Monday Musings: The Calm Before the Christmas Storm

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Having my parents around means Filipino food! Filipino fried chicken, sticky rice, and fried eggplant! I decided to rep the South and bring some collards to dinner.

It’s here. The week of Christmas.

Am I panicking?

Oddly, no. Mostly, because I spent the first half of December panicking. I am sufficiently burned out from being anxiety-ridden and all that’s left is Christmas excitement!!

It’s also my birthday this week! I’m not much of a birthday person but I’m pretty excited for it and Christmas this year for a couple of reasons:

  • My parents finally live in the same state as me again. I am ecstatic beyond belief.
  • I also happen to have extended family that just moved into the area.
  • My darling sister is home from school.
  • My friend group grew this year and they all (new and old) make my heart swell with pride and enduring affection.
  • I have managed NOT to gain extra weight due to an excess of Christmas sweets. Although – I’m pretty sure I burned off the calories by freaking out about presents, Christmas cooking and life, in general.
  • This blog! This blog has brought me so many happy moments, learning experiences, questions, bigger arm muscles (my entire cooking set is cast iron…) and so much more food and time with friends and family than I could have ever imagined.
  • My animals! I have more animals in my life this Christmas than I ever have! My family dog (Kella, who lives with my parents), pets of loved ones in general, and my cat! I have a cat! I never, ever, ever, EVER thought I would ever have a cat. She’s a demon. I named her Ozzy Pawsbourne. I’m clever. Don’t deny it.

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I’m sure there are many other reasons why this Christmas season is special. I’m a lucky girl who has a lot of love and food in her life.

Here are some good reads:

  • Uh, hi. Gordon Ramsay AMA on Reddit? Yes, Please! Also, when answering what he has for breakfast –  “The night before, put 3-4 bananas in the oven on a pilot light. And the next day, squeeze the bananas into almond milk, bring it to a boil, then add the oatmeal and dried cranberries, and you’ll have the most amazing oatmeal for breakfast.” Did I try this? You bet your cute bottom, I did. Was it awesome? Yep. No surprise there.
  • Political Polarization. With everything that’s been happening in our foreign affairs and the upcoming election, polarization feels all too real. “…the process appears to be inexorable and irreversible. Polarization is the new normal.”
  • Have I made this Hot Gruyere White Wine Chicken Dip yet? Nope. Do I plan on making it and huddling over the skillet and eating it all by myself while watching Netflix’s Daredevil? Yes.
  • Foster’s Market in Durham is my version of nirvana. Their pies are probably the best in the state. They just celebrated 25 years! The lady who owns the joint actually used to work for Martha Stewart!
  • As someone who had a short stint in graduate school and has always had contact with high academia, I can honestly say that “Impostor Syndrome” is as real as can be. I never knew there was a term for it but when I found out – it was nice to know I wasn’t alone.
  • Owner of the famous Pok Pok restaurant, Andy Ricker talks about how tough it can be to have wage equality in the restaurant business. Food costs money. Didn’t you know? He even states that making just a mere 10% profit is incredible.

Happy Holidays-ing. Keep calm, drink your coffee (laced with bourbon) and remember that I love you all!


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