Thursday, December 22, 2011

Incredulous Frosting

You know when you are standing around chatting with friends, and make a seemingly innocuous comment.
Ya, I don't like frosting.
 The reactions can be pretty extreme.

Heads explode into all sorts of pretty streamers and confetti.
But.  But.  Pjjjkkkkkk!

Elderly men defend their devastated wives from your vile confessions.
Stay away from my Edith, you frosting hating she devil!

People equate what you just said with harming kittens.
In frantic desperation, people begin looking for the exception.
But what about cream cheese frosting, every one loves cream cheese frosting!

Now, you are reminded of why you avoid this confession all together.
Just eat around the frosting, and no one explodes.
What wins you incredulous looks?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This is a Story, a Story About One Night and One Curry.

It was a clear and warm evening.  August.  It had been a mild summer but there was something in the air.  A feeling.  Something stirring in my gut.  That feeling was hunger.  I didn't mind it too much but I needed to fix it and fix it fast.  I'd been hungry before, and I knew it would just grow and grow until I had changed, changed into the beast.  The Ms. Hyde to my Dr. Jekyll.  But I had bigger things to worry about.  Bigger than the intensely alluring, yet grouchy Ms. Hyde. 

Earlier in the week I bought a plane ticket to visit a friend, and I had made a deal with myself, a deal that would keep me in the pink.  I have a habit, a habit of going to the grocery store more often that I need to.  So when I bought the ticket I told my self, I would only buy eggs, soup, a lemon, and cabbage, and nothing else until my pocket book held more than lint.  Enter my parents garden.

For the first time eggplants were growing well in my parents garden and I got one, along with a tomato.  I knew what to do with the tomato, it went on tuna, tuna sandwiches, an old favorite around these parts, but not around much lately.  But the eggplant?  How did that figure into this whole caper?

Then I remembered.  Dimples had a blog.  Dimples was her show name, one I made up to fit the film noir feel I'm going for in this post.  Only those introduced to her know her as Carrie.  So I went to Dimples' blog and there I found it.  She called it Baingan Bharta, but I knew it for what it was, what the title parenthetically said it was, eggplant curry.

A quick inventory of my supplies told me I was missing quite a bit.  Plus, tuna sandwiches had already claimed part of the tomato I had.  But Dimples wasn't just a looker, and my knowledge of her blog wasn't just a passing acquaintance.  Dimples knew what she was doing in the kitchen, time on her blog had told me that.  If she was missing an ingredient, she replaced it with another.  Me, I don't like bending the rules that way.  I stay inside the recipe. 

I sliced my eggplant and mixed some curry powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and ground cumin into some cornstarch.  I coated my eggplant and cooked it in some vegetable oil.  It wasn't right, so I added some egg to the mix.  It didn't taste like eggplant, and I like eggplant.  I had to take a new tactic, but this was a tough nut to crack. 

I looked in the fridge and the pantry.  Then at the blog post.  I had a sliced eggplant and Ms. Hyde lurking near by.  I had a choice.  I chose to bend the recipe, hopefully it wouldn't break.

I got out two carrots and chopped them up.  I heated up oil in a pot, and added the carrots and eggplant, and I stirred.  It needed more flavor, and I was saving my only onion for a different dish.  I put in garlic and curry powder and I stirred some more.  The eggplant was becoming translucent, but not fast enough.  I put a lid on it and let it stew.  But I couldn't just have eggplant and carrots.  The recipe called for a diced tomato and I had to deliver.  I grabbed a can of diced tomatoes and stirred it in my pot.  Then I took out the can, opened it and added the contents to my pot.  It still wasn't enough.  I added cumin powder, and cayenne pepper.  Then for kicks, I added ground ginger.  It was getting hot in the kitchen, and I didn't know if I could stand the heat.  I looked at the recipe again.  It called for yogurt.  The only yogurt in my fridge was lemon flavored and not mine.  So I added almond milk, but yogurt is thick, so I added some of the curried cornstarch as a thickener and covered it.  Time passed and I tasted the broth, it hit some notes but a couple of those were flat, so in went gram, gram marsala.  Gram marsala was a sweet kid, but she had a kick, she would mix well with the other ingredients.

It was over all too fast, and I was facing the music.  Would my curry stand or fail?  Did I just waste twos of dollars of ingredients?  I took a bite of the curry.  The rice was still cooking and I needed to know if rice and I were dining alone.  But a robust baingan bharta would be dining with us and I would use the good silverware.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

By the Power of Cany Floss!!!

This past Christmas I received a fantastic wall hanging:

See - fabulous right?  Of course right!  

Clearly this had to be my Facebook profile picture.  Anyone who knows me, knows this is true.

But, alas, it was time to change my profile picture.  So I solicited opinions from my Facebook friends.  

Should I be a sheep?

A comb over?

[Picture to use locked away in dead Laptop Murry]

Or something else entirely?

I got one suggestion for a family of three kumquats coming together to discuss the disappearance of their tree, all who resided there and more recently little Koomi's vanishing act.

Actually, all he said was Kumquat, but once you see the photo, it just screams displaced and confused kumquat family searching for what they once had, but are in reality living in a horror flick, where giants gather them together to eat them.

The next idea was Niece and/or Nephew drawing a portrait of me and putting that up.

I really look forward to comissioning and posting the portrait(s). :)

The final suggestion for the night was fully supported by a good friend, thus I needed to make it happen. 

"You holding a battle axe over a river of flaming cotton candy." 

And thus it was so.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I can tie my hair in a knot.  Pull it back, twist and pull through.  My friend is coming to town this week and is going to give me a trim.  We went to a 1 hour class on how to cut boys hair one time, a couple of years ago, and she became my go to hair cut lady.  Don't try to find the logic in that, your head will explode.

In times of stress I don't sleep well.  It turns out getting rid of many of my beloved quilts and making my room cooler helps me mostly stay asleep when I finally fall asleep.  Good to know.

In those times I need a change, I feel like I should do something drastic, something bold and different and not quite out of character but out of comfortable.

I am the lead at my job.  I don't work Sundays, but I accept work calls on Sundays.  My boss was out sick today and staff needed some clarification in order to meet looming deadlines.  One staff member made a part for our production, but another staff member said they were too small and would be unworkable.  I told him to use them anyway.

When I was a kid, my parents saved money by buying us kids shoes a size too large.  That way the shoes would be worn out before they were out grown.  I remember the first time my parents bought me shoes that were the right size.  I didn't like them.  They didn't fit the way I was used to.  There was no play in them, and my toes were alarmingly close to the toe of the shoe.  I told my parents that I didn't like them, they were the wrong size.  My dad told me that they were the right size and I would get used to them.

My conversation with the staff member that wanted to used different items for out production reminded me of that incident.

Sometimes in life we add extra padding or wear things a size too big and when things come along that fit we don't recognize them, we don't like them, we are alarmingly close to the edge of our sphere, sometimes we are told, in essence, to suck it up.  Other times we watch the foreign fit go by.

In times of stress I don't sleep well, I need a change, I need to do something drastic.  I do nothing.  My focus becomes the only thing I can control, the fastest way to change.  It's probably a flight response but I feel like change or explode.  Move.  Leave.  Change.  Do.  I can't really move or leave, I do not have skills that will easily land me a benefited job.  I don't want to be that far from family.  I also lack the courage.  I lack the courage for a lot of things. So I focus on instant change.  Cutting my hair short.

I can tie my hair in a knot.  Pull back, twist and pull through.  My friend will give me a trim while she is in town.  After this hair cut, I will still probably be able to tie my hair in a knot.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

All these recipes call for elephant!

Something is happening to me, right now, at this very moment, and I realize it is happening, I can point at it and say "THAT" is happening to me, but I am almost powerless to stop it.  I am a fairly intelligent person, with goals and dreams and poor spelling abilities and humble notions about saving the world I one day hope to rule.  Fear me mortals!!  But this, this thing that is taking over, I cannot seem to shake or overcome!  What the heck?  I hope this blog post does not reveal any weakness to governments I hope to overthrow.

It started when I read a blurb about meatless Mondays in March.  See the alliterations.  Doesn't it make you warm all over.  Or someplace.  Anyway, I decided to try it.  And before you go all crazy on me thinking vegetarianism is a gateway behavior for protesting against soldiers, and professing a love of French international policies, know that meatless one day in seven for one month does not a vegetarian make.  And any parallels drawn between diet and crazy are up to you.  Except for diets strictly comprised of cookies, I think Cookie Monster has demonstrated the mental perils of such a regime.

So the thing, the "THAT" which is happening right now?  That is me doing this: "ummmm so tomorrow, I have chicken - no meatless Monday.  I have salmon - no.  I can get some shrimp - GAH!  I know, I will make spaghetti.  No I have turkey meatballs.  Wah everything has meat!"  What?!  Really, I can't make spaghetti with dry noodles and jarred sauce because I have frozen meatballs?  How does that even make sense?  I eat a lot of meatless dishes, there are at least 2 in previous posts, so why is it now, right now, I cannot think of anything?  What is it about deliberately choosing something - going meatless on Monday's, hiking more, being more tidy - that has the opposite effect?  Is the world full of sedentary meat eating slobs with the universe working against well meaning goals, or is it just a contrary streak of my very own?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pom Trouble

For several years now, I have given Sister a pomegranate for her birthday; sometimes accompanied by wrapped things, sometimes not.  It wasn't until Nephew was 5 years old (and two days) that he saw the produce I gave his mom and had to try it.  Now, Nephew is not what you would call an adventurous eater, most food is viewed with suspicion and disdain, though sometimes he surprises you with requests for your food (which means you will never see your samosa again, even though he said it was too spicy).  But after trying some of the kernel-seed-pulpy-juicy-what-ever-they-are things, he wanted a pom for his birthday, and reminded me often over the next few months.

His 6th birthday is where we pick up the story.

 Nephew: Yay a pomegranate!  Thanks, Auntie.
Me: Yay, I win best Auntie gift until he opens up toys!

 Sister: (tinted with family sarcasm) Oh wow, how did you know?  It is such a surprise.
Me: Yay, I win best sister gift given every year!
Nephew: Just like I got on my birthday!

 Niece: Auntie, I wanna ponnaganite like mommy and brother.  I want to eat one all by my self too.
Me: Sweetie, your birthday is in the winter, and pomegranates are for the fall and might not be in the stores for your birthday.
Niece: I wanna eat one all by my self like mommy and brother for my birthday! 

Pomegranate 1: Welcome to the gun show!
Pomegranate 2: Ba ha, anything after us is just leftovers!

 Old Pom: What? It's your geese's shirt day?  Huh!  In my day, geese didn't wear shirts!

 This year no more birthday poms!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

You Haven't Lived!

Unpack all the things?!
  Look at that!

Who puts year round shedding trees by patios?

La la la la la la la la la la la la la la

 Roommate, I am home.  How much did you get unpa...

 SOOO many needles on the patio and in the gutter.

   I mean, who hasn't been distracted from work by a compelling need to sweep the patio?

-I never have.
-You've never lived!