December 23, 2014

Season’s Greetings from River Ridge!  The days have been brilliant and the nights cool and clear; the stars so bright that extraneous lights, even if we could be bothered, would ruin the effect. Meanwhile, the free-range shrubs of poinsettia that flank the driveway leading to the house are putting on a spectacular show. Over six feet tall, when planted alongside their tidier cousins covered with tiny white blossoms, they conjure up visions of big red satin bows drifting through unspoiled snow. The iridescent plumes of sugar cane that sway in the breeze and the red and green parrots that flash like gaudy glass bulbs as they enjoy the bounty of grapefruit add to the holiday cheer. This morning I ventured into the garden to pick a small basket of Sorrel, a member of the hibiscus family whose flowers are used to brew a traditional West Indian Christmas drink. The sparkling claret color is reminiscent of cranberry juice, but when boiled with local spices, sweetened, poured over ice, and spiked with rum… well, here’s wishing you a warm Caribbean Christmas, and a fruitful New Year!