Sunday, November 20, 2011

I'd Bawl You Out. And I Lied: It's Never Short.

This may be foolish. But it will also be short. Today's art open house was the last small show I'll be doing for the season -- apart from three days at the Rust Belt Market (Sunday, 11/27, Sat. Dec. 10th and Sat. Dec. 17th) -- and part of me is all ready to slump into the couch for a few months, with a cheerier Netflix queue than I normally have. I'm definitely one of those who would gladly hibernate through the cold, dreary months, holidays notwithstanding. Truly, some years, I would also be fine with taking a photoshop eraser icon to the holiday days themselves and walking from one normal calendar page, through a blanked out tunnel of a week or two, to emerge into those still wintery days, but somehow having hopscotched over those days of simultaneous warmth, despondency and heaviness. Here's the foolish part: writing when I'm tapped out and unable to pretend otherwise. But I think in a few, I will indeed park myself before the TV for a chillax. For a few passing moments, I'm here.

What people gravitate to to buy-- and when --  is so mysterious. I made a bunch of commercially printed Christmas cards several years ago, to get more mileage out of a Halloween costume I made (I used to get kind of obsessive with the costumes, but life hasn't really inspired me to step up on this score lately). And while it initially sold, then it fell off, and I have had dribs and drabs hanging around forEVER. Today, however, a woman sought me out. She was holding a ten pack and wondering where all the rest were. Well....hmm. Ideally she wanted 60. Which would have been FABULOUS, had I had them to sell her. I found a whopping three more at my house, but also a wee woodblock I made specifically for holiday cards a couple years ago. Nowhere near 60, but she bought everything I had. And on the strength of that, I'm going to print a bunch more of the dog for Rust Belt -- but as life goes, most likely these will be hanging around my house for the next three years. Wow, do I sound like Eeyore? Possibly. In any case, cool she wanted that many -- and most definitely cool that she was excited about them: "I'm so happy I have something so cool to send to people!" Well, ok, that kind of rocks.

Otherwise, the shopping women were all about the bourbon balls and the Indian nut brittle, to the exclusion of prints. "You could sell these!" Maybe in another life... Used to be much more into the baking. I *am* actually shifting gears into some holiday baking. Pouring through my recipes, deciding on the balance between established favorites and something new and appealing
for me to noodle with. The baking is nowhere near the dozens of cookie boxes I used to send out, but is ramping up slightly from last year, when I was forced to be exceedingly careful with my health. Still need to take care, but it feels a bit less fussy.

I grew up with the very strong sense that one NEVER writes in a book. I don't know when this changed, but I am always commenting in my cookbooks and on recipes: "So-so" "lackluster" "FABulous!" I mean, it's rather necessary, as my memory is inadequate/lazy/wishes to be left alone/I have no idea, and I regularly started trying new recipes back in 1992ish. Some notes are more helpful than others. The note to the left was written to one end of a meringue recipe typed from a (not-my) family recipe book. Well,so. Former baker self, thanks for the note. I can't help but feel you're giving me mixed messages. "You think it's a good idea, but it's not." Sooooo...I should dispense with this recipe? But you have kept it AND emphatically conveyed the need for spearmint over mint. I kind of love its vagueness, paired with an almost ominous air. You think it's a good idea, but it's not.  Brilliant. So true, so much of the time.  No use asking about the stain. My cookbooks don't stay pristine for long. Just as I bruise easily, they stain easily. To wit: I am thinking about chocolate grand marnier balls and pfeffernusse. The rest is up in the air. The meringues, however, are out. They...just don't seem like a good idea.

Bonus Mom quote, said to a plumber who worked on their bathroom in two two-hour sessions: "If it leaks in three days, I'm gonna call you. But I'm not gonna bawl you out, because I know you did your best."


  1. A note on my recipe book's eggnog page:
    "1/2 recipe is plenty"

    And every year I am grateful for the reminder that, no matter how festive I feel, a half recipe is... plenty.

    Otherwise my recipe book note-taking is not so successful. I dutifully write down that I made such-and-such substitution on purpose (corn meal for whole wheat flour in pizza dough) or by accident (what was it, garam masala instead of cinnamon in apple muffins?) but I rarely remember to go back and record the result.

  2. Oh how I love that eggnog recipe~~I like "half recipe is plenty," taken out of context.