The holiday season begins in T-minus three days and I’m feeling
panicky generous. As I’m coming off an especially educational few days, I thought I’d share a few tips I picked up during November’s spare weekend.
1) Toilet paper is no substitute for paper toweling. Does this seem obvious to you? It only occurred to me Saturday morning after I sprayed the bathroom mirror with cleaning fluid and realized I had left the Bounty downstairs. Lazy, you say? Maybe. But I thought I’d save myself a minute or two by scrunching up a couple of fistfuls of the two-ply and wiping the mirror down. It created a lovely, seasonal but impractical snowfall effect that took some effort to remove.
2) You can substitute olive oil for vegetable oil in dessert recipes but only if the olive oil is not extra virgin (flavor’s too strong). A better bet is to substitute apple sauce for the oil. Better still, take your lazy self out into the cold night air and buy the ingredients your recipe requires.
3) Homemade cream cheese frosting can make anything taste good. Make extra should you find yourself dealing with an especially unfortunate baking incident. (See above).
4) Icicle lights don’t come with clips. You should know this before you spend an icy afternoon on your porch balcony, numb fingers ripping your new lights from their instruction-less packaging. I Scarlett O’Hara’d the whole situation, which means if you drive toward my house right now you’ll see icicle lights dangling precariously from the balcony gutter. I’m planning to take care of that…tomorrow.
5) At the very moment you surrender your last vestige of dignity, pull the knit cap over your head, wrap the giant white scarf around your face and slide on the unibomber sunglasses because the wind has whipped up at Lambeau Field and you can’t feel your face, you will be caught on the jumbotron for 77,000 people to see. You won’t realize this, though, until the woman two seats over points at you and screams, “Oh my God, You’re on the Jumbotron!” and you look up in horror. Fortunately, due to the aforementioned precautions, no one will recognize you except your similarly clad sister and the screaming lady you’ve never met.
This is the me that appeared on the Lambeau Field Jumbotron, shortly after a prolonged shot of the Packer Bikini Girls, a nice contrast I’m sure. Mr. Demille, I was not ready for my closeup. I am, however, fully protected from frostbite (and hopefully entirely unrecognizable).
These are the pumpkin bars I made for our tailgate. As you may have guessed, I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil, which rendered them a little too healthy for my fellow tailgaters. I slathered on some cream cheese frosting, and added ginger snap halves to keep the frosting from sticking to the tin foil en route and they turned out to be quite a hit. Next time, though, I’m going to use the actual ingredients listed in the recipe.
This is my sister Kathy and me. Bikini girls we are not. Fortunately, we bundled ourselves well because a sixth thing I learned this weekend is that NFL games can end in a tie. Honestly, the way the Vikings and Packers played during the overtime, I think this is a good rule. We could have been stuck in that stadium until Thanksgiving waiting for someone to score an actual touchdown to end the game.