Portland, Oregon, December 24, 2013—
WE'LL HAVE MEAT enough tomorrow: tonight we make do with fish. But what a fine meal it was, beginning with a raw apple that, halved, showed the Christmas five-pointed star at its center, promising a good new year to come. (I'm told that on rare occasions the seeds make the sign of a cross instead, suggesting sorrows ahead.)
Then we had ice-cold vodka, and smoked salmon on buttered rye bread, and a handsome potato salad with apple and celery and onion carefully diced in; and tea and cookies, and games and disputation — all the fortes and faiblesses characteristic of these Zivny-Shere gatherings, for we were seven at table, none giving an inch, but all vivacious and engaged. And tomorrow we'll do it all again, this time at feast.