04 December 2006

Sugar, Spice, et. al.

So it seems that as soon as the clock ticked over to 12:01 on December first, I switched into hyper-holiday mode. I'm pretty far along on my Christmas shopping (for reals! I know, right?), I broke out the sweaters (thanks, LA cold spell), and most importantly, I've suddenly gotten a violent hankering for making holiday foods. Just due to the onslaught of Christmas cookie displays in Rite Aid, you think? No, I bet it really is because of cliche nostalgia and memories of cooking, baking and present-wrapping with my domestic-goddess stepmom each year. For those who think food isn't a big deal and there's too much fuss about it, true, but: just consider what most holidays would be without any of their accompanying traditional foods/meals. Weirdly empty and lacking in meaning, no? Hm, what does THAT say about the real meaning of Christmas? Sociology aside, though, I'm racking up blizzard-season goodies to report:

New discovery--The Elegant Mess, a super sweet new boutique on Fairfax across from Canter's (thanks to Ana for the tip). Dieu and I went to the opening party just for the pink-champagne fountain, but were pleasantly surprised at the wide range of neat clothes & jewels, many at (gasp) affordable prices. Babydoll dresses, sweaters, party frocks (and what better than the holiday season to give us the justification that "well, surely there will be parties I'll need this for...") and some really cool pendants, earrings, charms, etc. We didn't buy (too busy stuffing ourselves with fresh strawberries--where did Alyx get them this time of year??--and watching darling hipster children twirl away at the cotton candy machine), but I'll be back. [See the goods.]

Perhaps it was the berries and pink champagne that kick-started my jones for any and all holiday goodies. At Trader Joe's yesterday I walked into an overwhelming wave of warm panettone smell (better smelling than tasting, to be frank), then proceeded to go goggle-eyed at all the stuff popping into my field of vision, and from there into my overblown mental plans of things to cook and bake and EAT until New Year's. I'm talking holiday feast: stuffed dates, spice cake, Swedish gingersnaps, winter squash, those delicious junky Danish butter cookies that come in the blue tin...I love those things. Anyway, I passed up all that for my humble container of yogurt and a new orchid ($12.99--love it) and moved on. By the time I got down to Sunset Blvd., though, I couldn't resist the cheap shot Baskin-Robbins took at me: "Naughty or Nice?" the poster in the window inquired, with corresponding options (the "Lumps of Coal Sundae" or the "Merry Mint Sundae"). I have no delusions regarding my personal virtue, so obviously I marched in and ordered Lumps of Coal. I realized as I sat at the bus stop, digging in with that iconic pink plastic spoon, that I had no clear idea of what exactly was in the chocolatey mess. But to be perfectly honest, despite the trashiness of it (chocolate syrup, not fudge; whipped cream from a can, not done lovingly and fatteningly by hand; plastic jar-like cup, not sundae glass), it was pretty damn delicious. I have to give props to B-R for good junky merriment (as I have been for years, for carrying my fave flavor ever, chocolate peanut butter). Whether you've been naughty or nice, here's your present from me, a little early:

> r r <

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