Showing posts from February, 2009

Sugar is sweet and so is maple surple...take 1

Roger Miller fans unite! The trees were tapped a few days ago, and we're all patiently waiting for those sweet weeks when the nights are cold and the days are warm and the sap runs like the nose of a teething baby. (OK, that's kind of a gross analogy, but you all know what I'm talking about!) Today was one of those days, and in the after school sunlight, we all donned our mucker boots, which I don't refer to as "shit kickers" when the kids are around. Even little Annie had some of her own. They came up to her knees and she took a nasty tumble down the hill in the mulch, but hey. It's all part of the out-of-doors, right? I'm just breaking her in. There's something theraputic about collecting sap. For me it falls under that whole "something from nothing" concept because it really does just seem to appear out of thin air. As if we could have stuck a little metal tube in a rock or the ground or the thin air and sap would come out. So walking

Who doesn’t love a walk down the high fructose memory lane?

I’m not really sure how it happened, but I’ve recently realized that every major holiday can be characterized by the candy it involves. Every holiday has it’s candy, and every candy has it’s holiday. And it is as sure as the calendar pages keep turning and the “seasonal” aisle in the grocery store is stocked, dentists everywhere drive nice cars. I call it the “Bermuda Triangle” of sugar, that span of months between Halloween and Easter. I constantly find my kids with that crazed, sugared-up look in their eyes, because it seems that for months on end we are showered with little packs of chocolate and candy canes and candy hearts with ridiculous sayings on them I can’t even understand and the fifty pound chocolate bunny that someone really thinks we need. It’s all just a little too much, and, I must say, a little too delicious. I am, without a doubt, a big fan of the sugar confection. Always have been, always will be. I think it all started way back when on our family weekend jaunts to

Liar, liar

As I sit here this evening, cuddling a fat baby and a half-eaten bag of potato chips, I am again reminded of something I firmly believe in. It's not anything grandiose or earth shattering on any kind of level. I'm not taking a stand for or against abortion, gay rights, government health care, the stimulus plan, or the next American Idol. But I am taking a stand agaist liars. Because that's what they are-- liars. I hear it now and then and it makes my skin crawl. "Oh, I don't care for potato chips." WHAT? That's absurd. Practically a sin for any American. Potato chips are one of the tastiest foods known to man, and when the simple fried and salted starches are coated in copious salt, imitation cheese, or apparent beer flavor (have ya tried these yet?), the just about grow their own little wings and halos and fly around the room. That is why I am declaring, loudly and clearly, that potato chips are impossible not to like, and that everyone likes them even i

The Mom Who Cried Dead Fish

We have a refrigerator/freezer that we keep in the garage to hold the extra things—large pots of soup, cases of juice boxes, pop, big bags of frozen veggies, frozen pizzas, the good kielbasa, and now, the dead fish. And nothing makes me more excited and ready for spring than going out to that freezer. Curly, our beta fish, had graced the kitchen counter for two years. Blissfully he swam in his murky water, blipping up to the top for his occasional feeding. “A hungry fish is a happy fish,” I was told, and nothing made me happier that not having to tend to this critter on a daily basis. I’m not sure how the kids came up with “Curly” in the first place, but as most pet names given by children it was fairly normal. A friend of mine had a fish named “Telephone,” so I was grateful to have one of the Stooges living next to the sink. For the time we had him, Curly and I had a connection. He strangely brought me great joy in a reliable sort of way. He was always there, always swimming, alw

Honey Sesame Chicken

This one goes out to Jen H... :) An unfamous person once said, "Recipes are not made, they are passed from one cook's hands to another's, who then realizes that she doesn't have all of the ingredients so she just wings it." And that's pretty much how this recipe came to be. My cousin made this for my parents once, and I have loved it ever since. But, as hectic dinner hours go, this is my cheater-version of what was once even tastier. Honey Sesame Chicken 2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces Pan fry the chicken in a little evoo until it's cooked through and even has a little carmelization on the outside. Then turn down the heat and add the following ingredients, stirring as you go, to make a cheater-version one-pot meal. GLAZE: 1/3 cup soy sauce 1/3 cup (or a little more) honey 1 tbl dry sherry 1 clove garlic, minced or grated 1 tsp grated fresh ginger 2 tbl sesame seeds. (If you don't have fresh ginger, just sprinkle some drie

Take that, sucker!

Sometimes ideas are too cool not to share. We saw this in an old craft magazine and decided to try it ourselves for the upcoming Valentine's Day festivities. A trial run proved it to be a fabulously fun, easy, and of course, tasty idea. You simply melt hard candies on a cookie sheet and make your own little sweet work of art. 1. Preheat oven to 350. 2. Cover a cookie sheet with foil. 3. Place hard candies in a group-- we found that 3x3 made a nice roundish shape, or you could use about 2 rows of 3 or 4 to make a long, skinny one. We also found that butterscotch candies don't melt well, and that Life Savers worked best. 4. Carefully put the sheet in the oven and let them melt for 6-8 minutes. 5. When the candies are melted, remove from oven and immediately put a sucker stick in there, twisting it around a bit to get it covered in the sugars. 6. Let cool completely, then peel it off the foil.

knit picking

It is a well known fact that the pick-up line at school gets my dander up. I have resorted to, among other things such as NPR and herbal tea, knitting while I sit oh so patiently for the morons who don't understand that they are not supposed to get out of their cars to get out of their cars. (Sense the frustration?) All of that plus the cold snap has brought back the little hobby that I tucked away when the kids were born. And even though I'm self-taught and rather stinky at it, I'm darn proud of what I've done this year. This pic goes out to my mom, who I think sometimes can't believe I find time for such trivial hobbies. But then, she's been through the pick-up line... Annie's hat. Not the greatest angle, but it's very cute. I'd post a pattern, but I totally winged it. It's a little small, so she'll wear it every single day...for the next three weeks. :)

Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?

Note to local readers: sometimes they just don't have the space in the paper. Guess this week was one of those weeks, but I don't want the world to not hear the sunglasses story! Up until a while ago, I used to think that I have only done three crazy things in my life. And when I say “crazy” I mean “spontaneous” and “zany.” Not necessarily running, screaming, end-up-the-news wild. For example, one time at a local restaurant I couldn’t decide what to order and so I folded my menu and just told the waitress to surprise me. She was absolutely shocked and the other guests at the table looked at me as if I were, you guessed it, crazy. But it all worked out and I don’t know that I’ve ever had better eggplant parmesan. Perhaps it was the tasty meal that spurred me into my second crazy moment of life, the day that I sat in the hairdresser’s chair and closed my eyes for the entire haircut. I told her I wanted to pretend I was on Extreme Makeover, Karrie Edition. She looked for a