Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't worry, my spouse will eat it

Take a good luck. What do you notice?

Before you get that IQ test feeling, I'll just tell you: this jar of hot jalapeño peppers does not contain hot jalapeño peppers. It contains cloves of garlic.

I wish I were about to tell you that I had discovered a new, easy trick for pickling garlic, but the truth is that I have never even tasted pickled garlic, much less pickled it myself. No, this is the work of my husband, whose culinary creativities never cease to amaze, and amuse, me. He simply filled the jar, emptied of jalapenos, with cloves of garlic and hoped for the best (the best being pickled garlic, let's not forget).

Here's a closer look at these little savories:

You may notice they are suspended in a green gelatinous brine. So did said husband, when he took them out for inspection a few days ago. I was a little surprised when, following the inspection, the garlic was returned to the fridge. I left them case he wants to eat them?

Not an impossibility, if we are being honest. Let's look at another recent masterpiece:

This bowl contains:
1) sun dried tomato and roasted garlic mashed potatoes, which Ryan deemed gluey and I deemed revolting
2) brown rice
3) very old hummus
4) possibly other gross things
5) hot sauce

It may seem like I am criticizing Ryan for his overwhelming gustatory acceptance. On the contrary, it is to my great advantage. When my forays into vegan cooking produce a repellent, malignant, death flavor...Ryan to the rescue! He will eat the min-e-nast-a-strone! He will eat the undercooked garbanzos! He will eat it here or there, in a house and with a mouse! He will eat it if I refuse to eat it! He may have to add roasted garlic and/or potent hot sauce but, by George, he will eat it!

I will be your hero, baby

Your results:
You are Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
Iron Man
The Flash
You are a beautiful princess
with great strength of character.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

I'm just glad the thing figured out I am female. Between my not having very long hair and my not wearing a push-up bra, I thought I might end up as a male superhero.

On the other hand, the most exciting moment of reading the quiz results was discovering that I was 30% The Hulk.

Thanks to Austin, whose wasting of his time facilitated my wasting mine.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Speaking of Funnies

My lil' brother just posted about one of the funniest moments in my life. Just thought you might like a heads up.

P.S. The gentleman pictured above is not my brother

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Urgent: Please Read

Thankfully, some people know what blogging is all about: sharing the funnies. Thanks to Zillah, whose post about Mr. Fob led me to read many of his thought-and-giggle provoking posts, including this one.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I Have a Confession to Make

I registered. You're invited. If you're interested, read about it here.

I think the state of mind referred to in the bumper sticker is insanity.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Seriously, folks

I am regretful for my years and years of unbridled hyperbole, because I have a little story that will seem like a hyperbole, but, ask Ryan (he doesn't lie like I do), I am being totally for real.

Yesterday at Costco, I saw a giant. A real, live giant.

We were walking toward the produce section when Ryan gasped (uncharacteristically) and whispered an obscenity. Once I saw what he was looking at, I whispered one of my own. There, looming large over a case of living crustaceans, was The Giant. He probably shops at Costco because it's the only store big enough to house him, or perhaps it is because he feels at home among the giant merchandise. Or maybe he just can't get food big enough to feed him elsewhere. At any rate, a genuine estimate is that he was eight and a half feet tall. We determined this by comparing how much taller he was than the crab case with how much taller Ryan was than the crab case, which looked to be two and a half feet in discrepancy. Also, he was shopping with, presumably, his wife, and she was taller than me but at least three feet shorter than him. It was amazing. I desperately wished that my snazzy-yet-dysfunctional camera phone took pictures without making an irritating and giveaway fake shutter sound. Come on, engineers, if you create a loud fake shutter sound, how am I supposed to covertly take pictures of giants? Ryan said that he wished it were acceptable to approach freaky strangers and ask to have your picture taken with them, because he knew nobody would believe us. But they should. It was a real giant.

Incidentally, our cashier that day was a lady who looked to be about 4'10" and 85 pounds. She must have been wearing children's clothing, she was so little. I could not say as conclusively that she was the smallest person I had ever seen (barring LPs) the way I could say that the giant was the largest, but she may well have been and, either way, it set up quite an interesting juxtaposition.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Goodness gracious! Heavens to Betsy!

I will be the first to admit that I am out of it. Whenever I chance to be in a room with a TV on, I can't stop squawking about what kids are wearing these days and why all the female newscasters seem to be wearing miniskirts. Sometimes, I just gasp in horror (like over and over). I like being out of touch; it seems much more appealing to me than the alternative.

I like to think I am still fun, even without video games and sugar cereal. I do my best (read: not very well) to be respectful of others' pop inclinations. But I don't like to be crossed. And when I see some things, well, I just get mad. Good and mad.

When I was fifteen, my high school produced the musical Damn Yankees. The young lady who played Lola came out on stage (I remember it distinctly) wearing a black bustier, a garter belt, thigh high stockings, and stiletto heels. At the time, I was a little surprised. Now, I am downright appalled. What a confusing message to send to the young lady on the stage, as well as all the folks, young and old, male and female, in the audience. The school was academically competitive; we liked our young girls smart. But, as our little friend paraded on stage in her underwear, what other messages were we sending and condoning? What else are girls supposed to be?

Sexy. Expensively so. Lola had procured her 'costume' using our school budget at the Pleasure Place, an upscale sex shop in DC, and tax dollars had paid handsomely for it. We want 'em sexy, and we're willing to pay. One part of the story I find uniquely disturbing, in retrospect, is that, because she was too young to drive, she probably had to get a ride down there with a grown-up. Yikes.

I found this little site online today and, if you have an overactive moral-o-meter, please send a note to the folks in charge. Dollars speak louder than letters, and writing will not end the hypersexualization of girls (among other people). Still, I will write one because, even if nothing changes for anyone else, at least I can feel a small sense of satisfaction.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Another Zinger

Thanks to you, Flood, I may switch to a red-lentils-only diet. Actually, thanks to this amazing recipe you recommended. The good nutrition to good taste ratio is even higher than it was for the yam-rritos. You should make this soup, and quick. You will thank me, Flood, and the New York Times.

In other news, I find myself largely without will to live so, in lieu of doing things people who have a will to live do, I will remain home today, possibly clad in my union suit, reading this amazing book. For those of you who have been known to read cookbooks like novels, may I recommend it. I am borrowing it from Kate and Neil, bless their souls, while they are out of town and I intend to make every recipe in it before they get back on Monday. I have high hopes for this book because last night Kate and Neil had us over for dinner and we sampled four different recipes from the book (Kate and Neil must run on battery packs and stay up all night cooking, because I have no idea how anyone would have time for four new vegan recipes except for me, and I don't even have time for it). The point is, they were all really, really good. Especially the fake sloppy joes (lentils again! can you believe it?). So that's where I'll be, if you need me. Sitting on the couch reading about food i'm too lazy to make and eating clementines, the laziest food of all. Maybe one day I will have you all over and we will have fresh dill-basmati rice with chard and chickpeas, ancho-lentil soup with grilled pineapple, roasted fennel and hazelnut salad with shallot dressing, eggplant-potato moussaka with pine nut cream, and individual heart-shaped apple galettes. But we might just have clementines.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I regret to inform you that I am unwilling to pause in shoveling the remains of the very last burrito into my mouth for long enough to take a picture of it. I don't think they were that photogenic anyways, but they were delicious. And not in a "this ain't bad for something that is aggressively preventing cancer with every bite" kind of way. In a "if I ordered this in a restaurant I would be happy to pay twelve dollars for it, but they better put guacamole on the side" kind of way. So I will tell you about the tastiest thing I have made in awhile (correction: the tastiest thing I would allow you to feed your young children; the peanut butter cookies were perhaps tastier. But not much.).

The secret ingredient? Yams. Don't question me. I know what tastes good. Cinnamon rolls taste good. Cheesecake tastes good. And so do yam burritos. If you'd like to find out for yourself here's the 'recipe' (if you can call it that...I was pretty much winging it):

Take about four or five large yams and either wrap them in foil and bake them forever until they are mashable or cut them up into cubes and boil them until they are mashable. If you have a husband who likes to get frisky with yams and is demonstrating great eagerness to roast them, you may allow him to do so, and you should encourage him to use garlic, olive oil and salt. It will cost you time, but you will be paid with flavor.

When the yams are done and mashed, or at least partially mashed, add one bunch of chopped cilantro, one bunch of chopped green onions, a can of green chilis, a couple cups of black beans (I cooked my own out of parsimony, but the canned ones are admittedly more user-friendly). If the mixture is not yet sticking together enough that you could make a snowball out of it, add some green taco sauce. I used La Victoria and it was good.

When the mixture is nice and smashy, roll it up into whole wheat tortillas. I used twelve soft taco sized tortillas, filled them quite full, and there was almost none leftover. (*A word of caution about the tortillas: even the types promising to be "heart healthy" likely contain trans fat, which is a truly dangerous substance and would render this recipe unfit for your young children. Please read the ingredient list carefully and do not settle for tortillas containing any hydrogenated anything. If you do, don't come crying to me when you have a heart attack at age fifty three.) Place each burrito seam-side down into an oiled 9x13 pyrex baking dish. Each dish should fit six.

I had some leftover green taco sauce, which I poured over the burritos, so they were sort of enchilada-style. I liked the effect, but I like my food saucy. If you like it saucy, I recommend it, but I don't think it was necessary.

I baked them, covered, for like forty minutes, and served them slathered with good salsa. They were great. You should make and eat them. They don't need cheese, in fact, I doubt cheese would improve them at all. Try them!

P.S. Jami, I miss you. Come back from Morocco and feed your littles yam-rritos!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Hero

If I could say it like him I would, but I cant. So here it is. Thank you Michael Pollan. I think I love you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mother!

Fifty two years ago was a big day for these two fine women. The one on the right gave birth to the one on the left. They are my female progenitors, the women from whom I inherited and learned some of my finest traits. I am awfully glad that my grandmother did such a fine job raising my mother, because I am certain that is why my mother was able to do such a fine job raising me.

My mother has a sister, too, another part of my maternal heritage. I think they are just lovely. You may have noticed, these photos were taken at the Cozy; pictures will never do it justice, but had to try.

I digress. Back to my mom.

She loves talking on the phone...

Casting spells...
Laughing at funny jokes...

Making the trash fit into one box...
And opening presents...
(Looks like she really loves opening presents).

But what my mom loves the best of all is her family!Really and truly, I have never known a person to care about their children more than my mother (even when her children dress like overgrown Christmas elves for formal events and post pictures of her on the internet without consent). She has done everything she could think of to make our lives good and, as our lives have been about as good as lives can be, I conclude that she is quite skilled. Charming, capable, earnest, and bright, she's quite a catch. If you knew her, you'd love her, if you know her, you already do. She's a delight. Happy birthday, mom, and thanks for everything. From the looks of things, you did a great job. We love you!

Reason for the Season #5

Hark the scary angels sing!

Perhaps the fondest memories of my childhood Christmases were forged here:

The Cozy. It is truly a marvel. As a kid, the magic of driving out into the country to pick out and cut down a Christmas tree from the farm was exponentiated by the thrill of the following once a year, fully sanctioned display of gluttony at the Cozy. Just a hop, skip and a jump from Camp David in Thurmont, Maryland, the Cozy is a mini-metropolis with an Inn, a few mildly scary shops, and, blessed day, a restaurant. During The Season, the Cozy gets decked out to the nines:

Sorry it's a little blurry, but you get the idea. To a kid it's pure magic. To an adult, it's pure kitchy magic, but magic nonetheless. The whole Cozy experience is an opioid assault on the senses. The decorations are a visual masterpiece, but the gustatory pleasures reign supreme. Although there is the option to eat these:

If you are me, you will eat this instead:

Amazing. My just-say-no to nasty food policy came to a screeching halt at the sight of this mouth-watering display, created by yours truly at the finest buffet known to man. Please suspend your judgement and trust that the food, however unaesthetic, was delicious in the extreme. Perhaps childlike glee skewed my palate, but I am pretty sure the food was genuinely good tasting. Ryan's plate was equally disease provoking:

You might say we ate like pigs.

When I was little, the sight of a pie buffet was almost more than I could stand. Now I think I see it more clearly, as the Sara Lee extravaganza it truly is, but I still remember how this looked when I was seven:

At times I wish I were a minimalist. I look at those who prefer salads without dressing, walls without pictures, clothes without colors, and hikes to parades, and secretly wish I were one of them. But when I walk through those Cozy doors, a little part of me squeals at the excess and the extravagance. Gaudy, cheap decorations and oozy, greazy food are not for every day, but even the most stoic spartan has an Achilles heel. Mine is the Cozy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Reason for the Season #4

In my opinion, there's only one thing better than a picture of me in a XXL red union suit.

And that is a picture of me in a XXL red union suit from the back. Normally, I don't like things to fit so loose in the caboose, but somehow, I feel like this works.

Maybe I should change the title of this blog to "Outrageous Things I Wear in Public".

Reason for the Season #3

And we're back.

January 8th it may be, but I still have a few choice items from my holiday repertoire that are crying out for public display and this is the only public display I have access to. I would almost apologize for the anachronism of posting about a Santa-and-Two-Elves shower curtain after the New Year (I changed the color scheme to resolve any cognitive dissonance you may be experiencing; I hope it helps), but it doesn't feel right to express any remorse for sharing such a special treat, even if it were July. I neglected to don my shower with Mr. Kringle this year-a tragedy, I'll admit-due to sheer laziness, but I still felt like this shower curtain was in my heart this Christmas.

Monday, January 7, 2008


I knew I wasn't responsible enough to have a blog. I can barely keep up with a tomato plant.