Monday, December 2, 2013

The Great Slump of 2013

Many, many days and weeks have passed since my last blog post. And there were a lot of days between that one and the one before. And the one before that. I'm not sure what's been wrong with me, but my moxie has gone missing. I haven't had anything interesting to write, and dinner has become about getting something on the table instead of a creative outlet. Am I jaded? Am I bored? Am I tapped out?

The other night, Pootie even went so far as to suggest I start cooking from recipes again. I briefly considered setting him on fire, but that would have made a mess, and I would have missed him later. Probably.

Don't get me wrong. I've loved having my kitchen back, and my grill, and I cook dinner almost every night. It isn't bad, it's just not impressive. 

But on Thanksgiving, I got a hint of the old spark back. Cooking the turkey and dressing this year and breaking out my grandmother's embroidered tablecloth and napkins started to make me want to get back in the kitchen and really cook, not just put a meat, carb and vegetable on the plate.

Then the day after Thanksgiving, Pootie came in the office and said magic words that put me all the way back in the game:

"Do you want to go get a Christmas tree today?"

I have always loved the holidays, and this is the time of year I usually get really inspired and want to make a bunch of fancy stuff and throw down.

But this was Christmas before last:

And this was last Christmas:

Not exactly Norman Rockwell years.

Pootie usually tries to put the brakes on me when I want to put a tree up after the Fourth of July, but this year he was actually suggesting we put up a tree while it was still November. Unprecedented!

We went tree-hunting with our wonderful neighbors, Morgan and Jesse. And no, it wasn't just so we could use their truck. This is Sutton's first Christmas.

We claimed our trees in pretty short order.

Then we put our beauty up and got cracking.

We kind of have a theme.

 I kind of went on kind of a decorating free-for-all with my newfound holiday spirit.

Basically, if it wasn't moving, it fell victim to a frenzied excess of holiday cheer.

And sometimes it hit things that didn't exactly stand still.

Hopefully, it will take, and I'll continue to feel upbeat, creative, and motivated past Monday. We'll see.

Meanwhile, here's a recipe for Apple Sambo, which is a richer, tastier version of spiced cider to kick off your holiday season.

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