Sweet potato pie with premade crust aside, my holiday baking attempts have been notoriously disastrous, so when Sizzle posted her favorite recipes, I asked her for the most foolproof one. Magic Cookie Bars, she assured me, barely even involve stirring. Since I’d already used our only 9” x 13” pan for the lasagna, I lacked the bakeware the cookie bars called for. I was tempted to throw it all in two 8” x 8” pans, but I was like, This is the kind of thinking that results in hard/overly crumbly/strangely onion-flavored cookies.
So I did math!
I fenced off a little piece of one of the 8” x 8” pans with foil so the overall square footage would be the same as a 9” x 13” pan. Mr. Ninnis my tenth grade geometry teacher would be so proud! I owe him a cookie bar (which turned out great, by the way, in really intensely sweet way).
Things got festive. Jennifer reprised the actual Christmas tree skirt that she wore to her office’s Ugly Christmas Sweater party.*
She’s also doing a special project that I can totally see becoming a blog that becomes a book that gets sold at Urban Outfitters: Her mom sent her an amazing green-and-white mongoose-print dress that she supposedly wore when she was a baby, saying that her dream was to see a grandkid in it. Jennifer doesn’t want kids (I know! I can’t tell you how refreshing, as a baby-hungry person who doesn’t have one, I find the company of people who don’t want ‘em, don’t got ‘em). So she’s taking a series of photos of kids she meets in the dress. Luckily Kohana was game.
But maybe that was just because she was drunk.**
Other things that happened: People wore cute clothes.
I wore silver lamé, cuteness being in the eye of the semi-blinded beholder on that one. But I felt festive.
Joel made a volcano cake in the microwave, which is apparently possible (and, for the record, tastes amazing). Joel is a cook after my own heart—he threw in half a banana, an Easter chocolate bar that said “He is risen” on it and two Tootsie rolls just for the hell of it. Here are Joel and Alberto carefully flipping the cake out of its bowl.
People sat around and talked. I always like it when people hang out long enough to get past the middle-class-adult conversational basics of work and travel and house-buying and baby-making and, like, gardening tomatoes. Sometimes it’s hard to know so many overachievers. So when it got late and we found ourselves speculating about how, exactly, one consumes meth, I really started to feel like we’d thrown a good dinner party. Even if we were so nerdy that none of us actually knew and we had to look it up on Wikipedia.
*So, I guess this is a thing now. eBay, my new best frenemy, has a ton of sweaters listed under billings like “FESTIVE FROCK FOO FOO LIGHT-UP TACKY UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER.” I will not pay $65.99 for irony.
**Note to the adoption police: just kidding there! Not only were all adults and one-year-olds sober, we also made sure Kohana stayed away from glass ornaments and electrical sockets and other things that make a party fun.