We surprised our girls — Georgia P (left, who will be 4 on Saturday) and Lila Jane (2) — with orchestra seats to the Houston Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” yesterday.
I’m not sure what was more exciting for them: the moment the lights went down in the theater and the ballet itself or the dressing up and seeing all the other kids in the foyer, where our girls were treated to a fat chocolate chip cookie.
They genuinely seemed to enjoy the spectacle immensely and both were extremely well behaved (all things considered).
“The Nutcracker” isn’t exactly the most intellectually engaging ballet of all times. But dance is dance: narrative arc as conveyed through the beauty of human form is always compelling for me. After all, dance is arguably the most ancient and most powerful of the fine arts (all things considered).
The performance was great and we had a lovely time.
By the time we got home, it was nearly time to begin lighting candles and making latkes.
Even in the wake of all the excitement of the matinée, the girls were enchanted by the candles and the funny song that their daddy sang as he lit them (the brucha or prayer).
Tracie P’s latkes, to which she added chopped flat-leaf parsley this year, were fantastic.
It’s been many, many years since my mother made potato pancakes for me and my brothers but those familiar aromas and flavors, combined with Mott’s apple sauce and sour cream, always evoke memories of my California childhood.
We served with a Franciacorta rosé that I happened to have lying around.
The pairing was brilliant, with the saltiness and ripe fruit of the wine working nicely against the salty, fatty, starchy patties.
Dry Riesling is my favorite pairing for latkes, in part because of the cultural and historic continuity in their enogastronomic marriage.
But the freshness and vibrancy of the Franciacorta (not to mention the restrained alcohol) really showed gorgeously with the dish. A truly winning combination.
This morning finds me at Bush airport on my way to Seattle where I’ll be leading the last of my Franciacorta consortium tastings for 2015 this afternoon.
I’m looking forward to it but I’ll be counting the moments until I’ll be reunited with my girls (below, in a family selfie we snapped before leaving for the ballet yesterday).
Wish me speed!