVER.
We’re getting caught up here, and next week, this week, we’ll be back on track, but without further ado, here is the Canadian Thanksgiving TSB, brought to you by Megan and Rene.
One thing you learn, living abroad, is that the holidays are not only yours but belong to all orphans everywhere. You generally celebrate a holiday, whether it’s yours or not, with every ex-pat that you know. They may not come to your house, but you will be aware of the various satellite parties going on around you within your little friend circle. When you do have them over to share in your festivities, they will generally show up on time(ish), bring something to compliment the meal (booze), and will keep their religious and political views to themselves (barring an initiation of such topics by their hosts, i.e. you). Your fellow orphans become like an extended family that you never fight with because you don’t really know them that well. Basically, they are the perfect holiday guests.
This year, we had a mix of both. Cara’s mom is still visiting, so we had actual family, which, all joking aside, is always nice, and we had our friends Carlos and Michael. Michael has been a member of our family since Cara and Rene were kids. They grew up together. Carlos is Caia’s swimming instructor, and Cara’s friend, and since his husband is Canadian, we figured he would be a fabulous addition, in every sense of the word.
Since Megan and Rene are away in Montreal on vacation, the cooking was left to me. In true Patik form, Cara told me Sunday morning that we were to have guests for dinner. I had not anticipated a big group for dinner, since our numbers were down to three, so I had done no prep. Like, say, buying a turkey, for instance.
After consulting the oracle (Facebook) it was decided that, while turkey is favourable for the holidays, chicken would be easier, last minute. This is what I came up with.
On The Menu: Assorted Cheeses and Prosciutto with Fig and Black Currant Compote (Respectively), Roast Chicken with an Asian Pear Gravy, Roast Chicken with White Gravy, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Parmesan Steamed Carrots, Broccoli in a Sharp Cheddar Sauce, Poached Asian Pears with Vanilla Ice Cream
Who brought it? Craig brought it.
If you want recipes, please let me know, and I will send them to you. I highly recommend trying the Roast Chicken with Asian Pear Gravy. It’s a lot softer than a typical apple stuffing and it will cause your guests to ask, “What is that?” to which you get to reply, “Asian Pear …” to which they will, dumfounded and amazed, secretly worship you like a GOD. Then, when they are eating the dessert, ALSO with Asian Pears, their heads will explode with delight. A little more clean up in the morning, but worth it in my opinion.
Wine: Osborne Ybarra (a.k.a., OY!!), Vendimia Seleccionada, Roble, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 2009, $180 MXN
Rating: Two Bottles
I really like this wine. I especially like the label (picture not shown) because as you walk past it in the store, all you see are the letters O and Y together, like the winemaker is getting all British youth on you. “Oy! You! Try this wine … guv …” (I should’ve probably researched what British youth sounds like before referencing them.)
This is a classy tasting wine. Softer tannins allow for the cassis to come through, leaving a hint of dandelion root on your tongue as it settles. OY! tastes like a business dinner with your boss. You feel dressed-up when you drink this wine, like you are trying to impress AND look cool at the same time. Although it is missing a certain je ne sais quoi that would make it remarkable, for the price, this is an excellent wine and one that we will be drinking again soon.
As the food settled, and we waited for the dessert to be ready, we got to chatting. We’ll leave out the details of the conversation that Cara, Carlos, and I had in the kitchen except to say that who a person loves is nobody’s business but their own. This was sparked by an interesting stat that has been circulating this week on FB: there are more states in the U.S.A. that allow first cousins to marry than there are states that allow same-sex couples to marry. While I have not seen this stat independently verified, I would like to believe it, because it is both infuriating and hilarious at the same time.
The stat that I would really like to see is how many states allow gay first cousins to marry. THAT would be the state to live in! Libertarianism at its finest.
The topic of general conversation was that sales industries, especially the timeshare industry, tend to promote mediocrity in its staff as opposed to excellence. Which … is … crazy. My pet theory: as sales is the world’s oldest profession, in one form or another, there is a trickle down effect to the industries that it services. As one person gets screwed by inefficient sales practices, he or she passes on the screwing to the next person they meet and do business with. Those things we learn, we pay forward. Instead of promoting an environment of excellence through leadership, incentives, and support, we have all seen our respective sales industries get lazier and lazier, cutting more and more corners. Instead of getting tighter, it has become more slack. In timeshares, we are moving towards a time when there is an implosion of our industry – a falling in on itself due to its own hollowness – or the emergence of a newer, better, vacation industry that makes the sales person less relevant. Like McDonald’s and its ilk makes the Maître d’ obsolete, so too could a Big Box-style timeshare company make the sales professional a thing of the past. Simply see what’s on the menu and go from there …
The last topic of the evening? Incest.