Mise En Place

For some reason it doesn’t feel quite like Christmas yet.  The grass is still greenish brown.  I haven’t seen one holiday-themed sweater yet.  I’m sitting here at a desk, finishing two articles, and trying to figure out how to inject some Christmas spirit into my bones.  All before next week arrives, I tackle a final set of articles, and I run the gauntlet of menu shopping, gift-wrapping and the endless hours of mise en place, mise en place.

In ten days I’ll be in Madrid, which I’m really looking forward to.  The weather should be somewhat mild, and despite the holiday crowds, I can’t wait to visit Museo del Prado.  Of the entire incredible collection there, I am, for some strange reason, most looking forward to seeing the coins.  I don’t know when this happened, but I’m becoming that person who wants to look at coins.

I’m not sure what the New Year’s celebration will be like in Madrid.  In Dublin it was relatively low-key: the rumbling of poets around temple bar, a few pub tours, a good meal, lovely flutes of champagne with the family at the Shelbourne at midnight.  I’m not sure what to expect from Madrid, but I’m looking forward to the people and the food and the architecture.  And I always say in these moments: it’s a great time to be in Europe.  But is it ever not a great time?

The forecast is calling for flurries.  And with flurries comes the white coating of Christmas.  And for me, at least, the spirit of it.

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