Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dec 1st. That is the commencement of all things "Christmas" to me. Until then, no eggnog, gingersnaps, decorating, or gift shopping. Until then, lights and carols annoy me; I will leave a store if it is play "The First Noel" before the first of the month. I am by no means a scrooge, rather wait pensively to kick off my familys and my own traditions. But i am horribly susceptible to xmas over kill.

Once I start, I cannot get enough gingersnaps dipped in mint tea, spiced rum and eggnog; if i start too early, i bake too many things, buy gifts only to find something better later, and the music really begins to irritate me, so that by Christmas i am either sick to my stomach or just plain sick of it all. Not even my favorite holiday (that honor is reserved for Thanksgiving--see tomorrows entry...), Christmas is so immensely overwhelming and often overrated that it goes quickly from "Joy to the World" to the "Song that Never Ends." So I hold off, perhaps even until a week or so before, and really enjoy the day itself, and all of the excuses to indulge, to really do so.

Tonight, however, November 27, i slipped. We are starting our Christmas baking at Quince, and today was a trial run for Chef Andreas German stollen. And i had some...with spiced rum (my Christmas cocktail pre-requisite). Im having it right now, actually, hypocritically three days before go time. And it is good. Very good.

But not as good as tomorrows last pumpkin pie will be. Or the remainder of the pumpkin desserts i plan to make before gingersnaps and date square devotion begins, before fall turns into winter, and thanksgiving into christmas, and sanity into hypnoticism...

This post hardly makes sense, i am sure, but that is just the pre-december rum, and it probably wont get any better...

Monday, November 15, 2010

so you can eat great, even late

I have a new cooking job; i've told you this. But did i tell you that this new cooking job would mean evenings off? That's right, no restaurant dinner service, just prepping food for catering platters and a "quality foods line." Did i tell you that i was looking forward to having dinner at the reasonable hour that most people dine at, or at least sometime before ten o'clock? Picking something inspirational up on the way home to turn into something tasty. Partially digesting my dinner before falling asleep; not falling asleep in my dinner. Good thing i did not tell you all of these things, because i would have been lying.

The truth is: even though i am supposed to be finished my shift at four thirty, i am often there at least an hour, sometimes two, past then (unpaid, by the way). And even if i am off at my designated eight hour mark, i cannot board the skytrain with my bike until after six. And why would i want to? You see, no matter what time i finish up, the thought of climbing into that stuffy transport system where people pretend eachother doesnt exist is depressingly exhaustive. I need to spend a little time outside first, have a little break from the constant feeling of, well, commuting. And so i get home after the time i looked forward to having dinner at.

And then i go for a run. And then i shower. And then, as i am cooking again, i scold myself for not just coming straight home to the stove. It is where i am happiest, and easiest able to unwind anyways, so why the procrastination? No idea. I know my habit is entirely preventable, and horribly unhealthy, and yet night after night, the pans heat up well after they could be.

Another question? Why the pans, why cook at the time of night? why wait another half hour or so for dinner when it could be done in the swipe-swipe two seconds of a peanut butter sandwich? That question i can answer: because i love it. And because my day is spent waiting for it. And because the vegetables in my fridge will go bad if i dont cook them.

So here i am tonight, my screen telling me that it is 10:57 pm. I am just finishing off a pasta of roasted kale with anchovies, shaved sunchoke, beet , fennel and walnut salad, and a chunk of my own baked baguette. Later on yet, i will dessert on the last of the plum cake i made last night, make some tea and plan to, yet again, eat earlier tomorrow. And just as tastily--even half asleep it was great.