Thursday, December 10, 2009

Highs & Lows: Of Butterbeans & Carols

Perhaps you've gathered from my blog that I'm not much into organized religion...or perhaps you haven't. In either case, let's just say I'm not. Which is not to imply that I totally disdain certain holidays (I don't) but that I may experience some things differently than other people do. The sounds of the season are a perfect example.

I've always enjoyed Christmas music for the most part. Not played all day long and not the embarrassing stuff, but some classic and some newer reinterpreted holiday music is fine. But for some reason, this year I am finding myself offended by hearing religious Christmas songs everywhere I go. A friend and I were in Barnes & Noble the other day when "O Come All Ye Faithful" came on. I know it's an old Christmas carol, but do I really want to hear a song about Jesus or Christ or anything pertaining to a specific religion while I'm looking for magazines? No, actually I don't.

Tonight I was meeting M.H.F. at Rowland for dinner and there, too, I heard Christian carols. Jingle Bells? Okay. I'll be Home for Christmas? Sure. Hark, the Herald Angels Sing? Not so much.

Luckily, Pandora soon made an appearance (although the starting point was Jack Johnson, for whom I have a particular distaste, but many of the singer-songwriter types who followed were stellar). I was relieved to hear the religious songs replaced with music that had no references to saviors or glory. If that makes me a heathen, well, then my grandmother was right (although I still think she was wrong about pink eyeshadow).

I started my meal with the Butterbean Cake with cucumber, grape tomato, feta, avocado, salsa and spicy cilantro oil. I have had this unusual and delicious appetizer before, but not since a dark night in February, so I really savored having it after so long a time. I love my butterbeans and this cake is unlike anything else done with them around here.

Dinner was surf and turf, that is to say I got the Country Style Pork Ribs with BBQ glaze and butternut hash and M.H.F. got the fish special, flounder stuffed with crab meat. There was a lot of sharing going on so that we could both enjoy such diverse dishes. Both were too big to finish, especially for anyone ordering the Chocolate Hazelnut Torte. Wait, didn't I just have chocolate pie for lunch? Why, yes, I did, but that had been ten hours ago.

I'm not begrudging anyone their Christmas carols at home or a party, but let's not share them with shoppers and diners. I feel certain that we'd never allow the sacred music of other religions to be played in general public spaces (well, there's Adam Sandler's Chanukkah song, but that's hardly about the Jews running out of oil).

But a little Vince Guaraldi never hurt (or offended) anybody.


  1. I love your blog. You need to move to D.C. and become a food critic. It would be the perfect job for you. You don't have that snobbish air about you that many critics do. I think people tend to get turned off by the pretensionism. You, on the other hand, make it easy to understand and appealing.

  2. Hardly! I'm just an eater writing about where I go and what I like, so I'm not qualified to critique, as had been pointed out in prior comments on this blog.
    But thanks for such a nice comment...and I hope you'll keep reading.