Stay for Tea

Category: miscellanea

week off

It’s just a rule, ever since I was a kid, I’d get sick right around the holidays, last week of December. UNWAVERING rule. So earlier this weekend I had a fever, and then was feeling better, and I got to go to Christmas dinner with my darling boyfriend & some of his family and their friends. I brought some pryaniki I’d made, in a white tin I decked out with peppermint plaid packing tape.

Cocktails (Bulleit Rye in a shotglass for me, please and thank you) before dinner were in the large kitchen, with lots of chatter, followed by a delicious meal and a fluffy walnut cake. Towards the end of dinner I felt like my temperature was rising again, so J. took me home. I did not have the horrid fever dreams, and today I am just very stuffed up and going through tissues like a loon, but I no longer feel sore or headachy.

J. is expert at giftwrapping

J. gifted me with many delightful things. Two items that will get put to use soon, possibly even this week as I might bake something for my brother’s birthday dinner, are a lovely French style, tapered rolling pin and Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar cook book, which I’ve been talking about getting for ages. The recipes are intense (that’s a good thing): Chinese sausage foccacia, PB&J cake, cereal milk ice cream pie? WHAT?

My gift wrapping job

I have all of this week off work. I wish I hadn’t gotten sick, because now that means I’m not feeling well enough to go check out a new (to me) karaoke night on Tuesday. However, at least I get the sickness out of the way so I can feel better for the rest of the week, right? I also have to finalize gift shopping for my family (advantage: Russian immigrants and the fact that we are still pretty used to exchanging gifts according to Soviet tradition).

I hope everyone out there is happy and healthy. Holiday seasons in general are loaded with a lot of expectation, and sometimes heartache. I know not everyone celebrates any particular holiday, or some are really cash strapped, or going through a rough patch emotionally. Ultimately, I just really hope that you are feeling happy and healthy, and that you are spending time with some really lovely people who make you laugh, and that on cold nights you have a nice drink and a plate of food to warm up the spirits. That’s all we really need, right?

Break time

Taking a break from a mass of dishes and cleaning I’ve been doing this morning, and still have to finish. Saturday afternoon lunch of bread made by a friend, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and baby spinach salad with fennel and figs. Accompanied by a cup of Glühwein. Enjoying it while watching Cheri.

It’s a bit fluffy, but beautiful Belle Époque staging. It’s one of Colette’s books that I haven’t read, so may need to add it to the list.

your requisite “what am I doing here?” post

Fellow bloggers and readers:

How did you come to develop your tone and theme in your blog? More importantly, do you feel a personal blog should have a particular theme, or should the blogger reserve the right to write about whatever they want? Is there an obligation for consistency in a personal blog?

I feel that I’ve somehow set a theme for this to be about all things gastronomical and domestic, but that wasn’t really my intention. True, I love to cook and nest, but I also don’t want to have my blog be some precious cozy thing.

One of my favorite thing about keeping an online journal in the past has been the option to write down stream of consciousness thoughts, discuss current events, share impressions on pop and art culture. I want to write about Anselm Kiefer and how his paintings make me think of ancient hermits and the Atacama desert; I want to gush about Stephin Merritt and how delightful “Strange Powers” is; I want to post bajillion pictures of my roommate’s dog. But I’ve not felt like it somehow… fits in. So I haven’t. I probably would need to get rid of this damned teacup logo (what I mean by precious). I could post these thoughts somewhere like Facebook or Tumblr, but those are not the best platforms for blogging, plus I want to have zero question about owning the content.

Do I rename my blog completely and head in another direction? Do I stick to writing about what goes on in the kitchen? Do I keep it as is and write whatever I want? Do I even owe an explanation for either path?

One thing I was contemplating is keeping all the food related blog posts as a separate section, only occasionally updated with recipes and cookbooks reviews, and then creating a main blog notebook for the more frequent updates that I’ve been mainly keeping on Tumblr. The emphasis would be on my day to day thoughts, with friends being alerted to any time I post a new recipe. Or would that be too disorganized? One of my favorite bloggers, Luxirare, recently reorganized the site in a similar way. It took a little while to figure out the structure, but now there is more content from her and I have a feeling she is able to share even more than previously.

Answer my questions for me, Internet! That’s what you’re here for!