A Memo to Santa
I'm really not one for gifts. Ask my mother -- it drives her crazy. This is one of the main reasons the O'Donnel family has gathered in Key West this week -- the sunny, 80-degree weather while the rest of the country runs for ice-storm cover is the best Christmas gift of all. We made a pact that there would be no gift exchange this year -- and instead would exchange the gift of each other's presence. So far, it's working out, and we're having a ball, eating dinner together for the first time in six years, laughing out loud and playing Scrabble out on the patio, a game at which certain unnamed family members like to cheat and create words not yet in the English dictionary.
Mister MA and I also made a similar pact, but he often bends the rules because he loves buying gifts. What can I say -- I'm a lucky gal. Go ahead, twist my arm, and here's what you'd find on this year's wish list, you know, in case someone is wondering. While I'm at it, let me twist your arm; share what's on your food-centric wine list in the comment areas below. The sky's the limit!
So I'd like a cake plate please -- one with a dome for display and transport and one for serving. As much as I love the looking glass idea, I'll say no to a glass dome -- too risky for breakage.
Remember those salad spinners from the 70s? I know we had at least one in our house that collected dust in the cabinets. The thing is, it really does work like a charm -- and is a green alternative to drying lettuce leaves and herbs with paper towels.
As many of you know, I love to make candy, which means I really should have a marble slab for playing with fondants and sugar pastes and other confections. But if Santa wants to save a few bucks, I recommend checking out the selection at Home Depot rather than the fancy cookware shops.
It's an extravagance, I know, but since we're dreaming, I'd like a small wine refrigerator please, with a maximum capacity of 12 bottles, so that all of my vinos can be stored at the proper temperature and the food in my fridge can breathe .
Here's one I've been wanting for a while: an extra coffee grinder to be used for nuts and spices. Nothing fancy; I bet you could pick one up at Target, dear. Don't worry; I still love my mortar and pestle for its therapeutic pounding opportunities, but sometimes it's nice to grind something in a flash.
A double-sided griddle would be nice -- flat for pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches, and ridged for a winter-time seared piece of fish or burger.
And since I have board games on the brain, I'd love to add "Foodie Fight" to my collection, a Trivia Pursuit-like game of all things culinary. Sounds like a hoot -- can anyone vouch for its fun quotient?
Santa knows how much I love to travel, and so if he found a bunch of loot under his bed and was looking for a way to use it, I'll throw my hat in the ring for some cooking classes in Oaxaca or Thailand or Vietnam. I can have my bags packed in no time, so just give me the signal and my passport and I will be ready to go.
*****Today, the O'Donnels head north on the Overseas Highway, the southern tip of US 1 and road trip up the Keys for an afternoon excursion. Check back tomorrow for a report
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