Busy busy busy. Flew to Alabama on the 17th; Jen’s bro Jeff was graduating from college, so we went to Birmingham to surprise him. Spent a couple days with her family and flew back on the 19th. Was plied with good food, gift cards, a bottle of cologne, cookies, and sundries. Jen’s family is very generous and hospitable.
Spent Christmas Eve volunteering at the Church of St. Francis Xavier, probably the first time…
Spent Christmas Eve volunteering at the Church of St. Francis Xavier, probably the first time I’ve been in a church since my grandmother’s funeral. We helped set up for the Christmas Day soup kitchen. We set up tables and chairs, hung streamers, set up the place settings, and distributed fruit to each table.
St. Francis Xavier serves food to about 300 people, both at the soup kitchen and via home deliveries to invalids, on Christmas Day. The church also operates a weekly meal service on Sundays, when it serves 700 people. We volunteered through New York Cares, which sends volunteers out to dozens of hunger programs every month, including several at Francis Xavier. We’ve both done other projects via NYCares–I’ve done a technology project and a dog-walk, and Jen’s cleaned cat cages and played with kitties–but this was our first hunger project. I think we’ll do another one.
Christmas Day was low-key. We opened presents in the morning. Jen got me a high-tech keychain flashlight, a lovely new peacoat, a wallet, and a money clip. I feel all swank now. We went into Midtown to see the holiday laser show at Grand Central and the Rock Center tree. Then we went into the Village and had Mexican food at Caliente Cab Co. Good guac.
Jen served up a yummy roasted beef tenderloin for dinner, in a sauce made from whiskey, heavy cream, beef stock, and peppercorns. We also had roasted potatoes and a yummy Caesar salad, with Jen-made dressing. Oh, and martinis!
The next day was Jen’s birthday. I brought her French toast in bed, ran a bath with a Lush bathbomb, brought her Bloody Mary after Bloody Mary, and slathered on a massage bar to make her skin all smooth and soft. We settled in for a wig-and-kick marathon via DVD before going out to Mario Batali’s Esca for its tasting menu (with wines). I’m sure Jen will have a full writeup later, so I’ll leave that to her.