‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Saturday, December 24, 2011

In which the universe conspires to make me less grinchy

During pretty much every holiday, I am in splendid spirits until right at the end when I hit the wall. I look up and realize that I am doing everything and without me there would be nothing done that is done. And I get really grumpy about it. And yelly. Because what says "Happy Thanksgiving/Christmas/Ground Hog's Day/Friends Coming Over" better than a self-righteous outburst?

I hit that wall at 12:22 today.

Right in the middle of making chestnut bisque for lunch (fa! la! la!), I realized I had probably missed the post office, where the package from my sister and my ornament* were waiting for me. The package from my sister had a pile of gifts for the kids in it. The ornament was sure to be awesome and I wanted it on my tree. Pronto.

And then I got all shades of grumpy because honestly, why is all this up to me? Does no one else know where the post office is? Does no one else know how to make lunch?

Fa. La. La.

I skidded into the post office parking lot, ran inside and was astonished to find the package pick-up window open. When I thanked her for staying open, she said "we usually close at 12, but I figured people need all the help they can get."

Amen, sister.

And then I came home and ripped into my ornament, finding not only a handmade, drunk, wry snowman (which is completely our holiday decorating theme) but an ornament made especially for me.

The wall of holiday bitterness and taken-for-grantedness crumbled.

And the chestnut bisque was not ruined despite being abandoned - with the immersion blender standing up in the pot - when I ran out the door.

Chestnut Bisque
10-12 ounces chestnuts (peeled - I buy them in bags at the grocery store, all ready to go)
olive oil
1 small onion
1 leek
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups almond milk
pinch cardamom
pinch nutmeg
palmful dried thyme
salt to taste

Saute the onion and leek in olive oil in a saucepan. Add the broth and chestnuts and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the almond milk, cardamom, nutmeg and thyme and blend thoroughly (as mentioned, I use an immersion blender because I'm lazy and it's my favorite thing ever.) Salt to taste. Sing about chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Eat.

*I am part of the most Superior Ornament Exchange Ever, hosted by Jett Superior. As luck would have it, Jett herself drew my name. I win at Christmas.

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