A slightly adapted version of the Christmas classic, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” – with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and at Formaggio Kitchen,
Not a creature was stirring, not a thing was a twichin’;
The salamis were hung by the cheeses with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The mongers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Comté danc’d in their heads,
They dreamed of raw cheeses younger than sixty days,
Or visiting farms to study cheesemaking ways,
And, Ihsan in his jammies, and Valerie in her wrap,
Had just settled in for a much-needed night-cap —
When out on Huron there arose such a clatter,
Ihsan sprang from his chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
Ihsan knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles Santa’s coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen;
“On Comet! On Cupid! On Donder and Blitzen!”
“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!”
“Now, dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With a sleigh full of cheese — and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, Ihsan heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As he drew in his head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle o’ fromage was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:
And, though we can say it was properly lined,
Santa’s bag clearly held a cheese with a washed rind,
But Valerie and Ihsan paid the odor no mind,
You quickly get used to it on the monger grind.
First up, St. Nick drew out a now rare Mimolette,
Followed by a raw sheep milk cheese called El Set.
Next on the list was a favorite in the Gurdal home,
Boule de Quercy, along with a wheel of Twig Farm’s Goat Tomme.
Saveur du Maquis and Boule de Chèvre were next out of the sack,
Comté Grand Cru too, the perfect midnight snack.
Brebis for Valerie soon followed suit,
And last but not least, some Castelmagno to boot.
A final little parcel made it under the tree,
A box from Cuba – oh, what could that be?
St. Nick’s eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheeks like Hallie’s roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And Ihsan laugh’d in spite of himself;
With a wink of the eye and a nod of the head,
St. Nick let Ihsan know there was nothing to dread.
Chocolate hazelnut bark filled a plate by the door,
Santa paused for a bite – and then, a few more.
Ihsan offered a glass of cold milk to his visitor in red,
‘Twas gratefully accepted, it must be said.
Looking refreshed and with his usual mirth,
St. Nick patted his tummy, and admired his girth,
He spoke not a word but went straight to his work,
And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But Ihsan heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Merry Christmas from all of us at Formaggio Kitchen
to all of our customers and followers –
we hope everyone has a marvelous holiday!