Somehow, that atmosphere's infected the gift exchange as well, to the point where a quarter of the gifts are literally boxes of junk that were going to be thrown out. This passes for comedy? Come on, people. We're better than this. At the very least, let's make it a gag present that isn't instantly fit for the pit.
That's not to say everyone should copy my sense of humour... but just in case you're wondering, here's my offering for this year:
(A... hot dog kit? Whatever could that be?)
The other half of the party - the potluck - is much more straightforward. For some, it's a reason to fall back on family favourites. For me, it's a chance to get people to eat something that I just invented two hours ago. It's about as heavy as a lump of coal, and not much healthier, but I gave up technical merit in favour of culinary originality a long time ago. The label shall read:
(WARNING: The key word in this title is neither "Christmas" nor "Croquette".)
To begin, I made rice pudding with dried cranberries instead of raisins. Next, I wrapped up each dollop in bread dough and deep-fried them. A dusting with cinnamon and sugar, and they're ready for their close-up...
Mmm, mmm. Is that rice pudding, or uncooked dough in the center? Only the chef knows for sure! (Actually, he doesn't.) I count this one as a partial success. Next year, maybe I'll try making Christmas potstickers out of wonton noodles instead. Now that I know how incredibly easy rice pudding is to make, you'll be hard pressed to stop me.