Monday, December 31, 2007

The Fifth Day of Christmas.

December 30 ...

“On the Fifth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Five gold rings”

One of the interpretations of the five gold(en) rings is that they represent the band of yellow around the neck of the pheasant – meaning that the first seven gifts in the song are all birds. Pheasant may be all very well, but we have had partridge and hen already, and it is time for something lighter.

Golden fruits seem appropriate after all of our over-eating – perhaps bananas? Some say that bananas were the fruit of the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, rather than the apple (which is certainly not a native of the Middle East, and has a more suggestive shape for a fall from grace). No doubt early clerics had reasons for associating the apple with the sin, but there is often very little logic in how we assign names or meanings. The following fruit salad is a good example. I am unable to hazard any guesses at all as to why this is “Russian”. Certainly pineapple has not a single mote of Russian inheritance, and surely vodka would be more suggestive than madeira or rum?

Alas, this fruit salad has no bananas, but it sounds wonderfully colourful and delicious nevertheless.

Russian Fruit Salad.
Peel and pit some peaches, cut in slices and add as much sliced pineapple, some apricots, strawberries and raspberries, put these in a dish. Prepare a syrup of juice of two lemons, two oranges, one cup of water and one pound of sugar, a half teaspoon of powdered cinnamon, grated rind of lemon, add one cup red wine and a half glass of Madeira, arrak or rum. Boil this syrup for five minutes, then pour over the fruit, tossing the fruit from time to time until cool. Place on ice and serve cold.
[The International Jewish Cook Book. By Florence Kreisler Greenbaum, 1919]

“On the fifth day of Christmas, my good friend gave to me
Five golden fruits
Four keeping cakes,
Three boiling hens,
Two chocolate tarts,
And a partridge in a pear tree.”

Tomorrow’s Story …

The Sixth Day of Christmas.

Quotation for the Day …

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.
Agnes M. Pharo

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