Tag Archive | food

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

I have to visit my parents tomorrow for Easter. Well, I don’t “have to” per se, I just am. I wouldn’t turn down my mother’s cooking for anything. So. You know what that means. Well, maybe you don’t. In which case, you haven’t been paying attention. Hey, that’s okay! You’re not alone. I tend to zone out when I ramble on too.

What it means is, I have to clean out my car before my father sees it. Now, this is a true “have to” situation. So, knowing the mood I’ll be in when it’s all said and done, I thought I would take the lazy easy smart way out for blogging today and repost my Easter entry from last year. In all honesty though, it’s as true today as it was then.

So now I’m off to do the dirty deed. And not in a fun way. I have garbage bags, plastic gloves, and determination. I should survive. I hope. Nothing appeared to be moving in the backseat last time I was in the car. But still. Wish me luck?

 

— — Original Post from 2016 — —

Easter Egg Hunting, Old People Style

Easter is only a day away now and you know what that means. Well, now I think about it, I guess it could mean a lot of things. A renewed sense of religious piety. The cyclic nature of life, death, and resurrection. An observance of a community-building holiday founded in the goodness of fellow citizens. What does it mean for me? Besides loads of candy — eggs, of course!

It’s true. I hear the word Easter and the first thing I’m reminded of is not a crucifix. I think of the overabundance of candy that saturates the day with sugary goodness…those of you who may remember this jingle can hum it with me (and you’re welcome for the earworm!) — “Mary Sue Easter Eggs, Mary Sue Easter Eggs, here’s a treat that is sunny for your Easter Bunny, the creamiest candy that’s made. Mary Sue Easter eggs, Mary Sue Easter eggs, Brighten you Easter parade!”

Next at the top of my list for Easter reflection are eggs. The hunting variety, that is. Oh, they weren’t always my first thought. When I was a little girl the word “Easter” meant that it was time to dress in a pretty new outfit and slip on some beautiful new shoes. Boy, did I love that tradition.

my brother & me in our Easter outfits – Easter 1971

But then I grew up and, after I had my son, Easter Sunday became much more about the basket, the eggs, and the competitive quest for the brightly colored symbols of Spring. I loved putting together the baskets with the chocolate bunnies and the pastel colors shining from the fake grass inlay. I loved it so much I still decorate Easter baskets for my kids to this day. No lie. I know that my kids are well past the age of believing in the Easter bunny but it doesn’t mean we don’t still enjoy the magic of the holiday. Or at least the candy.  And my daughter and I still dye eggs together. Albeit we’re a bit more creative now in seeing what crazy things we can do with colors and trimmings (this year I’m determined to talk her into a horror theme). So what? She may be a teenager and I’m, ahem, just a tad older than a teenager, but Easter doesn’t have an age limit, right?

Of course, hand-in-hand with the coloring of the eggs comes the annual Easter tradition of the classic Easter Egg Hunt! When my son was growing up, this was an Event with a Capital E. We would hunt eggs, oh maybe a billion times each Easter afternoon after dinner. Rain or shine. He never tired of searching for those cleverly hidden holiday icons that we had so painstakingly colored just the night before.

The tradition was subsequently passed down to my daughter. They’re seven years apart so when Jake was already a seasoned veteran in his egg hunting career, Sarah was just a rookie starting to ascend the ranks. Don’t think for a minute that he taught her anything or showed her the ropes though…it was a fierce competition from the get-go.  Egg hunting has always been a very serious undertaking in our household, with those partaking in the game guarding their stash with a watchful eye as they scanned the horizon for yet another victim poking its neon-colored head out from under a blade of grass or leaf or perhaps sitting there precariously upon a bird-feeder perch. Until recently that is.

You see, the age of retirement from a career as an egg hunter in my family is exactly NEVER.  No one gets out of the Easter Egg game in my family.  I don’t care if you’re 16 or 75. You’re either hiding eggs or finding eggs. Case closed.  It’s always been a family affair and we do more than just have the adults hide the eggs then set the kids loose across the yard. We like to mix it up.

Back in the day, it used to be a kids vs. adults hunting royale. Now that the kids are older, it’s evolved into more of a men vs. women battle of the sexes hunt.

There’s only one problem: age. We’re all getting older and our collective memory just isn’t quite what it used to be. So nowadays one team will go out and hide their batch of eggs, then the other team will put forth the good search and find, oh, we’ll say most of them…but when it’s time to reclaim the ones that weren’t found, so much time has passed that the team who hid them in the first place now can’t remember where those “they’ll never find them here!” spots are that were so deviously chosen to befuddle their beloved family members just 30 minutes prior.  So, often times, our two teams have to merge into one super-team just to find all the eggs. And even then, it’s never a given all of the eggs will be found. We’re still missing an egg from 2013.

Yes, every Easter Egg hunt has the potential to turn into a messy expedition through the grassy lands of colorfully-dyed forgetfulness, but it doesn’t stop us. Oh no, not us. Why? Because it’s too much darn fun, that’s why!

This year I’m going to propose something different when egg hunting time comes around. I say, we just ALL go ahead and hide the eggs together. No teams. That way we skip the foreplay and start this year’s hunt where we know it’s going to end up anyway. After we hide the eggs as one group, we go back in the house, have a little coffee, sip a little wine, nibble on some cake, then after 20 minutes or a half hour goes by, head on back out to the yard. I guarantee that none of us will remember where we put our eggs.  Then a truly great hunt can begin! It’s all about turning a negative into a positive. Genius, right?

Pray for Me

Lord help me, but our rinky-dink grocery store which is out in the middle of nowhere, just like the rest of us in this small town, just put in a Starbucks. Yes. A Starbucks. Which is quite ironic given the lay of the land around here. But hey, it’s coffee and if there’s coffee, I’m there. This oasis just opened two days ago, and I’ve been there 2, 3, 5, okay, fine, 6 times.

Now, you have to understand that previous to this, we had two Starbucks nearby – if a 30-minute drive in one direction and a 45-minute drive in the other direction can be considered “nearby.” So obtaining the desired bounty of a spontaneous craving for caffeine was just a bit time-consuming and often simply not worth it. This was a good thing. Both for my weight and my wallet. But now, now that delicious, overpriced, heaven in a cup is just 5 minutes away. AND it’s literally next door to the high school, soooo…dropping my daughter off at school and picking her up just became that much more fraught with peril.

Even more so because like a local, lower-level drug dealer trolling for victims, this Starbucks’ marketing ploy was to offer free samples…then they upped their game to coupons…you know, to get you hooked – if you weren’t already. And can I just take a moment here to ask “just what the hell does Starbucks put in their coffee anyway??” I mean, what kind of person spends $4.00 on a cup of coffee?? An aficionado addict. That’s who.

The fact that there are few carry-out coffee choices here notwithstanding, I was perfectly happy with McDonald’s coffee, if not the grumpy employees who run our McDonald’s, thank you very much. Now? Arrgghh!  Now there is the very real possibility of my waistline getting fatter while my wallet gets thinner on a daily basis. But my espresso fueled productivity?  Through the freaking roof.

 

Not Your Ordinary Cup of Joe

My life is now complete. Two of my favorite things combined into one hot mug of scrumptiousness. Hell, I may even become a morning person if I can wake up to coffee like this. Okay, well, that may be pushing it a little, but finding a local place to purchase this coffee is most definitely at the top of my “to do” list.

 

click on the photo to read all about this delightful concoction

click on the photo to read all about this delightful concoction

When I Win the Lotto

Let’s be clear.

I will win the mega-millions Lotto.  This was told to me by a fortune-teller at my local carnival this past summer.   She also told me I would get a break, and she was right; my bank account is as broke as they come.  How did she know!?  It boggles the mind. Truly.

The first thing I will do as a mega-multi-millionaire is to run for president.  Hold on, someone just told me that’s already been done.  Damn.

My next plan as a future Lotto winner is to buy The Perfect House.  You know the one; with the swimming pool in the kitchen, the bowling alley in the foyer, and the self-cleaning bathroom?  I love New York, and I also love California.  I would happily move to either place, or maybe both, if I didn’t have to worry about making a living.   That would be the extent of my real estate investments, though, because I’d be traveling all of the time.  If it weren’t for my animals…well, and a general lack of funds…I’d never be home as it is.  Since this is my future, according to Madame Mystery at the Country Fair, I’m interviewing animal caretakers and looking into buying each pet a mobile home.   Just kidding; Rufus the Invincible has a license but he doesn’t drive.  Wouldn’t it be great to have enough money to take them with me as I trek the world, though?

I’m not a big lover of stuff.  Sure, stuff is great, but instead of buying even more stuff, I’d indulge my laziness. I’d have servants – paid very well mind you. In return for a generous yearly salary, room and board, medical insurance, the whole nine yards, they would have to be on call 24/7. And having lived with myself for quite some time now, I know that I have bad days where I’m …um…grumpy, shall we say? On days when I’m less than my nice self, I’d offer up an extra $200 or so in cash in advance – first thing in the morning (forewarned is forearmed they say) and explain to all and sundry, today I’m a bitch. Sorry. But here’s $200.

feed me! oh, was that harsh? here's some cash!

I’m sorry for what I said while I was hungry.  Here’s some cash.

One of these well-compensated individuals would be my “runner.”  If I want coffee or some of that great carry out seafood from across town, I’d just call the runner. I’d also have a chef, but one that does more than make those frilly little dishes that look like cat food with a piece of sidewalk weed on them.   My chef will be as versed in good old home cooking as he is in fine French cuisine.  “A big old slab of homemade meatloaf drowning in gravy, Monsieur Snooty, if you please, and  a loaf of your finest bread, with chocolate mousse for dessert.  And a diet Coke.”   At midnight if I’m hungry for a snack or a full-blown meal, I’d just buzz the chef’s quarters.   Heck, let’s take it all the way and send the runner to the kitchen for my snack. Oh yeah. I know how to live.

Now, we’ve discussed my mobile pet idea, but of course I won’t be travelling ALL the time…I would eventually make pit-stops at home. So for those times when we are home, I’d hire someone to clean up all the cat hair and hairballs.  This would be an awesome job for someone, seriously.  I’d pay them well to dump litter boxes and clean up outdoor…errrr, leavings.  These dainty hands will never again flick a hairball under the couch, or pour more litter on top of the old in a vain attempt to get out of changing the box.  Don’t judge me, you’ve done it too.  This person also gets to take my dogs out whenever the need arises.  I may just train the dogs to buzz for their caretakers themselves and eliminate the middleman altogether. The middleman being me. Just so you know. Cause I’m lazy.

me...being my lazy self

me…being my lazy self

No more stuck in traffic for THIS Lotto winner.  I mean, I might be stuck in traffic but I wouldn’t have the “stuck in traffic driver stress.” You see, I’d never drive myself again…anywhere. I could just lean dramatically back in my seat and sigh loudly, like I did when I was a teenager.  Good times.

With all the time and money in the world at my disposal, you’d best believe I would be one sexy, albeit idle, chick.  I’d have salon and spa days, and relax on the French Riviera, drink at a café in Tuscany, and hide myself away in a thatch-roofed cottage on the coast of Ireland. You know. Just the essential travel spots.  I have already bought a cover shoot for Glamour, in case you’re wondering.  Madame Mystery insisted that I would be adored by millions and loved by all.  Or was it that I owed millions and would be sued by all?  It’s a little hazy, and I was still reeling from the Tilt-A-Whirl.

I would need a hobby to occupy my time.  Of course, right? Everyone need a hobby.  I’m dangerous with pointy objects, so knitting is out.  I’m not very athletic, so sports would be out, too.  Thank goodness for that; that last one involved excessive movement.  Who the hell wants to do that!? I decided to Google a bit of fancy hobbies, and my research turned up the following.

  • Collecting fine antiques: This isn’t your grandmother’s china cabinet here.  We’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on a rare coin, stamp, rug, or piece of jewelry.  On top of this, I would need to build a special storage facility and insure the whole thing.   Sounds like a lot of work for things I can’t really use, doesn’t it?
  • Investing in an art collection: Up until now, I have considered the TV Guide as a valuable artistic statement.  Turns out, there are paintings and sculptures that I don’t like or understand for several million dollars apiece.  I can own some of this baffling work for myself, if so inclined.  I’d pay other people to look at it and make appropriate “oohs” and “aahs.” But then I’d need to get insurance, a security guard, an alarm system. Who has time for all of that?
  • Race Car Driving: I kid you not, I could enter the exciting world of race car driving.  Probably, the equally exciting world of hospital emergency rooms as well.  If I visited the hospital enough times, I would just build a wing in my name…provided I remember my name after the accidents.   This fine sport costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars per hour when on the track. That doesn’t take into consideration the medical bills. Blech.
  • Boating: Nothing says indulgent like purchasing a boat as big as my house and burning through enough fuel in a half hour to power an entire third world country for a year.
  • Gambling in high stakes games: When the opening bid is a million dollars, I think I’ll leave my inner Kenny Rogers on the table and just fold ‘em.

Maybe fancy hobbies aren’t for me? I just couldn’t get into anything like that. Oh wait, I do know one hobby I could get into. I could collect animals – all my favorites: pigs, horses, sheep, chickens, cows, dogs, cats, the works. Emptying out a livestock auction or a shelter, now that I would enjoy. The money I would spend on fuel for a race car each week could pay a keeper to take care of them – and what it would cost to buy a boat or that antique umbrella holder dipped in gold could surely buy the necessary property on which to build a sanctuary to keep them healthy and happy.  Now THAT, that I could get into.

When I win the Lotto, I can see myself still being me, only a hell of a lot less stressed…and maybe a few pounds heavier.  I’d like to think I’m not one of those individuals that money would change.  I’d also sure like to find that out for myself one day.

In the meantime, if you see Madame Mystery, tell her I’m still waiting.

just sitting here...waiting...any day now...

just sitting here…waiting…any day now…

Thanksgiving Preparations

There are certain staples for every Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey? Check. Cranberry sauce? Check. Pumpkin pie? Check. Arguments with family members over politics? Check and check. Let’s face it, even though we know it’s a bad idea politics and Thanksgiving go hand in hand. Inevitably after a couple few several glasses of wine, we have our disagreements on where our country is heading, we re-evaluate what we thought we knew about our close relatives, maybe we lose a little respect for some family members, then dinner ends and we get on with our lives. This year, though…oy.

The discussions about what’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might get a little more heated than normal. To say that this past political season has been divisive is a bit of an understatement. Bring up the topic of gun control, abortion, or foreign policy and watch out. Your Robin turns into your Joker. Your Garfunkel morphs into your Axl Rose. Suddenly, the person you call family begins snarling, cursing your name, and sometimes just saying downright hateful things right in your face – viciously arguing their views. Don’t even get me started on the third-grade level name-calling. Ugh.

Thanksgiving is frustrating enough without politics, don’t you think? First off, the hours of intense cooking (often under harsh scrutiny by someone else at the table who thinks they’re mashed potato/stuffing/green bean casserole recipe is far better than yours) are for what? Ten minutes of actual eating? Or should I say inhaling? Then, there’s the cleanup. The mountains of dishes coated in congealed fat and butter take forever to clean. The “eating” part of the event is barely a blip compared to the pre-meal planning and post-meal de-cluttering. Which just doesn’t seem fair if you ask me. But then I love food more than I love just about anything. Yeah, I know. I need help.

This year I’m going to try to get a seat at the kid’s table where the conversation is sure to be light and I will no doubt learn a new joke about bodily functions for my ever-growing repertoire. Not to mention they don’t care if you’re a messy eater. Hell, they are too! AND they’re allowed to be picky about what they eat. Now that’s right up my alley. Plus, PLUS — they don’t know what wine is and won’t give you a side-eye when you keep guzzling the “happy juice.” Oh yeah. The kids’ table it is!

Canine Hypnosis

This is what happens when you have a snack in the middle of the night. I’m not sure if he’s laying on the guilt or doing his best to hypnotize Sarah into forking over some of her sandwich. Either way, it didn’t work. Unlike me, the girl is immune to his mind control charms.

 

You know, just for the record, I too like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. No? Okay then, you leave me no choice. *staring intently* Give the dog a bite...give the dog a bite...give the dog a bite...

You know, just for the record, I too like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. No? Okay then, you leave me no choice. *staring intently* Give the dog a bite…give the dog a bite…give the dog a bite…