Nattering away like a pair of magpies, Dolly and I spent the day in the kitchen. Poor thing, she didn't have a choice. A couple of days ago I'd made the dough for what I thought would be gingerbread pig cookies (okay, they were supposed to be gingerbread men). It took forever to get the dough rolled, cut out, and baked. The recipe made dozens and dozens of piggies. They smell wonderful, redolent of cinnamon and cloves, and they're really cute...but they are inedible. I did wonder as I'd read the recipe why it said to poke holes for ribbons. All afternoon was spent making a drove of scented pig ornaments to hang on the tree. Oh, well...we were going to be talking all day anyhow and the kitchen is as good a place as any.
The next kitchen project was to make butternut squash ravioli. Uh huh. I should have stuck with the tried and true recipe for pasta, but did I? No. The squash was caramelized in the oven, the onions were sauteed in the pan. The pasta dough had been resting in the refrigerator, but when it came time to roll it out, it did not hold together. Quick! What's Plan B? The risotto turned out perfectly and saved my culinary reputation.
Talking is dry work. Doll had brought the makings for a frothy, rich blender Irish Creme. It certainly took the sting out of my two failures.
There is such comfort to be had in the company of an old friend. Shared experience gives our conversation a richness; just a few words bring a flood of memories, laughter or tears. We speak in a kind of shorthand that would have a listener shaking their head. Dolly's visit is an early Christmas present for me.
Now what am I going to do with all those pigs?