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Christmas Survival Guide for the Lost Woman: Delegate

opinions

My friends have let me down. I’ve let them down too.

At some point women give up their own selves for the selfless, and mostly unrecognized emotional work of maintaining a home (creating the atmosphere, remembering birthdays, preparing for holidays, and bearing the greater responsibility of relationship nurturing).

Don’t be her. Don’t be the woman we all become at one point or another; a frumpy feeling, sad, uninspired woman who feels like the dishrag that society treats her like.

This Christmas I’m challenging you to connect with your pals, and I’m also challenging myself. In order to make more time for me, and to enjoy the preparations for the holidays, I’ve come up with a few strategies.

 

  1. The word of the year this Christmas is; Delegate.

Make lists….and then give them away. I mean, you single-handedly make the magic happen, at least save some time not shopping and not running errands.

shopping list

 

2) Clear out the clutter.

No, not stuff, people. If you need the whole house so you can spread out the holiday decor,  but your lovey insists on being sprawled on the couch watching the boob tube and basically being useless, ask them to leave. Unless they’re helping, they’re hindering. Vamoos!

joy

 

3) Bake ahead, and if you don’t like baking, don’t.

This year I’m googling ‘christmas cookies that freeze well’, and I’m going to use it. I’m also stocking the freezer with some frozen cheater meals so that I can enjoy my time off throughout the holidays, without cringing when I’m asked, “Have you thought about dinner”. Also, it’s so I don’t tell them that prison dinner might be worth it since I wouldn’t have to cook or do the damn dishes. My eggnot loaf is currently cooling on the counter so it can be frozen.

eggnog loaf

 

4) Be the one who puts a stop to gift exchanges. Other than a few things under the tree on Christmas morning that my loved ones need, will have sentimental value, or are a true ‘Santa’ surprise gift, gift giving falls a long-distance second to just spending time together.

get together

 

5) Make some gal-destinations a priority. Whether it’s a spa date for candy-cane mani’s, or a local church craft sale…make an excuse to get out, wander through all of the delights of the season, and make it a date with someone you’ve been meaning to get together with but haven’t.

one of a kind

 

 

Whatever you do this Christmas season,  make sure you make time to slow down and take in some of what brings you joy.

 

 

 

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Holiday Hangover Brunch

eggsOh don’t get all self-righteous on me you sneaky little devils!

I know that even the most lady-like among my readers over-indulges on occasion.

So, if that is the case, pass this sweet little recipe on to your adoring partner so that they can nurse you back to health. Do it now because the ingredients will likely be something for which they’ll need to shop ahead.

Just FYI, hair-of-the-dog is highly over-rated. Just sayin’….not that I have that much experience with holiday hangovers.

Gorgonzola Custards with Pears

(WAY better than it sounds. Be sure to double the recipe to sate the hangover hungries)

Ingredients

Butter to grease muffin pans

2 TBSP Butter

2TBSP Butter

2 TBSP Flour

1.5 cups warmed half and half

2 eggs & 2 yolks (beaten lightly)

1/2 lb gorgonzola (crumbled)

salt

2 Pears

Walnuts

A Salad bowl full of your favourite mix of greens ( I like spicy baby arugala )

Enough of your favourite vinaigrette for the greens

Method

Prehead oven to 350

Butter 8 custard cups/ramekins and place in pan

Melt 2 TBS butter over medium heat

Add flour and combine well, cooking for about 1 minute

Add the half and half cream slowly, whisking constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon (3-5 mins)

Remove from heat and whisk in whole eggs/egg yolk mixture.

Whisk in the gorgonzola until mixture is smooth

Add salt to taste

Pour custard into prepared custard cups and then pour hot water into the baking pan so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the custard cups/ramekins. Cover the pan and cups with foil.

Bake 25-30 minutes (test by inserting a knife – if it comes out clean, they’re ready)

While the custard is cooking wash and core pears, slicing thinly. Combine walnuts, pears and greens, and add vinaigrette to taste.

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Christmas Tipple: The Snug Sailor

Another edition of ‘Christmas in the Kitchen’….

warming up
warming up (Photo credit: a song under the sugar sugar)

….or perhaps I should say, Christmas in the Liquor Cabinet.

I’ve had a few inquiries about the recipe I referred to in my post THE CYNICAL ELF about this recipe, so I am graciously passing it along. My suggestion is to just be honest with yourself, and quadruple the recipe. After all, it’s unsafe to operate a stove after you’ve had a drink or two.

 The Snug Sailor

Ingredients

1 tbsp five-spice powder

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 oz Spiced Rum

2 oz Crabbies Ginger Beer

1 oz 35% Cream

1 oz 2% Milk

2 oz dulce de leche

1/2 lemon (zest & juice)

nutmeg for garnish

Method

Stir five spice together with sugar

Rim a mug with the spice & sugar mixture

Add remaining ingredients to a pot and heat over medium heat

Whisk constantly until bubbling.

Serve in the mug rimmed with spiced sugar

Please enjoy responsibly in the cozy embrace of your rugged man-of-winter by the lights of the Christmas tree, or wrapped up fireside after a long session of merry-making.

Don’t drink and drive. Drink and make love. Happy holidays…..

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Everything That’s Wrong With the World

The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis...
The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night I was reminded yet again of the unfortunate state of our fortunate society when a television network aired a commercial for a children’s version of Hell’s Kitchen, or some such ridiculous program.

Really? Is this what we want to teach our children, to criticize their peers at work, and work in a threatening environment?! Give me a break.

What the world needs now is kindness, compassion, and generosity.  A new generation of pretentious bots doesn’t give me much faith that the growing trend toward spiritual ignorance and egotism is going to make this planet a better place to live.

I daresay the little darlings who will star in this heinous entertainment debacle and their misguided parents would even recognize the subtlety of sarcasm my sweet, juicy, peaches.

Unfortunately I have had to endure meals sitting with such gastronomic goons. Their obsessive criticism is a less than convincing smoke screen of negativity spewed forth in order to boost their image of superiority.  Talk about indigestion my darlings!

Breaking bread together has long been more than a way to sustain physical health and strength.  Meals have also been a ritualistic way for people of all cultures to celebrate rites of passage, express spirituality, and welcome others to our family and home.

Thanksgiving is a particularly poignant reminder of what it means to share a meal together. Sharing food has been an act of peace for thousands of years.

It has also been used as an aphrodisiac in the arsenal of skilled lovers since the dawn of time. Imagine the mood if, while feeding your lover a chocolate dipped strawberry,  they piped up with, “That would be better with slightly less chocolate”. I’ve never been a fan of mud wrestling, but I think the ensuing nude mayhem would be akin to Roman sporting events.

The recent trend toward people self-describing as ‘foodies’ has marked a decline in civilization as we know it. I like to call them ‘rudies’ instead.

That’s the polar opposite of the folks whom will be sharing our Thanksgiving meal next weekend.

No, don’t panic darlings, we’re celebrating a week early so that yours truly has an opportunity to take an extra-long weekend for the actual ‘Thanksgiving’ holiday.

But enough of my wonderful life, back to ‘Everything That’s Wrong With the World’.

I am an advocate of good company and gracious living. That means that no matter how terrible a recipe has gone awry, or how bold the wine-food companionship, you ought to graciously  thank your host and get on with the real matter at hand – enjoying  precious time together.

A few reminders for foodie-rudie’s this Thanksgiving;

1) First and foremost we don’t need to hear that you think the stuffing is too ‘sagey’. Sagey isn’t even a word.

2) Do not suggest a ‘better’ wine match. There likely are many better or ideal wine matches to the meal. We don’t want to know. We just want to relax and enjoy the bounty which is set before us.

3) No. Not everyone thinks that the dessert you brought is the best thing they’ve ever tasted, nor do we need to be corrected with regard to the ethnic pronunciation.

4) Your job is not to upstage the host/hostess. Your job is to be kind and entertaining. Should you fail those most basic social requirements, do not expect a second invitation or a second date.

5) No one cares how you ‘prefer’ your food to be prepared. We prefer that you maintain the most basic rules of civility.

6) Expect someone to roll their eyes and tell you to shut up if you make even one negative comment in your outdoor voice.

7) Rest assured that you will not get laid by anyone, ever,  should you talk about what certain foods do to your digestive system. Know your food limit and eat within it.

Everything that’s wrong with the world begins at your very own breakfast, lunch and dinner tables my sweeties. Kindness, good manners and the ability to enjoy simple blessings is nurtured every day as we ‘break bread’. If you fail to appreciate this, you really fail to understand the meaning of life.