Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

I love that quote. One of my favorite co-workers, friend, and contributor to WMEP has a mug on her desk with that saying. I spontaneously think of this quote several times a day.  It makes me smile and it keeps me from walking into traffic.

I won’t complain about work – because it’s so cliché and ridiculous. Yes it’s stressful. Yes it’s the opposite of efficient, collaborative and smart. But it’s just work.  Your job sucks too right? Don’t answer that.

(this is more like me thinking out loud than a post. but you knew that)

 

 

 

Aprons are for sissies

There were some funny moments on turkey day. I want, no I need to share this with you! Are you sick of Thanksgiving posts yet? I promise, last one! Sorry about all the exclamation points! I’m like….excited.

Last year, in a moment of desperation when carving the turkey, my husband – a holiday Macgyver (too young for this reference?) made a makeshift apron from the only thing he could find. A Glad garbage bag. Now it’s a tradition… or something like that.

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That picture cracks me up. What’s wrong with that man?
Here’s my other favorite chuckle that day…my nine year old made place cards for all our guests. Phonetic spelling ruled the day.

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Welcome Doug. Or Dug.

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Welcome Ty. Or Tie.
Hee Hee Hee. I laughed for hours. Seriously. Send help.
Finally, ever see a line in a kitchen? My lovely sister-in-law was thinking through the perfect piece of turkey when this crowd formed behind her.

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That’s her in the pretty green top realizing the natives are restless! Bless her heart.

Thanks God for the Thanksgria

Before I tell you about the sangria, let me show you my turkey. Where are pictures of your turkey?? Come on, I’ll show you mine and then you show me yours. I know you took a pic.

Here’s the before and after

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Here’s a picture of my plate – because everyone always asks what a vegetarian eats on turkey day. Ok one person asked but that’s fine. Here you are.

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See, I did good.
And finally, the holiday in a glass – the thing that makes ricing 20 pounds of potatoes and still having your husband say it’s not enough worth it. The gas in my engine, the wind beneath my wings, the fuel to my…you know.

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I hope you all slept in or woke up at pre-dawn to buy something at a crowded store. Whatever works for you. Cheers everyone!

Who’s a happy turkey?

Scenes from yesterday’s prep
This is the easiest cranberry sauce ever. Like. Ever.

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Turns to this

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Drying out the bread for stuffing. Other families just let it go stale naturally, but good bread doesn’t last long in my family. Mainly because of me. Let’s be honest.

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Just a little sweet potato to go with the butter.

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Yes, that is heavy cream in the back ground. Not part of the recipe but I like to have it close by just in case.
And finally, the star of today’s performance –

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Gobble Gobble!

’twas the dawn before Thanksgiving…

And all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for the nutty woman making cranberry sauce at 5am.

It’s pre-gobble time. Run to the store time, prep your turkey time, run to store again time. I love this holiday. It’s my all-time fav. We never celebrated it when I was growing up, which is ironic because a holiday about food would have fit right in. My husband’s family taught me to love Thanksgiving. The gathering, the laughing, the shouting, the forcing-the-vegetarian-to-mix-sausage-stuffing-by-hand-ing.  I digress.

Through the years I’ve found my own way of doing the holiday – I’ve tried garlic mashed potatoes and truffle mashed potatoes and pecan glazed sweet potatoes and apple cranberry stuffing and every other recipe that Martha Stewart pimped out. You know what I learned? All I need is pounds and pounds of butter. And maybe some heavy cream. Other than that – I leave everything alone.  My mashed potatoes just have potatoes in them.  I save the pecans for the pie, and the craziest thing I add to my stuffing is some green onions.

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to blog throughout the cooking, but I’ll try.  Here’s almost everything – minus the 28 pound fresh bird that’s waiting for me at the market.

If I knew how to do one of those cool panoramic shots, I would. But I don’t, so I won’t.

Yes, we’re a Poppycock family. There’s no hiding it now.

I thought I’d highlight two of my favorite “cheats”.

Why cut celery and onions when you can use that time for more productive things, like watching Top Chef Seattle (do you love it like I love it?).

The best $2.99 cents you have ever spent at Trader Joe’s.

Here’s the other thing I don’t bother making from scratch … sorry about the blurriness but it’s early you know. Get off my back.

I do make a quick honey and maple syrup to drizzle on top. See, it’s kinda like homemade.

Ok, gotta get back to my day. Hope you are all knee deep in turkey day prep too! No? Damn.

It’s not your last meal.

I say this in my house once or 12 times a week. You don’t like dinner? You’ll be fine. Lunch isn’t up your ally? No worries, stick around for a few hours and another meal will appear. Why? Because we live in the first world, because food is over abundant and available 24/7 to us, and mostly because we’re lucky as shit – if you don’t like your food, get over it.

This past week there was a lot of buzz around a New York Times food review that tore apart a TV Chef owned restaurant in NYC.  The entire article was written in questions. At first, I loved the article. I laughed. I thought it was clever and sarcastic and biting.  And then I reread it a few days ago because it’s been on my mind. I was wrong. I don’t like the article at all. I know it’s a review, I get that. And I’m all for honesty in journalism. But this wasn’t that. This was written by a man-boy who basically had a hissy fit because he didn’t like the food. He scorched the concept, the people, the food, the location – everything. It was an all out teenage tantrum wrapped in sardonic writing, and he seemed very happy with himself.

I’m not sure why this is bothering me and I’ve never been to the place that was reviewed.  I believe it wasn’t/isn’t great. And I’m sure there were truths to what the writer said in the article. But please, calm down dude, it’s not your last meal.

Here’s the article I’m talking about.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/dining/reviews/restaurant-review-guys-american-kitchen-bar-in-times-square.html

Just another Scorpio Sunday

I’m a Gemini mom married to a Cancer dad livin’ in a Scorpio world with my two kiddies.  My oldest, my goldest, turned 14 today. Gulp.  I know she doesn’t want me to post about her, but I have to. It’s a blogging law.

So in 1998, at 5am ish I woke my hubby up. He was sleeping on the couch because we’d had a fight and I needed the entire queen mattress to myself to get over it…..we walked down our railroad apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (passing uncle Larry as he was about to walk Gracie).  We hailed a cab and headed to Lenox Hill Hospital – about 10 blocks South of us. My water broke in the cab but the driver had us there in 5 minutes (we tipped big for the clean up!).

She was born shortly after, the first grandkid for both our families. There have been lots of great moments in between, each worthy of its own post. Like when she was a few months old and I fell asleep feeding her on the couch and dropped her, or when she ate so much cake at her 1st birthday party that she passed out from the sugar high, or when everyone told me she was turning yellow from all the baby food and I told them it was just her skin tone. Good times.

Smart, Beautiful, Funny, and most importantly ours!

Forget the holly — haul out the Hallmark Movie Channel

 

GUEST POST alert. RD strikes again!

Some people who know me might be shocked to discover that I am a rabid fan of the sappy holiday movie. Beneath my jaded, hard-bitten, work-a-day veneer lies the mushy heart of a true romantic. Most of the year, I am able to hide this chink in my otherwise sturdy armor, but at the holidays, the jig is up and the tissues are out.

I am not a snob either, of course the classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street, are always in heavy rotation, but I am also a sucker for the cheesy, un-original fluff that one is likely to find on Lifetime/Hallmark Channel/ABC Family and the like. Have you seen Holiday in Handcuffs, starring the too-buff Mario Lopez (of Saved by the Bell fame) and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, aka, Melissa Joan Hart? I predict that it will become a new classic. It’s a fun, opposites-attract, Christmas kidnapping caper, that is so unlikely, you almost believe that it must have happened, because who could make that crap up? I LOVE IT!

Some of the other must-sees on my list include:

The Christmas Card — not surprisingly, a Hallmark standby. Starring the great Ed Asner, and some other people I don’t know, it’s a sweet, slightly predictable tale about finding true love where and when you least expect it. Plus it’s set in the Pacific Northwest, so the scenery is breathtaking.

A Holiday Affair — Starring Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh. Call me Psycho (get it?) but I love this old black and white that you can sometimes catch on Turner Classic Movies. Allegedly, Mitchum was “forced” to make it by his management team because he had been caught smoking pot for like the 100th time, and they thought it would be good for his image. Whatever the reason, he’s dreamy and charming in it, and Janet Leigh is beautiful and gutsy–she had “moxie” or whatever they called it back then. I could do without the weird, pointy bra, but that’s another story.

Christmas In Connecticut — Another black and white sigh-fest starring Barbara Stanwyck. It has some funny, Three’s Company-style hi-jinks, but in the end, the right couple ends up together, and there’s lots of snow, and sleigh rides in a rural New England setting that looks like it’s straight out of a Currier and Ives print. I try to watch it twice if I can.

The Holiday — This is a semi-new fave, that I’m sure is much more familiar to most people. What can I say? Jack Black, Kate Winslet, Jude Law. Lots of house-porn with a luxe California beach home and a quaint English cottage. “Meet cutes” and witty, snappy dialog make it even better. Oh, and Cameron Diaz is in it too, but I don’t let that stop me from watching it with a bottle of wine…I mean, glass of wine.

There are many more I could list, but this entry is probably already much longer than WMEP anticipated. Besides, I heard Love Actually is coming on soon, so I have to go anyway….

Diwali is my jam!

Not really. But my girl and her friends call everything their jam so I thought I’d get in on the action.  Even though every time I try to use the word I think of actual jam. Raspberry to be specific.

Anyway – it’s Diwali. The Indian “festival of lights”. A cross between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s – without the turkey, booze or guy in the red suit. It’s the most important holiday for Indians. It involves (you guessed it) lights, lots of food, getting together with family and friends and being thankful for the good things in life. Sound familiar?

This ends my knowledge of Diwali. I think I did pretty good. Please refer to the internet or a good Indian for actual information.

Happy Merry Mazel Diwali!!

Rear View

There are literally thousands of blogs out there. Maybe millions. Topics include politics, religion, love, family, you name it and there’s a blog about it.

Bloggers write for many different reasons. Some write to vent or complain. Others write to educate or entertain. Still others write as a form of connection to the world. When people ask me (all 5 of you) why I write, I never have a clean answer. I dunno. Maybe I feel the need to over communicate. Maybe I’m a frustrated English grad. Or maybe I just needed a hobby, and I’m certainly not jogging.  Those same people then tell me how they could never write a blog, what would they write about? Why would anyone care? They probably won’t. But who cares!

Here’s why I blog.

 

This is what I saw when I stopped at a light yesterday. What do I do with this picture? I blog it.

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