Tuesday, December 25, 2007

With Sage Enough, and Thyme

The wonder and gratitude for the Christmas in own house continues, by golly. Senor Fluff and I got up this morning, read our respective books and drank coffee for about an hour, and then piled up our prezzies and opened them slowly, taking time to admire their various benefits (ooh, highball glasses from the parents! those will come in handy!), and chuckle about the inspiration for them (Senor's "Little Lebowski Urban Achievers" t-shirt, courtesy of yours truly). This kind of Christmas morn kicks the proverbial ass on the in-laws "wake up at 5:30 to screaming children, grab a cup of coffee, sit on the couch and perform great appreciation for gifts, and often get picture taken" morning that we have had for the last few years. It is indeed fun to watch kids open presents; they exhibit an excitement that those of us over 30 just don't seem to manifest (even when we get new operating systems for our Mac. oh yes.). But the early morning performance, prior to coffee? Torture. Every year.

And one of the further benefits of being in my own damn house for the holidays is one that I didn't really consider until after our return from the mountains: cooking! My own food! So last night we had spaghetti with turkey meatballs and I made a version of Senor Fluff's favorite--a spice cake. Thanks to epicurious, I managed a version of the gingerbread cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting (and for the record, whoever is responsible for the KitchenAid stand mixer should be canonized). Right now, I've got a chicken roasting, with garlic and olive oil pushed under its skin. Anyone ever done that? There's something all-too-prurient about it. I felt like I was violating the chicken. But garlic roast chicken? Sorry, poultry. Take one for the team. In addition, I've got a pan of my mother's herb stuffing waiting to be baked. I went the foo-foo route and actually bought fresh herbs (something that was unheard of during my childhood). Halfway through, I remembered that I had a food processor and could have avoided interminable chopping, but I think it will be tasty, nonetheless. Finally, I'm planning on doing up some brussels sprouts with pancetta, a la Giada, which I caught on Food Network the other day. In short, there's little like cooking for yourself and your loved one, all the stuff you love to eat. Oh, there will be hell to pay come tomorrow at the gym, (and when Senor F. sees the pile of pans in the sink), but nothing says mine like a house filled up with smells of my own creation. Eew. I mean the food, of course.

I'd never really thought about the therapeutic benefits of cooking during the holidays. I suppose it's because the experience at other people's houses is never so relaxing. I don't know where anything is, the tools are never quite right (I want a sharp knife, dammit!), and things that are ever so basic to me (hmm, bean and rice burritos, anyone?) are exotic to my relatives (you're not going to fry the tortillas?). But here, everything I want is at my fingertips (or, at least, I know what I don't have. Damn missing dishwasher.) And thus, the methodical assemblage of food becomes meditative, creative, yummy. Holidays at home: 5. Holidays away: 0.

I have a sinking feeling that we'll be traveling again next year, so I'm trying to enjoy every single minute of my holiday of freedom. And if that means cooking and eating and reading and drinking coffee and watching five seasons of Angel on DVD, then so be it.

Yup. you heard me. Five seasons.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like you had a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger kfluff said...

oooh, it was. Thanks!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008 9:46:00 AM  

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