#that-moment- of-clarity-you-reach-while-covered-in-strawberry-flavored-apple sauce-and-discussing-everything-and-anything-on-the-phone-with-a-friend-over-leftover-New-Years-champagne.
I’ve been putting this post off, waiting until I plateaued or something but here it is:
…When last we left our hero, she was devastated over the inevitable change that was about to occur in her life. She turned out resume after resume after resume…and then, in some cases, had to fill out the regular application online which the resume itself would have already answered and indicated (why do they do that???). Our mild mannered heroine received a call back! An interview was arranged! Heaven and Earth was moved…and a local strip club was visited to retrieve her diploma from on old roommate (funny story actually) only an hour before the interview took place! Avid reader, I would love to tell you that the miracle of Christmas shown through and all is now well but apparently they have given the job to another candidate…though they appreciate my willingness to go through their interview process (which included a comprehensive assessment…you go in and act like you already have the job and they evaluate their conduct).
The good news is that I have another (possibly two) interviews in the next two days, the better news is that I’ve arranged daycare and hours with my coffee house friend. I want to be excited but there feels like there is so much at stake.
I have tried to carry on as best I can and not let this little caveat ruin one of my favorite times of the year. Baby Bat and I celebrated Yule…not once, but twice. The first was at an annual get together amongst friends and friends who are like family. Which was nice, and very much needed. My candles in the Yule Log were especially significant this year.
My own personal observance was small and short lived, I’ve heard of people staying up all night in observance of the night but alas I needed to work the next day. Still Baby Bat and I prepared our Yule Log by wrapping it up in Snowman wrapping paper and garnishing it with silver ribbon:
Baby Bat was particularly impatient for the marshmallows so we broke into those early. This was our first bout of roasting chestnuts (in the oven) and they were heavenly! You hear about them in Christmas Carols and in books but you need to have the real thing they were delicious! Buy a bunch cut an “x” into them (which isn’t as heard as I had anticipated) and bake them for 15-20 minutes. They are soft and sweet and worth all the praise they are given.
The mulled wine I’d like to retry. I bought a local bottle, pre-spiced, all you need to do is heat it up…but I think I could do better. The burning of my Yule Log turned out to be a bit of a conundrum. We had a real tree last year. I had this great idea that we would save it until Midsummer and burn it very ceremoniously. This didn’t happen as we went to Faery Fest and it was a ways and packing etc. etc. Baby Bats birthday is in July and all the family was coming over and the tree carcass was still on our back porch so I decided to burn it the night before. BIG MISTAKE! Evergreen trees smoke like it is no ones business so I abandoned the effort and settled for keeping the lower part to burn for Yule as is traditional. It really was a small log and I didn’t realize it might take forever to burn it…which I didn’t have as afore mentioned. So we dowsed the log, popped in The Lord of the Rings and made quick work of our snacks and drinks before it was time to turn in for bed. My pagan parenting is still a work in progress and I look forward to learning from my mistakes nest year.
Then came my interview. It was for a day care position and they asked me to bring either a copy of my transcripts or my diploma. I thought I had my transcripts but apparently the sock fairy has upgraded to paper. Luckily I had just been to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with a friend who had my old roommate’s new phone number (because I am horribly disorganized he has had my diploma and kept it safe for a number of years since we parted ways) and I was able to swing by his work (cleaning/maintenance at a local strip joint) and retrieve said diploma shortly before my interview (I brought him a tin of Harry Potter treats as well because it is all I had and I desperately wanted to express my gratitude for being there in my hour of need).
Christmas was another debacle. A bit of car trouble made us late but also afforded us the opportunity to spend the night and morning with my folks. Baby Bat and I went to sleep while watching A Christmas Story (she loved the big pink bunny pajamas and kept expecting them to make a reappearance) and the soft glow of an oversized Christmas Light necklace. From Thursday through Sunday I made Paula Dean Cinnamon Rolls for all the “respective” families (in other words: if you have a spouse and children you got cinnamon rolls, if you and your spouse are retired you got cinnamon rolls, if you live alone and have a cat…or even if you don’t have an animal companion you got cinnamon rolls…in short I made a lot of cinnamon rolls and they were a hit).
This past week I had my comprehensive interview and I thought I had it in the bag but got a very disappointing email on Friday morning. Luckily it is a Harry Potter weekend again so that has helped to lift my spirits and keep my sails billowed. I had anticipated that they would do another of these in January but expected it to be later in the month. I had planned on mixing Wolfsbane Potion as January is known as the Wolf Moon but since it is also New Years I opted to stick with the old stand by of Felix Felicis to keep down expenses.
My great culinary adventure began yesterday morning. I had done all of my research, fed my pudding with great care, the only thing left to do was execute the dressing of my treasured goose and light my master piece on fire(!!). Being the lover of literature that I am, my favorite holiday tradition is to read Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol and in these pages Dickens states that Bob Cratchit’s Christmas Goose is prepared with Sage and Onion and so I found this recipe and some sage and onion stuffing at Walmart to recreate the meal.
I started early in the morning in case things didn’t work out and I had to go to a plan B…which admittedly I did not have at the time so it is a very good thing this worked out.
I had never dressed a bird before, so I had viewed as many YouTube Videos as I could find on that particular art and was very nervous about the actual disemboweling of my goose. Fortunately when I opened him and stuck my latex-ed glove into his lower cavity I was delighted to find that the meat packers had done the hard work for me and the only thing I really needed to do (besides remove their thoughtful baggies) was remove a bit of fat from his behind (yay!). The rest was just following the directions and basting:
Meanwhile I made hard sauce for my pudding, a side dish of peas with onion, garlic and bacon and some mashed potatoes. I also tried to make a gravy with the drippings but it was very greasy…I added more onion and garlic and seasonings and it still tasted like mouthful of grease (which is why I kept a jar of turkey gravy on hand, just in case). The meal went off without a hitch and I set my pudding on fire without incident:
There are many things I would do differently after this experience, but I have appreciated my learning process and the sheer delight of “the first time”. I am also very humbled by the amount of love and friendship I have received in my life outside of the kitchen, with Baby Bat and my employment dilemmas. 2016 has been emotionally and spiritually hard for many of us but if there is one thing I can take from this past year it is the importance of love and friendship. Being there for people no matter how much time has passed or how many words unsaid, you never know what someone is going through or what path they have been on. The most important part of life is just showing up…to your job, to your children’s interests and events, to your family and friends celebrations, in the words of Mister Magorium’s Wonder Emporium “Your life is an occasion, rise to it!”
Happy New Year to you all, whoever you are, wherever you are and whoever you are with!