Let me be honest.
I am not so very good at the domestic things.
Its not that I can't do them. I can. In fact, there was a time when I looooveeeddd to throw parties with themes and fancy food.
Its just that I live by myself now. With a naughty dog. I work all week. Try to go outside all weekend. I have poor time management skills in my personal life, which means I never get things done in the time I want to get them done. Like making Christmas presents, sending birthday gifts, or creating gourmet meals worthy of a four star restaurant. Amazon.com and cereal for dinner serve me well most of the time. You are welcome. Come over for dinner whenever you are in the mood for some Kix.
But the last couple of weeks, I have come down with a seasonal epidemic known as "Stewartluenza."
The symptoms are very obnoxious. They include lack of appetite, sleepless nights, shaking, aching joints, headaches, and illusions of grandeur.
Allow me to elaborate.
A few weeks ago, I got it in my mind that I wanted to make this recipe for Sweet Potato, Roasted Chili, and Coconut Milk Ravioli. How hard could this be? You know... to make ravioli from scratch. For the first time. Ever. And have company for dinner while I tried out this recipe.
Except for the following week when I had delicious stew made especially for me. Which I ate with reckless abandon and forgot to photograph.
Last week I woke up with the overwhelming need to make Christmas candy for my office and friends. Unfortunately, when I make Christmas candy, I can't just make one batch. No no.
I made Peanut Butter Fudge, Chocolate Orange Fudge, Chocolate Coconut Almond Fudge, and Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bears.
Sister's annual Christmas Cookie Exchange was last week, which meant that I had to bring three dozen cookies to share with people, in addition to lots of other foods to add to the table. I made cinnamon apple oatmeal bars...
And these chocolate Andes mints cookies, which I could not hold still enough to photograph. I apparently sampled too many cookies. Sugar overload?
we were quite tired and sore from standing at the stove by the time the guests arrived for this lovely spread.
I got this crazy idea that I, too, could make something so delightful on the eyes and obviously delicious.
How hard could it be to make a sponge...
Watch it rise....
Divide it up into pans with ridiculous looking "collars" so that it would be tall...
Bake it and enjoy?
Quite hard, actually.
Messy. Time consuming. Like hours upon hours, really.
I can't say that every endeavor was chaotic or resulted in me harboring some sort of resentment. Christmas Eve Dinner was actually pretty fantastic. Painless. Delicious. In fact, I might even go far as to say it was the Pièce de résistance to this season: Amazingly Good Pork Loin....studded and stuffed with garlic and rosemary, then topped with a rosemary balsamic reduction.
And trust me, if you thought my trouble with hats was bad...wait until you hear about me and my jeans.