Christmas was perfect — I got almost no stuff. My brother bought me an adult ed class with a Master Gardener from MSU and a cookbook (well, a gift certificate for The Pleasures of Slow Food by Corby Kummer which is out of stock at the moment). Mom sent socks and PJs. And we all avoided the pile of interesting stuff that no one really needed anyhow. Not that I’m against presents … I love presents. I just hate the forced nature of Christmas presents … my perfect Christmas involves a bunch of people sitting around a long table having just eaten a lovely meal, wearing the silly paper hats from the Christmas crackers, playing with the walnuts and chocolates and oranges down the centerpiece, and just sitting back and talking to one another.
I didn’t cook this year, since my friends were all out of town, so I’m considering a Twelfth Night party … I feel the need to cook a goose, which I haven’t done in a couple of years. Jeffery Steingarten has a recipe that looks interesting. My other cooking adventure this holiday has been making sourdough bread with a starter I ordered from Sourdoughs International. I ordered the San Francisco Sourdough, and spent much of Christmas activating the starter. My only quibble thus far with the directions that came with the starter is that if I had followed the directions exactly, I’d probably have six or eight quart jars of sourdough starter instead of the mere four that are lurking in my fridge. The first batch of bread is in the oven right now. The sourdough pancakes we had for breakfast were great though … tangy and chewy and felt like real food.