Christmas Lights

  “What are you makin,’” the Home Depot employee said, “‘cuz I know you ain’t plumbin’.” Busted on Christmas Eve. Are there no middle-aged female plumbers in this land? Or were my mom jeans a dead give-away? I was standing in front of racks of copper pipes, juggling a five-foot length of 3/4-inch pipe between my hands,…

Sausage Rolls II (In Case You Missed It)

Champagne and hot sausage rolls, a capital way to begin a festive holiday. ♦ ♦ ♦ My mother guffawed when, at 17, I told her I was in the running for an award from the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Teachers did the nominating, and I was happy to be considered….

Cooking with Red and Green

The combination is everywhere right now, of course, because it’s the season of Red and Green. If you’re lucky, you might score a pair of light-up Christmas earrings perfect for your daughter while playing bingo at a family Christmas party. She will love them, and the Christmas-colored camo socks, too. But I digress. I like…

The Christmas Project

Fourth Sunday of Advent was yesterday. All four candles in the Advent wreath on my kitchen table were lit. O come, o come, Emmanuel. ♦ ♦ ♦ I was in my car at a stoplight in downtown Little Rock last Thursday afternoon. A man in a shabby coat and baggy pants stood on the curb…

Christmas and the Non-Chocolate Offering

I can’t have been the only person in America balancing a ham on my hip on Christmas Day, reliving a memory. With a little imagination, ignoring the refrigerator chill, an 11-pound smoked ham feels a lot like a bundled baby. I took a few steps between the stove and sink and stove again, fully immersed…

Raves and Faves 17

White lights and sparkling baubles. ♦ ♦ ♦ The Christmas tree in the lobby of Little Rock’s Capital Hotel, named among the 10 most dazzling this year by Forbes Travel Guide. I second that. ♦ ♦ ♦ A lovely gingerbread village with royal icing snow and working Christmas lights, around which a train chugs and travels through a tunnel….

Sausage Rolls

Regiments of Sausage Rolls, ready for the oven ♦ ♦ ♦ I don’t like surprises. I do like apple pies. My husband is an avowed, unrepentant, sour-face-making apple-hater, so, to avoid the calorie intake involved in eating an entire apple pie by myself, I satisfy my apple pie craving with a weekly purchase of the single-serving version…

Ring of Coconut Fudge Cake

Someone special had a birthday recently. Like every year, I asked him what kind of cake he’d like. Every year, he says he wants this one. This year, to my surprise, the onery cuss he said make anything chocolate, not specifying this cake. So of course I made this cake, like every year. Because it’s that…