My aunt is my partner in Christmas Music crime, much to my cousin Céline’s horror, and together, we are rocking out to Silent Night, Deck the Halls, Handel’s Messiah, Silver Bells, and too much other naughtiness I can’t recall.
Sweet Jesus, this is awesome, especially the combo effect of a down home Belgian petit dejeuner of crevettes grises–North Sea shrimp–butter, smoked and cured meats, and, la piece de resistance, crottes de souris.
Or, mouse poo poos, as Liam, my cousin Sophie’s boy, likes to call them.
There is something profoundly and deeply satisfying about this breakfast spread, as if all is right in the world again on a cosmic scale, so in tune is what I see before me with my sense of self and of what constitutes the start to my day. This meal sets me straight in my insides again, a cultural tuning fork. It’s home on a cellular level, and damn, doesn’t it feel good to be a gangsta.
I even brave my aunt’s fave–a slice of cured horse meat–and find it alright were it not for the fact that in the US, it’s kind of like eating a pet. Here, though, a horse is as a horse does, and well, it’s meat.
No, seriously, biting into a buttered pistolei, thick with fresh shrimplets, meaty, creamy tenderness, finished with a breakfast desert of dark chocolate sprinkles–real ones, not sugar parading around in brown coating–their tiny flecks crunching ever so softly as I sink my teeth into the corner, buttery chocolat-y goodness. Or, even better, a pistolei filled with chocopasta—noir, please–ooey gooey satisfyingly delectable.
All of this, of course, to the beat of the Little Drummer boy.