All my life I’ve loved Dolly Parton. It began with her incredible, stand out style and music… held strong though the 80s/90s, Dora Lee in 9 to 5, Steel Magnolias and I continued to idolize her by playing her records through the last decade with my friends in LA who also love her, and I thought?! this love hit its zenith about a year ago during my musical tour through the South on a visit to Dollywood.
Then I had a Dolly MOMENT.
It began last year while making a ton of Christmas cookies ….and I was on sugar cookies detail (and on a sugar high and into wine.) As I started icing the angels I thought, I’d like a tiny bit of icing to cookie ratio, so the lovely shape and flavor shines. So I gave them boobs. Lots of folks have preferential treatment to words for knockers, but boobs is universal, tho I think titties is also quite acceptable tho some do find it offensive. I digress.
So I made this um, well appointed angel chorus… and they were delicate yet powerful, noticed by those who notice off-beat humor, and were well appreciated by this humor. Just like me.
This year, my friend Daniel of ColourStudios | Facebook invited me to participate and promoted a holiday event in Tulsa for adults; holiday shopping with live entertainment in the form of burlesque! He does a wildly popular erotic art event annually titled: "Nude" which brings upwards of two thousand folks. It’s an institution in Tulsa with a loyal, funky, artsy following. I have yet to participate in the event because A) even tho it’s cool I didn’t want it to be the first thing Google brought up for me after leaving Extreme Makeover: Home Edition B) it’s always our birthday weekend and C) Daniel gets a little channel 8 craycray (partially loses his mind to his art) that weekend ;).
Travis, my big brother from another mother of Texas Design Shed | Facebook, expertly crafted 5 kinds of fudge, 5 flavors of popcorn, 5 types of truffles, peek-a-boo minature art scenes, and CHOCOLATE CANDIED ROSEMARY BACON for the holiday event (without breaking a dang sweat), casually challenged me to make the Dolly Angels, as we called them at Christmas last year, for the event. I planned to bring vintage home accessories from the shop and so I thought, sure! I’ll make Dolly Angels. And also spicy hot chocolate jars inspired by my mamma; with cayenne pepper and another with butterscotch, as I can’t get enough of butterscotch. My mom helped make two batches of her sugar cookie dough, and I upped the ante by using pink pearl sugar spheres for nipples and added Dutch-pressed cocoa power into the royal icing for angels also with chocolate boobs.
Three days of work later, I bagged, affixed custom labels and had about 200 cookies (as well as same for hot chocolate.) And boy howdy, the cookies were a big hit! I didn’t sell a ton, likely because I gave free samples away left and right as attendance was challenged with all day rain…however the smiles, looks, giggles, elbow-elbow nudges between friends/lovers, and loud feedback of how fun and delicious the cookies were was honestly was better than selling out. My culinary creativity was called upon, brought, executed, appreciated and well eaten! That’s all anyone who has cooking or baking in their soul could hope for. And I reaffirmed my intense awe of friends who are full time chefs, culinary producers and/or food stylists. Y’all are intensely gifted.
PART 2! We got back from Tulsa late Sunday, and Monday I headed to Austin so see my be fri Jennifer, who was there for work for the week sans husband or kids. Getting a dinner to ourselves is a Christmas present in itself, and I’d make a 3.5 hour drive from Chandler to do that any chance I get. We’ve been friends since we were 8 years old. You have to work just as hard for that length of friendship as you would in a marriage... to pay homage, nurture and love each other over 30+ years. Over sushi when possible!
On my way down to Austin Monday, I called my friend (and EM:HE colleague) Kim who I had promised to try to see for lunch before heading back Tuesday. Turns out she had meetings, but would I like to join her and two other ladies for Dolly Parton Tuesday night? WOULD I LIKE TO JOIN FOR DOLLY PARTON AND POTENTIALLY A MEET AND GREET WITH DOLLY HERSELF? HECK, YES! And by the way, Kim, I have a trunk full of Dolly Angel cookies, would you like me to bring some by for your tree decorating party tonight? And I did, and we stayed up way too late with good company, food, fire and conversation. And of course, Dolly Angel sugar cookies.
We did get to meet Dolly, as Kim’s friend who gave us the tickets happened to be Dolly’s costumer and the handsome cowboy setting up between songs, handsomely ferrying her 7+ instruments to and fro. I am a SUPERFAN of music. Anyone who knows me, knows I go to shows every chance I get, am usually playing Tiny Desk concerts weekly, if I am able music plays in background and sing to myself constantly as a mood booster.
The Dolly concert was my favorite show of all time, and my fav moment was her belting out Yakky Yak, the Benny Hill theme music, on her appropriately custom sized, blinged out saxophone TWICE, the second she turned around backwards scooting her tush in perfectly hilarious Benny Hill time.
My second fav moment was meeting before the show! and breathily sweaking to Dolly: “I think you are fabulous!!!” with a trio of angel cookies in my faux fur leopard coat pocket. Because tho I soooo wanted her to see her likeness in sugar form, it just wasn’t an appropriate time to whip them out. I have been around numerous celebs on Extreme Makeover, and I never asked for photos as I felt like they were just people like us, trying to do their job. Somewhere between giving those famous folks space and making these cookies, I got to meet (with photographic evidence) a lifelong hero of mine, Dolly Parton. A karmic gift from the universe perhaps for loving her so dang much. She is a literally a beacon of light in all of my photos from the show. Ooooooohhhh the sparkle and wit! Gold hearted goddess. Musical genius. Truth bringer. Wise sage. Eternal friend. Hysterical storyteller. Fairy godmother. Forever my favorite muse.
So now, the Dolly Angel sugar cookies will be made EVERY Christmas in her honor. Thank you, the fabulous Kim Lewis and (her gracious friend Steve) for making my hard Candy Christmas dreams come true.
And P.S. congrats Kim on all things wonderful Kim, and being recently featured on one of my most read sites: Inhabitat: Tiny Austin home by Kim Lewis - Inhabitat!
PHOTO BY PURE & SIMPLE TOUR PHOTOGRAPHER #pureandsimpletour