As I sit in the Billings Airport, having consumed all of the holiday gift baskets that I am going to consume, I am ready and pleased to announce the winners (and LOSERS!) of this year's holiday gift basket round up. The winner was a surprise entry from Mrs. E, who doesn't usually give us a gift basket (she gives us actual presents, so the gift basket when we get it is just icing on the cake). This bad boy included some amazingly sophisticated cookies-- my particular favorites were the almond candy canes and the nutmeg logs (which already had a nice, spicy, christmasey taste but then were FROSTED). What pushed her over into the winner's circle though were the meat pasties she stacked on top of the tin of cookies. She makes them with an amazing home made cream cheese dough, and they are nice and hearty and salty and good to eat at any time of the day! I can seriously eat them for any meal! I enjoyed them cold from the plastic bag in the fridge, warmed up, dipped in chili, or ketchup. Congratulations, Mrs. E!
Honorable mention goes to last year's winner, Badass uncle, who did come through with an amazing assortment of fudge, refrigerator cookies and (critically) chili, but I'm wary that if he wins every year the entire procedure of the gift basket roundup will become a formality ending with him and his stampedin' sarpy creek chili on top! And what would we do without the suspense of the gift basket roundup to sustain us over the holidays!
This year's loser, both in gift basket sending and more generally at life, is my LSD flashback uncle, who was one of the many people who had the bright idea to send pears to montana in december. LSD uncle's pears froze and then thawed by the time we got them, so they were a nice appetizing black color when we opened the box! The box also included half an ounce of gourmet mustard, and some terrifying orange cheese product and equally terrifying smoked sausage log product. Though LSD uncle was not the only person to send us (frozen) fruit, he was the only FAMILY MEMBER, and he actually sent us about half as much as the other equally deluded people who sent fruit to montana in december. LSD uncle made a much better showing last year (I still remember the all butter gallettes from THAT gift basket), so I encourage him to learn from this disappointing finish and try again next year! I know he is capable of better! Repeat after me: let's not send items that become inedible when they freeze to a place with a mean december temperature of about 8 degrees!
Until next year, I wish you all year-round multi-purpose gift baskets with no frozen black fruit in them!