Monday, December 31, 2012

My REAL New Year's Resolutions

I don’t really understand why people make New Year’s resolutions. If you want to do something, why wait until the New Year? Why not just say, “I’m going to do this today?”  I guess it gives people something to look forward to, or actually, a reason to keep putting things off, is probably more of the reason, [Scarlett.] I don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions, but if I did, I think my list would look something like this:
·         I won’t squeeze the toothpaste tube until I get out every last ounce of toothpaste. I believe I’m getting arthritis from rolling the tube as tight as I can get it, to make sure there’s nothing left. And trying to roll it down and hold the roll and get it on the toothbrush at the same time, is a feat in itself. I vow to not obsess over throwing out the tube with a drop left in it.
·         Along those lines…I won’t turn over the lotion bottle so the 3 drops of lotion left will fall to the opening, and then try to balance it on top of the new lotion bottle so it falls from the old used one into the new, full one. Half the time I overflow the new bottle and waste the lotion anyway.
·         I will take the phone with me to the bathroom when I go, because for some reason, my phone only rings when “doody” calls.
·         I will look through the peep hole when the door bell rings. The only time I open the door without knowing who it is, is when someone who I do not want to see, shows up.
·         I will stop making fun of all the men on all the dating sites and give more a chance to show me they aren’t the nerds I think they are. Wait…no I won’t. Who am I kidding?
·         I will stop thinking every ache and pain I get is life threatening. I’m only 58 for God’s sake. My time isn’t up yet.
·         I will accept the fact that my house will not always be spic and span when my kids are around. I won’t get OCD and upset with them while they’re home, and know that at some point they will walk out the door, and I can frantically clean up so that it’s neat and clean, at least for a short time, until they come back a couple of hours later and mess the whole thing up again. And that’s ok. Yes, that’s ok. It’s ok. ‘IT’S OK’…my new mantra.
·         When I walk my dog, I will accept that she pretends to pee 18 times although she’s really done after two squats. It’s only been 9 years and I still get impatient. I will be patient from now on, knowing it’s just habit, she’s getting older, and I love her to death so I accept her for who she is. Although I may still tug ever so lightly on the leash to guide her away from the frickin’ bush she’s been smelling for 10 minutes.
·         I will think about getting my smoke alarms fixed since I have pulled all but two out of the ceiling, because that incessant, blaring, deafening alarm sound at all hours of the night is enough to drive anyone to an asylum. And it sends my dog into a violently shaking, hiding in the closet, state of mind. I sure hope I never have a fire.
·         I won’t get upset when my DVR cuts off the last 2 minutes of a show right at the cliff hanger. I realize On Demand can resolve that problem, although it takes a week or so for the program to show up, and by that time who can remember what shows I’ve missed the last couple of minutes to, so I’ll never see it anyway and that pisses me off but I’m going to try not to get pissed. “Try” being the operative word here.
·         I will be sure to keep an extra roll of toilet paper in the bathroom at all times. Enough said.
·         I will not use that last piece of paper towel on the roll since you can’t really use it anyway because it’s got the glue or something sticky from the cardboard roll it’s attached to and it’s as hard as the cardboard itself. (Goes along with all the other things that I HAVE to use every last drop/piece of.)
·         I will turn the heat on when it’s freezing in my house without worrying about the extra $5 it may cost that month so that my nose isn’t frozen and my fingertips aren’t numb. It’s tough watching my daughter walk around shivering with goose bumps.  
·         I will stop looking in the mirror every half hour to see if my jowls have gotten longer.
·         I will get rid of those shoes I never wear that will never come back in style and are so uncomfortable that I never wore them anyway. Why I still keep them is beyond my comprehension. I will stop trying to comprehend.
·         I will throw out the water bottle that’s been sitting in my car for a week. Ok, a month. Maybe longer. Another thing I hate to discard before it’s empty.
·         I will buy a new can opener since the one I have is discerning about which cans it will open. That’s what I get for buying a can opener for $12.99 from Target.
·         I will stop trying to polish my nails with polish that’s so thick it forms strings from the brush to the bottle. I will throw it out, however hard that may be. (There’s a theme forming here…do you see it?)
·         I will try to love my ipad. Right now there’s no love developing for me. I don’t think I can turn my back on Windows.
·         I will move the things I use quite often from the top shelf to a shelf I can actually reach. [Or buy an additional step stool.]
·         I will write more blogs. I will not have writer’s block. I will try to be more creative. I will put together a book. I will love life. Oh wait…I ALREADY AM DOING ALL THAT!!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I Yam What I Yam

So there I was, in the kitchen, standing over a mixing bowl of God only knows what. It’s an odd sighting when I’m in the kitchen doing something other than looking for food in the fridge. I usually just stand there waiting for something to magically appear, while the cold escapes from the open door, but the shelves still remain empty. I figure if I stand there long enough, something will materialize that I’m not seeing. Sometimes I shut the door and open it again, giving the hidden food time to make its way to the front of the fridge. That rarely happens. Grocery shopping would probably rectify that problem. Short term, anyway.

Strangely enough I volunteered to make a dish for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not quite sure I know what possessed me to volunteer…considering I don’t cook, let alone cook for 11 people. I guess since most of the guests were my family, I figured I should probably contribute. I couldn’t just say I would bring dessert…no…I had to offer to do something I had rarely done my entire life…follow a recipe. And when I say follow a recipe…I mean I had to Google half the ingredients to see exactly what they were in order to understand what the hell the recipe was asking for. And I was cooking something I would never eat if it was the last edible item on earth…sweet potato pudding. As a kid, I just picked off the half-burnt marshmallows when no one was looking, and shoved them in my mouth. I would wipe off the icky orange stuff first, though, before popping the fluff in my mouth. For some reason, the adults never questioned why my cheeks were so puffy after dinner. They probably knew I was storing the missing marshmallows for later, yet I thought I was being ever so sly.

But most people love sweet potato pudding…so I decided I would attempt to surprise myself and hopefully produce a dish that was somewhat edible. I was fortunate enough to run into a friend at the market while I was shopping for the necessary items for my cooking venture, since I hadn’t seen a sign for sweet potatoes and was wandering around like a prisoner looking for an escape route. I did see yams so I was able to ask her, without feeling like a total idiot, if they were the same thing. I thought they were, but she said yams were sweeter. I must say…I was quite proud of myself for knowing they were at least in the same family.

I gathered all the ingredients that the recipe I stole off the internet required, with a little help from my friend. Why I didn’t just ask my mom for her recipe is still baffling me. Everyone always raved about my mom’s sweet potato pudding, but no…I decided to seek out my own, being the risk taker that I am. I guess I wouldn’t know if it was good or not since I think sweet potatoes are gross anyway, so tasting the finished product would do me no good. Therefore, once that dish was finished…I wouldn’t know how it was until everyone started eating it. If they turned green or started barfing, I’d have my answer.

There were a few different recipes on line that I checked out. Based on the ingredients and difficulty level, I decided which one I would tackle. One of them had 2 teaspoons of grated orange peel. Huh? How does that one work? I can’t even picture that in my head. You peel an orange and grate the skin until it’s just like pencil shavings? Is that right? That wasn’t gonna happen. Way too much work and I would end up scraping off half my knuckles and instead of orange peel…it would be 2 teaspoons of shaved skin. I decided to save my guests from eating half my fingers so I used orange juice - store bought. I certainly wasn’t about to stand there and squeeze oranges. Wow…cooking sure is exhausting. Actually, just reading the recipe was exhausting.
Another one had 3 cups of mashed potatoes. Please tell me how I was supposed to know how many potatoes I needed to mash if they were telling me 3 cups, but not telling me how many potatoes that was? That meant that I had to guess how many potatoes to boil and then if I didn’t make enough, I’d have to do it all again and cook more to find out that I still may not have had enough? Couldn’t they just say ‘boil 5 potatoes’ for so and so amount? Wouldn’t that make more sense? Who do they think I am…Giada De Laurentiis? (Impressed that I even knew who that was? I didn't...I had to Google 'female cook.')
Well…I wasn’t about to take on that guessing game…so I just kept thinking, “What would Carol Brady do?”

She would ask Alice, but I didn’t have an Alice, so I just looked for the simplest recipe with the most ingredients that I knew of.  I mean…I don’t know a spice from an herb… [And I just had to Google that to see if there was even a difference between herbs and spices as I was writing this.] The only spices I know are salt, pepper, Posh and cinnamon. I wanted to find one which had an abundant amount of sugar and the least work possible. How can you go wrong when there’s sugar…and an ungodly amount at that? If it doesn’t taste like a side dish at least it will taste like dessert. So of course I looked for a recipe where everyone looks for recipes...

I boiled the 6 yams til they were 'mash' ready. I have to say...the smell was nauseating. I don't know how anyone eats that crap. I smashed the shit out of them...added the 18 lbs of white sugar; the 16 lbs of brown sugar; the 10 lbs of butter; a cup of OJ; a teaspoon of vanilla and 4 beaten eggs, which I beat the shit out of, too. I think cooking is just not my thing, but probably quite cathartic if you have some anger issues.
I spread it in a casserole dish (had to Google that, too) and shoved it in the oven. There was no direction on putting marshmallows on top so I decided to take an educated guess. HA! Educated guess when it comes to cooking for me is hilarious. You may as well ask me how to perform open heart surgery. That guess would probably be more accurate.
Once the timer went off, I took it from the oven and let it cool until we left. It looked like it may be good. Let’s just say it looked presentable and I didn’t make it look like someone threw up in a dish. That to me was success. [As was not grabbing it right from the oven with bare hands.]
Once we arrived at our dinner destination, I popped the casserole in the oven with 2 bags of marshmallows laid out perfectly on top. I think there were enough marshmallows...

We all sat down to dinner and everything was scrumptious. And my casserole? I can't begin to tell you what a hit it was. I even tasted it after much coaxing...and it was fabulous. I was actually eating yams. Shocking...just shocking! Shortly after though...

        Do you think there may have been just a tad too much sugar? 

                                          And for their parting gifts...

Just in case!