Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kitchen Toys

The weather outside is frightful...
If you've been anywhere near my house in the past week, you've probably heard me singing this and various other Christmas songs loudly and very off-key. I love this time of year, and I love Christmas music. Until recently, I didn't celebrate Christmas, and so had very mixed feelings about this time of year. But not the songs. I've always loved them. 

When I met my now husband back when we were in school, he told me wild tales of Christmas and warm fuzzy goodness that was his family. And I was jealous. Big time jealous. It's the one holiday I always wanted to celebrate, but never got to, being Jewish and all. Don't get me wrong, I love my religion, it's history, and my family traditions related to the holidays, but this time of year was always challenging and full of guilt for me. 

As we became closer, and our relationship grew, my exposure to his Christmas also increased. The first time I visited his family (and met them, and saw his house) started on Boxing Day (that's the day after Christmas for all of you non-Canadians out there). When I arrived at the house, I was overwhelmed with the complete immersion into Christmas that I experienced. His mom is an incredible Christmas decorator. The decorations weren't the only thing - there were presents for me. For me! How cool was that?

The next year, I was invited to participate in all of Christmas. All of it! From Christmas Eve all the way through traveling to Canada on Boxing Day for extended Christmas with his extended family. At this point, we had been dating seriously for almost 3 years, and knew we planned to continue our relationship after we graduated (it was, after all, Senior year). That Christmas was my first candlelight Christmas Eve service, my first unable-to-sleep-because-I-was-too-busy-being-excited-and-watching-for-deer-out-of-the-window-in-the-moonlight, my first Christmas morning, my first sticky buns, and my first (and only) white Christmas, which resulted in my first snowman. 

Man, take a Jewish girl from the south and throw her into a Baltimore Christmas, and that is what you get.

As the years have gone by, my Christmas experiences have progressed from that tingle of excitement that kept me up most of my first Christmas Eve to excitement over spending a relaxing few days with family I see not nearly enough anymore. Moving down to Austin has just a little bit to do with that. Last year, for the first time, I participated in Christmas in a new way, a behind-the-scenes sort of way that involved stockings. I'll leave it at that.

It's my 9th Christmas this year, the third year we've had a full-sized tree at home (something I always wanted but swore I would never do), and the third year we're spending the holiday itself at the Husband's brother's house, complete with his wife, their daughter, my mother-in-law, and her giant yellow Lab, Max. And I cannot wait. 

(Here comes the guilt again, it's Chanukah now, and I feel like I should be writing about the beauty of the lights, or the joy of sharing my family traditions with the Husband. But that's not what this post is about. There will be another one about Chanukah.)

Anyway, the purpose of this post was to discuss some of my favorite kitchen toys, in case you're in need of gift ideas, or need padding for your own wish list. 

1. Kitchenaid mixer. We do so many things with it (and with attachments). Ice cream, ground beef, and pasta, to name a few things. We occasionally use the food processor attachment.

2. Spatulas. I use them for everything, even making eggs, and have a variety of sizes and shapes. These are particularly cute and festive.
Mini Holiday Spatulas, Set of 3

3. A good knife. We did just update our knife block for one with more slots, but all you really need for most tasks is one really good knife.

4. A kitchen scale. Ours weighs in 4 different weights. Indispensable tool. Just don't let it jump off of the top of the refrigerator, because it most likely will stop working at that point.

No comments: