29 December 2010

Welcome to my world

Hello, dear reader. If you're one of the legions that Rick Nelson sent this way from the Star Tribune, howdy. Feel free to peruse the archives. If you're looking for food-related posts, you can find them here. If you want to stalk me and find out my deepest, darkest secrets, I'm totally into that: you'll find my original blog here (this is a sequel; Hollywood demanded it). If you made a big mistake and wish you'd never stopped by, back to Angry Birds you go. But be warned, each New Year's Day I bake a kickass cake, and do you really want to miss out? I didn't think so. Stay tuned.

28 December 2010

A meteoric rise

A month ago, a friend emailed me to compliment me on my writing, noting that I seemed to be on a roll, both frequency- and content-wise. I haven't blogged since. Today another friend posted a plaintive plea to my Facebook wall, suggesting that life had lost all meaning (I paraphrase) with this blog gone dark. People simply don't understand the demands of celebrity. That's right, I'm famous. Or more accurately, was famous. Okay, not really famous so much as I bragged a lot on Facebook about an article in the paper that had my name in it. But this fame having flet, I realize I have a duty to summarize the heady days of December, if for no other reason than to make my future biographers' task that much easier.

I generally do what I'm told, so when Eric M texted me in October, telling me to "win the Star Tribune cookie contest this year," I laughed and dismissed it completely. Until later that night when I decided it would be easier just to obey. I'd been baking a bunch of my cream of tartar cookies at the time, so decided to use those as a base, creating something appropriately festive and holidayish. I also mined the index of past winners to see what kind of cookie needed to win next (W used to call this strategery, I believe). Sorry if you feel played, Mr. Nelson. After a few test rounds, reasonably happy with my concoction, and sick to death of the whole enterprise, I submitted a carefully-proofread recipe for Cream of Tartar Cookies with Pistachio Orange Filling (really trips off the tongue, doesn't it?). And then I forgot about it. Really, I did, until Rick Nelson of the Star Tribune called to inquire as to whether my recipe was flourless. All my years of freelance editing had been for nought. Yes, 2 cups flour is required. Sigh.

At least now I knew my cookies had made the baking round. A couple days later, a photo appeared online, showing my cookies with a bunch of others in contention. The Stribbers had been taste-testing. I will not pretend to have been anything but obsessed at that point, waiting for news of destiny fulfilled. Sure enough, I was to be one of the five finalists, with a feature to come in an early December edition of the paper. I professed not to care if I actually won or not (and mostly meant it), though members of my posse were convinced it would be me. I half began to believe them, but still, after a grueling day clicking Refresh until the results were posted online, I felt a rush of genuine pleasure and bamboozlement when I found out I'd actually won.

I realize this is all old (ad nauseuous) news to most of you, given the almost certain fact that my readership and Facebook friendships enjoy a 1:1 ratio. Still, the last few weeks of cookie silliness have been a fun antidote to a tough year. I have met some great people, received notes from strangers complimenting my cookies, and shared the holidays—in a small, transitory way—with a bunch of folks who decided to add a new cookie to their holiday baking tradition.

Christmas was very different for me this year, and not always easy. Now that it's past, sitting here on a day with bright sunshine and strong coffee and good company, I'm remembering not the angst of Christmas foolishness, but the simple, frivolous joy of baking a cookie and hearing people say yum.

They shall be called my disciples.