Sleep deprived and running on fumes Tuesday, June 20, 2006I'm currently battling the most itchy bug bites ever. I've used up countless numbers of tubes of benedryl, aveeno and prescription steroid cream and I probably have crushed an entire icebergs worth of ice to put in my ice packs.
I'm more than a bit sleep deprived because the itching gets worse at night. Especially towards the early morning hours when benedryl seems to fail me.
Like any good internet addicted person I've been searching for a cure to my bites. I think the most creative and somehow disturbing one was someone who recommended that one should scrub their bites with a pumice stone and then slather on the vicks-vaporub. Holy hell.
A small twisted part of me thinks the pumice stone would be oddly satisfying to scrub over those infernal bites but yet I know that is the crazy road to infection. And really, do I need to be the girl who had her legs amputated because she had some really itchy bug bites?
And since this post is mostly whining and complaining, I'm going to link to Mary-Mia's site which has a fantastic home movie of her and her parents playing with mentos and diet coke (which if you don't know cause crazy sort of eruptions). Plus she edited it up all cool like with music and subtitles:
Mary-Mia and family doing it up Mr. Wizard style
Hey chocolate, fuck off. Monday, June 12, 2006I decided to attempt a new culinary feat this weekend, homemade marshmallows.
What was going to be an easy peasy weekend turned into the cooking weekend from hell. I just couldn't win.
Friday I started the marshmallows and realized that my 9x13 Anchor Hocking blue glass pan (a gift from my grandparents) was missing. How, you ask? Well, my living situation is unusual and I thusly sort of have a lot of roommates. I can't go into specifics for various reasons but if you have a burning need to know you can email me and ask. Sooo, one of these roommates took my fucking pan and I was pissed (they have also taken my blender). Then I couldn't find my candy thermometer so I had to head back out to the store and $30 dollars later I had a new 9x13 pan (not blue though), a new candy thermometer, and the most recent copy of Martha Stewart living (from whom all good things come).
Back at the house I fired up the sugar, corn syrup and water and watched it boil away till it reached 240 degrees. Finally it all got combined in the mixer with the gelatin. Of which I accidentally purchased enough to fill a swimming pool. 82 packets of unflavored gelatin anyone?
Here is what is looks like when you first mix it up:
And then what it looks like after about 15 minutes:
Then you spread the molten marshmallow into a non-metal pan that has been dusted with powdered sugar and dust the top. Let it sit for 24 hours before cutting.
Two bite marshmallows:
It was extremely easy to make, but then I decided to cover them in chocolate for a super fancy treat for my friend's birthday. That is when things really went downhill, like a kid who just learned to ride flying down a steep mountain side.
The first batch of chocolate seized up on me. I've never had chocolate do that to me before, it was like it was giving me the big FUCK YOU. So I pitched that into the trash since I had an industrial bag full of chocolate chips and heated up some more. This batch too seized up on me, and again I pitched it. The third batch didn't seize but was oddly thick and made it difficult to coat the marshmallows, but at least it was a start. The fourth batch (yes, there was a FOUTH batch) is where is really went off the rails. The bottom of the bowl that I had been using melted and started to burn. My kitchen was filled with noxious smelling smoke pouring from my microwave.
The completely fucked bowl:
Yes, I melt my chocolate in the microwave rather than the double boiler to prevent seizing and plus it gets super hot in my kitchen and standing over my chocolate in front of an enormous open flame (gas stove represent!). Also my food science guru Alton Brown does it in the microwave. If it is good enough for him it is good enough for me. I've melted chocolate this way for EONS, in fact when I do my marathon chocolate covered strawberry sessions that last 8 hours every fall I use the microwave almost exclusively. So it wasn't a failure in method, rather I think it was a failure of the chocolate I purchased.
So the fifth and final batch seized on me. At this point I'm near suicidal, "Hello, suicide hotline, my chocolate won't stop acting like a bitch and I'm about to take my very sharp knife and do something dangerous. I may not hurt myself but I've got a Sam's club size bag of chocolate chips that might meet a very violent end."
I've now been attempting to melt chocolate for 3+ hours and have dipped exactly 10 marshmallows.
I decide to google my problem and see that if you add enough water/cream/butter that you can get the chocolate to un-seize maybe. But all I end up with is lumpy chocolate. Very, very lumpy chocolate. I coat a few more marshmallows so everyone at the dinner party can have two, pop them in the fridge to harden a bit and disgusted walk away from the chocolate bomb that has enveloped my kitchen. I get ready, and I must say I looked pretty foxy, mid-getting ready I pull the chocolate covered marshmallows from the fridge so they can come back to room temp before being put in the pretty little box I bought just for them.
About 20 minutes later (and 37 outfit changes) I find the marshmallows have come to room temp but are oddly melty looking. Like if you picked one up, you would come away a sizable chunks of chocolate on your fingers.
I'm standing in my kitchen and I loudly exclaim "FUCK IT". Grab my purse and walk out the door sans marshmallows.
This afternoon I grabbed the offending marshmallows from my house and brought them into work. I explained to everyone that it was a disastrous day for the chocolate but they all say they taste wonderfully. Truthfully, I think they are being kind.
I still haven't been able to put one in my mouth because the smell of chocolate makes me feel nauseous.
Momma's little baby loves shortin' bread Friday, June 09, 2006For some reason I've always associated the above lyric with cornbread not shortin' bread. I do realize there is a major difference but I still do it.
Yesterday I had an intense craving for cornbread and I.just.had.to.have.it.
So I had two pieces of cornbread for dinner, way healthy. But then again, I consider that a perk of being an adult.
I can remember being a little girl and my mom would make this dessert called Zebra cake. It was made with these chocolate cookie wafers and whipped cream. I have a VERY clear memory of sitting on the counter in our house in Ft. Worth and asking my mom if I could have some of the chocolate cookie wafers. She told me no.
I remember thinking that when I was an adult I was going to buy those wafers and sit down and eat the WHOLE BOX.
Now that I have grown into some bit of maturity and I pay my bills, buy the groceries and work for a living I see why she told me no. It wasn't that she was a mean, evil witchy momma who wanted to deny me things rather those chocolate cookie wafers are fucking expensive. Hell, I wouldn't let my kid eat them either (um, you know the fictional kid that I have and pull out when I want to prove a point about my own childhood.)
That doesn't mean that as a childish act of an adult that I didn't buy those chocolate cookie wafers this winter and eat them. I didn't, as in my childhood longing, eat them in one sitting rather I ate them leisurely and relished the fact that I am adult now and childhood dream had come true.
A music post with a delicious rant-filled center Thursday, June 01, 2006Last week I went out and purchased the new Dixie Chicks album, or I should rather say I went to iTunes and did it so my ass did not have to leave my chair because sometimes I'm really the ultimate sloth.
But I digress.
I bought the album, partly as a show of solidarity for them speaking their minds about whatever it is they feel. It is their right, guaranteed to them by The Constitution. Also I would like to point out that I also feel it is Toby Keith's right to say whatever he wants, unless it is calling someone who is exercising their GUARANTEED rights um-American. Because really that is just stupid and ignorant. He can say he doesn't like them, or their politics but I don't understand why not being for war, or disagreeing with the president suddenly makes you un-American. Frankly it is bullshit.
Again, I'm going to go off on a tangent for a moment. I'm not Toby Keith's biggest fan, and I'm sure a lot of people will think this is a stupid reason but here it is: In one of his bigger hits he sings about a snobby ass girl he went to high school with who wouldn't give him the time of day. In retaliation he wrote her name on the 50 yard line with the words 'for a good time call'. This set of words has always pissed me off more than you can imagine. What sort of childish asshole calls a girl a slut in such a public manner because she snubbed him (ok, a lot of people do this but it is WRONG). First of all I think it is bullshit that girls get called out for being sexual active and it is considered a stain on their reputation but men can do whatever the hell they please and not receive one whit of condemnation.
And yes, I realize it is a song and probably didn't happen. But in singing about it the way he does he condones the behavior.
Back to the Dixie Chicks.
The album is awesome. Really it is. First of all the single Not Ready to Make Nice is amazing, it is very touching and angry and epic (in my opinion). The violin (fiddle) work is just phenomenal. In Not Ready To Make Nice is soars and brings tears to my eyes. In other songs it so mimics Natalie Maines' voice that it practically is speaking.
I'm not a country fan, but this album is really great and I think other non-country fans would like it too.
And one last commentary.
Natalie Maines is not fat. I am so fucking sick of reading that on the web. She is going to look different standing next to two taller more wispy women. I get so angry that people see fit to judge other people's body types. We are nation of seriously fucked up women because it is OK to call someone fat and therefore dismiss them all together regardless of what talents they have. If you aren't thin and perfect you need to disappear. That is the message women everyday are getting, it fucks you up in the head. It makes me damn near violent when I hear someone say something about someone's weight.
People come in all different sizes and shapes. It doesn't mean they are less human, or not talented or unworthy of love.