David and I are busy people. Even when we’re not in physical motion, we’re discussing, considering, making plans. This weekend became filled weeks ago–a holiday party last night, studying for final exams, grading essays and preparing for presentations. For whatever the rest of the weekend might hold, Sunday mornings are ours. We wake up early to watch the city come alive from our window with Buddy and then we slowly make our way to the kitchen for an extended breakfast. Pancakes. French toast. Eggs. David, surprisingly, likes to take the lead, and he’s damn good with the griddle.
But after breakfast, while we’re watching MSNBC or perhaps CBS Sunday Morning, we gather the Washington Post that was thrown on our front stoop at some ungodly hour, and we press through world, one page at a time.
David likes the circulars, and more often than not, long after he’s cut coupons or reviewed the new gadget sales, I’m still reading, contemplating the op-eds and the book reviews. I have a system and he knows it well: Parade magazine, comics, Washington Post magazine, Outlook section, Metro Section, BookWorld or Arts–a funnel from lighter fare, to the dense topics, and back out again.
Today’s newspaper was filled with an incredible number of memorable reads. I hope you’ll check them out, below:
- John Lennon vs. Bono: The death of celebrity activism (William Easterly)
- Dr. Gridlock’s defense of a great Director of Transportation, Gabe Klein
- Chestnuts roasting on a high-def screen (Hank Stuever)
- Schultz and Co. took a risk, created a classic (Michael Cavna)
- Where does $250,000 a year go? (Karen Hube)
- First Person Singular: Notes from my Father (Interview by Amanda Abrams)
If you don’t read any of the other links, please take a moment to read The Writing Life by Dave Eggers. Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, recently opened 826DC–a writing center under the guise of a Museum of Unnatural History. Great writer, great philanthropist.
- The Writing Life w/guest writer, Dave Eggers
Holiday music, cue. As David left to study, I discovered one of my favorite holiday movies was already in progress–The Shop Around the Corner, starring Jimmy Stewart. I sat curled up on the sofa with Buddy, watching the movie and scavenging through my BGH cookbook for the recipes.
I have a personal food tradition that began a few years ago when my friend Stefany wanted to learn to cook. We looked through the pages of the trusty BGH and settled on a sunny ham and asparagus strata. It turned out beautifully, and since that time, the strata has been my personal, go-to comfort food. It seemed particularly appropriate as David and I steeled ourselves for hell week: final exam and my last week of classes at The Art Institute.
Strata is easy, requires little preparation, just time. Find an easy adaptation here.
Finally, as thanks to my co-workers who donated winter clothing to Miriam’s Kitchen at my request, I made a batch of lemon-almond biscotti.
There is something so satisfying about not only maintaining tradition, but creating your own. As I look at our still bare holiday tree, I can’t help feel a small bit of wonder that rainy days in December can still hold so much comfort.
Top 10 Rock Star Moments of the Holiday Season:
- Producing a solid holiday card for the National 4-H Council.
- Doing seven loads of laundry in one Sunday.
- Signing up for the Cherry Blossom 5k race (still waiting for confirmation on the race lottery)
- A marathon day in New York City–4 hours bus, 7 hours city, 4 hours bus.
- Making it through the plague–twice.
- Doing 5 solid chaturanga dandasana cycles before taking the modification.
- Reading a really great thank-you letter from the Write of Passage scholarship winner.
- Making it on The Atlantic’s Twitter feed for a second time.
- December Book Club. Enough said.
- Choosing and buying a holiday tree on my own–for the first time–then hauling said tree two blocks and up three flights of stairs, solo.