Monday, December 24

Christmas Rack

A queue forms at Chubb & Son, the local butchers who have been in business for three generations, I learn. Us dads have our marching orders and stand in the cold, stomping feet and reading the papers or drinking coffee. Brave Madeleine joins me in return for a "treaty" at the next door news-agent (she brings her purse stuffed with various coins and currencies). Chubb tells me today is his busiest day and he fills his cold room for weeks in preparation. "I used to stay up all night sawing, but now trucks deliver frequently enough" he tells me. While Chubb's meat is organic and from farms selected by them, in the old days "butchers used to choose the animals for slaughter, which was done on site or nearby enough to be on the racks that day." Blood, guts and all, I might add. And the most popular selection for Christmas? Goose, of course.