Christmas Arguments

Many of us experience some degree of stress at Christmas. Family arguments are fairly commonplace as we strive to get everything ‘just so’ for Christmas Day. Well, today, we had our first Christmas ding-dong. It went like this:

Other half: ‘I’ve added some items to the shopping list. By the way, I’m making turkey risotto on Boxing Day’.

I check the list and see a few things have been added, including rice.

Me: ‘Ok I’ll be about an hour’.

I cycle to the shop and spend quite a while in the Christmas-imminent chaos trying to find all the items. I cycle home with rucksack stuffed, two carrier bags on the handlebars.

I unpack the groceries.

Other half: ‘You got the wrong rice’.

Storm clouds gather. Perversely, pressure is increasing for this storm.

Me: ‘No I didn’t, you said you were making turkey risotto, so I got risotto rice. The list said rice’.

Other half: ‘My recipe uses long grain rice’.

Me: ‘Then you are not making risotto’.

Temperature now rising rapidly, storm onset imminent.

Other half: ‘Yes I am, my recipe uses long grain rice, look, here it is’.[She points to her personal handwritten recipe book]

I am indifferent as to the kind of rice to be used in this dish, bit there is a serious point at issue here.

Me: ‘Risotto is an Italian dish, using Italian rice which is round grain [or nearly so], as indeed is Spanish rice as used in Paella.’

Storm breaks, thunder, lighning. The points are regurgitated and spat out repeatedly. Flashes continue on and off for some time. Eventually, there is some abatement.

Other half: ‘I’m sorry about the misunderstanding.’

Me: ‘There was NO misunderstanding. It was clear what was required and I got it’.

Other half: ‘I don’t know how to cook it with risotto rice’.

Me: ‘It’s just the same method, read the packet. I’ll cook it if you like.’

To be fair, she is an accomplished cook, but then again I’m reasonably capable too.

Other half: ‘NO. I will get long grain later’.

Me: ‘There’s no need’.

Other half: ‘I want the proper rice for the recipe’.

There is a fresh and very vigorous squall and pressure rises even more. Squalls continue for several hours. You can probably see the pattern by now.

This was what meteorologists call a bent-back storm, as in ‘The Perfect Storm’ by Sebastian Junger.

We sailors have verses to help us remember about pressure changes, such as: ‘Quick rise after low is a sure sign of  a stronger blow’.

Anyway, I prefer turkey curry – which would require long grain rice but I’ll save that for later (she doesn’t do spicy food). Either way, I look forward to making lots of rice pudding… 

Merry Christmas all!