At one celebration last week, the Chef whipped up a batch of "fennel cakes" as a special Christmas treat for me. He could've made funnelcakes, but knows I won't eat them out of season, so, much as the title suggests, these represented a savory (and genius) take. I couldn't begin to tell you how to make them, but they were fennel-infused and lightly dusted with parmesan. For dipping sauces, we had an onion chutney/type/jam; sundried tomato pesto; and an herbed goat cheese spread.
They seemed like a truly extravagant amount of trouble, but God knows, I certainly hope they become an annual holiday tradition like Harriette's cheese straws.
I credit the richness of the holiday fare with the completely insane cartoon dreams I had all night, from which, I awakened at 4 am to a persistent scritch, scritch, scritch on the rooftop, just over my head.
I opened one eye.
The TV was off. The stereo was off. I had left the blackberry downstairs on the charger on my way to bed. The iPod battery had died and I had clawed my way out of the ear buds in my sleep. The only light in the room came from the dim glow of the on-switch for the electric bedwarmer (which I have named Steve, after my three alltime favorite boyfriends). The usual street sounds were completely deadened by snow. It was as quiet a moment as has ever existed in this house, until, there it was again. Scritch, scritch, scritch.
At this point, I sat bolt upright in bed, rubbed my bleary eyes with the backs of both hands, and said, out loud, with some fog-induced expectation of a clear answer: "Santaaaaaaa?"
It wasn't him. As far as I know, anyway.
After further listening, it sounded just like the raccoon/cougar/hobo/possum that got caught in the attic this summer. I'm not sure what the critter turned out to be, because he (or she) never took the bait that the critter-catcher set for him. Eventually, the scritching stopped, so I figured s/he died, or moved to a nice farm in the country.
Of course it might not be the same animal. It could be a cousin. It could be anything. I considered calling Trapper John, who interrupted a wedding to come check my traps last summer (and that's not a euphemism). But I quickly thought better of it.
They might be willing to come set traps on Christmas Eve, but certainly no one would come monitor them on Christmas weekend, and the whole point of a humane trap is to catch and release. If you don't release fairly quickly, it isn't very humane at all.
I already hate the holidays. I don't think I could take the prospect of euthanizing a damn reindeer in my attic.
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