Posts Tagged: the holidays

Drunk Off Dessert?

Boozing and baking are, for many, deeply woven into the holiday experience. But could they become deeply woven into each other?

Challenge accepted! To find the most alcoholic recipe around (don't worry, it's vacation), I consulted four baking experts — each a published author in the field — and asked them to submit the recipe that's, in their opinion, the booziest in their repertoire. I then tested each recipe and (why not) conducted a post-meal breathalyzer (I own a crappy one that I use mainly as a party prop), all to see what dessert gets you the drunkest, if any do. And the winner is…


Friday Bargain Bin: Free or Almost-Free Gifts

No, we're not giving away free gifts today, but here are a bunch of things you can "get" for people if you've run out of time or money and haven't found presents yet. Actually, give these any time!

Pie Pies are pretty cheap to make, like under $5 if you already have flour and butter in the house. Everyone knows a good pie crust is difficult, so not only will they appreciate the effort, they'll forgive you if it's not totally perfect. Hot tip: instead of scoring the pie with slashes, write a message to your friend in it like I did! (Admittedly, those are apple [...]


Harry Potter and the Liniment Layer Cake of Secrets

Hello Pinners! We are back to share even more foods from literature with you, this time with a “holiday” focus. And by “holiday” we mean we really stretched some of these recipes to make them festive/timely/edible. Once again we open a page in Turkish Delight & Treasure Hunts by Jane Brocket … and stare at it with mild confusion.

Emily: Our original plan was to make the most wintry treat in the index, which is “Sugar on Snow” from Little House on the Prairie. We assumed that, since we live in Minneapolis, we would have an endless supply of both ingredients, since it is cold like seven months out of [...]


The Rage of the Eggnog Purist

More fuel for the holiday small-talk fire: A Brief History of Eggnog, a mini history lesson from Time magazine that includes the phrase "Eggnog purists argue that those who don’t like the Yuletide drink have simply never tasted the real thing." (!) (An issue of yolks.) Plus: George Washington's own personal eggnog recipe (four kinds of booze; "taste frequently") is also on there. (And here's William Faulkner's preferred method of making hot toddies.) We're almost there. Related: Eggless Nogs, Why Not.


Holiday Gift Take-Backs

Many Christmases ago, I spent hours crafting a box with my bare hands to put my boyfriend’s gifts in. We broke up not so many months later, and on my way out, after I’d gathered up every trace of myself from the apartment we shared, I dumped that handcrafted box down the trash chute. Normally, I don’t believe in take-backs, but the guy was terrible, it turned out. I don't miss him, but I still miss that trash chute. It was strangely therapeutic; a long, tinny whoosh on the descent, and a loud, heavy thwump when the bag hit the barrel.

With the holidays kicking in, perhaps we should [...]


Is Your Man a Scrub? Sinterklaas vs. Santa Claus

1. Real talk, ladies. Is your man racist?

Sinterklaas: No way! He has a black friend! (Inasmuch as an unpaid servant made to dress in cartoonish pantaloons can be thought of as “a friend.”) Santa Claus: No way! He's "making it rain [toys and glad tidings]" over everyone, regardless of race. Who is less of a scrub? ME, because I don’t even see color so what is race, I don’t understand this question.

2. Ladies. Even though you are all Independent Women (Parts I & II), it’s still nice to have a man who, like the T.I. to your Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, will buy you Whatever You Li[iiii]ke. How [...]


Ask a Clean Person: Holiday Disasters

I have menorah issues every single year. What is the best way to clean candle wax off everything? I put a sheet of wax paper under the menorah but even then I still have to clean wax out of the menorah itself and it takes forever, especially since it's an eight-day long holiday.

If you promise to invite me over for latkes (never met a latke I didn’t love) I’ll tell you this secret, but shhhh… don’t tell anyone else (unless they’re also going to invite me over for latkes): spray the menorah with a light coating of cooking spray (you know, like PAM?) right before you begin festivaling [...]


Ask Santa

Claus, who are you to judge who's naughty or nice? Sabrina Q., San Diego, CA

I don't enjoy judging any child. We agonize over the lists. So much time and argument goes into their creation. We definitely give kids the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes I wish we'd do away with them entirely and focus on other issues. But it is a tradition, and we've gotten more just over the years identifying True Niceness as opposed to Disguised Naughtiness. Most of our List work is statistical, creating ranges. Identifying behavioral trends. We can keep track of all acts of naughtiness and niceness. In the cases of tiebreakers, we send [...]


A Sci-Fi Christmas Story

It was the night before Christmas, and my small studio apartment was very quiet. I didn't have any presents except for the one my mother had sent me and a package from a book publishing company that was almost certainly a galley they were hoping I might mention on the website I work for. But they'd wrapped it, so who knew — maybe they'd sent me a thank-you present for writing about another book they'd published earlier in the year. In any case, two presents looked nicer than one! I didn't have a tree, but I did have a green potted plant, so I put the presents beside it.

All [...]


Celebrity Portrait by Amy Jean Porter

Previously: Celebrity Portrait No. 2.

Amy Jean Porter is an artist. Celebrity Portrait is a work in progress.