Monthly Archives: November 2008


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  I am not a good cook.  I am quite proficient at heating food up.  This is a handicap around the holidays.  I have a couple go-to items such as my mom’s Hello Dollies (a very good five layer bar) and ghirardelli brownies – from the mix! – people never know they aren’t from scratch.

Why why why would someone who loves food the way I do not have the natural ability to also cook it?

Exhibit A: homemade pie crust.

This past weekend I took a shot at what seemed to be a ridiculously easy pumpkin tart recipe in Gourmet.  The fact that it was in Gourmet should have been the tip off.  I’ve never actually made a pie crust in my life – even my mother just buys the ready-made kind.  This particular recipe called for baking anise seeds into the crust.  Leave it to me not to check the directions before launching into this project; I was missing a couple important tools.  A pastry blending thingy would have been nice, as would a rolling pin.  I used a bottle of dessert wine to roll out the dough instead.  The dough came out uneven and separated a bit (and, yes, I chilled it for at least an hour).

So, there goes that idea for Thanksgiving dinner with Teh Smitten’s family.  I’ve since offered to make the family monster cookies but now I can’t locate the recipe and have had to email a cousin who will hopefully respond in the next week or so.

Adding to the pressure is Teh Smitten, whose workplace is holding a potluck next week.  I have offered things that I know I can do such as broccoli-rice-cheese casserole and homemade mac-n-cheese with ham.  Casseroles are mighty hard to screw up – they’re barely a notch above heat and serve.  I’ve also offered the five layer bars.

The family is pretty much all packed up.  They move out of the house on Saturday and into a hotel for a week, and then off to Miami.  Teh Smitten and I already have our airline tickets for Christmas.  Did you know that they have $40 day cruises to the Bahamas leaving Fort Lauderdale daily?  With gambling?  Huh.

My heart is full with regard to the election.  It has been a while since I felt really good about being an American.

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