I love my sister, but the woman cannot bake to save her life.
Last night, for example, I suffered a senselessly doughy sugar “snowman” cookie at her holiday, housewarming party. Later, I was accosted by a gummy mini red velvet cupcake. Why didn’t she use the recipe I sent her? And why didn’t she use a proper, mini muffin pan? I had wondered where my baba au rhum molds had gone.
A crustless quiche? With no eggs? Let me see that recipe.
But, charming and enthusiastic, my sister is an endearing hostess.
Bring your camera, my sister directed. She wanted me to take some pictures of her new house and decked halls. Dutifully, I complied. With snow falling, cider mulling, and friends and family gathered around, I took this twenty-fifth photo of the week of a universal holiday beacon of happiness and hope, o tannenbaum.
Christmastime is my favorite part of the calendar. Temperatures free-fall, the air turns brittle, and blankets of white magically appear overnight. Wool knits, shiny ornaments, and cinnamon spices come out of hiding, as do family and friends. The world pauses to reflect on a year somehow busier than the last, and, on the doorstep of another, hopes for a better one to come.
I wish Christmastime lasted all year long.
* Her husband, on the other hand, is a very able cook. Thank goodness.