Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thanks to the blogs I surf (yes, I've been reading, not writing), I've begun to plot my Holiday Kitchen Campaign. It always starts like this... I read about food, I see pictures of beautiful baked goods, I start talking out loud about all the delicious things I'm going to make to give to the people I love (maybe even the ones I only like). And then my Better Half gets nervous. He starts to fidget. He tries subtle words of warning, and if desperate enough, he tactfully paints a picture of an exhausted and cranky chef, a kitchen full of dishes, and a new cookie recipe that refuses to turn out as promised, despite curses and threats. He does this based on years of experience. He feels he has a right to do this, maybe even a duty because of his medals of distinction in the "Cleaning up After a Gourmet Disaster" arena. Which covers everything from dishes to scraping half baked pumpkin pie filling off of the floor. He has turned angry tears of frustration into something edible, and he doesn't even cook. That's an amazing skill. I should rent him out.
It doesn't stop at baking. I daydream about roasted fennel, a creamy polenta brulee, cranberry mousse, roast turkey stuffed with orange and red onion quarters... and a wild array of finger food. I want it all. Pretty desserts, a fantastic sit down meal, and a cocktail party. Am I forgetting that we don't own a table big enough for a sit down meal (never mind chairs)? Have I completely forgotten the last too-many-apps adventure? Yes. Yes, I absolutely have.
I'm a sucker for holidays. Especially if they're homemade. I love the phrase "groaning table", it smacks of a shared harvest. I want the tree and the fresh greens. I want to feed people, go caroling and wrap gifts. I fantasize like this every year. All this holiday centric activity, powered by me. The truth is... my backup generator, the power supply that keeps me going when I need it most? He's waaay more reasonable and sane about these things. Of course I fuss when he tries to tone me down a bit, I have to pretend for a few moments longer that it's all possible. Eventually I come around, and each year he has fewer disasters to manage. Or maybe I just tell myself that.
To be a complete cliche, what really matters is time with the people you like. I know this. And the people who really like you back aren't going to stop liking you because you don't have ten kinds of cookies each year or can't plan drinks to go with each course of the meal. People who like you back understand how much you love food... and they show up at your door with some in hand.