However, there are exceptions to every rule. Such is the case on what I’m about to share with you. There is one tradition that I in particular look forward to this time of year, every year. Friends, I’m talking about the annual bake & b*tch with my friend, Sissy. (All of you with virgin eyes on the second “B” word – kindly look away!)
Sissy and I have been planning and attending our annual B&B for over a decade now. We used to be colleagues, and we starting baking…and b*tching…(I suppose a nicer way to say it would be “solving all the worlds problems,” but that just doesn’t have the same ring as B&B, sorry) together way back years ago. Subsequent to me moving on and changing jobs (more than a couple of times), we’ve managed to stick through year after year with this foundational holiday tradition.
When I describe B&B to my other girlfriends, their first question is: “Can I come?” Well, my answer back to them is, “Why not start your very OWN B&B and spread the love?” To wit, they then ask me how to go about setting up a solid B&B. Here’s what I recommend:
Kit for the Perfect Bake & B*tch:
1. Blocking a full day sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas - (earlier in the year, before Thanksgiving, if you want to send your baked goods to the troops – something Sissy and I did for a few years…)
2. All your ingredients for all the items you want to bake – start hoarding early, so you don’t end up like me stalking all the major chain stores that have already ran out of all the cool candy and ingredients. #Annoying
3. Sprinkles, sparkles, colored sugar – you know, to make all your cookies cheery and bright! (You ARE making sugar cookies that you have to frost and decorate, right?!?)
4. Your creativity – Bring on the fancy cookie design!
5. A friend with a massively large kitchen – and preferably a double oven with a lot of countertop space.
6. Adult beverages – Just drink responsibly, peeps, especially when you’re dealing with a hot oven or two. This may or may not aid #4 above, depending upon when you imbibed….
7. Holiday music – and if you forgot the CDs, just turn on the Pandora Christmas channel on your iPhone or Spotify on the laptop instead.
8. Your favorite recipes – OK, this is where Sissy and I converge a bit. She likes to stick with the traditional recipes – tried and true, every year, same stuff, works great. I, on the other hand, LOVE to try NEW recipes. I think it may drive her crazy, but this is where the Gemini comes out and I have to try something new–besides, my experiments are entertaining (hint: they don’t always ‘work’ but they are fun to try)! DOUBLE THIS now that Pinterest has the bar set even higher! #NoPressure
So, here are the nominees for new cookie to bake this B&B, 2013 – let me know what you think:
a. White trash – While technically not new because my gma used to make this, I may try it this year, because I’ve never made it.
b. Chocolate Pistachio Cookies – However, these look a little complicated.
c. Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats – I’m beginning to think anything with salted caramel on top of it is a vast improvement to many of the world’s problems.
d. Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies – One of my other friends on the faceplace described this as “food porn.” Enough said.
e. Grinch cookies – probably won’t end up making these, but how cute are they!?! I may save this one for Valentine’s Day!
f. Kiflis – OK – another cookie not really new to me. If you grew up anywhere in South Bend, IN, this was a holiday staple. However, I will state that it is a high maintenance cookie – in that they are kind of annoyingly complicated to make.
g. Austrian Chocolate Balls - So, I went to Austria this fall for the first time ever, and they had these little treats called “Snowballs” everywhere – they were round fried doughy things that had different coatings on them. I’m thinking I may need to try these to pretend I’m actually back in Austria, because it was an amazing country!
Now, everything else is optional. I even in the past purchased custom-made T-shirts for the momentous occasion (and if I do say so, get compliments all the time when I wear the T-shirts in public afterword – everyone starts with the questions and it’s quite the conversation starter.)
At the end of the day, you divvy up all types of cookies. I will caution you, that this makes a TON of cookies–when you have 2 or more girls baking and…well…you know…in the kitchen. This is when I play cookie fairy and hand them out to others as gifts – they make GREAT gifts, and people appreciate homemade awesomeness.
Friends, we solve a lot of the world’s problems, have a great time, and ultimately spread a little holiday cheer with our annual B&B. If nothing else, it’s become a tradition that I look forward to each and every year. Time comes and goes, so do friends. But I’m glad I have my Sissy with the particular tradition of B&B every year!
Now, go start your own baking and b*tching, and let’s all have fun out there!!!!