All kinds of sweet holiday events coming up:
Sat, Dec. 2, 10am-6 pm; Sun, Dec. 3, 11 am- 5 pm. Small Press Book Fair, at the Small Press Center, 20 W. 44th St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves in Manhattan).
Mon., Dec. 4, 7 pm. My pal and fellow Brooklyn author/blogger Ayun Halliday will be doing a reading/cookie swap at Bluestockings on the Lower East Side, in the company of Anna Lappe, author of the recent Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen. Bring yourself and a plate of your fave holiday cookies, munch away, and then swap your extras for a bunch of other people's cookies.
Tues., Dec. 5, 6 pm. The first annual Brooklyn Bridge Park tree lighting. They're promising (hopefully free) Jacques Torres hot chocolate, music from Bargemusic, lighting installations by local artists, and all the sparkle you can handle. At Brooklyn Bridge Park, Main Street Entrance, in Dumbo.
Sat., Dec. 9, noon to 9 pm. And since you're down with shopping local, you can go super-local and spread your wealth with the hip chicks of Bust Mag, who are sponsoring a CRAFTACULAR of local artisans--meaning everything from felt purses sewn in Bed-Stuy to chocolate truffles made in Greenpoint will be on sale to stuff your stockings.
And just in case you bought too many bags of cranberries last week, here's a tasty morning cranberry bread. Right now one of these is en route to Afghanistan, hopefully surviving the week-long trip. Meaning, it keeps well, even just sitting wrapped up in wax paper in your kitchen.
Cranberry Orange Bread (adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook)
2 cups flour (can use whole-wheat pastry flour, if you're so inclined)
1/2 cup sugar
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Sift together in a big bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in:
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup orange or tangerine juice
grated rind of 1 orange or tangerine
4 TB butter, melted
Stir gently until just mixed. Then stir in:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted if you have the time
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
Spread into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool. Serve sliced and toasted with butter.