week off

by Tanya

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?