Saturday, 1 January 2011

a surfeit of grapes - by Theo

Early in the 20th Century, around 1910 I think, there was a surfeit of grapes in Spain. Stuck with what to do with them, the grape-growers struck upon a plan - let's invent a tradition. They managed to convince the Spanish public that it would bring them good luck if they ate one grape for each chime of the clock at midnight on New Year's Eve. This proved popular and so this cunning marketing ploy became tradition.

With this in mind I went out to buy fruit. I didn't like the look of the white grapes on sale - a bit brown - so I got red ones. They came in bunches of twelve - genetic engineering or painstaking packing? Who knows. Anyway, upon my return Kate was taken aback by the size of the grapes, stating she'd never be able to fit them all in, so I was dispatched out again to buy some small ones, which I duly did. However, when our New Year's Eve guests, David and Nataly, arrived, we discovered we were way behind the curve on the grape front. They have bought canned grapes, twelve to a can, each one peeled and de-seeded. The Spanish elevate corner-cutting to an art form! So we found ourselves with a surfeit of grapes.In the end, after a rather long and large meal, I wasn't quite sure if any of us would fit them in! Rosie, not wanting to be left out, duly woke moments before the countdown began on Spanish Radio, so Kate had to forego her grape swallowing, sadly. The three of us however managed it, David and Nataly using the canned ones while I manned up and went for the big red ones. Kate returned in time for Prosecco and David and Nataly's initiation into Robert Burns ("Auld Lang Syne"). The fireworks went off in the street and 2011 arrived with a bang among friends, food and family. Perfect.

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