My 24 hours of devotion to the temple of excess were sponsored by Manischewitz wine, nectar of the gods. Well, of God I guess, Judaism being so monotheistic and all. Brought to our gathering as a joke, the comically sweet liquid quickly became a fan favourite of all present. Everybody who joined our procession (greeted by a loud “Merry Happy”) was encouraged to join our cultish behaviour. Frankly I’m surprised we didn’t try mixing it with Kool Aid. We did, however, attempt to cut the sweetness with the unfortunately abundant supplies of white wine we had. No aspersions on the lighter grape, but the 1.5L bottle I picked up from the LCBO for $12.95 (which the staff member described as both “popular” because of the price and “harmless”), had no variety beyond “white wine”. A good quaff elicited reactions similar to unintentionally having consumed urine. “It has alcohol” would’ve been a quick description of its only merit. So as I said, it was perfect for cutting the cloying (sumptuous) candied taste of hallowed Hebrew-ed heritage. Given the nature of conversation, I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn it was laced with delicate traces of mescaline.
If that wondrous bottle of Judiac juice wasn’t enough. If the 1.5L bottle of “harmless” white wasn’t enough, we also had another 1.5L bottle of an actually palatable red. Plus two 3L bottles of mulling wine. Then out came the whiskey, gorgeous single malts. As the night tapered, another friend’s arrival brought with it a home made bottle of delectable white. Did I mention that a) there were eleven people passing in and out at different stages of the evening and b) most of the alcohol (save a respectful amount of single malts and an uncomfortable quantity of the “harmless”white). This alcohol fuelled discourse on a host of topics: Whether or not a unicorn’s genitals are non-euclidian (non-euClit-ian?) and if they can invert the space between worlds. There was a frank and sincere discussion on tense family Christmases, dealing with early onset dementia and coping with difficult situations. A friend arrived with clothes identical to mine. I hoisted my “twin” on my shoulders and we sung the Sesame Street theme song (poorly with inaccurate lyrics). The music changed source from ipod to record player to spotify. The night featured Girl Talk, Meatloaf, Marvin Gaye, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sam Cooke and ended with sing-alongs to 90s pop classics.
Of course, a feast would be nothing without food. This wasn’t merely to be a liquid dinner. Ignited by the spark of that wondrous Semitic special sauce I tended the kitchen. Quite drunk, I coaxed along the roast turkey, a pork roast and whipped up my first ever gravy from scratch. I reheated friends’ glazed maple carrots, tinned corn and a mountain of buttery mashed potatoes. My girlfriend set the table while ensuring guests’ stomachs weren’t grumbling too hard by supplying small chippy packets of Doritos (left over from Halloween). Others bought pies, whipped cream (including coconut whip. Holy shit), ice cream and chocolates. I experienced the glory of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange for the first time.
Today my girlfriend and I celebrated our lack of responsibility with leftovers. Turkey, cranberry, mashed potatoes and slathering of gravy in bed with Arrested Development on Netflix. We put the literal cherry on top by making banana splits with whipped cream, sprinkles and chocolate magic shell. Topped with the aforementioned maraschino cherry of course.
All I can say is, thanks to all our friends who came out to celebrate the holiday and a special thanks to our divine vintner Yahweh for bringing us the impeccable elixir of Manischewitz.