I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit this but I LOVE Hallmark Christmas movies. I started watching them in October and I didn't stop until after the New Year when they finally took them off the air. I don't even know what draws me into these overly romanticized, uber-cheesy movies other than the fact that I find them oddly comforting. I don't ever have to worry about unresolved story lines or characters not finding the love of their life. Within the 2 hour time limit, I feel confident that every impeccably dressed Hallmark actor will find their true love in an impossibly cute little winter town while snow gently blankets the ground.
I can't even begin to add up the number of hours that I've spent standing at my kitchen counter decorating sugar cookies and while listening to Hallmark Christmas movies. The stress of making 200 Grinch cookies with crooked smiles and perfectly hued yellow-green eyes is more than I can take somedays. Hallmark movies have this strange ability to draw me into their unrealistic and unattainable state of euphoria and bring me a sense of peace even while I'm tackling the most difficult cookies.
I'm oddly soothed by these two hour dramas with predictable plots and cheesy pick up lines which makes Hallmark movies the perfect thing to listen to while I decorate cookies. Cookie decorating requires a lot of concentration and long hours of staring down at the counter without looking up. The great thing about Hallmark is that I've watched so many of these movies that I really don't even have to watch them at all. I can listen to the first 10 minutes of a Hallmark movie and predict with almost 100% accuracy which actors will fall in love and what obstacles they will be forced to overcome.
I have never participated in, attended or even heard of a town that's hosted a "winter festival", yet in the Hallmark world, they're as common as homecoming parades. Hallmark uses these perfectly staged winter festivals to create a utopian environment where actors with perfect hair and teeth can discover (or rediscover) their one true love. It's genius really. We can all agree that the gentle snow falling on the ground, the perfectly crafted snowmen and masterfully decorated Christams trees create a more romantic scenario than a smoky, crowded singles bar.
Hallmark would certainly not approve of my blog. My recipes are not romanticized. My pictures are rarely perfect or pretty. I blog realistic recipes that my readers can recreate in their own homes and not unrealiastic, unachievable dishes. I post about my epic baking fails and routinely photograph myself with bad hair and un-maincured nails. Very un-Hallmark like.
As for me, I'll leave the perfection to the Hallmark experts. I'll keep posting my favorite, rudimentary recipes for all of you to enjoy. This Linguini with Clam Sauce is a perfect example of an imperfect recipe for you to try. This pasta dish is DELICIOUS but ... the preparation process is messy and the finished dish is fairly monochromatic which makes for a less than interesting photograph. In spite of the the boring photos and slightly scattered recipe - this dish is a must try.
Linguini with Clam Sauce
Stir in cream and lemon juice.
Add cooked pasta and toss to coat.
Toss with parmesan cheese and parsley and serve.
Have you ever noticed how many Hallmark movies are based on small town bakeries or baking competitions? Perhaps, THAT is what I find most comforting about these movies. Maybe I'm reassured by the fact that even though they often appear to be in jeopardy, small town bakeries never got sold to big corporations. Small business owners always prevail in Hallmark land.
So until next October when they start airing Hallmark Christmas movies again...
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