Eyre Affairs

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Or white bread and new milk..." ~ Jane Eyre

Of course holiday decorating begins in the kitchen. If it were not for the kitchen, there would be no holiday. Decorating fireplace mantles or doors are not nearly as important as decorating the kitchen for Christmas...because all things Christmas begin in the kitchen:

carrots for the noses of snowmen
popcorn balls for the Christmas tree
hot cocoa and cookies for Santa
peppermint bark
mulled cider
gingerbread houses
buche de noel
vanilla extract for cookies
cookie cutters
roasting pans for Christmas dinner
the roast beast and who hash
sprinkles

Even frankincense and myrrh are actually something one can ingest.

Gingerbread is the decor in my kitchen - gingerbread cookies on kitchen towels, trivets, and placemats. I have a gingerbread shaped tier with cookie plates on the table along with print outs of various techniques on how to decorate gingerbread houses, for I plan to make one with Jack. I don't think I have made a gingerbread house since I was a child, so I look forward to going to the market with Jack so he can help me pick out the candy to decorate our house with. I think we are going to cut corners and use graham crackers. He loves barnyards and animals, so in my head I am trying to think about how to incorporate that into the design of the "house."

Already there are potential recipes for Hanukkah, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day which are clipped to my refrigerator: pastry encrusted salmon, sweet potato latkes, gingerbread cookies, potato gratin with Gruyere, green bean salad, jelly roll cake. I have special spices in tea bags for cider that I got up at a farm stand in Carmel, New York, and chocolate covered marshmallows for those nights when plain ones wont cut it for cocoa.

One of the greatest food experiences at holiday time in New York are the chesnuts made by the street vendors. You cannot stand on a corner on fifth avenue without inhaling the scent of them. There have been many times when J.Sarah and I have been looking at the windows at Lord and Taylor and caved in and bought chesnuts because the aroma is just all-incompassing to the senses.

This post has made my sense of taste anxious for breakfast...which will be spent sitting at the table and perusing more cookbooks as I eat in search of the perfect cookie to eat whilst trimming my tree next weekend...

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9 Comments:

Blogger foam said...

chestnuts stands! man, i used to loved getting hot roasted chestnuts in germany. every once in a blue moon one would be wormy though.
it's great to be an aunty, isn't it?
enjoy your time with jack. they grow up fast.

8:43 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Foam ~ When I think of Jack, I think of the lines from Our Town about living each life to the fullest - I try to revel in all the moments I spend with him now. I know he will be a wonderful young man one day and I will love his company then, but lets face it: he wont be as cute as now when he calls me Maimy and dances to Mary Poppins' "Step in Time" and then takes a bow when he is done. :)

8:49 AM  
Blogger foam said...

yes, you will enjoy jack at any age.
i marvel at my 16 year old. he is such a beautiful young man. and i'm talking about his mind. but, alas, it's been 13 years since he went down on his knees and proposed marriage to me. he thought his momma would make the perfect wife at the time. and if his daddy had a wife why shouldn't he have one. and didn't it make sense that it would be his momma .... lol.
i'm humored at the still shy interest he shows in girls these days.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Slim said...

Aaargh! I just typed a long comment and blogger ate it.

Here's the gist: Hate roasted chestnuts...bleck...you can have my share.

I bake a lot at Christmas and we all gain weight

Changed my name to Slim...husband thinks of me as a completed work of art not a work in progress...I liked it, I'm going with it.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

So true. I have an idea of mint hot chocolate. My cooking light just arrived today with some delicious looking cookie recipes. I can't wait.

xoxo

9:34 PM  
Blogger b said...

oh man, did you make me hungry! i hope you photo all your food making this year and post the recipes too! one can never have too many potato latke recipes!

love the chestnuts but like them even more when put in a wild mushroom saute thing i made one year - yummers!

1:09 PM  
Blogger ms. whatsit said...

What a yummy reflection! Sounds like you are really anticipating the holidays.

10:31 PM  
Blogger she said...

i love the clove orange balls. i am making paper star garlands and ornaments of animal heads....what would i do without a glue gun???? happy post thanksgiving. you have Christmas right....in the fragrant kitchen. yes.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

A Christmas Tale . . .

"Even frankincense and myrrh are actually something one can ingest."

Hence that scene the first Christmas where Mary throws stuff at two of the three wise men. This began the venerable tradition of men not being invited to baby showers.

7:47 PM  

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