One From Column A and Two From Column B

ImageI recently read a book; a psychological thriller I later learned.  While it was well written, I didn’t like it.  I didn’t like it at all.  Why?  Because it was about the horrible mind games people can play with each other.  I like psychological thrillers, mind you.  I really enjoyed all the Girl With Dragon Tattoo, etc.; and they were pretty rough books.

But this particular book made me so sad because it dealt with a married couple who simply could do nothing but hurt each other in new and vicious ways.

You see…I love the stuffin’ outta Devoted Spouse.  Here’s just one reason:  He labels our Chinese take-out boxes with our initials so when I want to finish what I ordered, I don’t have to waste time opening all the boxes.

So, in a way, reading the terrible book was good for me because it reminded me how loved I am!  sigh…


Food Glorious Food

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Will someone please explain to me why here in the Midwest restaurants think cole slaw is an appetizer?  Every time DS and I go to one of the family restaurants in this area, if I order cole slaw as a side, it arrives prior to my meal.  Do they think it’s a first course?  I don’t know about you, but I like my cole slaw WITH my meal.  A “side” accompanies the meal, yes?  just sayin’.

Do you ever give in to indulgence and order that honkin’ huge milkshake…you know, the one with gobs of whipped cream?  Oh puhleeze, you know you do.  My question is why do they fill the plastic cups so full and add that strange circular top with the opening for a straw, so that by the time you put the milkshake in your cup container, it has spilled all over you, and flows like a volcano all throughout the car? I think the server behind that little glass window gets extra points if this happens to the customer.  “Hey! Got another one wet!” Why can’t they make a top that fits correctly?  Grrrrr.

I always thought Bob Evans made the best pancakes.  Plus they’re close to my house.  Less gas money.  I went for breakfast last week while Devoted Spouse was out doing his church gig.  I ordered blueberry pancakes, my personal fav.  I got about halfway through and realized these pancakes were getting soggier and soggier and it wasn’t the syrup.  I was putting batter on my fork.  Ack.  No thanks.  Yes, got a refund.  Politely declined offer of more pancakes.

Speaking of barbecue…well sort of.  Went to a local barbecue restaurant and ordered Texas brisket.  Having not eaten brisket, Texas or otherwise, I was quite excited to see what it was all about.  Imagine my disgust when a plate was put in front of me swimming in grease with overdone meat covered with fat.  It was nasty.  I didn’t eat it.  I was surprised anyone would serve that.  When the waitress asked me about it, I explained that I didn’t favor a meal that is swimming on my plate.  She apologized all over me, offered to replace it (I had lost my appetite by then), and left to get a refill on my unsweetened iced tea.  The tea arrived and it was sweetened.  The waitress disappeared.  Devoted Spouse contentedly munched his pulled pork sandwich.  The owner came over, apologizing repeatedly and backpedaling on why I was given such a nasty piece of meat.  Turns out I received the “end” and nobody thought to actually look at the plate and see what they were serving to a customer.  He offered a better piece of brisket.  I declined.  He offered a pound of pulled pork for me to take home.  I declined.  He offered me a free beverage.  I not only declined, but let him know the one I had was not what I ordered.  He comped the check.  That’s what he should have done to begin with.  Devoted Spouse went home with a happy tummy.  I stopped for ice cream…sigh…

It’s Black Friday and You Want To Do WHAT??

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I’m on turkey overload.  I’m in a stuffing coma here.  I managed to get the good dishes washed but they’re still on the dining room table waiting to be put away in the china cabinet…I’m that whipped.  Whipped as in a spud that’s hit the Sunbeam Mixer blades one too many rotations.  Today I have made it from the couch to my comfy chair and back again.  That’s it.

Whilst in my comfy chair with my fav afghan snuggled up around my chin, Devoted Spouse enters my territory, plops himself down and announces to me and a half-dozing EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer, “I just woke up and have this overwhelming desire to make beef jerky.”

“WHAT?”  “Excuse me?”  “You want to MAKE beef jerky?”  “Did you take your meds this morning?”

Devoted Spouse looked rather hurt that I wasn’t going to endorse his exciting idea of creating ‘home-made-from-scratch-or-something’ jerky.   He left the living room and my trusted canine companion and I went back to our respective naps.

“Do we have any Liquid Smoke?”  I blinked at Devoted Spouse and mumbled what I thought was a negative reply.  I opened my eyes to find him standing next to me (yes, I was still swaddled and in my comfy chair) waiting for further instructions.  “What,”  I mumbled.  Again, Devoted Spouse started discussing Liquid Smoke.  I woke up more and started pelting him with pertinent questions… “What the %^$ are you talking about?”  “Do you seriously think you’re going to make home-made beef jerky TODAY?”  “Do you even HAVE a recipe?”

Devoted Spouse replied, “I probably have about a hundred recipes.”  Me:  “HUH?”  “How’d you get a hundred recipes?”

Devoted Spouse:  “From the internet.”

So…off Devoted Spouse went…on Black Friday…out shopping in search of the illusive spice (condiment?) called Liquid Smoke.  As for me, I made a cup of tea, found a book, and I’m in my comfy chair again.  Oh yeah, I also hid our leftover turkey and his laptop…sigh…

The Sprirituality of Chicken Pot Pies

It was Halloween.  Devoted Spouse and I had a busy day plus the trick-or-treaters would be at our house at 6pm (those little kids are always on time!)

Must fix something quick for dinner!  I know — a microwaved chicken pot pie (actually the ones by Marie Callendar are good, if a bit salty).

Hmmm, let’s do our reading for class while chowing down on the pot pie.  Brilliant!

I got my dinner…a glass of milk…sat at the kitchen table and opened my book by Foster on Celebration of Discipline (about the Spiritual Disciplines). Into my mouth goes the first fork full of chicken and veggies; nom nommy.  I turn to the next chapter in my reading and which Spiritual Discipline do you think is the next to study?  Oh yeah…Fasting.

I closed the book and finished off my pot pie…sigh…

No Top Chef Here

Saw a headline proclaiming Gwyneth Paltrow’s Most Disastrous Dinner!  I’m addicted to various food shows and I collect cookbooks, but I don’t cook the way I once did when Devoted Spouse was active duty Air Force and we had to entertain foreign dignitaries.  Turns out poor Gwyneth (who is also quite the foody) once fixed Eggplant Parmesan and forgot to drain the eggplant, thus resulting in a somewhat soggy mess.  Broke my heart.  (yes, that would be sarcasm)

Ya wanna know disastrous dinners?  Disastrous dinners are when you cut your finger to the bone during prep, don’t have time to go to the hospital because representatives of most of the NATO nations and their wives are on their way over to your home with high expectations of enjoying something known as American home-cooking and you’re valiantly trying to wrap something tightly around your finger to quell the arterial blood spurting all over your galley kitchen.  Now we’re talking disastrous dinner my friends.

I won’t bore you with the middle of the story.  It involved classic American dishes such as spoonbread and fried chicken and wine….lots of wine.

The end goes something like this….somewhere between the appetizers and the dessert I noticed the bandage on my finger had disappeared.  I was thankful for the copious amounts of alcohol that had accompanied the dinner.

Ahhhhh such sweet Military Memories….sigh…

To Blow or Not to Blow…That is the Question

It all began about a week ago when I realized that during the course of this horrendous bout of bronchitis, I have been self-medicating with “comfort foods” (translated:  I’ve been eating waaaay too much chocolate).  This resulted in a weight gain of 3 pounds.  GASP.

Being a panic-driven, weight-obsessed person since losing 50 pounds, I realized I had to stop and remember that my life was now about eating healthy.  I did a quick survey of the kitchen and decided it was time to purge some of those bad items and get my expanding butt to the grocery for some healthier choices pronto.

Off to the store I go….perusing the perimeter of the store (where the healthy stuff lives), I filled my cart with lots and lots of fresh fruits and veggies, some lean protein and plenty of whole grains (have you actually tasted quinoa yet?  Eat that, not tofu heh heh) Anyway….I took my healthy goodies home.

I don’t know about you, but when I look on the package of pre-picked, pre-washed salad I simply don’t believe anyone actually took the time to seriously hose down those pieces of greens and then dry them before packaging. So I always give them a good couple of rinses myself.

One of the items I bought was a plastic package of pre-cut broccoli.  This was just the tops of the broccoli; the flowerets or florets, depending on whose package you buy.  Into my colander went teeny little pieces of the tops of the ‘broccoli trees’.  After rinsing, I took the colander and dumped it onto several layers of paper towels so the broccoli would dry. An hour later they were still wet.  I got more paper towels and blotted.  And I blotted.  And I blotted.  What happens when one keeps blotting is pieces-parts of the little broccoli flowers start to come apart.

And that’s when it hit me.  The idea to beat all ideas.  I could clean my broccoli in record time with a tool I had in my possession in another part of the house.

Up the stairs I went….into the master bathroom…under the sink…and there it was — my Blow Dryer.  What a concept – a multi-tool – if it dries hair, why won’t it also dry broccoli?  I took the Blow Dryer to the kitchen, plugged it in, hit the switch and being the smart gal I am, I put my finger on the “Cool” button so as not to fry my broccoli. 

And then I realized I was in the midst of a distortion of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem Charge of the Light Brigade.  Forward the Blow Dryer Brigade —  pieces of broccoli to the left of me; pieces of broccoli to the right of me, half a bag, half a bag, half a bag onward…onward to the kitchen floor.  Into the Valley of Linoleum Rode the Six Hundred… pieces of broccoli.

At the time it seemed a good idea…sigh…

You Celebrate Your Way and I’ll Celebrate My Way

Saturday was weigh-in day at Le Weight Watchers.  It was a momentous day for me as it signified the end of my 6-week Maintenance Period (it’s akin to leaving prison).  I didn’t want to go – come on…it was two days after Thanksgiving and while I hadn’t exactly devoured an entire turkey, I did have a little more than I had planned.  I was concerned just how much those scales would groan.

Deciding to own up to my T-Day folly, I hopped on the scale and was told “Congratulations, you are now a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers (read:  you only have to be mortified on the scale once a month vs. every week).”  I was surprised. 

So, another achievement in my long life…and now, of course is the hard part where I vow I’ll never weigh as much as a Mack Truck again, blah, blah, blah.  And Weight Watchers, bless their little point-counting hearts, gives me a whopping whole two pounds to play with — yeah….I can never weigh two pounds more than I do right now (or I have to start giving them money again).  I think five pounds would have been more realistic, but I don’t collect the money.

So now it’s time to celebrate w/Devoted Spouse.  The one thing Weight Watchers teaches is you don’t celebrate your achievements with food – duh – you find other ways to congratulate yourself.  Okay – I understand that concept.  Otherwise, we’d all never lose weight, but then again, Weight Watchers would be much richer. 

So I find a suitable reward.  Oh yeah…it’s food.

Devoted Spouse and I go to Bob Evans where I have already decided I’m going to splurge on 2/3 of one blueberry pancake w/sugar free syrup and one sausage patty.  I gave my order in a very quiet voice and glanced around in case the WW police were lurking.  A pancake – gasp. 

When it arrived and was suitably prepped and ready for devouring, I happened to look over at Devoted Spouse.  He was wearing one of his favorite shirts that day….the one with Charleton Heston raising the flintlock above his Moses-like head and screaming something on the order of From My Cold Dead Hands.  Now I’m a pistol-packin’ member of NRA so that didn’t bother me. 

What I couldn’t stop staring at was the way the tee-shirt had “settled” on Devoted Spouse.   Ya know how ya sit down and shirts wrinkle and rearrange themselves in whatever way they feel?  Well, his had settled such that poor Chuck had no neck.  Now ordinarily I probably wouldn’t have noticed….but it looked so odd and every time Devoted Spouse would say something, Chuck’s head would bob up and down. 

I’m trying to enjoy what little piece of this pancake has the blueberries in it while gagging down sugar free syrup and I have a Bobble Head Chuck Heston in front of my eyes.  It took away from the savory moment of that first blueberry filled bite of pancake coz I couldn’t stop staring at Devoted Spouse’s chest.

Bobble Chuck…may he rest in peace.  Now I have this overwhelming desire to watch the movie The Ten Commandments…maybe I’ll whip up a batch of manna or something to go with it…sigh…