A couple weeks ago, Dickson and I were sitting in traffic on our way home from USC, when suddenly he said to me, “Hm, I just figured out your Christmas present.” Every Christmas, the hunt for gifts begins around Thanksgiving. Some people are easy to shop for, some are not. Sometimes, ideas just hit me like a bolt of lightening.
For example. My mom. I knew way back when I posted this post what I was making for my mom. Being the procrastinator I am, I finally finished today! Here’s a sneak peek (more photos to come after Mom opens the gift:
I’m super excited for it.
This year, the toughest gift for me was figuring out what to get Dickson. Usually little things I’ll just pick up for him on no particular occasion, so sadly, I was way out of ideas. But, the little world of handmade and design brought me to the perfect gift. As I was surfing Sew Mama Sew’s Handmade Holiday posts, I stumbled on this pincushion tutorial. This tutorial brought me to How About Orange, the site of Jessica, a graphic designer.
How does that have anything to do with finding Dickson a gift? Well, Dickson is a designer. And designers are picky. So I couldn’t get him something that doesn’t practice good design right? Anyway, on the left side of Jessica’s site was a section of “Designerly Inspirations” links. Perfect. <clicks on all the links>
BAM! I stumble on design*sponge. On this blog, a nifty little post had been posted recently–2007 Gift Guide: For Him. How perfect! Usually, when I see gift guides for men, it’s all this silly crap. This post gave me tons of potentials. And it was here I finally stumbled on Dickson’s to-be gift:
The Perpetual Wall Calendar, by Massimo Vignelli. Vignelli is a print designer…I saw him the documentary Helvetica. Dickson and I went to a screening. I guess the name kinda stuck. This calendar is just black and white and all the numbers (1-31) are printed in Helvetica. And, it’s forever. As in you never need to buy a calendar again. And it’s so simple. You just keep flipping. And, as Dickson put it, “you always know the day and the month…you’re just never sure about the date.”
Obiously by the date on the wall, Dickson got this before the 13th. I gave it to him earlier this month. We’re always late or early w/ Christmas presents. Never on time :-D
This year is actually my first year not being able to see my best friend Miranda.
She moved out to DC in August…for work…meaning, it may be awhile before I can see her again. I can’t remember if I’ve seen her since her graduation. Maybe once or twice. I found some exciting chocolate to mail to her for Christmas though. Yummmm…we do always buy what we want for ourselves haha.
Anyway, having wrapped up my Christmas gifts, we’re doing our usual Christmas Eve gig: cooking. Tonight, we’re having steak and fresh fish (sea trout I think). On the side, my sister and I made our usual mashed potato dish. We’ve been making this for as long as I can remember (at least, for as long as she could actually be useful in the kitchen). So, I figure I’d share the recipe. I can’t remember where we got this recipe…so if I (or someone) ever finds the original source, I’ll be sure to add it.
Makes 8 servings.
9 large potatoes (~5 pounds) peeled and cubed
1/2 pound cream cheese (1 package)
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp onion salt or onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 2 quart casserole dish (I use a 9×13″ pyrex) and set aside.
2) Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes. Cook until tender but still firm. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Mash until smooth.
3) Add cream cheese, sour cream, onion salt/powder, salt, pepper, butter (e.g. add everything else). Beat until light and fluffy.
4) Place into prepared casserole dish and dot with butter.
5) Bake for 30 minutes until heated through.
Here’s some tips from my experience:
1) It really doesn’t matter how much cream cheese/sour cream you use. A little more, a little less, it’s really up to your taste.
2) After you beat everything together…taste it and add what you think is missing.
3) My mom likes to brown the top with the broiler before serving.
4) If you have too much potato, just use an additional dish.
5) I like to cut my butter into 12 pieces (3 cuts one way, 4 cuts the other day) and evenly space it along the pyrex in a 3×4 grid. I found dotting butter randomly in funky pieces made by using your fingers is messy and takes too long.
Merry Christmas Everyone!