December 03, 2007

Catalogs of Christmas Goodies

I threw out a catalog from a famous store with sites in New York and California. Evidently they embed a little chip that signals from the garbage truck, because another came immediately in the mail, full of holiday delicacies so tempting to someone whose holiday treat runs to Nabisco Gingerbread Graham Crackers.
They have a pound of marshmallows for $12.50, not to be confused with the 10.8 size for $18.50 that are for the couverture bittersweet hot chocolate mix for $19.50 which doesn't include milk.

I got past the candy by remembering the Adams Family visit when I took three of Alease's homemade candies because they looked so good and it was so hard to choose. Then she said, "Oh, you have to try Alice's, too," and I had to take three more so as not to hurt Alice's feelings.

The cakes are an adventure into food language fantasy: spumoni gelato, tiramisu, dulce de leche, buche de Noel; almond gateau, petis fours, macarons, panettone. I did see a little garnish that I could do: crushed peppermint candy around a gelato truffle.
I can crush peppermint, not make a truffle, I mean.

Oh, the pates. Ah, the fruit. On to the hors d'oeuvres. Empanadas and tamales could be the undoing of me. Moving on through smoked salmon and caviar, I thought of the time at work when I mentioned eating potted meat as a snack at home the night before, and the unit secretary said, "I didn't know white people ate potted meat!" I asked, "What did you think they ate?" She said, "Caviar." Fish eggs, hog offal -- does it really matter which?

The hype for a cocktail shaker almost persuaded me: "Sophisticated cocktails deserve nothing less than this iconic 1920s style shaker. It's fashioned of polished nickel-plated brass in a classic shape.... I was brought sharply back to reality when I remembered we don't drink cocktails.

I paged past the wine racks and fell head-long into the cheese. 'Discovering artisanal cheese,' it said. Artisanal means handmade by artisans, apparently. I always wonder about their quality control measures. I managed to get past the beef as well.

Sliding into the non-food areas, I was impressed by how many items to which I could say, already have one or similar except for the mandolines. Why one should need a mandoline when there's a food processor puzzles me.

Already have a Le Creuset saucepan, now sadly out of style, white color, no longer chic or in stock and heavy for a ceramic top range.

Scattered throughout the catalog are recipes to accompany things like hundred-dollar french fry cutters that would require its own separate closet to store. The french fries are to accompany the ham and pear panini. Hey! I have a panini press. Hey! I have a sandwich grill for making the stuffed sandwiches on the next page, full of mozarella, pepperoni and tomato sauce, all of which we have on hand.

The tableware section almost did me in. I always want more dishes, until I remember there's not room for the plates we have now. I need 8 forks to match the spoons and knives I bought at a terrific price last year, only to learn they were discontinued and no forks are available. Now I have to find almost-matching forks, which I don't really need, either.

Nor do I need the La Cornue CornuFe range for eight thousand dollars, which is too wide to fit my little space, but "From the esteemed elegance of the (LCC) range to time honored cookware and appliances, the selections on these pages artfully represent the creme de la creme of the culinary world," made me feel I had a right or is it a duty, to shop these pages.

On through the expresso makers, linens and fresh greenery. What a day!

1 comment:

kenju said...

Well, there's one consolation. It doesn't cost money or calories to look at their catalog!!

I have to make one small correction about the tree photo. I did not decorate the whole tree. I only made the bows for it. There were 4-5 volunteers doing the decorating, and a girl scout troop made the animal decorations. I suppose it doesn't make too much difference, but I'd hate for someone to think I was taking credit for work I didn't do....LOL

I Blog Here & Here too