Monday, June 28, 2010

Vacation blunders!

I'd warn you, both of my dear readers, that there are some gross pictures to follow, but as I already know you must have a pretty sick and twisted mind, I think this will serve as a disclaimer for anyone who happens to stumble upon my blog by chance. They are delightfully disgusting.

These are of special significance to me, because they are of my dear brothers, whom I sometimes despise. Why do I despise them? Because both of the buttheads can turn various shades of tan. The makeup I buy ranges from ivory to linen. What color make up would they wear? I don't know because I've never even bothered to look that dark in the makeup spectrum!!

Life is sometimes not fair. And sometimes, just sometimes, that works out in my favor. I learned as a very young person that sunburns hurt and you should always wear SPF "full body armor" if you plan to go to the beach and drink all day. My brothers were not as lucky as I was.

This is the before picture. Not so bad here. Somewhere in the medium tan range.

And then here are my genius brothers, showing their profound lack of common sense. Even our mother laughed at them.

And here they are, crispy fried chicken skins!

This picture requires a little bit of an explanation. This shows a previously unknown to the universe level of airheadedness. Not only does my brother, J, fry himself like bacon at the beach, but the next morning, when a little sense should have returned to him, he puts a nicotine patch on his arm. Why would he put it there? Why would he not put it on a spot that is not sunburned?? Was there a desire to further amuse me? I doubt it, but the thought does entertain me. This is the aftermath. Not only did he put the nicotine patch on the sunburned skin, but he ripped it off the next morning!

And all of the sudden, the peeling begins!

And here is the most disgusting picture of all! This looks like very finely sliced bacon coming off of my brother's head in strips.

So anyway, they're both single. I just thought I'd throw that out there. You know, in case some sick, twisted, awesome woman thought either one of them was even remotely cute and could stomach the thought of a guy who could be such an airhead.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The New Theme Song

Our house has a new theme song which was blatantly stolen from a popular song and centers on Annabelle's awesomeness.

Big Daddy Awesome: Sweet Annabelle

Boys: Bamp, bamp, bamp

Big Daddy Awesome: Bulldogs never looked so good

Boys: So good, so good, so good

Big Daddy Awesome: Sweet Annabelle

Boys: Bamp, bamp, bamp

Big Daddy Awesome: She's a pretty, little girl, my bulldog

There is definitely a trip in our future to take the munchkins to see Fenway Park.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Observations from the vacation

I noticed a few things while on vacation with my family this week.

1. Everyone in my family finds sunburned skin on someone else irresistible. My brothers spent a common sense free day at the beach and came back very sunburned. They spent the rest of the week touching one another on their respective sunburned necks and arms and backs whenever the other wasn't looking.

2. My mother gets some sort of injury every time she goes on vacation. This trip was no exception. She rode on a Seg-way (it's a one manned vehicle you stand on) and managed to crash into a curb and skinned her knee. This was an exceptionally mild injury for her.

3. I have an easily turned stomach when it comes to certain food and my family knows this. Chicken skin is a substance I find revolting. I may be the only southerner with this affliction. I NEVER eat that slimy, disgusting substance. Every time we passed the Kentucky Fried Chicken with the "All You Can Eat" banner, Big Daddy Awesome and my brothers would ask me if I'd like to go in for some deep fried chicken skin. And then I would involuntarily retch.

4. There are a large number of women who feel the need to wear a bikini at the beach. The vast majority of them should not be wearing said bikinis.

5. Big Daddy Awesome was recently diagnosed with a shell fish allergy. By me. He did not appreciate being threatened with an Epi-pen stabbing to his thigh if his airway swelled shut, should he indulge in any shell fish. (What did he think would happen if he married a nurse?)

6. The most fascinating thing my children did was ride the shuttle bus in Colonial Williamsburg. They begged to get to ride the bus every day. Why couldn't they find anything else fascinating?

7. A two hour dinner at a period restaurant with entertainment by costumed interpreters is perfectly acceptable. An hour and a half at a breakfast joint is completely unacceptable and yet the norm. Do they really think I want to bask in the ambiance of their tacky fake plants and decades old plastic chairs?

8. The tunnels going under the river coming out of Norfolk have a strobe-like effect and make me dizzy. How do more wrecks not happen there? Why can't they have a single bridge that doesn't go under the water?

9. In Texas, streams are a maximum of 10 feet wide. In Virginia, streams are a minimum of 100 feet wide and there's probably a minimum depth of 15 feet. Those are called rivers in Texas.

10. My family seems to be the source of weather extremes when we travel. Virginia had record setting temperatures at least 3 days while we were there.

All in all, it was a fun vacation.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ale vs. Beer

Big Daddy Awesome and I have taken the munchkins to Colonial Williamsburg for vacation this week. We are here with my mother and brothers so I will have plenty of stories from this vacation. This conversation happened last night at dinner.

Logan has just gotten his ginger ale from the waitress and I've gotten my beer.

Logan: I'm drinking a beer.

Me: No baby. You're drinking ginger ale.

Logan: Momma, ale is a kind of beer, so I'm drinking Ginger Beer.

Me, speechless. I'm not sure if I'm utterly impressed with the genius that is my child and the logic going on in his brain or really worried about the fact that my 5 year old knows this much about beer already.

Disclaimer: I regularly enjoy a glass of beer or wine in front of my children. I do not discuss said beverages with them.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The First Curse Word

When I was pregnant with the munchkins, I was terrified that I might do something wrong. I wanted desperately to make sure they were smart and tall and healthy and had happy childhoods and became productive members of society and my list went on and on and on. I read book after book trying to make sure they became the best people they could be and I did the best I could for them. I was a little high strung at the time. That moment has passed.

Now, my list is shorter. At the end of the day, if the entire list can be answered affirmatively, it has been a good day.

1. Are the munchkins both still alive?
2. Do they still possess all of their limbs?
3. Do they still possess all of their digits?
4. Have we avoided a trip to the emergency room?

By the time the boys were about 18 months old, I had loosened up quite a bit from the time when I was reading all of the books and terrified I would screw up my children, but I would still play some classical music in my car when they were with me. Some book somewhere had proclaimed that classical music would foster brain growth, so I played classical music for them. Or rather, I played the one classical music CD I had because I liked it, which was Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker.

So on one of those days when I was driving the boys home from Ed's office, I was playing Tchaikovsky and thinking about how wonderful of a mother I was, helping with their brain development and all. They had just started talking. My thoughts about my fantastic mothering were interrupted by my sweet baby Logan talking in the background. I finally decided to listen to what he was saying. My sweet little baby was grabbing his feet and saying, "sonofabitch, sonofabitch, sonofabitch, sonofabitch." There was no malice in his tone. He was just trying the words on for size, letting them roll off his tongue.

The thought that went through my head was, Well, son of a bitch, where did he hear that?

The words that actually came out of my mouth were, Well, son of a bitch, OHHHH!

I laughed at myself and my baby. I told Big Daddy Awesome about the whole thing. We talked about cutting the curse words out of our vocabulary and realized that would be an exercise in futility for us.

Now, those words are called "Grown up words" and the munchkins make an effort not to say them in front of us. Hey, they're still alive with all of their limbs.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stories in the car

Warning! If you have a queasy stomach, or have never been in the presence of little boys, you may want to skip this story. You have been warned.

So my husband (who has given himself the name "Big Daddy Awesome" and will now be the name I use for him here) and I and the boys went on a little adventure today that involved being in the car for quite a while. On the trip back home, it was dark, so I told the munchkins they couldn't play their video games and they needed to go to sleep. They asked for books. I told them they couldn't read books because it was dark. They asked me to tell them a story. I told them no. (Do you see a trend here?) They turned on Big Daddy Awesome. Big Daddy Awesome told them to settle down because he had a great story for them.


There once was a castle near here. The castle was ruled by Princess Louise. (Uncontrollable snickering and giggling start, the little demons.) And Princess Louise was known for her farting. (more giggling) That morning, Princess Louise had beans and rice for breakfast.

Princess Louise decided to go out among her subjects that day. It was custom for the subjects to bow as Princess Louise walked past them. This unfortunately put their noses right at the level of her toots! And her toots were so bad that the subjects would all say, "Good morning Princess Louise!" and then they would vomit because of the smell. (How bad did the farts smell Daddy?)

Well, her farts smelled like someone had vomited, then ate it, then pooped it out, ate it again, vomited it out, ate it again, and then farted!

Can you hear the giggling? It was uncontrollable!

But Princess Louise had a secret. At night, after all of her subjects were asleep, Princess Louise would go out into the streets and eat all of the vomit from her subjects had vomited earlier in the day, which had baked under the hot sun all day.

And did she die?


No, no, she didn't die from that.

Well, when is she going to die?

A few days later, Princess Louise had closed herself up in her bedroom, sated from all of the vomit she had eaten. She was farting and sniffing the farts to her hearts content. And, the power went out. The servants went through the castle lighting candles to provide light. A servant opened the door to Princess Louise's room and lit a match to light a candle. All of the methane and gas that had collected in the room all day exploded, scorching everything in a ten mile radius!

And then did she die?

Well, Princess was never seen or heard from again. But the residents of a town a few miles away tell of huge mushroom cloud in the sky, and then an absence of the odor from her farts, so she must be dead!

Uncontrollable giggling again!


Yes, I do realize the irony of including this kind of story in a cooking blog!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Spanish Tuna Empanadas

For the party I had a couple of weeks ago, I made Spanish Tuna Empanadas. I found a similar recipe in Bon Appetit (which had an amazing set of articles a in May). I first liked the recipe because it called for the whole thing to be made with two sheets of puff pastry which is sliced after being cooked. (I like to be a lazy cook when I can.)

Spanish Tuna Empanadas

1 package of puff pastry

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 chopped bell pepper (I used a red bell pepper)
2 garlic cloves
2- 6 oz cans of tuna in olive oil
3 sliced hard boiled eggs
16 oz sliced proscuitto
1 egg

Set out the puff pastry to thaw.

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until softened. Put the mixture into a bowl. Drain the tuna and add to the bowl. Add the sliced hard boiled eggs. Gently combine.

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray or olive oil. Put one opened puff pastry and put it on the cookie sheet. Layer the proscuitto on the puff pastry, leaving a one inch border. Top with the tuna mixture. Crack the egg into a separate bowl for an egg wash. Brush the border of the puff pastry with the egg. Open the other puff pastry and cover the whole mixture. Fold up the bottom border of puff pastry over the top. Cover the top of the empanada with the egg wash. Cut slits in the top of the empanada to allow steam to escape.

Bake the empanada for 20-25 minutes.

Allow the empanada to cool and slice into 8-10 rectangles.

Can be served hot or at room temperature.

This would have been even better with a layer of manchengo cheese covering the tuna mixture.

I walked the munchkins down to their grandparents house this morning while they rode their big wheels. I dropped them off and walked back. As I got onto my driveway, my shoe started scrapping the concrete as I walked. I thought it was a rock, so I tried to drag my shoe along the concrete to get the rock out and I couldn't get rid of it. So I finally looked at the bottom of my shoe and found that nail almost embedded entirely in my shoe! Thank God I had on my Clark's flip flops! The leather sole didn't even get punctured!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Family Road Trip, II

I logged an incredible 1,000 miles behind the wheel of my Suburban this last weekend. Why? Because my Grandmother no longer drives. And my Mother finds herself unable to make it up to the speed limit and I cannot bear to have her drive me that crazy. And my brother (who is 20!!) is afraid of driving large vehicles.

All of that was ok though, because I find it hard to trust other people driving while the munchkins are in the back of the vehicle.

The panhandle of Texas made me realize that I really didn't know what it was like to live in a small, country town. The towns were a good 30-45 minutes apart. There was literally nothing between towns. In my neck of the woods, you can't go five minutes in the car without running into a gas station. I even mentioned this on the drive up to the panhandle!!

On Monday though, we left our hotel and I noticed the trip odometer was at 690 miles. I completely neglected to look at the gas gauge. I was ready to get home! The munchkins were tired. I was speeding down the highway, getting close to the halfway mark between our starting point and the next town. It was almost 40 miles between towns! And.....the low gas light came on. (Naturally.) Normally, I wouldn't have worried, because I would have about 35 miles that I could go, more than enough to the next town. The Suburban was full of 6 people and luggage for all of them!!

Would we make it all the way to the next gas station?

Would we run out of gas and have some mass murderer come up to offer one of us a ride to get gas?? (My mother was with us. This is a realistic scenario.)

I slowed down to 55 miles per hour.

A trucker ended up behind us, following closely. Was the mass murderer in the truck?

We went up and down hills. We passed county road after county road intersecting with the highway, all without a gas station or business of any kind in sight.

I drove for what felt like hours.

We passed cows and horses.



we saw the gas station! All without running out of gas or meeting the mass murders that must have been lurking around, waiting for the perfect opportunity to snatch up my mother.

We did make it home in one piece!