by Liz Crowe
Once upon a time:
I baked cookies for the holidays. Actually I would embark upon massive, amphibious-landing-style baking projects. Shopping lists would be coordinated and cross-checked with old and new recipes, sweet and savory were carefully contrasted and coordinated. Entire days were planned around how many edibles could be produced, stored and/or readied for gifting. Adorable receptacles for yummies were procured, set up and filled, assembly line style. Platters were decorated and arranged.
The pinnacle and ultimately the high water mark for this massive, stress-producing endeavor occurred in Billericay, Essex, England, Christmas season 2003. The Crowe clan was on its third country and yours truly was nearly cross-eyed with trailing-spouse syndrome. That unenviable condition wherein you start to doubt your place in the universe for anything other than keeper of crucial travel documents and ironer of school uniforms. It is a real malady, trust me. There is only so much one can absorb of being a foreigner 24/7.
So me mum had arrived for a couple of weeks, made the honestly innocent comment: you haven’t started your usual holiday baking projects. And I went spinning out of control in a 48-hour frenzy of production--and unhappiness. You see, I hate cooking, and baking. I love food, mind you and my ultimate NYT Best selling author rich bitch luxury shall be in this order:
2. Laundry man
3. Pool boy
4. personal trainer who can’t keep his large ... hands off me.
But that year, I was determined to go over the top. I had something to prove. To this day I don’t know what it was, but I remember the breathless desperation that drove me to pull an all-nighter in order to produce 27 beautiful, Martha Stewart would claw her eyes out with envy teensy gift bags of home made goodness for my spouse’s employees.
It was nauseating, and ultimately liberating when the man himself waltzed in the door from what would turn out to be his LAST trip “back to Turkey” which became a euphemism in my brain for “Local girl on the make nearly dies from stilleto in her eye as successful auto exec cowers in terror” and said to me: Gee “Honey, these bags are sort of ... small.”
Once we got past that extremely tough Christmas--the one where I learned that no matter how much frigging chocolate you sling around the kitchen it can’t save a slipping marriage, I was free. Free of the need to prove anything by being miserable standing at the stove.
Now, we hit December and my spouse starts saying things like “let’s go out to dinner” a lot. Because he knows how I get. I get mental hives anywhere near an oven, start shaking like I’ve got the DT’s, and am compelled to throw things at his head. So, we go out to dinner. A lot.
Happy Christmas to You! If you get anything edible from me, I assure you it shall be “store bought” and perfect.
I’ve got a lovely trilogy of 1NightStand heat and heart available from Decadent Publishing. Turkish Delights, Blue Cruise and Tulip Princess tell the story of the Deniz family, their lives, loves and losses. The prequel, The Diplomat’s Daughter, will be released in 2012.
And on December 30, be sure and catch my hot soccer star story, Caught Offside, another in the popular 1NightStand series.
Ramon Castillo, world famous soccer player and international playboy has suffered a career-ending injury. After the humiliation of a shattered knee and shin at the World Cup final he has spent year in surgeries and painful therapies, the last three months of which are at the Castillo resort in Las Vegas under the watchful eye of his cousin, Jackson.
Gillian Winter, catering and wedding manager for the MGM Grand Hotel is nurturing her own deep wounds. Her beloved husband has died unexpectedly, leaving her with a young son whose one dream is to meet his hero--Number 17--Ramon Castillo. When a chance encounter in the lobby of the MGM reveals Ramon's presence in their midst, everyone's lives are changed forever. Is healing possible for Ramon and Gillian after just one night?
**Leave a comment for a chance to win a $20 gift card to Zingerman's Family of Businesses, an Ann Arbor, Michigan based, internationally known business with a deli (been on Oprah), bake house, road house restaurant, coffee shop and mail order company**
Liz blogs at: www.brewingpassion.com