Don’t Block That Writer, Hand Me the Spatula!

That’s an obscure paraphrase of an old Firesign Theater routine, for those of you who are confused by the title.    This is what happens when you give a blocked writer who likes to cook some free time and no big project to work on.  Lots of baking.  I whipped up these colored butter icings for the sugar cookies I baked last night.  They remind  me of the old pigments on view at the museum under Notre Dame.

So yeah, I’m kind of writing a little here and there but I don’t have a big project going.  So I’m doing stuff like making home made gifts.  I sent biscotti (almond/vanilla and white chocolate/hazelnut/ginger) and  Scottish short bread all over the country, along with photographic gives, etc.  I made sugar cookies for the local family because they don’t have to be shipped.  Martha Stewart might not be happy with these, but I think they have a certain rustic charm.

A nice thing about holiday baking… You get to use stuff that’s in your kitchen that you usually don’t need.  I didn’t have any ground cloves for the apple pie recipe, so I put some cloves in an old pepper grinder and then ground them finer with my mortar and pestle.  And no, that 1/4 teaspoon measure doesn’t get much of a work out most of the year either.

I knew that the leftover French bread from our post-Thanksgiving gathering would come in handy so I froze it.  Found out that CuzM is fond of bread pudding, so I made some for Christmas dinner.  The hot water bath cooking is the hard part of this.  I put this inside my largest Pyrex bowl in the oven, but it was pretty scary to check because the water would bubble out and sizzle onto the bottom of the oven.

When Hydra came home from a run into town, the apple pie was sitting on the counter.  He’d cut the apples for it and saw how many were piled inside the crust.

He whooped and laughed, and  said, “Did you steal that pie out of a Norman Rockwell painting!?”

Okay, now, that’s success.  I think it’s going to taste good too!   He asked how we’re going to bear cutting into something so beautiful (earning lots and lots of points here).

I think cooking is like theater.  You do all this rehearsing and prep, and that’s really satisfying.  Then you put on your show and the nature of the thing is that it happens once, so maybe you savor it a little more.  It’s not fully realized until it’s consumed.

I’ll prep the pork loin, salmon and broccoli in the morning.  Not really happy about the broccoli, but the Brussels sprouts in the stores were nasty this week.  I’ll keep the broccoli simple but there will be lots of garlic and fresh herbs on the meat and fish.  I doctored up a stuffing mix with fresh sausage and walnuts.  The Vickster’s bringing a salad.  No potatoes this time around.  There will be plenty to eat.

CuzM, CuzP and the Vickster will arrive around 10:30 tomorrow  and we’ll start out with the mimosas the Cuzzes will bring, cheeses, and hot appetizers I bought from Trader Joe’s.  We’ll open gifts and play a game Hydra and I bought for the occasion (About Time).  Have Christmas dinner, take a walk if the rain stays away as long as they think it will.

We love hosting, I love cooking for people.  As I heard Kitty say so often when I was growing up, “Aren’t we lucky?”

Love to all of you near and far who are celebrating and/or resting this holiday weekend.



3 thoughts on “Don’t Block That Writer, Hand Me the Spatula!

  1. ruth kozak says:

    Lovely post Sally. Those cookies look so tastey! My mom was the baker in our house. I used to do a bit but I prefer preparing dinners. Did my traditional “Life’s Great Dinners” with Cornish hens on pate canapes with sherry sauce, lobster bisque, and rice with baby peas. It’s always spectacular and so yummy!
    A couple of friends provided desserts — a Christmas pudding and pumpkin pie. Quite a feast.
    I hope your feast was just as spectacular. I expect it was!

  2. me says:

    Oh wow! Everything looks sooo good! That certainly is a Norman Rockwell pie! Perfect! And the cookies….so cute. Lucky guests.

  3. Sundry says:

    Oh Ruth! That sounds amazing!!! Lobster bisque. Cornish hens on pate canapes? We made a lot of everything so we could send home leftovers. It was a good day and I’m stuffed.

    Kitty – The only thing missing was even more family. But it was great talking to you today. We had lots of calls!

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