I’m not a huge fan of many traditions. As you know, my fab 13, I dig change and the future. I’m not one to be stuck in the past.
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!!!!