A Mulberry Row Christmas Tale

Mr. Scrooge’s British accent hunted me diachronically throughout my DC metropolitan visit. Not so much at the Ford’s Theater representation of A Christmas Carol, but unexpectedly during a marvelous Virginia Theater Machine street performance in Colonial Williamsburg. My ears relish the pronunciation perfection of Shakespeare‘s language, but I enjoy as well my freewill traveling choice that took me to Yankee-land to plunge into the civil-libertarian uses broadly accessible in this society.

I therefore hit the road towards another favored UNESCO World Heritage Site to re-visit Thomas Jefferson‘s adorable Monticello, in Charlottesville, Virginia. I quickly engaged in the house tour, rediscovering the ever ongoing changes, in the purest Jeffersonian style. While roaming around Mulberry Row I met James Hemings. With a warm greeting and noticing my non Southern accent, he asked for the whereabouts of my origin and effusively explained his time spent in Europe, learning French cuisine. Absorbed in his experiences, I was kindly invited to accompany James to the estate kitchen, where I could further collaborate in the daily cooking.

Upon arrival, I was introduced to Ursula, the “favourite house woman”, Suck, little Edith, and James’ brother, Peter Hemings. The kitchen was certainly alive and my presence barely disturbed the work in progress. I inquired about the dishes being cooked to what James replied proudly:

– Lunch menu consists of deviled eggs with anchovies, consommé Julienne, and baked shad with roe soufflé and scalloped potatoes, decorated with a “garden stuff” salad with Monticello dressing.

Needless to say that at that point I started salivating.

Upon completion of the appetizers, James proposed me to escort him and Ursula to the dinning room, where the Master, his family and guests would be awaiting for the food. To what, I happily accepted. The three of us entered the luminous room full handed, to surprisingly find the Master standing near six empty places on the table, and ready to address us:

– James, it is my pleasure to share our table with you, your brother, Ursula, Suck, little Edith, and the visiting Spaniard, and in this way show our appreciation to your lasting services.

On that same evening, back to my DC hotel, I recalled Mr. Scrooge’s British accent and booked a seat for the Washington Ballet‘s The Nutcracker to never stop living my adored Christmas spirit.



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