Tag Archives: cooking

Nope

I love trying new foods, experiencing unique dishes and learning about other cultures. I enjoy egg rolls, devouring fresh shrimp and discovering new restaurants. All that said, The local Korean restaurant I found last weekend was a gem and the flavors were amazing but spring rolls are not for me.

Initially, I couldn’t get past the visual presentation. I even thought it might be a joke. Perhaps I was on that show ‘Punked’ or Candid Camera? Clearly. Clearly someone had wrapped my fresh shrimp in a condom.

Initially I just stared. It took me about 10 minutes to even consider taking a bite. The wrap wasn’t like anything I could have imagined. The consistency was even worse. When the shock wore off, I thought about what to do next. I did what any nice girl would do. I ate the meat and left the wrapping on the motel floor.

I mean restaurant table.

I know spring rolls aren’t a new concept for most but this was a raw dining experience for me. I will go back to this otherwise delicious establishment. I’ll return for the Pad Thai, pork vermicelli and Pho. I just won’t order any phalic items that prompt me to visualize other parts of our culture. There’s a time and place for everything but when I go out to eat, don’t spring a surprise on me. I’d rather roll over and go to sleep.

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#unnecessary?

I took notice, maybe for the first time, of all the merchandising that hangs from the grocery store shelving this past weekend. Do I need a produce drying pad? Who determined this would sell? What is the target audience? Are my dish towel, kitchen drainer or shirt sleeve not good enough anymore?

Are our lives so complicated that this grill cheese sleeve is essential to somebody’s way of life? The packaging even advertises that you can use the bags up to 50 times. I believe I can do that with my fry pan. I have probably made hundreds of grilled cheese in my kitchen, with and without sleeves. Also, why the hell would I relinquish some of the delicious melted cheese to the inside of the so-called bag or toaster?

OK, I actually bought one of these once. Somewhere. I’m sure I still have it. Somewhere. I’d like to believe I used it. Somewhere. It must have been a good idea at the time – when our kids were four years old, perhaps? When I thought it would be easier than making poached eggs for Benedict? When I wanted to impress my husband with round egg making abilities? The point is, it’s pointless. I am embarrassed to say this gimmick got me. I just wish I knew how much cash I shelled out.

These bowl covers confused me. Why do I need rain bonnet covers for my bowls? Do people not realize saran wrap is on the next aisle? Was Tupperware not invented down the street from where we live? Do people include bowl covers in their grocery budget?

Then there was this produce poach which wasn’t even in the produce aisle. I believe it was in the baking aisle. The produce aisle actually has free produce bags. The baking aisle includes all kinds of storage and decorating ideas. I suppose the grocers have determined that my creativity will kick in by aisle 6 – at the same time my memory of produce bags on aisle 1 is lost.

More photos may be totally unnecessary but next weekend I will determine what else I do not need. I may ever price the merchandising. This creative merchandising must be necessary to someone?

Alexa – Part II

My husband enjoys a traditional late breakfast with his mother and brother on Sunday mornings. Before he leaves, he watches an oil painting show upstairs while I putter around with writing or light housekeeping downstairs.

I usually like a quiet house but I decided to reconcile with the other woman.

“Alexa, play Adam Lambert.”

I can’t find music by Adam Lambert in your library but it is available on Amazon music unlimited.

Yeah, I love Adam as much as the first guy but I wasn’t dishing out any cash unless I was at his concert, so I tried again:

“Alexa, play Cher.”

I can’t find music by Cher in your library but it is available on Amazon music unlimited.

“Alexa, play Bette Midler.”

It was like a broken echo Dot. Skipping and repeating…dot, dot, dot

Okay, okay, I got it. The bitch wanted money and a playlist before she’d grace me with any of my favorite tunes.

Making the requests was easy enough though, so I didn’t stop there. I tried to generalize:

“Alexa, play good music.”

I don’t have any good music to play.

Really? Great Marketing you Amazon chickiepoo.

“Alexa, play classical.”

Turns out Alexa didn’t have any Concertos or Royal Parade music, so she honed in on the root word “classic” and started playing classic rock.

…from Richie’s playlist. He and Alexa are quite the pair now. I was trying to listen to something different for a change.

Richie came down the stairs with a chuckle as I gave in and said, “Alexa, play Allman Brothers.”

Richie seemed pleased with my working selection as he headed out the door to meet his family. He thinks it’s funny that he has the app and I’m ready to kick Alexa’s ass.

I listened to the classics that are so well known in this house and started to make myself a nice breakfast. As I cracked the eggs for my French toast, Alexa interrupted with a bulletin.

Reminder: Donna is a dumbass.

Alexa was mean-spirited and enjoyed saying it. Richie, on the other hand, was humorously telling me to catch up with the technological times. I knew he was laughing in his Jeep.

I begrudgingly grinned from ear-to-ear and cracked up with my egg shells. I was charmed to know he still thinks of me so creatively when he’s gone. After all these years he certainly knows how to push my buttons. I soaked my French toast, set the table for one and hit Alexa’s off button. I had some writing to do in my quiet house.

Holiday exercise

All the step, fit-bit and workout conversations during the holidays is a drain on my psyche. I am not a regular fitness participant, can’t commit to a daily routine and even dole out punishment to myself for lack of motivation. Just yesterday I was kicking myself, instead of the punching bag, because I still make excuses for not exercising.

Today is a new day though.My outlook is more positive. I haven’t given myself enough credit. While I don’t have a gym membership or workout partner, I exercise plenty, especially during the holidays:

Weights – who carried up all the Christmas stocking holders from the basement? Those things aren’t light x the whole family x 2. That’s a set.

Speaking of which, add to that:

Stairs – cellar stairs are the original homemade elliptical. I AM a stair climber. I went up and down the stairs for eight buckets of tree limbs, ornaments and decorations. If you count the roasting pans, extra paper towels and added chairs I’ve also brought upstairs during the holidays, I may as well start training to climb Everest.

and climb I do:

Plank – the hot topic buzz word of the fitness world. No, I don’t lie on the floor and hold myself up with my elbows. What I did do was walk the planks of our second story, holding onto beam work, to wrap garland in all the right places.

Someone put out all the greenery, lights and presents. It wasn’t an elf.

Laps – I enjoy running and love to swim but don’t typically count laps. I need to participate in team sports where laps are just part of the process, not the actual goal. Given that, I’d say I completed a lot of laps shopping at the mall and walking parking lots in December.

…and I did it in high fashion:

Push-ups – I do not have the proper form for push-ups. Coaches have always told me to put my ass down and modified push-ups seem like cheating. The push-up bras I wore over the holidays allowed for a solution and whether you consider it cheating or not, those underwires gave me the proper form on a daily basis.

Add to that the form and beauty I adorn to all my packaging:

Curling – I took time to curl several times a week. Curling ribbon is one of my favorite holiday exercises. I only wish I knew how many miles I’d logged wrapping pretty gifts.

The last few exercises were when I really dug in:

Leg lifts – After every wrapping session, shopping excursion or meal planning event, I finished off with leg lifts. In a sitting position under a lit tree, I put a pillow on the coffee table and lifted my legs up to enjoy a hot beverage.

Holiday fitness includes the ultimate cool down as well:

Sit-ups – I did. I sat up at multiple tables to enjoy some delicious snacks, meals and desserts. Repetitions are key to the best sit-up results. Sometimes the sessions were so long, I was even sore afterwards.

Now I can add to the holiday fitness conversations. I am ready to give myself credit for all my hard work. To anyone that disagrees, I say,

“Step off.

I am a bit fit and

it works out for me.”

Lick it up

Even though it’s a comfort food from when I was a child, I sometimes forget how much I like pot roast. It is a Yankee culinary delight. Richie basted this one in our crockpot last Monday. The meat cooked so slowly, it quickly melted in my mouth. The carrots, Irish potatoes and onions swam alongside in the delicious gravy on my plate. Yankee me couldn’t get enough, even after several pot roast dinners last week. I am comforted as the cold weather approaches; warmed by the wood stove, a crock pot and my man.