Sunday, December 19, 2010

Glutinous Miracles...

Hello, my friends...

Here I sit, on yet another frosty December night, surrounded by the remnants of my latest gift-wrapping blitz. Tidings of good cheer and sparkly ribbon abound! I have exciting news to share (which I will get to, in about 12 paragraphs of faux soul-searching and sardonic introspective).

I have just returned from yet another (but the final!) exhausting round of Christmas shopping. I find it astounding that even when one comes armed with a list and with a plan of attack, that you can still become beleaguered. Why? Why? Is a Chicken Dancing Elmo really going to make or break your childhood? Some would say that it might, but why are we worried about something, that for most kids, is less interesting than the box it came in?

I went to my local mall, list in hand (I did get a few things that weren't on it - I confess), expecting to spend a leisurely afternoon choosing thoughtful gifts for the people that mean most to me. Haha. Ha. Ha! This after a beautiful and quiet lunch date with Dear, Sainted Husband. I was lifted. Ready. I was giddy and singing. Excited to be prepared for Christmas. Like a grown-up. A married woman. I was so eboullient that I wished a 'Merry Christmas' and a 'Happy Diwaali' to everyone I saw!

Enter the Mall (also known as the Missing Circle of Hell). Where people are running around like squaking, headless chickens with Mastercards. Snatching up merchandise and arguing with one another. No mind: I knew that would happen. So I brought my iPod. I was wailing my favorite tunes from 'A Rosie Christmas', paying no mind, even smiling at the wailing children who usually grate upon my nerves so easily. Progress, indeed.

Until the lurching of my belly interrupted my Christmasy reverie (Note to readers: what just plain gross).  I dropped everything and charged for the bathroom... Apparently, my lunch wasn't as 'Festive' as our favorite local rotisserie claims. Because it promptly vaulted out of my belly and onto the floor....

End of festivities, friends.

However, in the true spirit of Mass Consumerism, I soldiered on (really, someone should consider giving me a medal). Marching my purchases and my face, green as our favorite Dr. Seuss character, straight up to the check-out line. I was not about to abandon the list!

Thank Goodness for Dear, Sainted Husband. He collected me from the mall and trudged home with my purchases, reassuring me that all was not lost (He, brave soul that he is, claims that I am 'gorgeous as always' when splashed with partially digested Festivity; that I smell 'wonderful', 'beautiful' and 'magnificent' (right, Dear); and that anyone who has a problem know.)

He ever so kindly and patiently reminded me that I should keep up that optimism and positive attitude in mind for my pie dough making, later that night.

Right. Fuck (sorry, Mom). I forgot. Pie dough.

Fast forward about three hours and a shower later. I am happily ensconsed in my kitchen with the ingredients for said dough laid out in front of me (ever so lovingly - thank you, Saint Husband). He kisses the top of my head and says, "I know you don't like to hear this, but...(does he know me or what?) relax. Stay calm and enjoy. And in his best Julia Child-falsetto impression, he says, "you're alone in the kitchen. Who's to see?" (We've been watching a lot of 'The French Chef on DVD lately. God, I love PBS).

Then he leaves. I am left to endure the pie dough saga alone. Cue the terrifying-drudgery music.

For those of you who don't know, or don't read my blog regularly (which you should!), the last time I made pie dough, It was a mess. More specifically, I was a mess. A weeping, disconsolate, irate mess. I was so upset that my dough didn't turn out just 'perfectly delicious' (another Julia-ism) that I threw soapy water on it and tossed it in the trash. Did I mention that I have never made pie dough in my life (before then)? Uh huh. Apparently I missed the "you gotta crawl before you can walk" speech. Screw that. I was gonna sprint, straight off - and it was going to to be 'Martha Stewart Living' perfect/worthy.

Standards, much? Yes, for those of you wanting to know: I am a Capricorn. And a perfectionist.

Uh huh.

Anyway. Cue kitchen scene:

I measure the flour and salt. Add the lard....mush, mush, mush.

So far, so good.

Egg and vinegar? Check. Zen master. Add the water. Right on.  Ohhhhmmmm.

Bit by bit, I add the water mixture, with shaky hands and an overwhelming trepidation. The little voice in my head is quivering, admonishing me: "don't screw it up, don't screw it up, DON'T SCREW IT UP!"

I mix. My hands shake (really, they do. It's 8 pm. The grocery store is closed and there is no more lard. If this fails, there will be a National Emergency Situation (NES) in my tiny, little kitchen.) I mix a little more. And then just a bit more, for a little insurance. Startlingly, it looks just like pie dough. This is exactly how I imagine pie dough should look. I am so excited, I am near tears. I call Saint Husband. Actually, it was more like the bleating of a sheep being stunned prior to slaughter.

He dashes in the kitchen. Fight or flight mechanism on overdrive....

"LOOK! HOLY SHIT! IT'S PIE DOUGH!" He looks at me like I have recently grown a tail. Then he passes me a tissue.

"Of course it is, dear. Isn't that what you went in there for?" Like I was expecting chicken livers, or something. Reassured that there is no deadly fire or man-eating snake in the kitchen about to ingest his wife, he departs.

Saint Husband. A Saint, indeed. God. I love you.

 So tonight, we've experienced a Christmas miracle. There is pie dough chilling in the refrigerator. And no one's crying. Happy days!

Stay tuned: we'll see if it rolls out or not. Don't uncross your fingers just yet.

Good night, my beauties.  xo