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All I Want For Christmas | Manolo for the Big Girl

All I Want For Christmas

A Special Scarf

A few weeks ago I wrote about my totally healthy and in no way worrisome or restraining order-worthy obsession with “The Special One” Real Madrid manager and total silver fox Jose Mourinho and the puppet satire SpecialOneTV he inspired. I bemoaned my inability to find a Jose Mourinho bobblehead doll. Well, I found one, but it doesn’t have the Special Scarf. and what is a Special One doll without a Special Scarf? Nothing! I’m hoping one of my knitting friends will recreate for me a charcoal gray Armani wool muffler that would fit Jose. That’s healthy, right?

Candied Grapefruit Peel

Back in the heady days of 2008 a young Miss Plumcake very nearly got herself all married up to a French chef. Thankfully I received a stay of execution (although Andre was and shall remain a lambkins) but I still find myself yearning for his candied grapefruit peel. Working at a restaurant, plus the whole being-French thing means that he often rolled out of bed at the crack of noon and didn’t eat much in the way of breakfast. He kept a glass dome of little nibbly things on the kitchen counter. A few madeleines, a miniature palmier or two and several little stacks of candied grapefruit peel he made weekly. There is something about the almost mentholated coolness of the grapefruit oil with the crunch of the sugar and the chew of the peel. I’ve never been able to get them just right at home, so if you’ve got a tried and true recipe that will rival my Frenchman’s, put it in the comments!

Xabi Alonso

I don’t really need to explain this one, do I?

A Waffle with Scotch on It:

It’s a waffle. With Scotch on it. It’s like peanut butter and chocolate or rich old guys and Texas strippers. Some things just go together. First you take a proper waffle –I’m not talking Eggo or something made from a mix– and while your waffle is getting all gorgeous and golden brown, you melt some butter and a decent pinch of salt. When your waffle is ready, pour a respectable quantity of melted butter all over it. Then pour an equally respectable portion of your favorite Speyside single malt Scotch. I use a 10 year-old Macallan. Top off with just a drizzle of hot maple syrup (the real deal, of course) and if you’re feeling ambitious, some toasted pecans. I have this once a year, usually around this time and it never does me wrong. The butter/salt/Scotch/syrup treatment is also delightful on pancakes and steel-cut oats.

A Suitcase and a Satchel from Saddleback Leather Company

I don’t want to overstate it, especially since the Angel of Death has clearly rented a condo in my familial zipcode as of late, but I might actually D.I.E. DIE if I don’t get my covetous little mitts on a piece of Saddleback luggage. It’s possible I’ve revealed this about myself before, but I’ve got a Rugged Individualist streak as long as the Pecos and twice as wide so deliciously rugged objets like this, which appeal both to my aesthete (gorgeous leather, beautiful construction, elegant classical lines) and my inner John Wayne (boot leather, 100 year warranty, no breakable parts) get my motor running in no small way. Plus it gets better looking the more you kick it around.

So what are YOU hoping to find in an bearded guy’s sack? Put it in the comments!

7 Responses to “All I Want For Christmas”

  1. Denise December 24, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    I’m not near my kitchen at the moment, so this is from memory, but here goes: candied grapefruit peel. Two grapefruit in quarters, then gently remove peel. Slice diagonally. Place peel in a very large stockpot with a large amount of COLD water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Drain and REPEAT FOUR TIMES. I know, it’s a huge pain, but I think it’s the secret, I really do.

    Then in a large, wide, shallow skillet (again, I think this important for the cooking and evaporation factors) mix one cup of sugar and one-half cup of water, stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil. Add the peel and cook for about ten minutes till most of the syrup has been absorbed by the peel. DO NOT COOK too long, or all will be lost! Watch it like a hawk and then dump in over a lightly oiled rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to catch the mess.

    I’ve found this needs to set out at least a day. Roll in sugar, superfine or not, when still slightly tacky. I always tell myself I’m going to dip them in bittersweet chocolate, but I never get around to it because I’m so glad I’m finally done with them!

    Sorry about the capitals; just wanted to communicate as clearly as I could.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Klee December 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Re:Xabi. Oh my. I’d like one of those please.

  3. The gold digger December 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    The jaunty scarf! We noticed an abundance of men wearing jaunty scarves when we were in Paris! I am trying to convince my husband to wear a jaunty scarf but he does not think any kind of scarf is warranted in a Wisconsin winter.

  4. The Bonvivant December 25, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    I love the scotch & waffles idea, and will try it out soon, perhaps with a side of fried chicken, a la Roscoe’s.

    Also good with scotch: S’mores.

  5. Erik Nabler December 27, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    The Bonvivant is totally correct. We have to recommend The Glenrothes, but you are very perspicacious with your Speyside comment.

  6. SarahDances December 27, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    My understanding about candied grapefruit peel is that the one big thing is to be sure to remove the pith if you want anything even remotely edible.

  7. Lisa from SoCal December 27, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    Denise is 100 percent right on with the recipe. One addendum: they become untacky oddly fast, so pay attention and don’t get too preoccupied with something else too soon. But don’t roll too quickly or the sugar dissolves. I like Sugar in the Raw for these.

    I hope you get your pretty luggage, Plummy!! I don’t have a rugged side at all, but I think it is very fabulously special.

    You get to an age and a wealth level (both are needed, I think) where you just don’t need or want much. I think I may be there this year. I love to buy presents for other people, but short of food or flowers that go away, I just don’t care for much for myself. Don’t have room, don’t have time anymore. If I want something, I go get it myself. I’d sure like people make good on that “eliminating Alzheimer’s in 10 years” goal–talk about a disease that really needs to go away; I’d like to make it through another year. I’d like to get over my writer’s block. Meh. Perhaps it’s the opposite of what I thought: I want too much perhaps…best to go with a new chess set!