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gracie's world 2001


Gracie's World

December 2001

Festive Zesty Holiday Cheese Log

3/4 cup coarsely chopped basil and parsley
1/4 cup chopped and mixed roasted almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts, Brazil nuts
1/4 cup finely chopped red habanero peppers
3 ounces high-fat cream cheese, pounded to paste
4 ounces longhorn cheese
4 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces Blue Stilton, crumbled & heavily buttered
6 hard-boiled duck eggs, chopped to confetti
2 tablespoons chopped and sautéd leeks
1 garlic bulb, unskinned
1 dash Tabasco sauce
1 bottle port wine
2 tablespoons capers
1 tub extra-thick whipping cream
festive toothpicks

Combine nuts, parsley, and basil in a small bowl. Set aside. In large bowl, mix cheeses, wine, and whipping cream until a swirly mess. Fold in rest of ingredients so as to resemble geological layers in ancient valley, or core sample from overfull litterbox. Shape mixture into large log. Roll in nut mixture and place on large serving tray. Sprinkle excess nut mixture around perimeter of log. Chill for 1 hour. Serve with extra-dry martinis.

Serves six.

From What's That Smell in Nini's Kitchen? 1999 Edition

December 24
Christmas Eve

5:00 a.m.
It is almost Christmas! My very favorite holiday! On account of it is so relaxing!

I am up very early in the morning!

Chickenloaf is whirring in her sleep. Pia is sprawled all over her bed like a drowned cat with her arms hanging over the sides. Chessie is a lump at the bottom of her sleeping bag. Ben is laying on his back with his paws folded over his chest like he is at his own funeral. He is buzzing like a refrigerator.

Here is why I am up very early in the morning: I am going to surprise everybody with a Festive Cheese Log!

5:15 a.m.
I am putting on my red long underwears in the hallway so as not to wake up anybody. I am hopping on one foot. I am trying not to fall over.

I fell over anyways.

5:30 a.m.
I was creeping down the cold dark hallway and there was Pia's deer-pulling cart. It was standing in the hallway and it was decorated with little Christmas bells which Chessie hung all over it and I crashed right into it!

It jangled like a hundred insane elves!

I was sure I woke up everybody in the house not to mention all the woodland animals because I heard Ben yell "Bup!"

However everybody is still asleep.

5:40 a.m.
I am digging through the refrigerator. I am looking for some cheese.

But there is no cheese.

What the hell kind of refrigerator has no cheese??

Ah, here is some cheese.

At least I think it is some cheese. It is brown, also gray. Also, it appears to be infested with blue worms. Also it stinks like goat diarrhea.

5:45 a.m.
It is still dark. Frosty ferns are swirling up the windows. A large hoot owl is hollering somewheres.

Me, I am whittling this cheese.

It will take me forever to pry all the blue crap out of this cheese!

5:55 a.m.
There goes the milk truck!

I am not so sure this is cheese. Maybe it is not cheese at all. Maybe it is some sort of plastic explosive.


It is Chessie in her long night gown.

6:10 a.m.
Will that hoot owl tip toe into this house. That is what Chessie wanted to know. But hoot owls do not walk on their toes. Kittens are so dumb.

No, I said, that hoot owl will not tip toe into this house. Here is some cheese.

Now Chessie is back in bed with a piece of cheese.

7:00 a.m.
Everybody is milling around. Weakie is playing a Jim Nabors album. I hid the weird Cheese on account of it is a surprise.

Mom and Dad and Chickenloaf and Pia and Snooples and Ben are going shopping at the Mall. Ben is all twinkly eyed about this. Nini is going to go read A Christmas Carol at the White House. I don't know which one. Weakie is volunteering at a cat food kitchen, for most of the day anyways, and Charlie is going ice skating.

I can't wait 'til everybody gets out of this house!

8:15 a.m.
Snooples is playing her John Philip Sousa records on the Victrola.

Snooples is wearing her reindeer sweater with the little bells and a matching stocking cap and mittens with bells. She is wearing matching red leotards except that the knees are blasted out from crawling all around.

Chessie is wearing her Snow Man sweater with the big Snow Man on the front.

Pia is in the bathroom swearing and washing off her new fur makeup which Mom says she will not leave the house wearing it. It is blue with sparkles and is supposed to contain real Uranium or something.

9:20 a.m.
There is only a little bit of green dust in the bottom of this Parsley jar.

Parsley. That is a strange word. When you stop and think about it.

Parsley. Parsley. Parsley parsley parsley parsley. Parsley parsley parsley parsley parsley parsley parsley parsley parsley parsley.

After a while it sounds like a rabbit whiffling in your head.

10:00 a.m.
There appears to be no Basil whatsoever. Here is some pesto, which looks creepy. I will throw it away.

11:30 a.m.
Everybody is gone out of the house except for Nini who is fussing with her feather stole.

I guess I will go drag that weird cheese out from under the couch.

11:35 a.m.
Some of that weird cheese is gone.

11:40 a.m.
Time to assemble all the ingredients!

The house is very quiet now. There is just the Victrola needle making a little bupping noise on account of Snooples record is over.

This kitchen is lame. There are no nuts!

I will have to use cat treats instead of nuts! I am opening all the little bags of cat treats in the snack drawer and I am dumping them into a bowl.

However, this Parsley dust will not be enough green stuff, and I do not like the look of that Summer Savory.

I know! Catnip.

2:35 p.m.
I have catnip! I gutted 5 toy mice!

3:00 p.m.
No Port Whine so I will use Gin. There is lots and lots and lots of Gin in this house. Or maybe this Lambrusco.

What precisely are capers?

Beats me. I cannot find them anywhere. Also there are no duck eggs. I will have to forego the duck eggs.

Here is a mummmified Clementine.

As I am not familiar with capers, I will use creamed corn instead of capers. I love creamed corn! You cannot go wrong with creamed corn!

Pearl onions are pretty cute. Are they little onions by nature, or do the Onion Farmers stunt some onions?

I will put them in the cheese log.

4:00 p.m.
There is this new kid at school his name is Ethanol. He is a aard-

No Chessie you cannot have more cheese.

Now the TV is on and there's this program about lions. They are shredding a gazelle. Now they are lazing around on Baobab branches and picking their teeth with chimp bones. Now they are chewing on a zebra's head.

I wish I was a lion!

Who the hell just put on a Andrea Bocelli album??

4:45 p.m.
I am digging around in the refrigerator looking for some more cheese. Nini is playing Vivaldi on the harpsichord.

5:20 p.m.
Oh no here comes Pia. She is wearing a red tee shirt that is trimmed with white rabbit fuzz and she is wearing black leather pants with white rabbit fuzz around the cuffs.

What is that weird shit you're making. That's what Pia says.

Nothing, I say.

She sticks her paw right into it and holds up a pawful. The little pearl onions twinkle in a nice way.

Hey everybody Gracie is making some kind of weird shit. That's what Pia says.

Now everybody knows I am making something special. But they don't know what!

Cookies! I say.

Oh good! everybody says.

5:45 p.m.
This cheese log, it is coming along nicely! There was no more cheese in the house so I added some more creamed corn.

That new kid, he is a aardwolf. What a aardwolf is exactly I am not sure.

Let's see. . .Aardwolf: Aard-wolf \Aard"-wolf`\ ([aum]rd"w[oo^]lf), n. [D, earth-wolf]
(Zo["o]l.) A carnivorous quadruped of South Africa, resembling the fox and hyena, which feeds chiefly on insects. See also Proteles lalandii.

That explains a lot about that kid.

6:40 p.m.
Snooples and Chessie and Chickenloaf are staring at the TV. Pia and Ben are wrapping presents on the coffee table. Scissors are stuck straight into the coffee table. Pia is yanking the wrapping paper with deers all over it away from Ben, who is begging and weeping. Ben wants to wrap the Parcheesi board for Dad in the wrapping paper with deers all over it, and Pia wants to wrap the winter boots for Weakie in the wrapping paper with deers all over it.

Rrrrriiiiip! No more big sheet of wrapping paper with deers all over it!

Snooples and Chessie and Chickenloaf are oblivious. They are watching Lassie. Lassie is a dog. Lassie is barking and barking. Now some men are following Lassie to a abandoned mine shaft.

The music is very mournful. I bet they will find a old dead rotted cow or something in that mine shaft.

Meowy Christmas is also playing very loudly on the stereo.

Now Lassie is barking and hurrying around and around the open mine shaft. Lassie is whining in a concerned manner.

Soon they will find that rotted cow!

Now there's that Christmas viagra commercial on TV. I can hear the sleighbells.

7:10 p.m.
It was not a old rotted cow in the mine shaft after all. It was the rancher from the next valley over! He was not even dead or rotted! He was brimming with gratitude!


Maybe someday I will be able to write stories like that.

7:30 p.m.
Soon it will be time to boil the cheese log! I will ask Nini how long it takes to boil a cheese log. Or maybe it should be fried.

Nini will know.

Nini is playing Bach on the harpsichord. Pia is swearing at Ben. He has stuck all 25 bows that came in the Valu-Bag of bows on one single Christmas box. It is Dad's Parcheesi set.

Me, I am glad I do not have to wrap any presents this year!

That's on account of this Festive Cheese Log is my Gift For Everyone.

I will take a break from cheese log making at eight o'clock. That is on account of at eight o'clock Elvis the Pine Siskin Christmas Special will be on TV!

9:10 p.m.
That Elvis the Pine Siskin Christmas Special, it was so beautiful!

Celine Dion sang this Christmas medley of all the best songs! Songs like "Bells a-Jinglin'" and "I'll be Your Snowman Tonight"! Then Anaheim Steemroller, they clapped their hands rhythmically and sang "Grandma Got Runned Over by a Reindeer!"

Then Elvis interviewed The Grinch! The Grinch, he wore a Armani Suit and he sat there with his legs crossed and one leg bobbing, and he explained that he had a difficult childhood!

Then this really slow, dramatic music with lots of harps began, and somebody handed the Grinch a microphone, and he got up and walked slowly over to this dark part of the stage with one spotlight shining, and the Grinch, he sang "Silent Cow, Holy Cow."

It was beautiful!

Then everybody joined in including the studio audience, and they all sang the last verse of "Silent Cow, Holy Cow"!

We sang along, too! Ben burst into tears!

Except for Snooples and Chessie they were sound asleep.

11:00 p.m.
I am putting the finishing touches on this Cheese Log, including carrots.

It is magnificent!

11:30 p.m.
Everybody is in bed asleep except for me. I am filled with the True Spirit of Christmas!

That is on account of I drank some of this Lambrusco!

It is all whizzy inside my head!

Refrigerators are very funny! I never knew refrigerators looked so much like big fat snow men! I think I will have some more Lambrusco!


Dad just yelled SHUT UP. Dad is so funny!


Pia just appeared in the kitchen doorway wearing her long red underwears and snowy white cold cream all over her face fur!

Pia threw a pillow from the couch at my head!

That must be why they call them throw pillows! Ha ha ha!

Pia is so funny!

11:55 p.m.
The Cheese Log is almost complete. That is good because I seem to be developing a pinchy headache directly between the ears.

December 25
Christmas Day

12:05 a.m.
The Cheese Log, it is done. I must go to bed now, on account of Santa Claus will arrive soon.

10:00 a.m.
Christmas Day!

Chessie and Snooples are wearing their new matching Christmas sweaters with elves all over them and they are playing with their new Lincoln Logs.

Nini is modeling her new floor-length sable coat, and Charlie is in the basement making a chifforobe with his new power tools.

Pia is playing her new video game Blast the Possum.

Chickenloaf is spinning in her new mint-green tutu.

Mom and Dad are drinking tea like elderly people.

When I presented everybody with my Festive Cheese Log, they were speechless! That is how I know they were deeply touched.

I guess I will go play with my new scooter now.

Behold Gracie's Cheese Log

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