5/2 split: Baby, it’s cold outside!


I am a bit of an anomaly in my devotion to Phoenix’s 115-degree summers, but I’ll admit I’m also kind of excited that it’s finally cooling down. (Granted, that’s all relative; our highs are still in the 70s. But when you’re acclimated to something 40 degrees higher than that, 70 can be a bit nippy — especially after the sun goes down.)

Five things I’m looking forward to, in the cooler weather:

recipes1. Turning on the oven. Now, “adding more heat to the house” isn’t something we bend over backwards to avoid. Pretty much the only productive thing I did all weekend is decimate a stack of food publications, culling out only the recipes that I would be interested in making. This is what our dining room table looks like right now: sheets ripped out from Gourmet (R.I.P.), Everyday Food, Bon Appétit and other magazines; intact issues of Cook’s Illustrated (I keep those); some books. That reporter’s notebook at top center lists the groceries I’d need to create a week’s worth of meals.  I’m currently ripping apart an issue of Donna Hay magazine that has Bundt cake recipes, including one for a whiskey caramel cake. It also featured the photo at top, of a cake baked in a cathedral pan. I am in baker’s love; after staring at the photo for months, I broke down and ordered the pan today.

fossilcoat2. This coat. I know there are like a billion peacoats out there — I think even the nearby Army-Navy surplus store where I bought my Halloween costume one year stocks them. Here’s the cycle:

  • I see this coat.
  • I covet this coat.
  • I tell myself, “You don’t need this coat. It never gets cold enough here to wear this coat.”
  • “But I want this coat,” I reply. “And it looks so cool. I would look good in this coat.”
  • Back and forth awhile — need vs. want, cost vs. savings, coats already owned yet rarely worn, etc.
  • I fantasize about moving to New York or San Francisco, where this coat would make more sense. “Maybe I could even wear it with a scarf,” I muse.
  • I do not buy this coat.
  • I see someone else wearing this coat. I become unnaturally angry.

I still don’t think I’m going to buy this coat, which I saw in a Fossil catalog. It helps that it looks boxier on the model here.

abershirt3. Long-sleeved T-shirts. Layered or on their own. With jeans or track pants. Thermals or heavy cotton. Love them, love them, love them. Would this “Meadowbrook” shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch cost $58 in my ideal world? Of course not. Would I be wearing it anyway? Yes. Yes, I would. Although someone my age should really be at Ruehl instead. Maybe this shirt would do. (Also: sweaters!)

4. Things that smell like Christmas trees. Pine, juniper, fir, all of ’em. Now that I have an artificial tree, the onus is on the accessories to bring the scent of the holidays. Last year I spent a weekend tracking down candles (my favorite, strongest-scented ones came from Bath & Body Works) and the folks at Method had Frosted Fir hand wash. (Sadly, it is not among this year’s offerings, but they do have a cool reusable tin ornament filled with potpourri.) This year, it looks like I’ll be headed to Williams-Sonoma for its Winter Forest products, including dish soap.

blanketoflead5. “The blanket of lead.” When it gets cold enough, I bring out the quilt my mom made many years ago. (How long ago? When she asked what the backside pattern should be, I selected a print with zoo animals. Enough said.) It’s big enough to cover a queen-size bed, and one entire side of it is nothing but denim. Its nickname comes from its weighty heft; when you are tucked underneath it, it reminds me of the lead blanket they put on your chest at the dentist’s office when they take X-rays. Usually it stays folded to about one-eighth its actual length, tucked out of sight under the duvet cover, so you can dig your feet under it. (When paired with a heated mattress pad, the effect is even more delicious.) However, on sick days or times when you are just sprawled out on the couch like a slug, watching TV, it makes an incredible cocoon, too. (Several of my friends still get moony over their time wrapped up in this blanket while curled up on my old “hangover couch.”)

santaAnd two things I am not looking forward to:

1. Cold mornings and a warm bed make the prospect of rising and shining seem like a cruel punishment, not part of a productive daily routine.
2. The holiday blitz — Mandatory appearances at holiday parties, Santas around every corner, carols in November, the desperate machinations for a plan on New Year’s Eve. (One of my favorites was spent up in Sedona with my ex and two friends. My other favorites were spent … asleep.)

WHAT SAM WORE: 11-16-09
I declare this “crewneck sweater week.” Dress accordingly.
The shirt: Long-sleeved cotton crewneck sweater from Banana Republic.
The pants: Cotton khakis from Banana Republic.
The shoes: Suede sneakers from … Banana Republic.
The scent: Original Musk eau de toilette by Kiehl’s

One response to “5/2 split: Baby, it’s cold outside!

  1. For those of you readers unable to actually taste this fabulous holiday treat, it was incredible. I am totally not a sweet food person…but Sam brought it in to work today and I could smell the caramel sauce from a mile away. Decadent. Delicious.

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