The comedian spoke to PEOPLE about her favorite holiday eats while partnering with Bloomingdale’s for their annual holiday window unveiling
Don’t trust Amber Ruffin with the collard greens on Christmas.
"Every year I make collard greens. And every year I mess them up. Every single year," she told PEOPLE ahead of her hosting gig at Bloomingdale’s “Best Holiday Ever” themed kickoff event as the store unveiled their holiday window displays.
While the comedian and writer may be a whiz on the stage, Ruffin, 44, certainly isn’t in the kitchen, she says with a laugh.
“Everyone I’ve ever met is a better cook than me — I’m mad at it,” she adds.
However, the frustration never lasts long for the self-proclaimed “Christmas mess,” who says she’s been feeling the holiday spirit ever since Halloween ended. Ruffin doesn't hesitate to immediately “go crazy” on the decorating, which always begins with a decked-out tree.
That mentality extends to every holiday gig she participates in, like her recent role at the Bloomingdale’s event in New York City in November.
Conducted in partnership with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the window unveiling featured a special guest appearance with Jonathan Groff and performances by Broadway legends Norm Lewis and Jessica Vosk.
The anticipated window featured a larger-than-life look inspired by the feel and magic of Willy Wonka, complete with sparkling oversized candies, chocolates and fancy figurines.
“I’m mostly just doing this so that I can see it first,” Ruffin says of the display. “It always is nuts. I spend so much time blocking traffic looking at it, and now I can just look at it with everyone else.”
Just like the Wonka universe’s obsession with candy, the Some Like It Hot writer’s ideal Christmas vision is all about food. As soon as the gifts are handed out to her nieces and nephews, she puts all her attention on a big holiday feast.
It’s usually Thanksgiving food on the table, but with a chicken instead of a turkey. And even though Ruffin knows she’s “not a good cook,” there’s no stopping her from attempting to satisfy her craving for those collard greens.
“I desperately want them,” she says. “I make them, they stink. They taste horrid every time, and I’ll never stop trying.”
Her persistence may be admirable to some, but is especially frustrating for her four siblings, including her book and podcast’s co-collaborator, Lacey Lamar.
“I think my sister’s going to be like, ‘You absolutely stink at all things culinary. You have to sit down,” Ruffin says.
She does trust herself to cut out, frost and bake the “500 sugar cookies,” but fully acknowledges that “they all look like crap.”
“Will anyone eat them? No. Do they do anything? No. Do they help anyone? No,” Ruffin says. “But it’s the tradition of doing it that’s very fun.”
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