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Buh-Bye, 2013! [Dec. 31st, 2013|01:53 pm]
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I’d say that I’m glad to see the ass-end of this year, but as far as I know, the Fates don’t hit a reset button on January 1st. And it’s my personal mantra that every day, every hour, every decision, every action, is a chance to do better than you’ve been doing, to do a more right thing, to behave better. There’s not a lot you can do about misery, except endure it, maybe consider whether you’re enabling it or letting it drive you. But joy, joy you can create. So, try to squeeze a little more joy creation into my life, that’s as far as I’m going in terms of resolutions. And pondering that joy, let’s do more of that. It hurts every bone in my Lutheran-WASP-New England body to consider congratulating myself for doing well, wallowing in it, taking pride in it. Yeah, well, sometimes you have to tell your heritage to go expletive itself.

Material things are the least likely to bring me lasting joy, but sometimes a quick fix is what you need. And then there are other things that just make me happy that I’ve discovered them.

If you live near a Whole Foods or Roots or Dawson’s or Fresh Market, consider treating yourself to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, www.jenis.com. Or really splurge and have it delivered. Go, look at the flavors. Now, even better than the ice cream – and I only know for sure that the Whole Foods in Rockville has these, but they’re worth seeking out, find her ice cream sandwiches. They’re in little brown square boxes with white labels. Oh, I know, you’re thinking “$7.99 for a freaking ice cream sandwich?” But listen. For starters, half of one really IS a serving. If you can eat the whole thing at one sitting, we need to talk about your eating habits and learning to enjoy, and not inhale, your food. Listen again. Two almond and hazelnut macaron cookies sandwiching rich, creamy dark chocolate ice cream. Rolled in salted roasted hazelnuts. How good was it? I finished the second half several days ago, but the box is still sitting on the coffee table because it makes me happy just looking at it and remembering how freaking good it was.

Plus, also, these people:

I want to kidnap these people and make them help me with Scary Perry -- so much creativity, working with household objects and a baby. And the photos are staged beautifully. Plus, their story – hey, we moved, have no social life and all these boxes. I’m so jealous of their creativity, I want to hate them. But the pictures make me so happy, that I forgive them.

If you are a baker of cookies, you should do this now, so that you’re ready for next year’s cookie baking, because these two things have made a huge difference in my cookie baking experience. You need to buy the parchment sheets from King Arthur Flour – they’ll fit your cookie sheets perfectly, and save all that time you used to spend greasing sheets, washing them, or cutting parchment to fit. Now you can spend it chasing that runaway dragee around the kitchen floor. While you’re there, also buy the folding cooling rack. It stores flat, and opens to hold four cookie sheets, safely and securely. Or, you can keep putting random cooling racks all over the counter, knocking one into the other and shooting the one at the end off the counter completely. Plus, less cat sneezing on your cookies.

Okay, I know I sound like a shill for Whole Foods, but sadly, they’re the only place I’ve been able to find the best chicken sausages I’ve ever tasted. If you’d asked me a month ago, I’d say there is, really, NO chicken sausage worth eating unless there’s no possibility of finding a pork sausage or you’ve got some kind of bizarre porcine allergy. However, I’m a changed woman, and honestly there are plenty of pork sausages I’d pass up in a hot minute to lay my hands on a Brat Hans chicken sausage. Especially the DogfishHead special sausages. I can’t seem to find any more of the DogfishHead varieties, which I hope is just temporary, but stocked up on the regular varieties. Who would have thought I’d have a freezer full of CHICKEN sausage? Not me.

Also, I’ve managed to keep an orchid alive for over a year and it’s sent up a flower spike. It’s going to bloom again. I’ve never managed to do this before, mostly because I’ve always assumed I couldn’t, and that I’d just waste a year coddling something that would never bloom or do much beyond shoot out gnarly roots and then die. Wah, it's too HARD.

Sometimes it’s worth it to try it again anyway. Think on that, would you? Don’t assume you can’t. Maybe sometimes you can't. But sometimes? You totally can.

[User Picture]From: pyratelady
2014-01-02 05:05 am (UTC)
Excellent advice on the parchment paper and the cookie racks. This is not the very first time I've ever made cutout cookies for Christmas, but it was the first time I nearly threw the rolling pin into the living room. I was rushed (Mistake #1, I know, I know) and my fuse was shorter than usual because of... well, hormonal activity. Sailed through a busier-than-ever holiday season, even managed to buy all the gifts early, then on Christmas Eve I lost my damn mind. Over stupid cookies. Parchment paper saved the day, even if it was the less cool cut-it-to-size-your-own-sorry-self kind. I even wrote a note on the recipe: "Do not bother with flour for rolling anymore. Use parchment paper or you will lose your damn mind."

Edited at 2014-01-02 05:05 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2014-01-02 09:19 pm (UTC)
Yes, oh, YES! Although next year, (or sooner) go for the pre-cut, because that's like another freaking magnitude of holy cow, this is way easier.
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[User Picture]From: sequinedlovenun
2014-01-04 03:20 pm (UTC)
Keep on shilling for Whole Foods. Mama gots bills.
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