Holiday Roundup and the Most Boring Day Ever

Toasting Strudel welcomes you in to a POST HOLIDAY FUCKIN WONDERLAND.

Well! It is January again. I was thinking there would be Polar Bear dippery by my people again on New Year’s Day, but much to my amusement it was completely forgotten about until midday. Whoops. I was in bed before midnight, but at 12 there were fireworks and gunshots. A friend made me feel better later by gently suggesting they were firing blanks. I was refreshed on New Year’s and not at all hungover or underslept.

The same could not be said for Xmas day. I had my sister over for dinner and stayed up waaaay too late watching The Big Lebowski, which is Morgan’s favorite of all time. It’s safe to say the Dude blew Franny’s mind. “This is the coolest movie I’ve ever seen,” she said reverentially, as if some secret had finally been revealed.

Franny and I popped out after present opening on Xmas morning to see Les Miz. I saw Les Miz for the first time when I was 13. I tend to agree that you may be more vulnerable to being hooked by it if you’re a teen girl. We got to sit side by side in the theatre, crying silently and sharing a pack of tissues. By Xmas night I was really sick–my immune system’s tipping point is often when I’ve had less than 6 hours of sleep and am fighting it off.

Something funny happened on the way in to the movie. We were one of the first people in to the lobby and had come almost an hour early for the 11 a.m. showing. I figured it would be full of the die-hard since it opened on Xmas Day, and that was the first showing (other than the midnight opening the night before). We made our way up to the fourth floor of the googleplex and I said, “Let’s get seats now and snacks later.” Franny agreed with me. As I passed concessions, I could see a man and a woman standing there, waiting for popcorn. The woman turned her head towards us and a group of two other ladies and I could see her eyes pop wide in horror. Someone was going to beat her in! Our theatre was really close to concessions and I could hear her RUNNING up behind us, but would not elbow past us. Franny and I got the front and center seats on the raised tier, which I think are the best seats. I could see the shoulders of the woman behind us visibly sag as we sat down. She and her companion sat close to us and were very polite and said nothing to us. I pretended I didn’t see her silent drama, since I didn’t want to tussle over the seats, but hey, I am a superfan too.

I took a week and a half or so off through the holidays so I could hang out with the girls and bake and play with the Wii. Not much happened, which was awesome, except my lawyer finally decided to properly fire our guardian ad litem. The trial is now pushed out four months, since we will need a new one to assess us.

I did a lot of cooking for my sister’s visit. I considered making some kind of sumptuous yule log, but I got a wild hair and decided to make four kinds of dessert: apricot, blackberry, and strawberry pâtes de fruits, brandied fruit tarts, peanut brittle, and to put out my scotch truffles.

P. got involved since he wanted to make gingerbears. The recipe turned out a little oddly–they swelled and puffed more than gingerbread should, but they tasted nice.

Franny thought they looked a little pedobear. It was fun to eat their heads.

Here’s the table all set before the devouring began. I set out potted “hare” and quince jelly.

In between all this I kind of rested up and was pathetic, like everyone else in Seattle. I swear everyone got this cold. Franny left on the 26th. Then I started cooking again.

A craving for non-sucky Moroccan led me to get my own checkstub. And buy rosewater. And isn’t the bottle pretty?

P. made a pattern in parchment for cinnamon. A cinnamon snowflake.

Bastilla!

The table is laid again:

Today Franny is coming back early. Today has been deadly boring, which is pretty awesome. Her early return has been happening almost every weekend for the past little while. It’s nice–I miss my kid who will correct my middle finger from the generic old man flip off into something with flair.

8 Responses to “Holiday Roundup and the Most Boring Day Ever”

  1. misspiggy says:

    Thank you for this post, and thank you for the gingerbears! Their very existence has boosted my day.

  2. zugenia says:

    I also saw Les Miz for the first time at 13, and, with this in mind, I recently sent the soundtrack to my niece for her 13th birthday. I haven’t seen the movie yet—we tried, hiring a babysitter and everything, and arrived to find we had to wrong movie times—but I look forward to it, because in the time between 13 and now, I’ve managed to return to a state of generally raw sensibility about injustice and human suffering that will allow me to be manipulated into a state of soggy despair, immediately.

  3. A says:

    I’ma need that bastilla recipe if you have a link, please.

  4. iasshole says:

    Hi A, I found it here: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/moroccan-cuisine?before=1308882159

    Actually, I found it in Jessica Harris’s book (The Africa Cookbook) that the above post comes from. It’s a great book overall, but not my favorite bastilla I have ever had. I actually found the spice blend ras al-hanout in my bulk section, which surprised me. I was going to just knock it together.

    This is more like what I prefer, with orange flower water and cilantro:

    http://moroccanfood.about.com/od/maindishes/r/ChickenBastilla.htm

    Zugenia, have “fun.” Bring tissues. :D

  5. TsarinaDott says:

    Does Franny have tutorials online? I would love to improve my off-flipping techniques.

  6. A says:

    Thank you, SJ. Did you use phyllo dough?

  7. iasshole says:

    Yes, I absolutely use frozen phyllo. I made my own puff pastry during my Victorianing which was fun and delicious (and I need to work on) but I am content with leaving phyllo to the experts!!