1. A Lesson in Genetics
The ornamental fruit does not fall far from the Christmas tree.
The daughter will always have something more to learn from the mother.
2. I am an open [cook]book.
Keep reading. Keep growing. From these lovelies, my Armenian Christmas dinner was conceived.
From Tender, easy [breezy] beautiful olive oil mashed potatoes. (Respect the vegetable.) Soon I’ll peel the rind off Ripe. Yearn for summer. (Respect the fruit.)
From Eat Istanbul, a red lentil and bulgur soup that coaxed several mmms of satisfaction from my family. Flash forward x years to that page weathered and splattered with tomato paste, myself weathered and splattered with tomato paste.
From Prune, my very first manti.
Form. Line up neatly. Meditate.
Fold. Be gentle. Devote time.
Go to a museum.
Gaze at a 12th-century Armenian khatchkar at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Marvel.
Bake. Broth. [Cayenne] Butter. Surround yourself with loved ones before enjoying.
3. Do not hesitate to go overboard with cute.
Pro Tip: Use Ghirardelli Cabernet Matinee wine-flavored dark chocolate for the trees. Bring an extra bar to work the next day to share with a friend. It will take your minds off that fourteenth spreadsheet for a blissful minute or two.
Last Christmas, I gave you my heart but the very next day, you gave it away year, we exchanged almost every piece of Gudetama merchandise under the yolk-yellow sun. We are now the proud new owners of a Gudetama t-shirt each, a tote bag, a jigsaw puzzle, and assorted plush toys. Age is nothing but a number.
My Christmas card to Jon was in code (cute) on Gudetama stationery (overboard) and revealed his gift of a night’s stay at the nearby Paper Factory Hotel with dinner at the Mediterranean-Latin fusion restaurant Mundo, located inside the hotel. I swoon for a meal that begins with ceviche and ends with kadayif.
Note: I have books made for a living. I have toured an operating paper factory. Here are some new things I can now say I have done in what was once an operating paper factory:
loved / laughed / eaten a beautiful meal / slept a beautiful sleep / woken too early to a beautiful storm and pounding rain / drank beautiful coffee while reading under the perfect light of a beautiful clouded window
Always make time for yourself. Even if it means cute overload.
4. Always be planning.
Jon thought it would be a fun idea for me to share pictures of my meal planning notebook next time we have a big family dinner. The fact that I have a meal planning notebook of any kind should tip him off that this would be about as embarrassing as posting my entire high school diary on the Internet. So the answer is no. But if you’re curious, it starts with a brainstorming page which I fill while thumbing through my recipe clipping binder (oh yeah, there’s also a binder) and a bunch of cookbooks, then there are various charts organized by appetizer, entree, side, and dessert, then the ingredient lists for the recipes that made the cut, which evolve into grocery lists, plus a calendar of all the days remaining until the night of the dinner and a to-do list for each day…Now that you know I do this because I enjoy it, you should feel slightly less mystified about me volunteering to do that fifteenth spreadsheet at work.
5. More colors in 2016.
That is all.