Despite the residual conditioning of a liturgical calendar that purses its lips and reminds me that Christmas is not over until Epiphany, my senses shake their collective had sadly and inform me that the holiday has, indeed, dribbled to a close. A few bowl games are still lingering in the hopper and leftover ham is sitting in the fridge waiting to prop up an omelet, and maybe half the houses on the block still have lights up, but it's effectively over for another year, leaving the vast expanse of January and February in front of us. As Januaries and Februaries go, we could do far worse than to spend them in southern Arizona, I suppose, since living in the desert means the winter storm that blew in this morning with low clouds and drizzle grading into rain and sheets of snow sweeping the mountains can be delighted in as a brief diversion giving us a different view, a respite from the sunshine and perpetual summer that is surely returning by midweek.
No resolutions are being cooked up in Chez Bolt this year. I try to avoid them, in any event, given my propensity for setting myself up for enough failure in ordinary time, so no need to up the ante for the holiday if there's no gun to my head. If I was being forced to resolve under duress, I would focus on actual cooking. A Barnes & Noble gift card from the girlfriend's ex-husband (bizarre extended family, we haz wun) was cashed in for Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food, which has filled my fantasy life with all sorts of wonderful stocks, soups, and pastas (only on page 90 so far). Between that and the Top Chef obsession, I hope my kitchen turns out some quality dishes this year for my table and my freezer. And, in this perfect world, I will spend more time and money at farmer's markets and less at Safeway, and maybe save enough to eat more legitimate meals and fewer quesadillas.
Good living. It is my fondest hope and intent. As I head back to a daily grind in which mistletoe and evergreen boughs are conspicuously absent, I resolve to give it my best shot. If not, well, shit happens. May you find what you're looking for in 2009.