It's rapidly zooming towards 1am. I still haven't packed my bag for my flight home tomorrow afternoon. I do know that my overweight luggage fines will be such that they will probably be able to build and name a new wing of the domestic airport in my honour. The kitchen is covered in food. Oh yeah, and I've got work till 1pm tomorrow. Eek. Gotta say, Tim is being quite Florence Nightingale-esque amongst all this. Like a human cold compress. He's rationalising all the Christmas presents into my bag while I type out this self-absorbed piece, and he's got to be up at 5am tomorrow for work. Christmas can take you to some strange places. With all of that in mind, you know, be nice. I may not be lucid. But gosh darnit I will get this blog post done. My public needs me... I think.
In a salute to the season I made something bordering on ridiculously Christmassy today. It's a simple but very clever idea that I discovered on the food forum I go on and would make a rather cute little gift, yes? Just looking at them makes me glad it is this time of year so that this sort of carry-on is allowed to even happen.
Even the hasty photo can't disguise how cute these are. Simply face two candy canes together nose to tail (I trimmed the bases to make them more heart-y). Melt a little white chocolate, and carefully pour it into the recess till the two halves are somewhat poetically bound as one whole, and let it set firm. Can't say I don't recommend eating any leftover white chocolate either.
Dinner has been a bit all over the place lately, as both of us are going away to our respective homes for Christmas and therefore don't want to be having a whole lot of perishables sitting around wilting glumly. Last night's dinner was the result of several ingredients bought spontaneously at Moore Wilson's while on a last-minute mercy dash for ingredients. So spontaneous that we ended up doing a dizzying circuit between Moore Wilson's three adjoining stores, starting at Grocery, moving to Fresh, then to Alcohol, then back to Fresh and finishing in Grocery. Lists, and over-the-counter painkillers, were quite possibly invented for times like these.
But it ended up being a perfect pre-Christmas dinner.
Bodacious Hot Dogs (as opposed to the normal, watery ones) (that would also make a good band name)
It's the ingredients that give it the edge over the usual stuff. Long, tapering sausages, a crunchy, doughy, seed-studded sourdough baguette, tomato sauce, Colman's mustard, a tangle of caramelly fried onions. I chose these locally made sausages called Acme, and while I can't find a website, if you see them it's definitely worth dealing with the price they go for. They are expensive but completely free of additives and filler, and sweet fancy Moses do they taste good. Like a pig in tubular form. (Apologies to any vegetarian readers...you know I don't eat a lot of meat). The onions I fried in butter and added a splash of balsamic vinegar, which evaporated in a whoosh of eye-blinking acidity and gave them an intensely savoury, honey-dark flavour. You could also try sprinkling over Worcestor Sauce for a similar effect. The hot, hot mustard against the sweet tomato sauce and rich pork, all sitting inside some really good bread was spectacular. Except I was so full afterwards - hotdog shock perhaps - that I basically had to sit there in a state of complete inactivity for an hour.
I recommend it sincerely. Italics are the most sincere of all the typefaces.
This may well be the last post I do before the New Year, and I'm going to quietly ignore the fact that it is written while half-asleep and neglecting all other tasks at hand. For all that I stress about it, Christmas means a lot to me - we've spent it with the same people, give or take a few variations, my entire life. To me, Christmas is about family. Tomorrow afternoon I'll be flying home to spend it with them. (And to cook a giant, Nigella-heavy Christmas lunch for them.) Whatever this time of year means to you, I truly, truly hope that the time is spent with people you love and in a mellow, chilled out way. With lots and lots of good food.
Title brought to you by the late Marc Bolan of T-Rex, whose murmered message of glad tidings was the reason I even considered making my "Hark!" playlist in the first place. Plus I realised I'd barely referenced Christmas in any of my post titles this year. Plus I just like saying "super funk Christmas"....Super funk Christmas!
Whatever music I'm listening to right now, it's probably brilliant. Okay I'll do this semi-properly. I've been listening to Kristin Chenoweth singing anything but particularly Christmas songs (reading her autobiography will make you want to do that), Neil Young's Tonight's The Night and the 2009 revival cast recording of Hair quite a lot lately.
Next time: Will deal with itself. In the meantime, I'm curious - what do you want for Christmas? It's completely okay to say a diamond ring, instead of world peace (although of course I want world peace, whatever that even is). Me? I don't even know - I don't need much. Food and ingredient-type things are always my favourite things to give and recieve. I've had coconut scented shower gel on my mind, more blusher, I'd like to get a grip of Te Reo Maori as a language, love anything second hand or pre-loved in terms of kitchenware or really anything - like some hideous 70s dinner plates - an iPhone would be fun even though I only text about three people and call even less, and to be honest having a couple of pet cats would be great (none of this is a hint in the slightest by the way Santa, but it is if you can get a faster metabolism and perfect skin under the Christmas tree). But when I think about it I'd be quite happy with nothing much at all, the best thing will be just getting together with family who I haven't seen in ages and having a big feed. Don't let this somewhat sanctimonious, 'end-of-It's-A-Wonderful-Life' statement hold you back from sharing your heart's desire though, no matter how frivolous. And while you're at it, what's your favourite Christmas song? I'm so indecisive I have a whole playlist (not to mention Christmas tapes from when I was a kid that still get brought out every year) because in Spice Girls as in life, I can never pick favourites.
And till next time, in the words of Marc Bolan I hope you have a super funk Christmas and a golden New Year. Yeah.