Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Errr...About That Thanksgiving Food Porn...

There isn't any.  Sorry Mare.  We didn't take any pictures.  I'm not sure what happened, but here is my best reenactment.

Breakfast:  NYC bagels (courtesy of the bro and his family), Mickey Mouse Waffles and Bacon.

Appetizers:  Ted's crab dip, my deviled eggs and some roasted asparagus.

Lunch:  Ted's crab bisque.

Supper:  Turkey, mashed po's, gravy, oyster cornbread stuffing, mac-n-cheese, green bean casserole,  sweet potato casserole, ginger ale glazed carrots, beer braised brussel sprouts with bacon and caraway, canned cranberry sauce and rolls.

Dessert:  Cheesecake, cannolis and eclairs.

It was a feeding frenzy.  All day.  And not one picture.

I can offer you a picture of the nasty burn on my hand from touching the top element of the oven while basting the bird if you want.  But, that's not really food porn so to make it up to you...

Oyster Cornbread Stuffing

3 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (prepared, cooled and cut into cubes)
1 bunch carrots, 1 bunch celery, 1 large onion and 1 large red bell pepper (sauteed until soft, then finely minced in a food processor)
3-4 pints shucked oysters (check for shell fragments, reserve liquor)
3-4 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/2 c to 1c heavy cream (enough to make it all come together when mixing)
*  You can add cooked sausage if you want.

Hand mix in a bowl, adding oyster liquor to taste based on how oystery you want it (reduce amount of cream you use to avoid mixture becoming too liquid).  Spread in a casserole.  Bake in a 350 oven 30-40 minutes until set.

I'm having a food coma reliving it.  The next day saw us making Leftover Casserole for sandwiches, and generally making disgusting pigs of ourselves all over again.  And then there was none.

Next...New Herb Smackdown Poll people.  We're in the final stretch.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A New York State of Mind

This past weekend the eldest spawn and I made an impromptu overnight trip to the Big Apple. The youngest spawn stayed behind to hang out with his Dad. Farmer Ted stayed behind because he had to work. (I know, sad face. :(

We packed light, and I didn't take any cameras because Ted is the only person who has bothered to learn how to use the expensive ass camera. I did take a few shots with my iPhone and was pleasantly surprised by this one taken from Bryant Park and purtied up with Instagram...

I was too busy being Mom of the Year and dragging my child, who had sustained a concussion on Friday and who really should have been on complete cognitive bed rest come to find out, all over Manhattan to take any other pics.  Don't judge me, you would've done the same thing for the best slice of pizza on the planet.  Probably.  Either that or a fake Gucci bag.  Pick your poison.

Next...We need to get back to the Herb Smackdown.  Ted has downloaded the iSamJackson app on his phone because it's like having Tourettes Sam Jackson in your pocket, or over your car speakers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Ted and I were in the checkout line at the food store the other day talking about Thanksgiving Day plans. We were minding our own business, having this totally harmless conversation…

Me: We need a cornucopia.

Ted: I could wear it on my head.

Me: Just like that chick who used to wear the fruit basket on her head. What was her name?

Ted: Not Rita Moreno.

Me: Not Lola Folana.

Ted: It was Carmen Miranda.

Me: Dude, you could be the Carmen Miranda of Thanksgiving.

And the next thing I knew, Ted is hissing at the lady in front of us in line.

Me: What? Why are you hissing?

Ted: Because that old hag just told the cashier to call security.

Me: On who?

Ted: On me. That’s who.

Me: That’s ridiculous. You aren’t even pretending to have Tourettes today. And, you didn’t start hissing until they threatened to call security. And, OH…your electronic cigarette. They think you are smoking in the store. 

About a week ago Ted started smoking these electronic cigarettes. They still have nicotine, but the smoke is actually water vapor. Much better on the lungs. They wanted to throw him in jail for trying to be healthier. It turns out Ted wasn’t actually hissing at them, so much as blowing fake smoke at them just daring them to call someone.  And in the end, they didn’t and we checked out instead of having to call someone for bail money.

Our conversation turned back to important Turkey Day matters involving a deep philosophical discussion about history , and Thanksgiving porn. We wondered how true to life the movie Pocahotass actually was.

Next…There is sure to be a food coma in my future.  More than likely in the Dragon's future too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's my name. Don't wear it out.

This summer our friend Jim and his lovely wife came to hang out with us on the dock, and he brought some of our old high school yearbooks.  Apparently, back in 1983 somebody on the yearbook editorial committee decided that they didn't like the name Jim and identified him as...

Mannie?  Bwahaaahaahaa. can easily see how a mistake like that could happen.

Naturally, Ted and I have decided that Wando was right.  Jim does not make a good Jim, but he does make the perfect Mannie.  Because of shit like this...

That's probably too small to make out, so here is how we like to harass Mannie on FB:

Me:  Jim!  How come we have to find out your meat is famous & your package is available online through a catalog?  "Manny's Famous Pastrami - see available packages online at www..."

Jim (Mannie):  Dammit, I'm so busted.  Thought the "Chicago" would throw people off.  You're not the same "Michele" that keeps ordering the Large Salami?

Heh. Heh. Heh.

Anyway, too bad we didn't have the internets and brilliant sites like this back in the day.

Where you can clear up misconceptions about your name.
Don't worry Mannie, I've already made a submission for you.  I'll let you know if it gets approved.

Next...Ted wants to be Carmen Miranda for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Bird is Not the Word

Let's be real people.  It's all about the sides.  At least it is for me, ever since I lost my mind and went vegetarian.  And I don't even do that right, because I still eat seafood.  I will also eat food, like collard greens for example, that have been cooked with a ham hock or bacon or other piece of porky goodness.  I just pick around the bits of meat.  I didn't stop eating meat because of some kind of moral if.

I will say that I don't miss the turkey part of Turkey Day at all.  I did miss the turducken part of Turkey Day when we stopped doing that after trying it once, because what's not to like about a fowl stuffed with fowl and more fowl and cornbread sausage stuffing?  I don't want to talk about last year's Tofurkey incident because just thinking about THAT makes me throw up in my mouth.

I'll stick with the sides.  We've already discussed the green bean casserole and the cranberry sauce.  I would share the oyster cornbread stuffing recipe, except Ted made it last year while I was at work.  This year, I'll be attempting it while he is at work.  So, y'all might have to wait until next year for it.  We'll be having the necessary, but in my opinion boring, mashed potatoes and gravy.  Veggies include glazed carrots and bacon/caraway/beer roasted brussel sprouts.  I'm considering lima beans, and either jalapeno cheese grits casserole or mac & cheese.  The kids give the grits a solid thumbs down.  They are all about the mac & cheese.  And so, is Rufus Dragon.  Yes, the Dragon gets his own small plate of supper.  He's old, and he may or may not be going blind.  Either he is, or he's trying to trick us into a bigger plate this year.

And since I can't give you the stuffing recipe yet, I'll give you a hint to spruce up your carrots.  Boil them in Ginger Ale before you glaze them with butter and brown sugar.

Next...I have to do something completely unglamorous and clean my house.  We have family coming.  If the spawn don't clean their game room tonight, they won't even know what hit them in the morning.  Their first big mistake is thinking they can outsmart me. *as I rub my hands in evil glee*

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gobble, Gobble.

Ahhhh...Thanksgiving.  You are my favorite holiday.  I like you too Halloween, but I'm really not a "sweet" lover.  I'm all about the savory.  The youngest spawn once said to me, "Mom, you're not sweet.  You're spicy."  He's a player that one.

I am on the fence about you Christmas.  I love decorating for you...but only AFTER Thanksgiving.  I like giving the people in my life truly thoughtful gifts.  I absolutely despise the greedy, materialistic, maniacal spending spree that you have become.  I won't step foot near a mall anytime after Turkey Day.  I'd rather lay down in the driveway, and you can just back over me.  Something about you Christmas makes otherwise rational, sane people go batshit crazy.  It's like a rabid frenzy.

Anyway, Thanksgiving you are here next week and you make a hypocrite of me.  Let's talk about Green Bean Casserole.  I like mine homemade all the way.  I make my own Cream of Mushroom Soup, use fresh green beans and french fried onions.  Nothing comes from a can because that is nasty.  Hey, if you like the Cambell's Soup recipe, more power to ya'.  It's just not for me.

So, how does this make me a hypocrite?  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce from the can.  I actually get disappointed if I am at someone else's house for Thanksgiving and they have made their own cranberry sauce.  I've also been known to bring my own can when I know that's the case.  I can't help it.  I have a canned cranberry sauce problem.  Stop judging me.  I only ever eat it once a year to celebrate the harvest holiday and the week after when we plow through a mountain of leftovers.

Cream of Mushroom Soup (for you Aly)

Instead of chicken or vegetable broth, I make mushroom broth.  I pretty much just boil down brown button mushrooms and onions with some salt and fresh garlic to make a really earthy broth and strain out the solids.  Then I chop up a variety of mushrooms, anything interesting that is available (hen of the woods are really good if you can get your hands on them, so are lobster mushrooms) and mince a scallion.  I saute this in olive oil until tender, and then I ladle in some mushroom broth (just enough to cover the mushrooms) and let it come to a boil.  I throw in some thyme, a bay leaf, salt and pepper and simmer until the shrooms are really tender.  Then, I add fat free half and half and a little bit of heavy cream and stir until it comes to a light boil.  Dissolve some cornstarch or flour in some of the mushroom broth and add, bring back to a light boil and stir until thickened to the proper consistency.

Now, if I'm serving this as soup, I swirl in a gorganzola cream sauce.  If I'm using it for green bean casserole, I make a light roux and add it to make sure it gets nice and thick.

I nixed this week's Herb Smackdown poll, Basil was totally owning Chives.  Tell us how you feel about your Cranberry Sauce.

Next...Farmer Ted's Oyster Cornbread Stuffing will make your panties fly off.  If you wear panties that is.

Monday, November 14, 2011

And that's what we get for forgetting the damn camera.

Farmer Ted had to take a mandatory time out from work yesterday because he's been working such long hours that the owner of his restaurant was afraid it was going to kill him.  That, or he realized what he owed in overtime and got nervous.

Anyway, Ted and I had an unexpected day together.  He woke up talking about yard work.  Yard work? Seriously?  My idea won.  Day trip.  Today, we chose New Hope, PA.  I had always heard positive things about New Hope, but not once in my 18 years here have I been.  So, we got in the truck and set Sybil on no toll/no highway mode and off we went.  Sybil must have been really angry with us over the last time we ignored her because it took us 2 hours to get to a destination that Mapquest claimed off the beaten path should've taken us 50 minutes.  Why didn't we use our iPhone GPS app?  Because Sybil has gone all Hal on our electronics, which you'd understand if you read the link above.

Now, is where you are expecting the goods from our adventure.  Unfortunately, we completely forgot the cameras.  So, here's what I've got from my phone...

Our friend Chad clued us into eyebrow threading, so WTF is Dimple Threading?

New Hope, PA, which runs along the banks of the Delaware River is part of the Pennsylvania Canal System.

WTF?  Is this? A statue on the banks of the canal, which I guess commemorates a canal creature?  There was only this statue and no obligatory commemorative historical plaque explaining it.  I'm not eating  a meal in New Hope, in case this is what is the "Catch of the Day."

Down by the River there is exactly one Duck Feed Vending Machine.  These motherfuckers are not stupid.  It's like the dive bar for every mallard in Pennsylvania. 

In the Galleria amidst all of the Indian stuff.

Guy Stuff.

Ted found his replacement mink.

In the funeral/mortuary vintage shop.  
Ted's iPieceofShit is not cooperating, so his pics aren't available to the blog.  What you don't see here is the picture of the Midget Vibrator.  That was the least disturbing thing we found in this shop.

Miss Gay Pennsylvania, does the heart good.
Hell yeah, New Hope.  Sorry we were so lame with the pictures.  We'll be back.  If you can control those fucking canal rats.

Next...New poll.  Basil vs. Chives.  We are in the Final Four People, so vote.  I really can't believe Lavendar won over Mustard.  I'm starting to think y'all are trying to fuck with us.  That, or you are really just bored with the Herb Smackdown

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm pretty sure that my friends are trying to kill me.

How do you celebrate turning 50?  I ask because my friend Sue is having her "I'm Old As Dirt" milestone birthday next year.  At least that's what I call it because at 49, she is way hotter than I am at 42.  That, and the fact that I have found myself forced to get into some sort of exercise regime again because of this birthday, makes me snarky.

You see, I was in pretty good shape when Farmer Ted and I hooked up two years ago.  I was eating healthy, exercising daily and pretty buff.  And then I broke a toe on my left foot, so the exercise stopped.  And then because of overcompensating with my right leg for the broken toe, I messed up my right knee, so the exercise remained at a halt.  And then the former Chef moved up here, so I gained 10 or so pounds and am no longer buff.  And now I really have no excuse not to start exercising again other than I've gotten used to sleeping in, and I've been okay with that.  Until the "Old As Dirt" Birthday Bash plans were unveiled.

Surprise Party?  No.  Girl's Weekend?  Sortof.  Lazy Girl's Weekend Spent Lazily at Either a Farm on a River or a Mountain Home on a Lake Drinking and Goofing Off?  Wrong.  THIS?  THIS is what my freak friends want to do...When did my friends lose their damn minds?

Be sure to watch the entire video, so you don't miss the parts where we have to jump over piles of burning logs and crawl through a mud pit under barbed wire.  To add insult to injury, the final leg of the race is to apparently consume a turkey leg the size of your head.  I'm a goddamned vegetarian friends.  Really?

Next...I don't know.  I'm in training for this and Ted is working 14 hours a day.  We might take a day trip tomorrow to get me out of my foul (or is it fowl) mood because he has the day off.  He's working so much, the Owner of the restaurant is making him stay home.  He's worried it's going to kill my favorite Farmer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

It’s National Pimento Cheese Awesomeness Month

Or at least it is according to Garden & Gun Magazine. I love, love, love pimento cheese. If you are all about cheese and have never had it, you must. If the only way you’ve had it has been store bought and thought “Meh,” then you haven’t really had pimento cheese.

Here is my Favorite Pimento Cheese:

½ block sharp cheddar (room temp), grated
¼ block mild cheddar (room temp), grated
¼ block extra sharp cheddar cheese (room temp), grated
Duke’s mayo (you can add as much as you want, I use barely enough to bind the ingredients together)
1 small onion, grated (yes, grated)
2 small jars pimentos, drained and chopped
1tsp dry mustard

Mix it all together thoroughly in a bowl and chill until ready to serve. If you want it as a dip, it’s best room temp.

You can serve it as a dip with celery sticks and tart apples. You can make sandwiches…crustless white bread is the best, but a soft, crustless wheat will do. You can serve the sandwiches grilled. You can serve it as a bed for fried green tomatoes. You can add minced jalapeno if you want to give it a kick. You can chill, form into balls, coat with an egg wash and panko and deep fry them. You can have it as a burger condiment, or better stuff a burger patty with it. You can stuff poblano peppers with it and roast them. You can make macaroni and pimento cheese.

Next…Mushroom Soup with Crab and Cream of Gorganzola Sauce.  And if you were on the edge of your seats, Chives won the Smackdown by a rock.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Poor Rufus Dragon

Having just faced a financial glitch, Farmer Ted decided to come out of retirement so I wouldn't have to sell my house.  We needed the extra cash, and he stepped up in a big way.  Unfortunately the transitional period between the old chef and him, means Ted is working 12+ hour days and we don't get to see him very often right now.

Misses the tall man.
No sooner had Ted hopped into the shower, the Dragon made himself at home on his coat.  Ted even moved the dog, jacket and all to his bed, and when we woke up this morning Rufus had pulled the coat off of his bed and was sleeping on it on the floor again.

I know Rufus, I miss him too.

Next...There's a new poll people.  Vote.  Does anyone remember who won the Rosemary vs. Chive match?  If the eldest spawn doesn't stop looking over my shoulder, I'm going to give him a smackdown.  I need to find a recipe for Lavender Mustard.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This might be why the US Postal Service is going bankrupt.

Last week at work I had to mail some Marketing materials.  I weighed the package on my handy dandy little scale and printed the postage and off it went.  This has always worked fine for me before.

Until now.
3 cents?
Uhh, I'm pretty sure it cost you more to send it back to me than it would have just to let it go on its merry way.  Not to mention the condition of the half-way sent package looked like it had been to a war zone.

Or, it could be that the Postmaster General is the 2nd highest paid government job in this country.  I sure wish I had a cushy job as the CEO of a corporation that is facing financial ruin, AND I get rewarded by a ridiculous salary and millions of dollars in annual bonuses.  

The last time I checked, Greed was supposed to be a deadly sin.

Next...A new poll?  Farmer Ted comes out of retirement?  And he kicks ass.  Toddler pants in public?  I catch shit b/c I pronounce mayonnaise "mannaise" because I'm not a Yankee?  Who's to say?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Clash of the Seasons

You may or may not be aware, but it snowed here last Saturday.  And, snow for us in October is almost unheard of.  I think the last time it snowed here in October was like 40 years ago.  This was no fly by night snowstorm.  It was a Nor'Easter, which has hurricane force winds but with snow in this case instead of rain.  An inch of rain equals a foot of snow, or I think I remember that to be true.  Don't quote me on it.

Anyways, here at GrowDammit Central we were supposed to get between 2-4 inches of snow.  I'm not sure how much we actually got because the Wannabes did the sensible thing.  Fly south for the winter?  No, No, No...we drove to northern points, where they were expecting 6-12 inches of snow.

You see, there was a surprise 40th birthday party that we didn't want to miss.

We left at 10:30am. Note the forecast said the snow wasn't supposed to start until after noon.

Once we arrived, the party host called concerned that she had no power.  To which I responded "Who needs power to party?"  And, we didn't even though they got 8 inches.  We had food that could be eaten cold or grilled and plenty of booze.  We celebrated.  We discussed various words that are used for a certain female body part, and why some were worse than others.  We encouraged the 20 year old son of a friend to drunk crank call people with spooky messages from some crazy iPhone app.  We gave a valuable PSA about why you shouldn't touch the whale (I'll leave this to Farmer Ted).

We spent good times with good people, and the next day's drive home was glorious...

Only made better by the fact that at home, the snow had mostly melted.

Happy Birthday Kori.  Happy Not Birthday Jill.