Monday, November 24, 2008


The house smells like roasting garlic. It's for the hummus and baba ghanouj I'm making for hors d'ouevres. I'll bake pita bread tomorrow evening and then bake it again when I cut it up into triangles. I love cooking. I also realized I have some chocolate chips, 60% cacao bittersweet chips, and I think they would go very well in Tollhouse cookies, but I'll save those and bake them on Thursday. Nothing says holiday like something from the oven. I love this time of year.

Most of my local friends will get food baskets filled with homemade goodies for the holiday season. My mother is getting her favorite series, Forever Knight. I don't know why, but she has a thing for certain vampires and one werewolf (David Selby as Quentin Collins). For someone so straight laced, it just doesn't track, but there it is. She even had me learn to play Quentin's Theme on the piano when I was a kid. Talk about obsessions. My brother and sisters and I went in together to get all the DVDs for the series for Mom for Xmas and it doesn't matter that I mention it here since she doesn't have access to a computer. It was my idea because all she talks about is Forever Knight, she doesn't want to miss Nick Knight when it's on. Now she won't have to miss him. She can hole up in her room and watch him all the time.

If you detect a wee bit of the holiday spirit here, it isn't because of alcohol laden egg nog. I drink the occasional glass of wine, but the spirit is all me, generated by the colder temps and the endorphins pumping through my system from cooking and baking and basking in the aroma of home. I don't seem the like the domestic type, and in many ways I'm not, but when it comes to cooking and baking, just the idea of leafing through cookbooks and Gourmet or Food & Wine magazines makes me giddy with anticipation. It's the one little sliver of the shopping gene I do possess, grocery shopping. It's not unusual for me to get the urge to bake or put together a casserole or pot roast in the middle of the night and the aromas help me sleep when I eventually get to bed so that I dream of dancing sugar plums and feasting -- or noshing -- with friends and family.

The urge is building to go out and wander rows of live pine trees, inhale the scent and figure out how to get one home so I can bring out my boxes of ornament treasures, untangle the lights and invite some friends for a tree trimming party. This is the season of sharing food and fun, carols and conversations. Now that I have a place big enough and no guard waiting to pounce in the downstairs hall (no downstairs and no close neighbors watching through the blinds), I think a tree is definitely in order. After all, Mom and Dad brought all my ornaments and treasures with them the last time they visited together and it's time to let them out of their enameled boxes to hang from a live tree again. I feel a tree trimming party coming on.

Oh, and one more thing. I just signed a contract today for another book. I am not writing this one, but the authors requested the rights to use one of my pictures and posts in a book about feelings that will be out next year. I'll make sure you get a link to the book when it's published. From what I understand, the book will come out in several countries around the world at the same time. Not too shabby.

That is all. Disperse.

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