“I fell into a burning ring of fire, I went down, down, down and the flames went higher, And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire, The ring of fire”…that was my Fourth of July…not that I slipped into some relationship of unrequited love like poor Johnny, but just because it was seriously THAT HOT: Burning ring of fire hot, never stop sweating from 8:00 A.M. to Midnight hot, instant melting popscicle hot, the air with the thickness of lava hot, straightened hair instantly transformed into lion frizz-mane hot…but despite all of that, I had a pretty perfect day because all of my favorite people were within eyesight and earshot and I will never grow tired of BBQ and sparklers, stained asphalt feet and too much watermelon, firecrackers, fans, and California summer. There’s something profoundly nostalgic about the Fourth of July, and I hope it never changes.
When Louisa May Alcott wrote the character of Mrs. March (or, “Marmee”) for her novel Little Women, Alcott succeeded in creating arguably one of the most beloved mother caricatures in literary history. Besides being kind, loving, and the stalwart supporter of her four daughters, Marmee also has endless monologues teaching her girls the importance of education, independence, and equality for women, in a time where those things were nothing to aspire to for “well-brought up” ladies. Marmee exuded love and devotion to her husband and family, standing as the heart of one of the coziest, most adorable family portraits ever put to paper. The March family life was simple and rustic yet in its quaint raw-ness, it was overwhelmingly beautiful, for Alcott wrote a story of what family life should be, what motherhood is, and what all girls can be. I think if Mrs. March pinned, her boards would be something to see.
With everything and everyone this time of year telling you what to wear, what to buy, what to cook, what to gift, and what the perfect holiday looks like, it seems like more people are trying to perhaps get back to what the holidays really mean and do things a little simpler this year. So, this Thanksgiving, instead of posting about what your Thanksgiving spread should taste like, what your centerpiece should look like, and what your outfit should be, I thought I would share How to Cook the Perfect Day.
When I graduated from college, this girl:
Gave me this book:
How to Cook the Perfect Day, written and illustrated by Nikki McClure, publ. by Sasquatch Books, 2010
It’s not exactly meant for Thanksgiving, but it is the perfect combination of adorable, paper-cut illustrations done by the fantastically talented Nikki McClure, earthy recipes, and a little reminder that the experience of cooking and sharing with loved ones is more than half the fun of the day.
The little book is such fun. It’s almost child-like in its simplicity, something I think most people are actually searching for come each holiday season. So, if you’re looking for a simple day, here’s a few essential tips if you want to learn How to Cook the Perfect (Thanksgiving!) Day:
1.) If you’re baking some rolls,
make sure to let them “cool if you
can stand the wait.”
2.) If you’re making a hot beverage,
some apple cider, or some Morrocan
Mint Tea perhaps, “sip for hours
enjoying at least three glassfuls.”
3.) Dessert is a must, and if you’re
making the traditional pies, don’t
forget to let them cool “on the porch
but not on the sill of a second story window.”
4.) And my personal favorite could apply
to almost anything you’re making,
but most definitely applies to the
“Midnight Morning Biscuit.”
If you make them, then you must
“eat at least one biscuit immediately.”
Tomorrow I’m promising to share tips for making some super-easy mini-pies. I’m pretty sure they could help you cook the perfect day and, honestly, they are the simplest, yet most delicious dessert. You will definitely have to eat one immediately.