So it was important to try to make my Open House feel warm and cozy. I decided to combine a fire (real wood) in the pretty fireplace, and to serve something hot to drink. And maybe cookies.
On my way across town, I stopped at Whole Foods for some organic apple cider, which they had, to spice and heat up on top of the stove. Of course, Whole Foods did not have Styrofoam cups, and their cookies sometimes taste a little weird.
OK, yes, it might have been irresponsible, but I made another stop at Safeway for a fire-starter log, cookies, and environmentally unsound cups.
While I was walking through the bakery section eying the freshly baked cookies, it occurred to me that I could get some refrigerator cookies and bake my own. It would make the house smell nice, and warm cookies and hot cider would help warm up the freezing buyers who were hearty enough to brave the cold and windy weather. And just in case I burned the cookies, I got a box of the fresh baked oatmeal raisin cookies from Safeway as a backup.
Oh! Right! The weather! Who in their right minds would come out on a freezing Sunday? And weren't there two major football games being televised this afternoon?
I arrived at about 12:40 for a one o'clock Open House. I walked in, turned on the oven to 350 degrees. Then I turned the stove front right burner on high, dumped in a half gallon of apple cider, and then added the cloves and cinnamon sticks I brought from home.
And before I could get the cookies into the oven, people started to show up - early! By starting time, six people had already walked through. And I got totally engrossed in two different conversations when I realized the apple cider was boiling over! Yikes! Apple cider all over the impeccably clean stove top! Oh! No! It would smell all burnt! Yikes! Purpose defeated!
I got the pot off the burner and onto a cool one that I turned onto simmer. I got out a sponge and cleaned around the first burner, which I remembered to turn off. Then I took the cookies out of the oven. They were perfect.
Then, I took a deep breath and waited for more people to come. And they did. My head count by four o'clock when I shut down was 40. And right now, I should be emailing about 10 agents who sent buyers instead of blogging.
So if I had to have a breakdown, it's better to have boiling-over spiced apple cider than chocolate chip cookies burnt to a crisp! And after about half an hour of quietly simmering cider, people started to remark on how cozy this house was. And their hands probably felt a lot better after holding a hot cup.
And was the cider and cookies to make the house feel warm and cozy hokey? Yeah. And sometimes being hokey is a good thing.