Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekend Report: Eastern Market and Christmastime!

It could be the cold weather, or perhaps its all the decorations? But let's be real here, most likely it's the fact that about 90% of my weekend's food consumption consisted of cookies, cookie dough, cookie crumbs, and chocolate. 

This can only mean one thing - it's Christmastime!!! And after a Sunday of Eastern Market, Cookie Exchange, and a Christmas party, I am feeling the Christmas spirit. 

My ideal Sunday afternoon involves sitting on a bench in direct sunlight on a chilly-ish December day, sipping a cup of coffee and nibbling on a cookie while working my way through the crossword puzzle. And that is exactly what I did. Kitty-corner from my sunny bench at the entrance of Eastern Market a saxophonist played Christmas carols, and upwind a grove of Christmas trees smelled awesome

I know most people love Eastern Market in the summer, but I definitely prefer it in the winter. Instead of feeling trickles of sweat drip down my back and needing an iced coffee for both temperature control and hydration, I could calmly peruse the craft tables and actually enjoy the feeling of a hot coffee cup warming my hands when I eventually sat down.

From my extensive people-watching experience I can tell you that people at Eastern Market on a Sunday afternoon fall into 4 categories: 
  1. Small groups of girlfriends meeting up to shop
  2. Couples
  3. Couples with dogs
  4. Couples with children
And there isn’t much variation in clothing. Women wear coats, colorful scarves, and boots. Men are in jeans, fleeces, and hats. Everyone wears sunglasses, and most carry a paper cup from one of the many coffee shops in the area. 

I saw a surprising number of people with timing tags from the race I was supposed to run attached to their shoes. (I made the "smart" call Saturday night not to run…but I’m still a little bummed about this situation.) 

The crossword puzzle beat me at about the same time the sun left my bench. And the saxophonist had apparently come to the end of his repertoire – I’m pretty sure I heard "Away in a Manger" more than twice…so around 2:30 I finished the last of my coffee and headed home.

Retrospectively, I probably shouldn’t have eaten the cookie with my coffee, since my next Sunday activity was a Christmas Cookie Exchange with my three best friends. And we take our cookies seriously

We exchanged (and ate) chocolate crinkles, gingerbread with almond frosting and coconut, apricot walnut bars, s’mores chocolate chip cookies, mocha coconut fudge, and oatmeal lace cookies. (I'll post recipes over the next couple weeks.)

After that late-afternoon sugar coma, my Christmas celebrations continued. Four of my roommates are soon to move out, so we planned a house Christmas dinner party complete with a gift exchange, tree to trim, and sugar cookies to decorate. 

(I know, I should probably quit my day job and become a cookie artist...right???)

And here's an update from the Gchats this name attribution, but YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! 

8:46 AM 
I ate two gingerbread cookies last night when I got home.
I left all of the baked goods in my freezer, thank God, or else I'd have eaten them all!
At one point last night my internal dialogue went something like this-
"Well you could take the gingerbread out of the freezer but then it would be frozen and you don't have a microwave. but i guess you could put it in a saute pan, that might be weird, but it would work. Okay, put it in a saute pan. No, don't do it..."
And so on and so on.
I ended up not sauteing the cookie...and somehow, that is counted as a victory...NOT sauteeing a gingerbread cookie

This is what we've come to. 

Hope you had a happy holiday weekend!