Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Boys and Boats and Cookies

I hosted the book club this month and demanded it be a cookie swap. I love Christmas cookies. I can hardly eat them but man, I love them.  They are the perfect embodiment of everything I love about Christmas: the nostalgia, the jam, swirls, interesting flavors. They're so crazy festive. I love it.

The book we read for it was The Boys in the Boat + even more title, about the 1936 Olympic rowing team who, against many odds, took gold and shoved it in Hitler's face.  The book was  almost 500 pages long and I started it about a week before and had to blaze through.  It always takes me a little bit to get into a new book but as soon as I do, if it's good, I looove a good reading blitz where I fill all free time racing against the clock to get it done.  And this book was excellent.  The historical context, the detail of the specific time period-- the depression, prohibition, post-great war, pre-new war, the political climate and then ignorance of Hitler's plans.  So fascinating.  And not to mention the in-depth detail of the magic of rowing. I've always had crew dreams and this book gave me greater insight into why, exactly.  There's something amazing about the giving oneself entirely to the crew, the rhythm and cooperation, the balance of all the personalities and strengths and weaknesses of the teammates.  The add the coxswain, the small person who sits up front and shouts instruction. The stroke, who sits up front and sets the pace, guided by the coxswain. I love it all! It was fantastic, an emotional read, and I was so freaking inspired. I felt like I really got to know all the boys who came from mostly rough backgrounds, struggling in every way, and how rowing comes into play for them in their lives, what they bring to it and what it does for them. Yay.  Go read it today.

And then make these cookies and bask in Christmas jammy joy while you read:


I have always wanted to make linzer cookies and I finally did.  They were a bit of a pain but completely worth it.  Plus I made my OWN JAM out of BERRIES I PICKED THIS SUMMER--WHAAAT.  Stop. I know. But man they were light as lemony air and the jammy centers are my everything.
Also special thanks to the powdered sugar negatives. Again: yay.

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