An Optimistic Cynic - Etsy Shop

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Freaking Christmas.

This years holiday has been full or orders to fill. Yay! I've crocheted my little fingies to the bone in an effort to get all the orders out in time for the 25th, leaving my own projects at the wayside for the moment. The question I keep getting asked over and over again is "Who buys these things?", and I have to answer,
"I honestly don't know."

I've started asking buyers to kindly send me a pic when they have the chance, with them and their new body part of choice, doing whatever it is they bought it for. I plan on posting the results of this experiment after the new year. So you have that to look forward too.

Between the day job, crocheting orders, going on randomly dispersed auditions, and holiday shopping, finding time to decorate for the holidays has been a challenge. The tree is up, and we eventually did decorate it with more than just a card and the pieces of popcorn I refrained from eating long enough to stick on a string. So that's somethin'. I decided to multi-task while showing, using the soap crayons to create a more festive bathing atmosphere.

I felt it was important that a variety of faiths be represented on my bathroom walls. I have pictured here the prerequisite Christmas tree (of course), a Yule log for the pagans, a menorah or the Jews, and I couldn't remember what the symbol for Kwanzaa was, so I just drew a friendly black man. Later I remembered they have their own multi-colored candle menorah, but I stand my my original representation. I also added a string of lights along the top.

We have, of course, showered since, and the tiled walls are now a festive murky brown.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Porksgiving! Part 2 : more pics

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010


No turkey for us this year. Josh walked through the apartment door with 27lbs of pork butt, grunting like a caveman returning from the hunt. Pork butt is actually part of the shoulder by the way, which of course didn't stop me from making frequent immature comments every step of the cooking process. He used a rub, so he first had to rub his butts *smirk*. He gave his butts a rest *giggle* as he set up the smoker in the alley. He tended to his butts *giggle* for about 17 total hours between prep time and cooking, and the result was a delicious pork feast, the leftovers of which are being quickly devoured with a healthy dose of 'Carolina Red Sauce'. I don't actually know what's in it, but it's red, and tasty, and I love pouring it all over my butt *giggle!*

I did the sides, which were simple - salt potatoes, stuffing, acorn squash, and a bean dish that I make with heavy cream, butter and bacon. Because really, how could something NOT taste good when made with heavy cream, butter and bacon? All in all, we probably consumed a full stick of butter each. And that's not including the pie!

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH pie. That's really what Thanksgiving is all about for me. Growing up in an Italian home, we knew how to pie it up. As a kid the pie to person ratio was about 2 to 1, and that's not including the cookies, my Mom's famous 'pepto-pudding', my aunt's ridiculously addicting butter tarts, and other goodies. After dinner, we would then indulge in a meal of various pies. I remember going to Josh's house for Thanksgiving for the first time oh so many years ago now - there was only ONE pie! ONE! Culture shock.

I didn't want to go overboard because I knew in the end Josh was not going to have a pie meal with me, and it was just going to be me and the pie. I decided on 2 apple and 2 pumpkin. Pumpkin pies are tricky to handle. The filling is all liquid and in my NYC kitchen, there are no level surfaces to be found. With the first pie successfully in the oven, I went to put in the second pie, being oh so careful, steadying with both hands, bending over to gently place the fruit of my efforts onto the over rack - when the pie plate split down the middle, folding the pie in half, spilling pumpkin pie filling all over the inside of the oven door.

"PIE DOWN!" I screamed, frantically wiping down the inside of the over door with a wet towel. It was already starting to cook on the heated metal, so I wiped what I could off and onto the floor. The filling spread into the boiler, and the apartment was quickly starting to smell like burnt pie. Awesome. I cleaned up the floor, but the boiler was too hot and most of the filling was starting to crust over anyways, so I left it to be scraped off at a later time. I threw the mangled pie shell away, and started in on the cider-wine.

OOOooo the cider-wine! I poured a quart of apple cider and a bottle of Yellow Tail sharaz into my crock-pot, set it to low, and filled it up with cinnamon sticks, apple slices, nutmeg, a few cloves, and a sliced up tangerine. I started this little project when I woke up to watch the Macey's parade and enjoy a glass of red wine and orange juice, and left it to mull all day. FANTASTIC. Seriously one of the best ideas I've ever had. Ever.

Also watched the dog show after the parade, like I do every year. Rooted for the boarder collie, which I had, by which I mean my parents now have. John O'Hurley hosts it every year, and he cracks me up. Especially after a morning of wine/oj.
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