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Opening Arguments

Dinner and a movie

What First Familes Eat on Christmas. George Washington set a standard that's seldom been equalled:

Christmas at Mount Vernon was no small affair. In addition to Washington’s super-tasty eggnog, the first president served onion soup, oysters, broiled herring, Yorkshire pudding, roast suckling pig, turkey with chestnut stuffing, boiled beef with horseradish sauce, Virginia ham, lima beans, acorn squash, baked celery with almonds, hominy pudding, candied sweet potatoes, cantaloupe pickles, spiced cranberries,and mincemeat, apple, and cherry pies. There were more desserts, including blancmange, jellied plums, snowballs (whatever those were), ice cream, and plum pudding, plus an assortment of fruit, nuts, cheese and egg-free alcoholic beverages.

Four meats and two fish dishes, you'll note. By contrast, the Obamas celebrated Christmas in Hawaii last year with ham steak, green beans, potatoes and pie. Ho-hum.

My Christmas meal this year might be called the modified "Christmas Story" dinner. Instead of going to a Chinese restaurant, we went to the realtively new Kim Vu Vietnamese restaurant on Dupont. I usually go to Saigon on Calhoun Street, but I like that type of food, so I'm always ready to try a new place. The ambiance sucks (as it does at Saigon), but the food was fabulous, and the egg rolls might have been the best I've ever had. Try the No. 6, noodles with grilled pork and beef and an egg roll. It's about as traditional a Vietnamese dish as you'll find.

Afterward, we went to a movie, "Lincoln," which was pretty good and suprisingly un-schmaltzy for a Spielberg effort.  Truly great performance from Daniel Day-Lewis, and a pretty good one from Sally Field. The one clunker was Tommy Lee Jones, who seemed a little over-the-top at times. But the best job of all might have been by James Spader. I've seen him in enough movies to recognize him at once, but I didn't even realize he was in this one until I saw the credits at the end. Talk about disappearing into a role.


Harl Delos
Wed, 12/26/2012 - 1:37pm

Snowballs are called Russian Tea Cakes these days.  They are similar to Mexican Wedding cakes.

Spader does a good job of disappearing into a role.  I didn't know his name until he married William Shatner on Boston Legal, then slowly realized he was a number of other likeable characters.