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O come all ye fruitcakes

2008 Fay Jacobs


Fay Jacobs

Friends, as you read this I am on my way back to Rehoboth from my very first Olivia cruise - a week in the Caribbean.

But I hardly needed the outsized (bad choice of words) eating/drinking fest that cruises encourage. This holiday season took the cake (that which wasn't in my mouth) for the most calorie-laden, liquor guzzling, reflux-inducing stretch of bad gustatory behavior I have ever been a party to. Or to a party. Dozens of them.

I'm not complaining. Rehoboth is such a geographically small spot and there are so many community events it's possible to enjoy several in a day.

Calculate a trio of buffets times two and a half weekend days, times four weekends in the season and the magnitude of cookies, egg nog, red & green M&Ms, spiral hams, and Swedish meatballs I consumed is staggering. Don we now our big apparel.

In our house, the holidays started with Hanukkah Matzoh Balls and potato latkes to launch the December bloat period. Fast away the old gas passes, fa la la la la, la la la la.

On Thanksgiving weekend we bought a recumbent exercise bike, vowing to start our regimen immediately to keep pace with Christmas cookies. The first thing Bonnie did after plugging the thing into the wall was trip over it, breaking two toes. Exercise out, comfort food in. As for me, I view exercise like drinking - not something to be done alone. Bring on the figgy pudding.

So there were cocktail parties, wine tastings, Christmas dinners, and Harry & David goodies. See the grazing fool before us, fa la la etc. And of all the wretched holiday excess I subjected myself to this season, a pair of events, like my thighs, loom large.

One Sunday we enjoyed a fantastic brunch at a friends' home with Mimosas at noon, Mimosas and entrees at 3:30, and more Mimosas well into the evening. Following this alcohol marathon, I'm proud to report no hangover at all from the 8-hour champagne binge. I did however have a raging case of Acid Reflux from the f-ing orange juice. It's a sad commentary about aging.

A second memorable holiday event was the Apple Pie Thrown Down. Not being a Food Network foodie, I figured we were going to throw apple pie down our throats, not unlike the rest of our seasonal meals. Turns out a Throw Down is a pie baking contest. At a party of about 25 people, four contestants took the challenge. As someone not domestically partnered with a baker, I was included among the judges. It was a blind taste test of course, and owing to the flowing wine, some judges were blinder than others. All for America and apple pie.

Following the pie throwing came New Years' Eve (O'er the fields we go, eating all the way) and more gluttony. Should old intentions be forgot and never brought to mind? Just how many Tums can a person take without calcifying? 10? 9? 8? 7?

Happy New Year! Let's drink a cup of Maalox please and sing of Auld Lang Syne.

Bonnie and I resolved just about the same thing everyone else in town resolved: back to sensible food and drink consumption. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. We hope. And our vow was strengthened last week when we were up in Philadelphia. Leaving an appointment, we stepped in front of a bank of elevators, pushed the DOWN button and waited. Soon, the wide doors opened to reveal several people already aboard. We stepped in.

As the doors closed, a booming recorded voice warned: "The elevator is now full." Now THAT was humiliating.

I'll get back to the stationary bike and lean cuisine after we get back from the cruise. Of course, that's right before Valentine's Day, followed by the Chinese New Year buffet here in town, then the Rehoboth Chocolate Festival, and let's face it, I should really have my jaw wired shut. The only Throw Down I should enter is if it's my fork.

Well, the season of excess is over. Thumpety Thump Thump o'er the bills we go.
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Fay Jacobs, a native New Yorker, spent 30 years in the Washington, DC area working in journalism, theater and public relations. She has contributed feature stories and columns to such publications as The Advocate, OUTtraveler, The Baltimore Sun, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, The Washington Blade, The Wilmington News Journal, Delaware Beach Life and more.

Since 1995 she has been a regular columnist for Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, and won the national 1997 Vice Versa Award for excellence. Her columns are collected in the books, As I Lay Frying: a Rehoboth Beach Memoir and the newly published Fried & True - Tales of Rehoboth Beach.

Fay is Publisher and Managing Editor or A&M Books, the publisher of the 14 classic Sarah Aldridge novels.

She and Bonnie, her partner of 25 years, relocated to Rehoboth Beach, DE in 1999. They have two Miniature Schnauzers and a riding lawn mower.

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