Monday, December 23, 2013

When You Hit the Christmas Party Scene: Cocoa Graham Corgis

-Cutest cookies ever.-

I don't care much for office Christmas parties. Half the time they're too tame and boring as you play an all too obvious game of Secret Santa where you likely get paired with the one person who wraps up a corn dog from the AM-PM in an old expense report. The other half of the time they're bacchanalian sinfests that would put Caligula to shame, which is saying a lot for a man who had sex with his consul, Incitatus (who, by the way, was also his horse).

It feels like a bit of a lose-lose situation. One you want to shoot yourself in the head because it won't end, and the other ends up with pictures of you on Tumblr and becoming an overnight meme because you thought wearing a Santa beard and mistletoe pasties was such an awesome idea. There generally doesn't seem to be a whole lot of joy at these parties or in the morning after should you be conscious.

This is probably just my opinion.

I'm not grinchy. Far from it. I'm the person who loves to celebrate Christmas, but I just have a thing against drinking heavily with co-workers or even hanging out with them outside of work. I feel that my day job professional sphere and my personal sphere are two very different spaces that should remain separate by both miles and personal connections. As Doctor Egon Spengler once said, "Don't cross the streams." I simply feel that though my life is very public what with book, blog, and social media the more intimate details of my life best left unknown to the people I have to borrow files from.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Plans This Winter: Roasted Garlic

-Garlic is an important part of every meal. Every meal.-

I'm finally back from my West Coast torture that I've been genially calling the Book Tour.

Touring is a strange affair. For years I had in my head I this Carrie Bradshaw-esque image of flitting across the nation. I would be reading to packed rooms, staying in quaint hotels that have a better than average continental breakfast (the kind where loose leaf tea and scones from the bakery down the street are served), and meeting people who love food and books and who want to talk to me about both as I scrawl illegible messages in their just-purchased copies. All of this, of course, on the publisher's dollar and in a private car.

I'm sad to report that this is all only about half true. Unless you're Ina Garten or J.K. Rowling you are on your own. The publisher may help with some event logistics at best and when you get to Seattle the publisher will happily email you a link to the city's bus system website so you can putter around town all the better. (That dollar-fifteen bus fare is on you, though.) Many events you go to the author had to craft together his-or-herself from far away and totally over the phone. It is tough so be forgiving next time you see a cookbook author trying to smile through the chaos.

To be frank the entirety of it rests on you.

Not to say there aren't great events or wonderful perks to it all. Some events are planned by others and all I had to do was show up. Recipes from the book were prepared by eager volunteers who had an excitement for cheese, the kind where they likely had a wheel of Brie at home in the fridge. These events were packed with cheese connoisseurs, readers of this blog or Stephanie's, or perhaps had just heard about it through the many various foodie networks that buzz underneath society like bees dancing a map to the next food truck party or restaurant opening.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We Were That House: Christmas and Cookbooks

I got a text from mom.

"Wait until you get home! Brian - on his own!!! - is outside hanging lights around the house! He's finally in the spirit. One of us. One of us." 

As I sat in the polar cave of my office at work cursing the persnickety heating system and wishing I, like every other one of my coworkers, could be home swaddled in blankets and eating sandwiches packed with turkey leftovers, it was a text I simply hadn't - nor ever - expected. My husband, a grinch in nearly all but color when it came to celebrating the holidays in any way outside Christmas morning or Christmas Eve dinner, was stringing lights. Unasked!

Satan, break out the snow cone machines because all this just froze over.