Jan 4, 2009

what i did on my vacation

Posted by Mary |

The first step to throwing a successful party is to select a theme. Initially I was drawn to A Very Jewish Christmas, mostly because I wanted to make latkes. But then I remembered how yummy moussaka is, and so it became My Big Fat Greek Christmas.

Grating nutmeg for the bechamel sauce.
Hazelnut rosemary jam thumbprints.
Living proof that more adjectives = tastier food.

Tom had already created some festive art a few days before.
A very seasonal Ms. Pacman design for the coffee table.

And the holidays wouldn't be fun without friends.
Christi, who stopped by to tell me she is moving to Cambodia.

Stefan came for the sauna and stayed for the meal.

James and Dara.

Before we gorged, we saunaed. It's both a verb and a tradition.
Dara returns.

And after the meal, we kept up another sacred holiday tradition - the anti-Christmas movie. In this case, Top Gun with RiffTrax.

And of course I lit a fire. This will be a common theme.

Since Christmas is one of the Seven Major Holidays, I can once again treat you to images of James at a high level of drunkenness.

It gets better.

The day after Christmas, I went to visit with Rachel and Glenmore before he headed off to Iraq. On the way home, I stopped at the store for some supplies. This would prove key in the days to come.

First up: I needed to make some gifts for Tom. And what better says "I used to love you but now we're just friends" than Skittles vodka?

Step 1: Put Skittles in jar.
Step 2: Pour vodka into jar.
Step 3: Shake jar.

Actually, I lied. The Skittles vodka, while clever, was not the best possible gift.
Bacon vodka FTW.

Remember how I said that fire would be a prevalent theme and that it was fortunate I went to the store? On December 27 my car stopped starting. Or maybe is started stopping. I'm not quite sure, but one thing was clear: I was going nowhere fast.

To be fair, Fairbanks had fallen into a bit of a cold snap. If one considers -40 cold. Personally, I consider it to be the magical moment when Fahrenheit and Celsius collide. I brought my battery inside overnight to try to warm it up, and put it back in the car the next day. No dice. I resumed my work of starting fires, keeping fires going, running space heaters to try to thaw the pipes, etc.

Now, I had already broken my wireless router before Christmas. Since the house was hovering around 50 degrees but my bedroom was considerably warmer, I decided to bring the modem up there. Big mistake. That is when the entire Internet went bye-bye. Fortunately Bob left me with a lot of TV. I have now seen all of Heroes. I can see how it might be addictive, though when you watch it all back to back, it gets tiring to see certain characters continually flop between two positions.

By December 31, the situation was starting to get a little dire. I was running a little low on food and a lot low on morale. Even though it was his birthday, Tom agreed to go buy me food, get me movies and come over to my house. The cupboards were getting empty, but I was not without a few tricks.
Even when I'm running out of food, I can still
rustle up the ingredients for some birthday cake.

Maybe even a triple-layer banana rum cake with chocolate
peanut butter frosting and crushed honey roasted peanuts.
See? Adjectives do make things sound better!

Tom graciously brought over burgers from Brewsters. We hooked my thawed battery up to his car and left it jumping for a while, then tried reinstalling it in my car. No dice. The car was frozen solid.

Back inside, we decided to take a culinary journey to India. Or at least drink some Indian sodas I had in the cupboard.

First up: Spice soda. The label seemed to have cumin seeds on it, but we didn't let that deter us.

We should have.

Tom, being an optimist, noted that we hadn't actually puked yet. I realized that this stuff was worse than Unicum.

Next stop: Masala Soda.

And our third stop was me desperately swigging water. Tom couldn't believe it was worse. It tasted like cumin, with cardamom - but not enough to be tasty - and ginger - but not enough to settle my stomach.

It's worth noting that Tom Moran refused to finish the drink. And that man will eat anything.

Finally, on Jan. 1, the temperature rose to a balmy -26. I spent about 3 hours rotating pans of hot coals underneath my car, then reinstalled the battery and finally achieved success. The temperature is back down in the -40 range, with no hope of warmth anytime soon.


MG said...

Screw the Indian soda. Did somebody really drink the bacon vodka? And does the alcohol kill botulism toxin?