Napoleon Dynamite And Me

Film poster for Napoleon Dynamite - Copyright ...

Film poster for Napoleon Dynamite – Copyright 2004, Fox Searchlight Pictures (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My stomach is full, round, bloated, I’m about to burst and I haven’t even eaten anything today. It’s the day BEFORE Thanksgiving and I’m getting worried about my eating capacity. I haven’t even eaten yet because I feel so full. I look five, fine, six months pregnant and statistically I can guarantee you that is just not possible. No way, no how. I’m sure being concerned about my beached whale body isn’t helping either.

I’m lying on my stomach on my bed and I feel the tension and the huge, inflated balloon, that flabby orb that once was my flat stomach three days ago. I only ate one slice of pizza for dinner last night. ( I have to admit it was really, really good.) So, I had a little extra tomato sauce, maybe a bite or two of a meatball, that should not have made me gain two pounds this morning.

The scale is my enemy and for all the naysayers who say ” don’t weigh yourself every day” sorry, no can do. Sure, I realize that there are variations but if I don’t go on the scale one day, all hell could break loose. I should know, it’s happened before more than a few times.

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, my thoughts are just imagining the smells of  tomorrow. First, the turkey and stuffing in the oven. The sweet potato and apple casserole (with marshmallows) this year, the freshness and nobility of the salad to undo the damage of the mashed potatoes laden with butter, the rolls, warm, straight from the oven. My husband’s famous stuffing, the best I’ve ever had, and look forward to every single year: Hint: add sliced water chestnuts, chopped apples, raisins.One batch is soft, moist with gravy, the other is drier, great for a sandwich. Not to mention, cranberry sauce 3 ways, apple sauce, green bean vinaigrette.

I have dreamed my way to my favorite part, dessert:  chocolate on chocolate frosted cake, the strawberry-rhubarb pie, the apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream  or “à la mo-day” as we have said ever since we saw the classic cult movie “Napoleon Dynamite.” I have seen the move about ten times.

Later, leftover turkey sandwiches with mayo, yes, Hellman’s only. I’m fine about tomorrow, the problem is tonight. I’m starving, my husband is on call for the Volunteer Ambulance until seven pm, I’ve already had some fresh vegetables.  It is six pm, we are getting hungry, one more hour to go. Time passes so slowly when you want it to go quickly. I’m ordering now. We order too much.

The only thing deemed delicious by the family is take out Asian fusion food from the local store a few blocks away. Yes, I know that there’s fat and sodium and grease. But, it is the best way for us to stretch our stomach even more for tomorrow. Can’t wait.

Plinky Prompt: Good News, How Do YOU Celebrate? (Food Pop)

  • English: A shrimp cocktail.

    English: A shrimp cocktail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • You receive some wonderful, improbable, hoped-for good news. How do you celebrate? See all answers
  • Celebrate good times
  • Food, Glorious Food. Always Food. If I had to drink I’d have half of one very weak Amaretto Sour, which I learned about from my college age kids.I would then quickly change to cranberry-pineapple juice. Several, no ice, please. But, celebration and happiness go hand in hand with a really good meal with my family at a fabulous restaurant.

    Some of the choices would be:

    Hot French Dinner Rolls, with (Soft) Butter

    Appetizers: Shrimp Cocktail (the shrimp is just a vehicle for the cocktail sauce) salad, small but entertaining with many ingredients i(.e. raisins, avocado, cheese, fresh tomatoes,) creamy leek soup, crunchy lamb spring rolls with a yogurt dill sauce. All of the above.

    Entrée:
    Beef Wellington
    Filet Mignon
    Chicken (the one with the fresh lemon sauce and capers)
    Lobster (out of the shell, grilled, buttered with cream sauce if or plain.

    Side orders of:
    Rice, Grilled Asparagus, glazed carrots, roasted baby brussel sprouts with carmelized onions, creamed spinach

    Dessert:
    Chocolate layer cake (Hazelnut mousse inside)
    Blueberry and almond bread pudding, marzipan
    Vanilla/almond cake
    Vanilla/Chocolate ice cream
    Fresh berries in season (ha ha ha)

  • Oh, and the meal is free. Congratulations to me.
  • English: chocolate-hazelnut mousse cake

    English: chocolate-hazelnut mousse cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Free Write Friday, Kellie Elmore: Tulips

English: Cultivations of Tulips in South Holla...

English: Cultivations of Tulips in South Holland Italiano: Coltivazioni di tulipani dell’Olanda Meridionale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Today you have been granted the opportunity to go anywhere, do anything, meet anyone, travel in time…whatever you wish, it is yours. Now, there’s a catch. (Isn’t there always?) When you wake up tomorrow… you will not remember any of it.Would you still choose to take the offer? Can you drink in the moment and enjoy it knowing you will have no recollection of what happened? Think about it?  How important is a memory?”

Part 1:

I would hop on a first class plane, sipping orange juice and amaretto on my flight to Holland. I stretch my legs and marvel at how wonderfully everybody treats you when you are sitting in first class. I have a menu in my hands and I need to pick what I want to eat for dinner. I decide on the Surf and Turf for my entrée, happy not to have to pick just one item. After the flight attendants take everyone’s order they pass around trays of appetizers: mini lobster rolls, Brie or St. André cheese and crackers, pulled pork sliders and chicken salad with chutney in phyllo dough. Loving food, as I do, my tastebuds are dancing with joy loving the different sensations in my mouth.

I sleep for three hours and by that time the pilot announces our descent which brings me right into the airport/and waiting limousine to take me to the Tulip Festival, now in full bloom. I bask in the beautiful scenery, the rows of color: red, pink, rose, orange, green that stand in line like tiny soldiers. I drink up the sight and as fresh, cold bubbly spring water quenches my thirst, these rows of tulips fill another need. The primordial need to see beauty .  Rows upon rows of beautiful tulips, in every color, so vast that you think it is a prop from a movie. Yes, it is real and the gigantic proportions make me feel like an insect crawling on the freshly mowed grass. The scent of the grass tickles my nose and I laugh.

I am here, at the tulip festival, a place I have always wanted to see. I am giddy, my cheeks are pink from the excitement, like the color of one of the rows of tulips, my body trembles. I sit down on one of the many benches they provide for tourists, wooden slated benches, simple, nothing overdone, they mustn’t out-do the beauty ahead of them. Looking around me there are other people, each one, staring at the beautiful scene in front of us. There is no litter here, just rows of flowers, tilting their heads to the sun. Some tourists try to take photographs but you can’t capture an entire field in a photograph. Or the smell. The smell in the air is clean, fresh, with a hint of sweetness, freshly moved grass, and sunshine.

There is nothing else I want to do but sit back, stare and breathe, long, take long, deep breaths.  I do not want to sit on a bus like some of the other people, seeing churches  and old houses and attractions. I am where I want to be, in the garden of beauty, nature’s beauty and I, a quiet admirer, overwhelmed by this magnificent sight. There is nothing else I want to do but stare and take in this picture of magnificence and beauty.  I am where I want to be, in the garden of beauty, nature’s beauty and I a shy yet ardent admirer.

****

Part 2:

It’s early morning in our house. My husband, Steve, has already left to go to work by train. He has left me coffee to drink in the machine and I greedily reach for it and drink it in two or three big gulps. I go about my chores as usual. I wake up the children who need to get ready for school. Fortunately, I always make their lunches the night before so I don’t have to do it in the morning. I don’t tell the kids but I hate mornings too. I pour cereal and milk, my two kids, 8 and 11 are loud but we laugh a lot. I rush them outside to wait for the bus, get them on the bus and I wave as the bus leaves. They still wave back to me, I know it won’t last very long, they are growing up so quickly.

I go to the grocery store with my list, a long one for four people in the family. I start checking off items on the list. Milk, bread, chicken, cheese, steak on sale, and about ten other items.  After I am done I wait on a very long line, reading a trashy Hollywood magazine that I refuse to buy but actually love to read. Finally, it is about to be my turn, I start unloading my cart. I add a pack of sugarless gum because I can’t resist those items at the end  of the aisle where their placement seems to stare at you, practically begging you to buy them.  My husband calls me”The ultimate consumer ” because I love to see new products at the store.  At the very last second, I reach over the counter to stretch and grab just one more thing. It’s something I never do, but I didn’t even think about this, it was impromptu. I reached over the counter and I bought tulips.  Pink tulips.

Pink Tulip 2 of 3

Pink Tulip 2 of 3 (Photo credit: krispijn.scholte)

Plinky Prompt: A Pill or Food?

  • If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill —no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?See all answers 
  • Red pill / blue pill
  • HA HA, let me hold on to this kitchen table before I fall to the floor laughing hysterically. The answer to this absurd question of “if I could get all the nutrition I needed in a day with a pill instead of food” is to me, laughable. I’m a foodie or at least a foodie wannabe. I love thinking about food, seeing food, tasting food, eating food, talking about food…I just lack the ability to make the real food. Going out to eat is a guilty pleasure, dessert is my weakness. Give me French bread, cheese, red grapes, I’m happy. Or last night’s dinner was: scrambled eggs, with two kinds of cheese and avocado, a slice of Zaro’s multi-grain bread, delicious. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to fit what I am craving. Next stop: I’m searching for gazpacho in all the right places. I’m too lazy to make it (I don’t have a food processor) and I want to taste all the different kinds that the shops make in the neighborhood…starting tomorrow. Hear that Joe? I’m coming in for that free sample.
    A pill instead of food? Nonsense, that’s no fun at all. Besides, what about dessert? My most favorite part? My sweet tooth would not be satisfied by anything pill shaped. Not even a sugar cube would do.

  • Gazpacho (Spanish liquid tomato salad).

    Gazpacho (Spanish liquid tomato salad). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yellow Magic Madness #16

English: A display of six ears of field corn w...

English: A display of six ears of field corn with dented yellow kernels (Zea mays var. indentata) which won ribbons for “best of show” at the Steele County Fair in Owatonna, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Corn on the Cob,

You are something I look forward to each year.

See you very, very soon.

I can’t wait!

The Joy of a Good Meal (Food Pop)

Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle

Roy’s Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle (Photo credit: Mike Saechang)

A third of a steak. Half a plate of small monk fishies, fine, monk fish. Large glass of cranberry juice, no ice but a spritz of seltzer, half of a dinner roll with butter, half of a piece of chocolate molten cake with vanilla-almond chip ice cream. Fine, I know I did it to myself but I fully blame my husband who basically forced me into sharing dessert with him. What could I do? I’m the one who used to say “there is always room for dessert.” I couldn’t let him down and that almond ice cream is not just amazing, its sinful. It’s the one dessert our whole family loves. I asked my husband to take a picture of the dessert before we ate it and send it to the kids and tell them we can come here when they come home from school but apparently we were so excited to eat that we forgot to take the picture until it was half eaten.The cake was warm inside, the ice cream matched the cake to perfection, there was not a crumb left. Yeah, that good.

Ouch, I paid for it when I got home. My stomach was all stretched out and grumbling like an old spitting, cranky man. I don’t eat much these days and for goodness sakes why I ate so much to me is a mystery except that I didn’t have to cook and we were out at a restaurant and I was in the house all day and it tasted SO good and so fresh. I take full responsibility, I am not used to heavy food anymore. I’ve been living on toast, yogurt, eggs, light food. Did I remember that as we were being seated? Hell no. Would I do it again? I’m sorry but yes I would. These tastes were dancing on my tongue. My husband and I agreed this was the best meal we have eaten in a very long time.

Tomorrow, I will go back to plain yogurt with a little honey for lunch and scrambled eggs with toast for dinner. It’s not that I mind eating that at all. Especially when the kids are away at college and I don’t have to be a short order cook. I will happily eat clean food (as we call it) and remember lovingly, the food we ate tonight. What’s a little stomach ache when the flavors did pirouettes in my mouth? The side dishes that accompanied the entrees were exquisite as well. The steak came with some sort of root vegetable minced blend, it tasted like Thanksgiving. The monk fish was nestled on, I have no idea what, but it was soft, creamy and tasted like a risotto with blanched asparagus surrounding it. It was DIVINE and we were both SO happy.

So, while I may suffer a little tonight, it’s okay. Not only do I deserve it, I welcome it. Because a meal like this demands to be eaten and enjoyed. Do I regret eating it and paying the consequences? Be serious. It was worth every single bite and more.

Plinky Prompt: Best Rooftop View

  • Best Rooftop View
  • Ba, LL And The Last BBQ
    Boston Sunset My friend Barbara and I were on the rooftop of an apartment she was renting in Boston. This was the last night I was going to see her before she moved to Florida. I was devastated that my best friend was leaving but I knew to appreciate the last night we would spend together.
    Barbara was an amazing chef, for our last meal, she decided we would have a barbecue up on the roof, she must have made enough food for fourteen people. There were pork ribs glazed in syrupy sweetness, bbq chicken in a maple glaze, vegetables on the grill, potatoes, several kinds of thick, crusty bread, chips and of course, a selection of dessert I had brought: a little chocolate tart, a small fruit tart, strawberries, blueberries and apricots glistening with sugar.
    We sat together on folding chairs, overlooking the Boston skyline, while the sky changed colors from yellow and red to pink, purple and blue to late in the evening when it turned almost black. I remember this evening vividly. If you have to say good-bye to your best friend, you want to remember it this way, with magic.

My Dream Job

Society Junk Food Platter

Image by GLOWBAL COLLECTION via Flickr

RESERVATIONS FOR 6 AT 6:30 PM, Please.

Antipasto Platter – Yarra Glen Cafe and Store aka Cheesefreaks

I pick up the phone and call four or five of my closest friends. “Are you free Thursday night?” I ask. “Great” I say, “see you there.” I mentally choose my outfit and plan on wearing a scarf that hides some of my face. No, I am not a private investigator; I don’t work for the secret service. What I do, is eat. I am a restaurant critic (only for those foods that we, the common people eat). There is no escargot, snake meat, or goat in my meals. I’m the voice of the people, the regular people, not the elite. I go to restaurants with my husband, with friends, with nice people who I meet and we eat. We eat, we talk, I take bites from every dish and secretly write down notes. Sometimes, I just specialize in dessert. Once home, I type up my notes, drink chilled CVS diet black cherry club soda and head to bed. My stomach is full and I am extraordinarily happy. Goodnight.

Powered by Plinky

I’m In Love: FoodCrafters (A Foodie Blog)

Aida Mollenkamp Ask Aida TV Host

Image via Wikipedia

Hello Aida Mollenkamp,

You are adorable as the host of this new (to me) show! I just found this delightful show while I was innocently flipping through the channels. How long has this magnificent show been on the air? I accidentally, I mean blessedly, stumbled upon it this very morning. The show is called FoodCrafters on The Cooking Channel. Today’s episode: candy/sweets: serious, beautiful, artisinal candy made by loving, professional, hands. There are no huge, corporate factories on this show.

First up were beautiful candies made at Papabubbles in NY.  Honestly, for a moment I thought that this FoodCrafters segment was featuring an art show, the different colored candies were so incredibly beautiful. They showed us the intricate detail with which they made their  lime candies. Ladies and gentlemen, we are not talking life savers anymore. This is the real thing, I could practically taste the flavor through the television, so intense and vibrant, so beautiful, so artistic. I made need to take the train to get to this amazing store some day.

Next up was a company called Whimsicals in Chicago. Their claim to fame are beautiful nougat, (I so love nougat) chocolate and caramel candies called The La Dee Dahs. It honestly looks like a swirl of perfection. I would be more than happy to try these if you would like me to. Seriously? My day of heaven would consist of being on the Oprah show (or happily sitting in the audience) while eating these delicious treats.  I promise to share…..at least with Oprah and her best friend Gayle.

We are now visiting the Zen baking company for zen cake balls in Dallas, Texas.  This is a southern specialty but could easily become a national specialty if you ask me. Mini bites (balls) of cake are made, covered in  frosting. They are molded by hand and then dipped in frosting. They showed mini bites of red velvet cake. Did you know that red velvet has chocolate in it?  I had no idea, I just know I love it. The red velvet balls are covered with a cream cheese frosting. (I would have preferred vanilla frosting but no one asked me.) Other varieties are the happy birthday cake (this has my name on it), sunshine lemon (ok, this has my name on it too), cookie dough ( I would be happy to try this too) and I think, one other flavor that I can’t remember because I was salivating so much that I started to drool all over the keyboard.

The last segment featured a store in Los Angeles, California called Milk and Krunchies.  My sweet tooth and basically all my teeth were aching for a taste. This segment featured marshmallow treats and not your ordinary, make- at -home krispie treats (so you feel like an ace mother) either. These are gourmet; a new twist on an old favorite. This place (hey, I travel)  makes krispie treats with flavors like:  cookies and cream, a toffee mix, peanut butter and jelly and peanut butter cup among others. This had my mouth watering with nostalgia and it is definitely reason enough to schedule a trip to the West Coast.

If any of the above stores would like to send me samples so I can REALLY review them, I would be happy to provide you with my address. Please, I beg of you. However, if that is not in your budget or if that does not appeal to you I did hear that you can get some of these delicious delights by going to:  cookingchanneltv.com. Excuse me for the short post but in case I don’t get my samples I may need to run and find my credit card to order……now this is what I call quality television. You rock!

Love from your new adoring fan.

Love Food Shows, Hate To Cook: What’s Up With That?

Dear Food Network and Bravo:

Can I consider myself a foodie if I don’t like to cook? In fact, I pretty much hate it. But watching it on television? I’m an addict. I guess the fact that I obsess about food, look forward to it, think about it, crave, it entitles me to be a non-cooking foodie. I think that I may be inspired one day to try real cooking; but not right now. I can get by on cooking meals for my family but it’s the basic stuff. Pasta and home-made cheese sauce (Ok, almost home-made: I confess I use Kraft American slices, individually wrapped.)I also bake the best and the most delicious banana bread in the world (plain, with raisins, chocolate chips or both). I can do a roast and I’m definitely fine with sticking a chicken (with kosher salt and pepper)  and a couple of squeezes of fresh lemon, in the oven. Baked potatoes? Anytime. My new favorite: a well-toasted english muffin with lite cream cheese and slices of tomato and a hint of salt and pepper. My beverage of choice with this? Need you ask? Yoo-Hoo, cold or room temperature.

I need to work for the FOOD NETWORK  OR BRAVO FOOD) station. Anybody here have any connections? I’m very likable, love to eat (although I have to say I might gag if I had to eat some of the things that they make on the show, octopus and goat, I can barely do lamb). But, for a job working, preparing, serving, ANYTHING with food I would (have to) be flexible. Seriously?  I am the most conscientious worker you ever have known. I’m neurotically early so if you wanted me there at 9am, guaranteed you would see my smiling face at 8:45am. Having grown up with a German mom and a Viennese dad, they taught us about punctuality. Being on time, in my family, is being LATE.  When we get together we all are 10-15 minutes early; it’s in our neurotic, eager to please, Jewish blood.

So, Padma, Tom, Bob, Eric?  Dick, Jane, Sally? Bobby, Bob, Paula Deen?  I want to do something I love, other than writing. That thing, is food. I could be a tester, a taster, a candle stick maker, whatever you want. I need a job and Oprah always said “do what you love.” You don’t doubt Oprah, do you? That reminds me, dear Oprah, I need a hook-up, with the Food Network or Bravo, can you help?