Pandemic Party Tips/41

37677B5D-56F3-40B2-8F0F-553409D55643I’ve had some strange birthdays in my life, many actually, but something tells me 41 might be the most bizarre yet.  Stranger than sitting through a five hour long Wagner opera with the flu while on a trip to Germany when I turned 18, weirder than turning 15 in London with my English pen pal, and more bizarre than my 31st, when I was yelled at by a not to be named First AD for “talking behind camera” and ended up crying in a porta potty (just so we are clear, the camera department was wishing me happy birthday and I was simply responding thank you, but anyway….)

So, as I sit in my house, pondering life, cake, and puzzles, I thought I would give not only my Aries cohorts some birthday party tips, but also, from the looks of it, my Taurus and Gemini friends as well.

*First, wash your hands.

1* wear something you haven’t worn in the past three weeks or preferably in the last year. I’m wearing a dress I’ve literally never worn and it goes perfect with my old purple slippers.

2*bake a cake with whatever weird ingredients are still in the pantry.

3*shamelessly tell everyone that it’s your birthday so that they call you, then act surprised when they do.

4*make a party hat.

5*listen to music, not the news.

6*dance in the kitchen.

7*wash your hands.

8*collapse on couch.

9*stare at wall.

10*stare at Pinterest and pin exotic trip locales to your post pandemic visionboard.

11*remember that it’s all going to be okay.

12*dump puzzle onto table.

13*alternate staring at puzzle pieces and at wall.

14*make cookies to go with cake.

15*laugh because if you don’t you’re going to cry.

16*breathe.

17*go for another walk. (I’m so sorry that some of you are unable to partake in this one, truly.)

18*buy yourself a present.

19*attend zoom birthday party hosted by your awesome sister.

20*cry.

21*remind yourself that it’s all going to be okay.

22*open champagne that’s been in your fridge since your boyfriend brought it over on New Year’s Eve, 2018.

23*turn up music.

24*dance some more.

25*remember that this too shall pass.

26*wash your hands.

27*don’t touch your face.

 

 

Gratitude + WTF

There is something about Thanksgiving that I just really, really love. Besides the pie, the cozy fuzzies, and the tradition. I love the craziness of it all.

I worked until 8 tonight and on what other night would I ever come home after working for twelve hours and decide to make a dessert that had terms I needed to google? When else would any of us drive for hours to argue about politics with people we don’t like very much (but do somehow love) and cook gigantic birds when we order takeout the other 364 nights a year?

I swore I bought everything I needed at the grocery store on Sunday and, yet, where was I at 8:10 tonight? Trader Joe’s.

“Do you sell tin foil?” I asked my cashier, hopefully.

“No, oh my god, I hope my wife remembered to buy some. We should, we really should have it. Do you mind if I have Siri text her while you’re swiping your card?”

Bouquets of flowers, bottles of wine, frozen pumpkin cheesecakes… the store looked like a herd of elephants had just run through, though the festive vibe made it seem like a friendly herd. Most shoppers were carrying baskets rather than pushing carts, the true procrastinators or, more likely, the guests; responsible only for appetizers, pie, flowers, and beverages. Maybe a baguette.

I am currently waiting for my hazelnuts to cool. I was supposed to bake them for 10-15 minutes or until their skin darkened and cracked. At that point I need to wrap them in a clean towel and rub them, so their skin comes off. So far, it’s been 20 minutes and the skin isn’t sloughing, no matter how hard I rub. Like a woman in a Turkish bath, scrubbing away, these guys won’t budge. I’m about to put them in the blender with the rice flour, skins and all, heaven forbid.

But, see what I mean? It’s funny.

I just googled ‘fruit curd’ upon realizing I had no idea what my recipe was talking about.

And all over the country people are stuck in traffic or airports or on the couch next to weird Uncle Joe. They are googling gravy recipes, calling their mom or missing their mom.

I will never forget a newscast I saw years ago on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. “What is it you love most about Thanksgiving?” the newscaster asked a bunch of people stuck in an airport somewhere. Mom was the overwhelming answer. And pie.

But, back to my hazelnuts and curd.

Wishing you and yours a Smagikal Thanksgiving and, whether you’re home alone, with friends or mom, roasting a turkey or making a tuna sandwich, baking a pie or trying that new 26 step recipe that seemed like a good idea last month, may the craziness make you laugh!

If you want to try the New York Times Cranberry Curd Tart with me, let me know how your skin sloughing goes!

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017817-cranberry-curd-tart?grocerylist