CORONAVIRUS DIARY: December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve

It finally feels like we may be turning that promised corner soon – not quite yet, but I can see the corner now. It’s called Vaccines Available Now. For some people. In Florida, I am pretty much at the back of the line. We have so many seniors living in nursing facilities and our idiot governor doesn’t seem to think we actually need to do anything about this pandemic and we are not getting anywhere near enough vaccines. And so far he’s just out and out lied about who is getting the vaccines; the vast majority have gone to people under the age of 55.

Despite that moron and the bigger moron in the White House, I am beginning to feel hopeful. The grownups will be back in power in less than a month and I can’t wait. No more conspiracy theories and/or pseudo science coming from the big baby in chief. No more Twitter tantrums. Well, there probably will be more but he won’t be president so I don’t have to hear about it. In my dreams, I don’t have to hear about it. He’ll be under regular person rules on Twitter, no more presidential pardons. In theory. We’ll see.

We don’t really celebrate Christmas at my house. I’m Jewish, my children were brought up Jewish, and my husband is an atheist. He was brought up with Christmas but not with religion, if that makes sense. The only time his family went to church was for his baptism. His family all celebrate Christmas but I don’t know if church is involved in any of their celebrations. My sister-in-law in California (Hi Anita! Merry Christmas!) sent us a beautiful card and a Christmas ornament. It is hanging on the menorah for lack of a better place for it. She said she felt like our Aunt Jean, who recently passed away, was telling her to get it for us. I can’t argue with that! It will always be special in my heart.

What we do at my house is eat like we celebrate Christmas. On Christmas Eve, we do the Italian version with seven fishes – although this year I think we are only doing four or five, but who’s counting. On Christmas day, I wanted to make a standing rib roast. We were in Costco, but all they have were really large ones. Whole Foods had them on sale for $10.99 a pound, so I ordered one along with some groceries. The way they had it to order was odd, though. Check this out.

Bone In Beef Standing Rib Roast

4.3 out of 5 stars 49 ratings 

You Save:$3.00/pound (21%)

The price of the item is based on weight.

About this item

  • The ultimate roast — cut to order and sure to impress with outstanding flavor. Animal Welfare Certified.
  • From cattle raised with no added growth hormones and no antibiotics, ever.
  • Each rib weighs between 1.5-2 lbs. Minimum order is 2 ribs. A whole roast consists of 7 ribs.
  • Reserve by the rib, sold by the lb.

That is what it says on the product page. But this is how you order:

There is no way to order by the rib, you can only order by the pound in two-pound increments. So it looks like I’m ordering two items. And guess what they delivered? I got two beautiful bone-in ribeye steaks. But that wasn’t what I wanted. Who makes steak for Christmas? Well, maybe some people do, what do I know. So I contacted customer support at Amazon/Whole Foods. I told them what happened, I copied and pasted the page just like I did above. I explained exactly what I wanted and they said, no problem, will you accept delivery between 9:00-11:00 pm. I said sure. At 10:50, they dropped off a bag at my front door with, you guessed it, two more two-pound ribeye steaks. Now I had four of these monsters and let me tell you with the upcoming holiday and my fear of food shopping more than twice a month, my refrigerators (I have two!) are packed full. And the freezers are even worse. Talk about first world problems. I know I shouldn’t complain, I am so lucky in a lot of ways, and believe me, I appreciate that. Yet…

I got back on the chat with customer care, and they told me they were sending my complaints up the chain to their fulfillment team or something and offered me a refund. So that was nice, but I still wanted the roast. I now have four enormous steaks that I guess we’ll eat eventually??? There are only three of us, I usually make a one-pound steak and have leftovers so I don’t know what I’m going to do with so much red meat. Not to mention it makes my husband’s blood sugar spike for some reason, so we don’t eat it that often. Hopefully, I’ll figure out a way to get it into the freezer sooner rather than later.

My husband suggested I somehow sew them together but I thought about it and remembered my friend Nora (Hi Nora! Merry Christmas!) had posted something on Facebook about Publix having standing rib roasts on sale. I checked and they were only $5.99 a pound, so about half the price of Whole Foods. Of course, if I had InstaCart deliver it, it would probably end up costing more than Whole Foods. My husband was planning on going to the Publix pharmacy the next day to get his first shingles vaccine, so I went with him and they had beautiful standing rib roasts that they bone, and then tie the bones back on so you get all the flavor from the bones but it is easier to slice. Christmas dinner is on! I’m going to make Ina Garten’s popovers (tip: make the batter in the blender!) and probably some green beans. Maybe a tiramisu for dessert? I’ll see how ambitious I’m feeling, although I can make that a couple of days in advance, like maybe when I’m done writing this blog post.

A couple of nights ago my husband asked if we could have one of those beautiful ribeyes for dinner. We pulled out the sous vide and two hours later, plopped that monster on the grill. It was a fantastic steak, probably one of the best we’ve ever had at home. So maybe worth all the aggravation? Larry thinks so. That’s more red meat than we usually eat in six months though.

Another Christmas tradition we have is my daughter and I make Christmas cookies. Well, usually we make Hanukkah cookies but I couldn’t find the cookie cutters. So Christmas it was. I have to say I missed my daughter-in-law, she was here last December and helped us decorate the cookies so it was a little bit bittersweet. After I’d rolled out the dough twice, I took all the scraps and rolled them into a circle and just cut them into triangles to use up the rest of the dough. Ariel took one look and asked if those were pizza cookies, so yes, that’s what they ended up looking like!

When I say we made the cookies, I mean I make the cookie dough, roll it out and cut it, bake the cookies and make the icing. Ariel helps decorate, and she is an amazing artist. I had tried one giant snowflake but it broke apart as it landed on the cookie sheet. She took that broken snowflake and turned it into this creature!

Covid-19 is still raging here in Florida, and I know lots of people are planning big family Christmases, not to mention all the snowbirds are still flocking here for some reason. I know it’s cold up north and there was just a blizzard, but honestly, I’d rather suffer being stuck inside because of weather than having to go out around here. Restaurants are packed, the tourist areas are mobbed, and judging by the traffic, no one seems to care that there is a pandemic. Our local hospital’s ICU is at capacity, as are many of the hospitals. There is an unsubstantiated rumor (so far) that doctors in my area are somehow putting themselves at the front of the line for the vaccine. These are doctors in private practice, who do not work in the ER or in the ICU or in hospitals; they work in their beautiful offices away from the Covid nightmares. I can’t wait to see which doctors are going to be outed because I have faith in our intrepid local news reporter, Andrew Colton at Boca News Now.

While I don’t celebrate Christmas, the religious holiday, I do enjoy the holiday season. I love Christmas romance books. And Christmas rom-coms; actually, all Christmas movies. Every year I kick off the holiday season by watching Miracle on 34th Street on Thanksgiving. I watch Elf, Home Alone, Love Actually, The Santa Claus (but not this year because of Tim Allen’s fondness for the mass murderer in the White House,) and whatever else I stumble upon. I watch some of the Hallmark/Lifetime movies, but I’ve been losing my patience for them. I even watched the actual Hannukah movie Hallmark did this year, Love, Lights, HanukkahI which was ok, but at least it wasn’t too offensive. I always finish up with It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Day. My husband loves A Christmas Carol, and one year I bought him a bunch of DVDs of the different versions, and we usually watch a few of those, too. My favorite is the Bill Murry version, Scrooged, and if you haven’t seen The Man Who Invented Christmas, I highly recommend it. If you guys have favorites or any recommendations, I hope you’ll put them in the comments!

I embrace the ideals of peace and joy. A friend was complaining that there are so many horrible people around, and my husband has been trying to tell me that for years, but I refused to believe it. I told my friend I always felt like Bonasera from The Godfather: “I believe in America.” But these past four years have really tested me. I have to concede there are more evil people in this country than I could ever have imagined. People who would wish me harm or worse because of my religion or my political beliefs or some sense of righteousness. I have experienced evil in my own family, and yet I always hold out hope. It’s just getting so difficult, and frankly exhausting, to keep doing that anymore.

This holiday season, I wish you all joy and good health. For those of you who are struggling, or know someone who is struggling, I wish things would turn around for you, and quickly. I wish you happiness and peace and love. And lots of good reading!

Merry Christmas!

One Response to CORONAVIRUS DIARY: December 24, 2020

  1. Jan Zahrly says:

    I share your thoughts/feelings about the Orange man – but he just moved here (closer to you, actually) and I am going to have faith that the town citizens and council or commission will force him to abide by the agreement he made years before. Of course, it will take lawsuits and more $$$ but a contract is a contract even if he does not understand that. It will be wonderful to have adults and informed compassionate people in charge of my government for a change.
    Thank you for writing out your feelings so accurately. So many of us feel the same angst. Happy holidays to you – may the next year be blessed and peaceful for you and may we all stay healthy. Mask. Six feet. Few people nearby. peace, janz

%d bloggers like this: