Thursday, April 10, 2008

December December

December 2007



December. Windy here. Life around our house is pretty cozy and festive, what with Christmas baking and presents sneaking around the house and our *enormous* Christmas tree. Yup, we went for it. I was on the fence about it, since we’re not actually spending Christmas here, but the truth is that I love Christmas trees almost as much as I love the moment when I first notice that there’s eggnog sitting next to the milk at the grocery store. They smell so lovely and suddenly twenty-five percent of your living room is this mass of greenery and there is nothing, and I really mean nothing, like sitting in a room with all the lights out except for the ones on the tree. Having been raised the child of, well, my dear mother, we dug our Christmas tree each year. Out into the snow and cold with our shovels and root snipper things and a big sheet and a galvanized tub. It was simultaneously something my best friend and I could not wait for yet to say that it was several hours of freezing torture would not be a lie; by the time that damn tree finally got plunked in the living room we were tired as dogs and covered in mud and probably starving. After Christmas we would plant the tree somewhere in the yard and the deal with my mom was this: if the tree lived until July she would take us out for pizza. Big event in the life of a health food squeak.

But I digress. I meant to say that this was the first year that I’ve ever bought a cut tree and learned how comical it can be to try to get the damn thing to stand up straight. And, since I wasn’t committed to digging the darn thing it’s the largest tree I’ve been party to. It was seriously one of the smallest ones on the lot; lord only knows how the people with the really big trees got theirs to behave. Anyway, I love it and I plan to leave it up until Easter.

In other tree news, as if to atone for my decidedly not-dug Christmas tree, yesterday we planted ourselves a sour cherry tree and a peach tree! They are so little and earnest and spare and I really do hate winter planting because even though I know the plants will be fine I just can’t accept that they are really ok out there all brand new in the freezing cold.

In other matters. Just read The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Super urgent and engrossing. The Erica subplot was kind of puzzling to me, but the whole thing puzzles in a great way.

Baked this. Oh people. There is nothing I can say that hasn’t been said and no photograph that could make them look any yummier. Make these now; they are not only fantastic tasting but there is nothing like a pinwheel cookie to make people squeal over the plate in your hands. Ours featured apricots, raisins, walnuts, and orange marmalade. For future experiments: dates, figs, chocolate, crystallized ginger, dried cranberries, raspberry jam...

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