Our First Feast

Unknown

 

“I doubt if our parents care what we do, or anything about us at this point,” my brother Val told me. It was November of 1878. I had just turned nineteen and he was twenty. They’d moved to San Francisco, leaving us behind in Sacramento. The house they’d left for us was like a rabbit warren of rooms. Our brother Aaron, aged twenty five, was married and living a mile away in his own brand new Italianate mansion. The eldest two (Max and Andy) had long moved on and were now in San Francisco setting up their glorious careers.

They’d sold the big house we’d grown up in, which burned down as soon as we’d cleared out. I often wondered about that, considering we had been a large family of Vampires and didn’t always do things the same was as everyone else. Our (mine and Val’s) house was built in 1869 with a lot of rooms with no purpose and tall stairs from the sidewalk up to the front door in case it flooded. We had a front porch, a back yard with a few rose bushes, and not much else. It was plain and un-charming.

Val and I were determined to give this house charm. We decorated our modest home with used furnishings and a lot of green and cream colored paint.

After that we decided to do what most young people would do and have a party.

“Should it be all Vampires?” I had to ask.

Val shrugged, “No. We can invite others. We will have to warn our fanged friends to keep to themselves and only drink from bottles we planned to keep well hidden in our kitchen.

I told him not to invite all ladies and he started to argue with me.

“NO,” I said. “You are not going to turn my home into your own personal whore house.”

My brother looked at me as if I’d slapped him in the face. “I would never,” he said. “Never.”

I held my shoulders back and my head high. “Valentine, I will never judge you or be like some warm blooded prude, but I expect a certain amount of modesty and decorum from you.”

“Fine. I will allow you to see my guest list, as I expect you to show me your guest list.”

“Agreed,” I said. “What about food?”

“We need food?”

“Of course we do.”

“We don’t cook. We hardly eat. We don’t have domestics.”

“We could hire a cook,” I said.

“We could.”

“Where would we find one?”

“We could put out a post. Cook wanted for fashionable party. Or we could find Constantine. He knows everyone.”

“And he is always fashionable.”

Constantine was both a Vampire and extremely fashionable but he had just jumped on a train to travel east, then take a boat to Europe to buy art. So we put up our flyer and waited. Soon a small man named Orlando George St. Cloud came to our door. He said he had cooked for the royalty of Europe, the Emperors of China, and the highest of Sacramento high society. We didn’t really believe him but we hired him on the spot.

The night of our party Mr. St. Cloud fixed:

Stewed Eel

Filet of Sturgeon with brown butter and tarragon

Curried Crawdads with spinach

Roasted Capon with creamed trout sauce

Roasted potatoes

Rat tail soup

Onion and walnut tart

Fried chicken feet with olives

Orange milk pudding

Apple pie

Fried frog legs with smoked trout and fiddle head fern sauce.

Roast beef

Head cheese

Blood pudding

Wild lettuce salad

Tomales Bay Oysters on the half shell

Fried eggs with wild mushrooms and boiled wheat berries

Pears poached in wine and honey

Toast points with river clams and fresh butter

Meatballs with wild dill made with ingredients of unknown origin. 

Marrow bones with sage and sherry sauce.

We also managed to acquire copious amounts of alcohol.

Fifty four guests arrived. Nobody went hungry. Twenty were female. Thirty four were male. Twelve, including Val and I were Vampires.

Of course the party was a success. Val did not sleep alone. I watched the sunrise with a dozen people in my garden before going inside, drawing the curtains and sleeping for the next two days. Mr. St. Cloud brought in a crew to clean and lock up.

For the next thirty years Mr. St. Cloud cooked for us when we needed it. He also taught us to cook. He told us, “One day I shall be gone and you will be at a loss.”

I learned to cook everything except the rat tail soup. I never cared for eel. Many of the dishes made me sick but I learned to cook them anyway. Eventually Val also learned to cook, and he even attended classes. We both became experts in cooking for Vampires such as us. We don’t live on blood alone.

From then on Val and I have both welcomed guests of a wide variety to our homes to celebrate friendship and love.

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and welcome in the holiday season (which started on Halloween.)

Cheers to all,

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Unknown-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving Thanks and Sharing Joy (with Vampires)

This year the Thanksgiving table will be set with:

  • Spice and caramel scented candles
  • Pine cones, weird fancy gourds and rosemary centerpieces.
  • Cranberries
  • Zinfandel and Cabernet
  • Cheese balls and roasted tomato salsa (I bet you didn’t know cheese has balls)
  • Turkey from the smoker outside
  • Poets blood
  • Roasted onion tart with a ground walnut crust
  • Tart apples, sweet pears and pomegranates.
  • Surprise dishes that others will bring (but I know they’ll be good)
  • And a table set with old silver and old friends.

Once again our feast will be simple but the main courses will be good conversation and the joy of being together for no reason other than to enjoy the company of those we love and be thankful that we are free to gather together without fear.

As a rule we don’t have our guests for dinner. It isn’t the way of our Vampire culture, so feel free to drop by (it will be safe.)

My brother Max is already here sitting in the wingback chair, his long legs stretched out, reading something in a binder, and my calico cat in his lap. Garrett is home with a couple of friends from college. They’re upstairs with my youngest Clara, laughing and listening to music.

Tomorrow will be a full moon so we will be watching to hear the howls of our Werewolf friends.

I look out into the woods behind my house, under the oak trees I can see the Ghosts, standing close. Nigel holds Mary’s hands and brings them to his lips. Then he kisses her and they vanish into the dusk off to wherever Ghosts go when they’re feeling romantic. They are so beautiful and so horrible at the same time.

As we give thanks this year let us remember that those who live so far away are not so different than us. My we all one day give thanks together, no matter where we are, or where we belong.

I gave Max a glass of wine and asked him what he was reading.

He smiled, “I’m reading a wonderful book. Your book.”

If Max thinks something is good then it is good. Wow. I’m thankful it is written and that everyone who read it likes it. No, it isn’t based on this blog or my life.

I give him a kiss on his cold cheek. He smiles at me showing just a slight bit of fang. I’m excited that everyone else will be here by Thursday.

I’ll try to cover the entire holiday season starting right now. So more to come… there will be a few glitches but you know how it is.

Oh, one last thing. I’m grateful for all of you – my readers. More than I can express. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Light the evening