i'm still battling a head cold, and had gone out for a few drinks with a co-worker last night, so i wasn't at my peppy best when i got home. rather than dragging myself out into the cold to shop with 5,000 of my closest friends, i decided to go to bed early (well, not that early; i did watch Gideon's Crossing) and just run to the store first thing. we live in 24 hour land up here, and there are stores open on Christmas, so it shouldn't be a problem to do a quick shop Thanksgiving morning, right?
i spent a little time this morning finalizing what i was going to make, and jotting down my shopping list. i had all the obscure stuff, like bitter chocolate and rum extract (which makes sense, if you know me), but not the basics, like eggs. so i slap a baseball hat on and trot out in my unshowered glory. and the store at the end of my street was closed. not so suprising, i guess, because they're only open 7 AM to 9 PM most days. there is a 24x7 place about a mile away. but i don't have a car these days, and the bus takes for...ever. now i'm looking at the clock and panicking. i can't show up without food - that's just not how things are done! Must. Bring. Food. (trust me - if you grew up WASP, you know how critical this is.) mind starts racing. i drag madly on my cigarette, and start trying to figure out substitutions. this lasts about 3 seconds. there just ain't no substitution for aigz, darlin'. so i call peaches, and cut her off short as she starts to tell me a story - 'hon, would you be my knight in shining armor?' 'yeah, of course. what do you need?' goddess love her, she came zipping over - she actually ran out of the house in such a hurry that apparently the family was in an uproar, thinking it was a serious problem, rather than just a shortage of brown sugar.
score big for peaches - she found the pumpkin pie filling in the White Hen Pantry. we'd been looking for about 3 or 4 minutes, and i was ready to give up and just make chocolate chip cookies. as i reached for the chocolate chips, peaches yelped 'look! right here!' right next to the chips. and you know, if she hadn't said anything, i would never have seen it. you know how you get so focused on one thing, when you have a mission, that you miss blindingly obvious stuff? thanks, kiddo. you saved the day.
when she dropped me off, i hurried inside to start baking. note to self: never, ever, ever separate eggs by hand again. it may be the better method, but that shit feels Nasty. bleah. first project was an Italian grappa cake. it's a nearly flourless chocolate cake, flavored with grappa, and studded with pine nuts and raisins. for a flourless (almost) cake, it's pretty light, as it's leavened with egg whites (soft peak stage). god, that smelled good. that's for the dessert party tonight at my best friend's parents' house. i figure that's a pretty grownup dessert.
for the proper dinner the middle of the day, i wasn't sure if the kids were going to be at Mimi's, but figured cookies are always a safe bet. so - pummies it was. they're pumpkin cookies, and you can spice them a few different ways. i used rum, almond, and chocolate chips. pumpkin cookies may sound odd, but they're actually quite tasty. and they got nice compliments. so, there you go.
of course, i cut it really close time-wise, as i hadn't anticipated all that goofy running around. all the baking got done, but i barely got myself thrown together. didn't have time to shave, or do my nails, or iron anything... eh. nobody i'm seeing today is too formal. if i feel badly, it's just my little inner monologue jacking up the volume.
had a chance to call everyone this morning while getting organized. talked to mom a little, and chatted with dad. sounds like they were all set with a whole turkey and the fixings. i asked why they didn't just get a turkey breast, since it's three people for dinner. ah, but then dad would be deprived of his turkey sandwiches! can't have that, can we? 8) gave gram a quick call, and she sounded good. insisted on calling me by my full name, but hey... sis called before going out for a run - now there's dedication for you. it's cold here, and can only be colder there, but she was still going out. i suppose that makes it easier to have seconds, tho. and checked in with bro and his family. sounded like grand central station down there; they've got a full house for dinner, and all sorts of friends were dropping in to say hi.
well, it's off for dessert...
a small moment of quiet and thankfulness. i'm truly happy to be blessed with good friends, a loving family, and a life that fits.
hope you've all had a wonderful thanksgiving.