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Archive for November, 2012

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, Jay and I are putting together our dinner menu. This year we’re hosting family for the traditional dinner. We usually go to one of my sister’s places for holiday dinners, but this year Tracy is getting ready to remodel her kitchen, Coleen will be at her in-laws and Melissa will be in Napa (darnit … she has two kitchens with a total of three ovens). So Jay and I are making Thanksgiving dinner here. He acquired two turkeys for free after doing some volunteer work with a friend, and now his current passion is to complete the rest of the dinner for under $15. That should take care of mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and a green salad. I sure hope the rest comes together with the dishes that everyone else brings. Oh, and he also acquired a free case of green beans. Sigh. That means Green Bean Casserole. Actually my niece, Tristene, will take the green beans and make the dish, which is great, because I don’t want anything to do with them. I hate green beans. I mean, I’m allergic to green beans (that excuse seems to go over better with everyone who doesn’t understand my discriminating palate). The only “green” beans I’ll eat are soy beans. Maybe I should make edamame for Thanksgiving. In fact, I always try to talk everyone into Japanese food or Italian food for Thanksgiving. It hasn’t worked yet.

(Oh, hold please. While sitting here on the couch, I just heard Jay dig his hand into the chip bag and he was actually snoring two seconds ago. Need to make sure he’s not sleep eating again.)

Okay, I’m back. You know, I really don’t like traditional Thanksgiving food. As a kid, I survived off of mashed potatoes, a roll and the marshmallows off the top of the yams. And maybe canned black olives if I was lucky. But stuffing? Blecch. Candied yams? Blecch. Cranberry sauce? Blecch. Green Bean Casserole? Double Blecch.

I know, you all love it I’m sure, especially at Thanksgiving. But probably not the variety of Green Bean Casserole my Mom used to make. The ‘French’ string beans Mary Ann found for this dish seemed to have that extra ‘hairy coating’ on them that made me texture-gag. And I don’t know what was worse, the hairy green beans or the “gourmet” canned fried onions that melted into goo on top of them. Hmm, hairy green beans … I guess that’s where the French name “haricot vert” came from … hairy French veggies.

Tracy actually asked for seconds of Green Bean Casserole. Brown-Noser. I, on the other hand, would secretly practice my telepathic skills to summon our German shepherd, Sundance, over to the table to eat my portion. She was no dummy. She’d look at me out of the corner of her eye and wait for me to telepathically offer her my Spam instead. Yep, she could have that, too.

There’s just nothing like a mouth-watering recipe off the side of a canned food item. I don’t even have to give you the recipe for Green Bean Casserole; you all probably have it committed to memory. You’re probably fixing it right now.

Till this day, I can’t even eat regular canned green beans. The only kind of green beans I can handle are those of the fresh variety. But canned spinach? Hello!! I love every type of spinach there is. I eat spinach salad just about every night. I’ll open up a can of spinach and dig in with my fork just to gross Jay out (it is possible). I might even throw it on a plate cold and sprinkle some apple cider vinegar on it. Yum. Am I grossing anyone out? Good. That’s what you get for liking Green Bean Casserole.

But Happy Thanksgiving!

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Breakfast is my favorite meal. If I could only have one meal a day, it’d be breakfast. I love it so much, I eat breakfast for dinner sometimes. We did that when I was a kid; it was easy and cheap … and delicious.

Now, I don’t like all breakfast foods. I’ve never cared for pancakes or waffles or French toast. They require maple syrup and that just results in a mushy, disgusting combination to me. As a kid, I tried them with honey and jelly, but that didn’t help. My family thinks I’m so picky, but I consider myself discriminating.

My favorite breakfast consists of eggs and potatoes. Of course adding bacon or ham doesn’t hurt. When I was a kid, my Mom made breakfast on the weekends which is where my love of eggs and potatoes began. Dad liked his eggs prepared just right: soft yolks with the whites cooked through. Over-easy, over-medium, depends on the restaurant … but my sisters and I learned real quick how to make those eggs just how Dad liked them. And that’s exactly how I like them today. But I love them scrambled, too – egg whites with mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes is just divine.

Of course, the Holy Grail of breakfasts is Eggs Benedict. I could eat it every day. My sister, Tracy, makes a great Eggs Benedict. And she makes fancy Hollandaise sauce from scratch. She learned the perfect recipe from my Stepmom, Phyllis. Me? I use McCormicks Hollandaise Sauce Mix or Aunt Penny’s in the can, cuz I’m lazy. Sometimes I just fry an egg for my Eggs Benedict, cuz who cares, I’m just going to shovel it into my mouth so fast I won’t be able to tell if the egg’s poached or fried. Yum.

Yes please

If I’m at a restaurant with Tracy for breakfast, we’ll both order Eggs Benedict and we always ask for extra Hollandaise Sauce. When the server sets that fancy little pitcher of sauce down on the table, Tracy and I will lock into a staring match like gunslingers in the Old West to see who will grab it first. If I get to that little pitcher before her, I’m bound to pour the entire contents directly into my mouth.

Well, I should quit talking about Eggs Benedict because the only thing waiting for me for dinner tonight is a leftover piece of pizza. Lots of people love pizza for breakfast. Not me. In fact, I don’t want any kind of dinner for breakfast. When I was a kid, my Mom would threaten that if we didn’t finish our dinner plate, we’d eat it for breakfast. I found out once she wasn’t kidding. We were having meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner. I don’t know how I did it, but I put sugar on my mashed potatoes instead of salt. Simple mistake. Uh, big mistake. Mom didn’t care. She told me to finish those potatoes because the children in China were starving and they would love to have those potatoes. So I told her we should send the potatoes to them.

The next morning I sat there staring at my leftover plate of cold, sugary mashed potatoes while my sisters ate their Maple Brown Sugar Cream of Wheat. I think you know I love spuds, but not those. I don’t know how long I sat there, but my legs fell asleep three different times, and eventually Mom let me off the hook. But I learned a great lesson: don’t trust Mom when she says she’s prepared a lovely bowl of mashed potatoes and you don’t realize it’s really turnips until you’ve piled some on your plate. Oh, wait a minute, that’s a different story.

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Another Halloween favorite from last year:

I was going to skip a blog post this week, because I’m in mourning that the Wheelmobile passed me by last night on the way to my Dad’s place. It was heading south on Hwy 5 and we were heading north. Apparently my Dad said they were in a town about 40 minutes away last week or so for contestant auditions. And I didn’t know it. Because he didn’t know how much I want to be on that show. I kick a*s on that show — at least from the comfort of my own living room. And now I don’t know where they’re headed because you can’t find any information about the Wheelmobile’s next destination. At least I can’t. So my dream to be on Wheel of Fortune and win the million dollars is on hold again. Sigh.

But then I found some inspiration. Today I asked my Dad, “Hey, what’s fun to do in Coos Bay?” And he laughed. I guess not much. But Jay pulled up the local paper on his phone and discovered there were “zombies” invading the Coos Bay area today. And the article encouraged people to dress up as zombies or as zombie fighters and come on down to the city center for some fun. And the article encouraged the zombie fighters to bring weapons, well, toy weapons. Imagine an innocent Oregonian traveling through deserted downtown Coos Bay and spotting a few zombies limping along. A lot of Oregonians around here have gun racks in their trucks. Hence the title of this post.

I had to see this. Jay told me just to watch it unfold on the news tonight, but I don’t watch the news. We headed down there, and it turns out there was an actual Zombie Festival with a band and vendors and everything. These people love themselves some zombies:

And zombie-related appetizers:

I must admit, I do love a good finger food:

Awww … a zombie scooby snack:

I think I recognize this guy from the original “Night of the Living Dead”:

Here’s Papa Don at the Papa’s Doggs vendor, unknowingly being stalked by a zombie:

Fortunately, he survived. Which is more than I can say for me. I just found out Phyllis is making Porcupine Balls for dinner. I don’t make this stuff up, folks.

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