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.

Move Over ESL, Cranky Is My New Language

A housecat named Princess who highly disliked ...

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It was one of THOSE days. You know the kind, when nothing goes right, annoying things happen and no matter what you try, it doesn’t help.  Made a decision, did you? Guess what, it was the wrong one. It was the day of Cranky. I spoke Cranky, I lived and ate and breathed Cranky. If I had a cat, her name would be Cranky.  I felt irritable with life’s problematic surprises and unexpected twists and I felt very out of control.

My children doused the only piece of furniture that I love, my green couch, with water guns. No, my children are not 4 and 6 years old, they are 16 and 18.  Need I say more? The couch, that I picked out, and the multi-colored  square rug beneath it have always made me happy. Why? Because it was the first thing that I bought with great strength of style and character; I was so sure about it and didn’t waver; to me, it was my own tiny corner of the Museum of Modern Art, at home.

Later that day we drove to a restaurant to celebrate my husband’s birthday. He got lost again and again. Nor did he have the directions with him, he didn’t NEED that, we had been there twice before, silly me!! When I suggested the GPS, he scoffed. He also made an illegal red turn with the (driving) teenagers in the back seat of the car. I was fuming. Dude, what the HELL were you thinking? You’re supposed to be the role model here. At that moment, fuming and cranky became first cousins.

Once seated in the restaurant our daughter, a vegetarian, asked for the chef’s special vegetable plate and we all knew she wouldn’t touch it. She played with her food and moved vegetables around that included: cooked kale and spinach, and fennel and she ate about two bites for 21 dollars. Before she ordered we suggested she order A SALAD  or pasta but she refused. She knew better and at practically 17 anything we suggest is useless. I even said she might want to tell the waitress the vegetables that she DID like but apparently my idea was stupid. Of course it was.

My husband and son shared a steak the size of a lobster pot, it was so large and bloody, it was hard to even take a glance at it.  I decided to have three appetizers: a buttery bibb lettuce salad with a light yogurt dressing  which was lovely, an appetizer of braised ribs ravioli, sweet and soft, the texture of the braised meat contrasting the delicate ravioli casing.  The red velvet cake I chose for dessert was extremely disappointing and tasteless. For those of you who know me, a dessert I don’t like is equal to a symphony of crankiness.

The heel of my left foot throbbed horribly with pain when I walked, the jabbing pain even woke me up in the middle of the night. Not being able to walk comfortably is crankiness personified. I have iced it, wrapped it, rubbed it and have tried at least ten different shoe and old, peeling orthotic combinations, nothing helps.  I’ve had this before and once it starts it takes a long, long time to go away. It’s a stubborn, stupid, painful, cranky, old ailment for cranky, old, me. It’s not enough that I don’t have energy? Now, I can’t even walk comfortably.

I’m tired as hell and just want to lie on the bed, since every bone and joint in my body is not just aching with pain but screaming with it. There are no medications to heal it, or relieve it, it’s something I have to live with every single day and night of my life. I am trying to stay awake and of course I fall asleep, the lights on, the computer on my stomach. I wake up two hours later, annoyed with myself.

The day and night have not gone well and I was glad it was almost over. I couldn’t sleep after my unexpected two hour nap so my night and day hours were confused. I glanced over at my dog who was sleeping happily at the foot of my bed and I watched her breathe and smile in her sleep.  I look at her with love and feel love. My dog is the anti-cranky.

Turkey Time

turkey sandwich from Thanksgiving leftovers

Image by kthread via Flickr

After Thanksgiving……Yummy!

We had Thanksgiving at our house this year so yes, I like turkey but when I am hosting Thanksgiving I find I am too busy to eat a lot.  After the guests left at around 7:30 I couldn’t wait to have my “real dinner.”  I had a mountain of turkey (c0ld), a little mayonnaise, cranberry sauce…..heavenly. Today, I am looking forward to it again, the chestnut, apple, raisin stuffing that my husband made, the leftover mashed potatoes, even the arugula salad. After Thanksgiving I love turkey leftovers and all the trimmings even more. A thick turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce makes me drool in anticipation. No meal would be complete without dessert(s): chocolate cake with amazing fudge-like frosting, apple-pie with a super, rich flaky crust, iced poppy-seed buns, gingerbread and banana bread with chocolate chips and raisins, Florentine cookies…..and more. I can’t wait another minute!

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An Honest Thanksgiving

Tender, juicy roast turkey - the main attracti...

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It will be Thanksgiving in just a few days. While we all are looking forward to moist turkey and my husband’s famous stuffing made with mushrooms and apples, raisins and water chestnuts, I have a small request. Please be kind and sensitive to one another. I don’t worry about what things will taste like; I know they will all be delicious. The only thing I worry about, quite honestly, is drama. Holidays can bring up all sorts of feelings: loss, bereavement, jealousy, resentment, sadness, and despair. Old wounds start to feel new, grievances and perceived injustices start to bubble to the surface. Before we dig in to the mashed potatoes my mother made (cough, cough, bought from a restaurant), and cranberry sauce let us think about each other first. During dessert let us try to rejoice in each others’ company instead of waiting for the air to get thick with tension as dense as brown gravy.

This year, for the first year I have actually mentioned to several members of the family that I am asking for a “drama-free” Thanksgiving. I have chronic pain, my husband has been feeling sad because of  lack of work, please try to remember this.  Work  alongside us, tell us things will be alright eventually. Life is not perfect but Thanksgiving should be about what we are grateful for, not what we lack.

I don’t want to hear sullen complaints about the food or the appetizers and I’m happy to cook and clean, taste, stir, serve and clean-up. I will not be happy with arguments, whispered secrets said too loudly and explosive outbursts. Please just leave your coats and any agendas at the door and please, please think before you speak. Be courteous to everyone else. Don’t brag, insult, or be insensitive to other people’s needs.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends. May it be peaceful, filled with great warmth, love, gratitude and great food. I am thankful for all of you.  Now, let us eat.

Man Vs Food #2 (An Extreme Foodie Blog Again)

I admit it, I came back for a second helping of Man vs Food. Adam is back again and so am I. Get ready America, he is about to eat something called a “Garbage Burger.”  Sounds yummy, don’t you think?  Do I even want to know what that is made of? Unfortunately, yes I do, I’m disgustingly curious.  A “Garbage Burger” is mostly eaten in the parking lot “Cuz they can’t wait to go home” and the food drips right down your arm.  Located near  Duke University,  this small shop serves comfort food, like chili and burgers and a whole lot more. The “Garbage Burger” consists of:  double, bacon cheese burgers with the works, lettuce tomato, pickles, coleslaw AND chili; it weighs one and a quarter lbs. of pure meat. He ate it so fast I may have missed a few ingredients, forgive me. As disgusting and gross this show can be it has me obsessively entertained and revolted at the same time. I’m still going to complain about the amount of food eaten and the wrong message given to people but, I do admit I haven’t turned the show off yet.

Not only am I watching it, I am watching it with my friend Suzie who is watching it on her television another state away. We are sending each other IM’s that mostly consist of sayings like “that’s gross” or “I’m hungry.”When Adam eats the infamous “Suicidal Challenge of Six Spicy Wings”  we can honestly see his nose run, and hear him he burp. We are so proud.

On another  episode of Man vs. Food, I didn’t want any food near me. There’s enough grease on the show that I can practically get it by osmosis. Tonight’s episode: Kansas City, BBQ,  6.5 lb platter. Imagine this, Adam is the first one to take the challenge. Missouri, we learn is the  BBQ capital of the world , YEE-HAW!  I see the fat oozing out of the meat…it’s becoming a little too greasy in my house. They cook everything, brisket, ribs, burnt ends, and more. The raw brisket looks like the size of a not so small deer. I never knew about burnt ends until this show. I was at a party recently and I thought the burned ends on a plate was a mistake. Oops,  next time I will run to try them, I promise. We learn that there’s even a gas station that has a BBQ restaurant attached to it, really convenient!

Now we are back to home cooking: fountains of water, fried chicken, gravy soaked mashed potatoes and gooey cinnamon rolls. (I wanted to bite into that while watching the show.)  Crispy, juicy pan-fried chicken. It’s fried in soy bean oil, that sounds healthy, right? Crusty bits, “cracklins’ for the gravy…cracklins? Apparently it’s “whole body lickin good” if I heard that correctly.

The ultimate BBQ show down: Ultimate Destroyer:  6 lbs (SIX POUNDS) of Papa John’s, sliced pork, pulled pork, turkey breast hamburger, sausage, all together:  first a hoagie bun, then: 7 beef patties,  pulled pork, sliced pork, bbq sauce, white bread for structural support, ham, turkey breast, white bread for more support, 3 hamburger patties, more sauce, another layer of bread, half a pound of brisket, and half a pound of  sausage, more sauce and it is capped off with the top of the hoagie/sub AND One AND a half pound of french fries. I’m about to gag.   Seriously gross….but let’s see if he can do it. “Let the pig out begin”shouts the ringmaster at this circus and so it does.  I really feel nauseous. “Go Adam go! ” the people scream. Oh no, it seems like he’s hit the “burger blockade!!!” GASP! Even Adam seems unsure of himself….he shoves it in his mouth and food spit comes flying out. Please let this show be over soon.  I’m sorry to report: DEFEAT, he was sunk by the Ultimate Destroyer.  He only had half the sandwich, and he is down, down , down, beaten and depressed. I have no doubt however that sometime in the future he will revisit this challenge. I can hardly wait.

Usually I snack at 10:30 but tonight after watching the Man vs. Food show I went downstairs and I could only face a pure, natural,  plum and it was good.