You know how whenever Valentine’s Day rolls around there are always people who are like “Valentine’s Day is stupid because you should be showing love every single day and it’s just a commercial holiday and also kakjsbvdbvdsbfkdsfsbvbvbjdbvd!” Which always makes me go:
Valentine’s Day is my shiiiitttt. I used to love picking out the best assorted Valentine’s Day cards to exchange with all my classmates and conversation hearts–don’t get me started on those because they are the greatest. And to this day, I make heart-shaped cookies for all of my friends, and when I bring them the cookies (and candy hearts) they’re like:
It’s like casting pearls before swine with these jerks. They don’t deter me, though, because I know a good holiday when I see one. And this year my goddaughter is three so I have someone who (whom?) I can indoctrinate to take on my valid beliefs.
Next week we are going to make cookies and cupcakes for her classmates, and they are going to be the prettiest and most elegant (don’t three-year-olds care about elegance?) treats they’ve ever seen. I guess I should also mention that I’m oddly competitive about things that don’t matter at all. Anyway, I’m going to pick her up from school today so we can ransack Target for all the things we need to make this happen. We may have to go to Michael’s too. Buckhead traffic will not dissuade me or my mission!
try to make macarons, which is risky because I know those are even difficult for an experienced cook, but I found this recipe that claims to be foolproof. I’ll let you know if it isn’t!
Vive la Valentine’s Day!
I read four books this quarter. I didn’t even complete half of my goal of ten books. But, you know what I did do?
I hung out with my closest friends. I behaved like I was ten years old. I leaped off boats under a scorching sun and into cool waters. I made juvenile jokes and laughed at them myself. I drank Shiraz and woke up at eleven in the morning with pounding headaches. I drank champagne and woke up at eleven in the morning with pounding headaches. I drank rosé all day. I went to sleep when the sun came up. I forgot sunblock when I went stand-up paddle-boarding and didn’t worry once about crow’s feet. I made my friends laugh and got sore stomach muscles from laughing at their jokes. I skipped the mani and pedi. I spent twenty minutes on my winged eyeliner and eye shadow. I went four consecutive days without checking the news. I wore six-inch heels. I walked barefoot on wet grass and hot sand. I ate authentic Italian food and saw centuries-old art. I spoke in French. I cried. I volunteered. I committed. I swam at midnight. I ran at dawn. I test-drove a Lamborghini. I sailed a boat.
I did all the things you can’t do while you’re reading ten books.
- Decide the day before that you’re adept enough with this dish that you can whip it up the day of (Thanksgiving, in my case).
- Wake up early on Thanksgiving morning with an attitude because you stayed up the night before binge-watching shitty Netflix horror movies that Netflix warned you that you wouldn’t like, but you don’t like it when people/computers tell you what to do so…
- Stumble into the bathroom to wash your face, brush your teeth, and silently lament the audacity of your loved ones to expect you to contribute to Thanksgiving dinner. Then remember that they begged you not to make anything for Thanksgiving dinner because you suck at cooking. But…no one tells you what to do.
- Defiantly shut off the water and stomp into the kitchen. Decline to gather the needed ingredients in one place ahead of time because you don’t cook enough for that good idea to even pop into your head.
- Grab six eggs out of the fridge (which should be room temperature, but you forgot that part and now there’s no time) and separate the yolks from the whites. Crack open the first egg and get the disgusting surprise of a bloody egg yolk.
- Throw the egg into the sink.
- Lie down on the couch for fifteen minutes trying to recuperate and pledging to be a vegan fo’ life.
- Remember that there will be mashed potatoes infused with juicy, flavorful bits of bacon at dinner, so this vegan lifestyle isn’t going to work out.
- Woman up and stomp back into the kitchen. Disinfect the sink.
- Unwrap the chocolate (bittersweet baking chocolate) to melt it. Realize that you only bought 100 grams, but the recipe calls for 200 grams.
- Resign yourself to halving the recipe, and if you don’t have enough for everyone at dinner you’ll just blame the guests who were able to have some for eating it up from the others.
- Place the chocolate into a double boiler and let it melt.
- Time to brave the eggs again. Now you’ll only need three.
- Become really cocky when you separate the first two eggs like Chrissy Teigen, then accidentally drop the third yolk into the bowl of egg whites.
- Try to spoon out as much of the yolk as possible. Think about starting over with new eggs, but ultimately decide that a little yolk in your egg whites is pas de problème (i.e. no big deal).
- Mix the egg yolks and set them aside.
- Dig out your electric mixer, because it’s time to whip the egg whites into a meringue.
- Turn the mixer on high and submerge it into the bowl of egg whites.
- Scream when they fly everywhere.
- Clean up the mess, while cursing silently to yourself.
- This time submerge the mixer first, then turn it on high to whip the egg whites.
- Become concerned 5-7 minutes later when they are just as liquid as they were 5-7 minutes ago.
- Remember that you’re melting chocolate, and breathe a sigh of relief once you realize you haven’t burned it. Take the chocolate off the stove to let it cool.
- Go back to whipping the egg whites. Curse aloud when they are still liquid seven minutes later. “What the fuuuuccckkk?!”
- Google “how to stiffen egg whites”. Add cream to the egg whites and watch nothing happen.
- In frustration go back to the chocolate—which has now started to solidify again.
- Curse your family for teasing your lack of cooking skills, resulting in forcing you to prove them wrong.
- Melt the chocolate again.
- Once the chocolate has melted pour it, bit by bit, into the egg yolks and mix. You don’t want to do it too quickly or the heat from the chocolate will curdle the eggs.
- Watch in disbelief as your egg yolks begin to curdle.
- Walk back to your egg whites while repeating to yourself, “This is not happening. This is not happening.”
- Beat the egg whites another five minutes. Still liquid.
- Throw up your hands, yell “Fuck it!” and pour the egg whites into the bowl that is now chocolatey scrambled eggs.
- Try to mix. Nope.
- Dump the mixture into the garbage.
- Lie on the couch for fifteen minutes trying to recuperate.
- Search your pantry for something (anything!) to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. Rice? No. Black beans? Why on Earth?
- Find one single, solitary box of Trader Joe’s coffee cake mix. Shout hallelujah!, do a praise dance, and promise God that you will no longer use the word fuck again (unless shit gets real).
- PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE INSTRUCTIONS AND MAKE THE COFFEE CAKE.
- Pat yourself on the back for single-handedly saving Thanksgiving.
And if, by any chance, you still want to brave making mousse au chocolate, here’s a great recipe.