Hoarfrost

December 26, 2009

Woke up yesterday to the most astonishing vision: Every tree was etched in a filigree of frost, delicate lines of white outlining every limb, every leaf. I’ve never seen anything like it before; up close it was as if some giant creature had waved a wand and flocked each tree with snow.

Nick and I went walking through the woods, following deer trails and looking around like two wide-eyed little children. The soft snow crunched deliciously beneath our feet. We came in breathless, red-cheeked, happy, built a fire and began to cook.

Does anything smell better than a really good prime rib, slowly roasting? It’s such a sensual smell, and as it began to fill up the house I iced a cake in billows of 7 minute frosting that looked just like snow, dusted it with freshly grated coconut, and began to braise celery root and apples.

A dozen of us sat down to dinner. Another year has passed, and we’re still together. We toasted the season and each other. It all felt very Dickens as we tucked into rare roast beef, baked potatoes, green beans with shallots, celery root puree and big puffs of Yorkshire pudding. I wonder if Tiny Tim ever tasted coconut cake?

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