Sunday, October 17, 2010


My association with Sherry (the drink) is positive.  My first year teaching was the first time I ever experienced the feeling of "I need a drink!" at the end of the day.  Fortunately my parents' house was on my way home, and Nana was visiting for the month of September.  Nana is very civilized:  she has a beer with her lunch every day at eleven, and a glass of sherry before dinner.
What's in that cup, Nana?  Just coffee, today dear. 

I would roll in around sherry time and she would pour.  Lately, I've been watching Miss Marple while I cook.  She reminds me of Nana: a cute little old lady with an edge.  (Generally people don't die every time Nana enters the picture, which is a relief.) From time to time, Miss Marple pours a medicinal glass of sherry for a friend who's had a shock.  I like to join them, it's thematic.

The other night our friends Andy and Lauren came over to help us eat apple pie.  We had some wine, but it didn't seem quite right, so I broke out the sherry.  There was a collective "Eeeeugh!" noise from everyone but Andy.  "I drank a lot of sherry when we went to Spain," he told us.  "I'll try it.  In Spain, sherry is macho.  It's a bullfighter's drink.  Earnest Hemingway liked it."  I poured him a little glass.  He made a face,"Out of context, I've got to say, it's fairly nasty."  No problem, I finished his.

Last night we were out to dinner with friends and the subject of favorite drinks came up. Scotch?  Gin?  Tequila? Beer? What's your poison?  The Man Who Lives In My House outed me re: my preference for sherry.  "Oh God," said my friend, (whom I won't identify out of respect for her privacy).  "Here's my association with Sherry:  I got my first period, so I went to find my mom to discuss--well, just because it seemed like she should know.  And I said I was going to go lie down, and could she please NOT tell dad.  Next thing I know, my mom is coming into my room an dumping piles of tampax, pads, you name it in my drawer and RIGHT behind her is my dad, bearing a bottle of sherry and some glasses, because he thinks we should TOAST the occasion.  No thank you. No sherry."

Well, more for me and Nana, I guess.  I like a nice amontillado, with some blue cheese and pears.

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