Christmas

placesetting.jpgEver since reading Rousseau’s On the Origin of Language, the idea of the origin myth has compelled me to wonder at the root of things. I treasure the O.E.D., find it fascinating that Hammer Pants were born out of misread lyrics during development of the U Can’t Touch This video, and relish in the ongoing debate over how the Caesar salad came to be.

As with the Caesar salad, I’m intrigued by things with no definite origin – thereby inviting invention – like how Rousseau posits that language originated with a boy wanting to talk to a girl while collecting water for their respective families.

In this fashion, I’m incited to uncover, or create the origin of one side of my family’s Dungeness Crab Christmas Eve tradition. But first it’ll help if I briefly explain my family, and my relationship to Christmas.

Suffice to say my family fits well into the postmodern framework: fractured, multiple centers, consider any single member and you’ll discover a constellation of relationships. So I’ll leave it at this: a name means as much as a title. I have parents and siblings.

Read more ...

tvm2162_072707_coconutcake_l.jpgWhen I was growing up, my favorite grown-up restaurant was SCANDIA in Hollywood.  Run by Ken Hanson, this award-winning Scandinavian eatery was the place my family flocked to for holidays, not just birthday dinners and Sweet 16 luncheons, but also un-Hallmark events—like when I cut my head and all I wanted was Scandia’s Swedish meatballs so my dad got them on his way home from the set of “The Untouchables” episode he wrote. 

At the time, there wasn’t a big L.A. take-out scene, but Scandia accommodated because it was elegant enough to be casual.  Scandia was the treat I always chose when my mom and I collectively took the day off from life (for me, high school; for her, writing/editing and house stuff) to hang out together.  And a few years after my mom died, I chose Scandia to go to the night a movie I wrote opened.

Read more ...

eggnogcrepesInfused with the holiday spirit, I’ve found myself putting eggnog-type flavorings in everything lately, including these French crepes I made for breakfast.

They’d be equally good for dessert, perhaps with a dash of rum in the warmed maple syrup on top?

Here’s the recipe, which makes 8 thin crepes:

Read more ...