Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Happy 2nd Annual Blog Cookie Exchange!

As I’ve stated a blogillion times already, I love Christmas. Love. It. So when I saw the invitation for the 2nd Annual Blog Cookie Exchange last week over at Susie’s, I counted down the minutes till today with my handy dandy abacus, which, for sure, helps the time go by faster. And what do you know, here we are. You have to go read Susie’s entry, because she is so much more Christmasy lovin’ than even I, because I love the holiday, but because of life crazy haven’t been able to enjoy too many traditions the past few years. But as instructed, I’ll tell my:

Favorite holiday recipes
Special traditions
Favorite gift to give
What you wear when you don your gay apparel :)

One of my favorite things to do every December is to make a buttload of candy. Ever since I was a wee narcissist, I’ve loved to dabble in the confectionary arts. Years of staring at the candy thermometer, pulling taffy, which God bless me, I will never do again, and all the other temperamental duties that go along with making good candy, have made me into somewhat of a pro, though I do emphasize somewhat. So I’m not going to share cookie recipes, because I only make the standard sugar and gingerbread.

Favorite Holiday Recipes

This year, this coming weekend in fact, I am going to hunker down in my kitchen, throw on my apron and my candy chef cap and whip up some pralines, divinity, pumpkin fudge, nutty fudge, peanut brittle, and peppermint patties (insides colored red and green).

One year, my really good friend and I decided to make candy to give as presents for all of our friends, because poor college students can’t afford more and will gladly gobble up food gifts of any kind. The fudge turned out perfectly, so we turned our attention to the divinity. We whipped up the eggs, and started to measure out the sugar when we realized that we were short by nearly a cup full. We went through her mother’s cupboards searching everywhere, but there was none to be found save for a couple of plastic containers of colored sugar crystals typically sprinkled over baked cookies. We looked at each other, then to the red and green sugar and over to the sagging egg whites. “It’s still sugar,” I shrugged and measured it out and dumped it in before she could object. The pristine, white mixture became a putrid, purple hue, and there was nothing divine about it. The little balls we dropped onto the cookie sheet became flat, little pancakes of goo. Oh how I'd wish we'd taken a picture. But once they set a little, we discovered that they didn’t taste all that bad. The taste and texture were nowhere near that of divinity, so we knew that we had to come up with a new name for our unique concoction – thus was the birth of Rebecca and Alyssa’s Mmm Bop Mess-up Cookies. Try it yourself some time.

Special Traditions

Because my family moved around so much when I was young, we never really were able to set up too many traditional traditions. It was never Christmas Eve at grandma’s with all of the cousins, aunts and uncles together, we didn’t go Christmas caroling in our neighborhood, and the times we had open fires, there sure weren't any chestnuts to be had. About fifteen years ago, we started getting a Christmas tree on my brother’s birthday, Dec. 8th, every year, because nothing says “Happy B-day, Son” like a big, bushy fir tree. And we always opened our presents on Christmas Day, no exceptions because of the Dad Nazi, though my mother always lobbied for one present to be opened on Christmas Eve as was her tradition growing up. Sadly, it never worked. This year, I am going to adopt her family’s tradition of the pajama present that gets opened on Christmas Eve. Maybe next year, I'll start another new tradition after I find it. I love traditions, the every year of them, the warmth and routine. One tradition I dropped though, was my dad’s habit of making mince pies and Waldorf salad every year. We never ate them; there were too many other good things on the table - including my divinity. We also used always to get an advent calendar and take turns between the kids who got to open the day, but I can never find them nowadays. Do they even still exist?

Favorite Gift to Give

Well, besides my presence, of course, I enjoy giving real presents. It is actually my favorite part, watching people open the gifts I lovingly chose for them and carefully wrapped and topped with a sticker-backed bow. I also love to give handmade gifts, hence all of the candy. This year I’ve added another handmade gifts generating hobby to my repertoire, so I’ll be posting pictures of those soon. But the favorite gift of all that I am giving this year has to be one of them that I got Steve – his ultimate dream – an Aston Martin DB5. Pictures of that, too, will be forthcoming.

How I don my gay apparel?

Hmm, well sensible shoes and khaki pants aren’t really my thing. Oh wait, I don’t think that’s what she meant. God, I’m bad. I don’t do Christmas clothes either – I love pretty, party dresses, but red velvet, snowman sweaters, Christmas earrings? They are definitely not me. You go ahead though. I’m not knockin’ it, just not rockin’ it.

So fa la la la la la la blah blah blaaaaaah.

I hope you’ll join in on this fun exchange. If you do let me know below, because I would love to read about it. And drop in on Susie, as this is, after all, her party.