Holiday Cheer


I‘m not one for romantic Valentine’s Day celebrations. The first time I had a boyfriend on this holiday, in high school, I skipped the first half of the school day so I wouldn’t have to face some embarrassing display of V Day-related affection. When I finally did show up at school, an hour before it was over, the boy cornered me in the parking lot and gave me a love poem he had hand-written on a pink and red construction paper heart. I’m not proud to admit I broke up with him the next week.

I found my perfect Valentine’s Day boyfriend in Rob, who has never given me a gift or in any other way acted foolish on this sentimental, made-up holiday. Often he’s working and I watch figure skating in bed with my cat, eating both a donut and pancakes, because why not? This year, however, Rob has been bullied into buying me flowers by the people who are doing our wedding decorations (how do you tactfully say “no thanks,” when your wedding florist tells you to buy your girlfriend flowers?), so I figure I will do my part, too. By that I mean I plan to make myself a devil’s food cake from the Tartine cookbook, and when he arrives home from work late at night I will have saved him a slice. Was I going to make this cake anyway, for non-Valentine’s Day related purposes? Yes. Does he know that? Well, maybe he does now, I can never really tell how frequently he reads this blog. But whatever. As long as he doesn’t write me any love poems, and as long as he treats me like a divine goddess every day for eternity, I’ll be happy.


No-Snow Day Cookies


Illustration: Tram Nguyen


When I was growing up, my family had a term for food so junky it was not technically allowed in our house: Nut Googies. This phrase was apparently coined during my mom’s childhood—something about my grandfather misunderstanding “Nut Goodies”—but by the time I rolled around it was used as a place-holder for any dessert that was just disgusting enough my siblings and I were all dying to try it: ice cream blasted with several types of candy; brownie bars with crushed-up Oreos in them; anything involving marshmallows. My parents were pretty health-conscious, so this kind of “food” made only the rarest appearances in our household. Among these special occasions, however, were snow days.

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