Wednesday, October 31, 2007


you know it's halloween when you've got tacky glue, thread, and felt bits adhered to various parts of your person and "darth vader cod piece" on your computer bookmarks.

or. not. for those of you who like that sort of thing. and trust me, after trolling a few costuming sites looking for ideas i now know there is a whole world out there filled with costume making and dressing up that has nothing to do with halloween or children.

that being said, i maintain that murphy's law comes with a vengeance at least one halloween in a child's/costume making mother's lifetime.

this year the costume for the duke was the most difficult to pull off in terms of figuring it out and fiddliness, add in battery operated, and a LAST MINUTE SHIPPED ITEM (premium shipping...yeah) and he has had a fever the past few days and will likely miss halloween all together.

if i ever dress up for halloween it will be as murphy's law. or an angry mob.

the sweet part is wingman said

"if you have to stay home from trick or treating i'll share my candy with you"

and when i was putting the finishing touches on his costume he also said

"you look like you could use some help"

and came back with some scissors and glue.

he really is sweet. they both are.

but like i've whined about in years past and i will continue to whine about every year, why is it they can't ever choose to be ghost for halloween? just once?


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

it figures that i feel like i should feel worse.

with 5 cats in the house you'd think it would have ceased to be funny a long time ago when one cat sniffs another cat's butt.

apparently, though, if you're six it's never not funny. gut busting laughing your patooty off funny.

anyway, i guess i have the flu? i put that with a question mark because i feel really awful, but not as awful as i think i should. though i am fevery, sweaty, achy, tired but can't sleep, i still feel like i should feel worse for it to qualify as the flu and therefore call in sick to work.

(HA! excuse me while i fall down and pee my pants with THAT one! call in sick, priceless)

but the main tipper is the unexplained spontaneous weeping. i do that when i'm really sick.

or going through a particularly bad break-up. but, since the lord of the ring is still around, i guess it's the flu.


Monday, October 15, 2007

wild mushroom bourguignon.

i first had this dish 11 years ago while pregnant with the duke. i've been making it ever since. and because i got inspired by the many wonderful food porn sites out there, i thought i would document my efforts and share them with you!

best to make when wild mushrooms are plentiful and therefore less expensive at the market.

wild mushroom bourguignon

1/4 c butter or olive oil (i use a
combo of both)
4 c wild mushrooms (whatever is available, tonight i used chanterelle, shiitake, and oyster) leave whole if smaller, woody stem part removed...halve or chunk if bigger
1 sm. red onion, sliced into rings
2 c green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch squares
2 c red bell pepper, julienned
1 c yellow onion, diced
1/4 c fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. white pepper
(often i use black, definitely gives it a bite if you don't have white and don't want a bite, just use a bit less black)
1/4 c soy sauce
1 c burgundy
1 c heavy cream
3/4 lb fettuccine
(mostly i use a whole grain pasta which i often can't find in fettuccine, but really any pasta will do...rice, even)

assemble all your ingredients.

melt butter/olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.

add mushrooms, onions and peppers and saute until tender, about 15 mins.

it seems like a lot for the pan at first. but it will cook down. i use a 12 in. skillet.

see, after about 5 mins. it becomes a bit more manageable.

after 15 mins. add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. saute five more minutes, stirring enough to not let the garlic stick and burn.

i like to cook with wine.

occasionally i even add it to the food Laughing

a word about the wine. of course any classic bourguignon uses red wine. burgundy to be exact. sometimes i do get a burgundy if i can find a good one...this is not always possible, unless i want to get the cheap jug. and i don't, because of the old adage that you don't want to cook with what you wouldn't drink. plus, i'm not very fond of burgundy in general.

soooo, i often switch it up. tonight i just so happened to have an open bottle of a big, toothy red. a good substitute for a typical burgundy, in my humble wine drinking opinion.

french red table wine.

so, add the wine and the soy sauce. increase heat and reduce by half. then, add the cream (i use half and half because i always have half and half, and if you're calorie conscious it's a savings) and again, reduce by half.

in the meantime bring some water to boil for pasta.

and now for a word about cooking pasta...for the best, most tasty pasta, you want your water to mimic the mediterranean little pinch of salt, no little dash. only a palmful will give you the taste you want!

you get a palmful of salt and add it when the water boils, before you add the pasta...and less water than you think. generally, we cook pasta in too much water and we lose flavor as a result of this.

cook to al dente. drain, and toss with a little olive oil.

normally i wouldn't, as olive oil prevents the sauce from sticking fully to the pasta, but because of the way it's served, the olive oil prevents the pasta from sticking together on the platter.

put the pasta on a platter, pour the sauce over the top and serve hot.

admittedly, this is not a sexy dish upon completion. i think it's a combo of the amount of time it spends cooking, rendering the veggies less colorful, and the fact that i use a cast iron pan. a different pan perhaps would yield a more vibrant looking veggie in the sauce. (also, the light was bad for this shot)

BUT, regardless of its appearance, it is a tremendously delicious dish...great for a vegetarian main dish, or as an alternative for die hard meat eaters. they won't even miss the meat!!! plus, i read once that with the exception of soybeans, mushrooms contain the most protein of any vegetable!



(this recipe comes from the silverwater restaurant/cookbook in port townsend)

Friday, October 12, 2007

i want to be lewis black when i grow up.

i don't know if it's because i'm just a butt, but i try to refrain from commenting on or committing to the obvious.

it's because of this i could not stand the beatles in high school when everyone else loved them. why i refused to watch any foreign movies- EXCUSE ME films, as a young adult when all the other people my age were raving about them. i actually used to say

"give me a cannes logo and i'll give you my back walking out the door"

yeah, dorothy parker i wasn't.

my inherent butt-ness is also why i didn't/don't go to the movies and then to coffee after to talk about the movie we. just. saw.

"so, what did you think?" /shudder.

why it took me until syndication to get into dawson's creek. oh, wait, maybe that doesn't qualify.

i'm not surprised by the violence in movies that "shouldn't" be violent, i'm not surprised or offended when offensive ignorant people say offensive ignorant things, and i have never turned to someone after eating a fast food burger, fat-free cookie, beer, 25 cent home run cherry or lemon or chocolate pie from the gas station and said "OH MY GOD, have you seen how many calories are in this! holy shit!"

when stupid, misguided parents buy their troubled teens big caches of weapons and it turns out they homeschool i am no more surprised than i would be if they went to public school, or private school, or military school.

i never assume that people have the perfect relationship, or have it easier than others with their children, or are happy with all of their *things*.

or that there is something inherently *wrong* with them because they have *things*.

no, oprah should NOT run for president (for the obvious reason that she isn't even remotely qualified and when people say this every 4 years i wonder what exactly it is that leads them to this assumption...shit, then ANYONE with a only mildly interesting book club, billions of dollars, and a chip on their shoulder the size of a chocolate factory would be qualified.)

and neither should al gore. everybody knows you can do waaaayyyy more good being rich and unencumbered and/or an ex- president than you can actually being president.

you can just tell john edwards wants so badly to be our next president just so he can be a former president one day.

al gore just won the nobel prize for crissakes!! (so did doris lessing, the cantankerous old bat. you gotta love her!)

and you can't watch tv, pick up a magazine, listen to the radio these days without hearing the honeyed tones of bill clinton plugging his latest project. he can do anything he wants and get the airtime to promote it and you can tell he's having a good time doing it.

i guess the point to these disjointed ramblings is this, i'm tired of the obvious everyday behaviors of stupid people and even stupider celebrities being packaged as news.

i'm tired of watching people lapping it up and giving it air-time.

i'm tired of all these people who think they can be our nation's president. it should be a sacred enough office that just anyone shouldn't feel qualified to throw their hat in. i know it isn't, GOD. HOW. IT. ISN'T!

but it should be, shouldn't it?

and i know that's what america is about, this whole freedom to participate, to be a part of the process...but along with the decline of customer service and parents taking any amount of control over unruly children in restaurants, the office of president and the road to it has declined to the point of being just another thing to grumble about.

the punchline to a terribly unfunny joke.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

in which i create a new word.

i saw something on tv about the moken people of the andamen sea. they call them sea gypsies because they live the majority of the year on their boats on the sea. they are nomads, traveling from island to island.

and because they know the sea so well, they were able to survive the tsunami that took so many lives a few years ago.

anyway, what i found so fascinating about these people is that they don't have words in their language for want, when, or worry.

just imagine.

in other news, tomorrow night is big doins' around here. instead of our traditional family movie night, the boybarians are hosting an all garfield family movie night...not the movie, thank god. but dvds of the cartoons.

yep, there are tons and tons of garfield cartoons out there. learn something new everyday.

anyhow, they have recently discovered and are now devouring garfield in all of its many media forms. garfield in the daily comics, of course, books and books from the library and used book store, and now dvds of old cartoons.

so, friday night, armed with the dvds and their request for a big dish of lasagna and a grandparental unit, we will commence with the viewing.

except that there are a few whineats (caveats with whining)..."don't make the lasagna too cheesy", "you're not putting spinach in there are you?", "i don't care for tomato sauce"...

good lord. between the lord of the ring and i we both make kick ass lasagna...sure, mine does tend toward the adding of some veggies and less of the sausagy meat lovers kinda deal, and the lord of the ring goes for BIG ITALIAN when he makes his, but both are good.

but fuck that. i've been busy all week and i'll be damned if i'm gonna work my ass off for a lasagna that garners anything but top rating.

there's a first time for everything and tomorrow night it's stouffer's, ready made garlic bread, and a bagged salad.

okay, okay, so i'll likely make the bread and the salad myself. i was just being dramatic.

the point is after a decade of doing this i may have just learned how to know when to foldem', know when to holdem', know when to walk away and know when to purchase prepackaged frozen food like products.

i'm just wondering why it is they have taken so strongly to garfield?...a plump, cantankerous, cynical, sarcastic, at times funny, generally just grumpy, prickly character at best.

such a mystery.

we may never know.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

funnies from the duke.

so the other day we noticed that one of the neighbor's sheep who graze in our pasture had bitten the dust. or was sleeping reeeeaaaallllyy heavily for a reeeeaaaalllyy long time. at any rate when we left the sheep was lying there, when we came back several hours later the sheep was still lying there.

which wouldn't have surprised me at all if it were one of our cats.

anyhow, i said

"wow. i guess it's dead"

to which the duke replied,

"yep. now all we have to do is wait for the buzzards to set in"

two days later we were in the truck stopped at a light. we both look over to notice a woman practically inhaling a fast food burrito in the car next to us. the duke says

"wow. look at her jaws go"

in case you haven't guessed it from my absence, things are crazy busy here. school takes the day pretty much, and the homeschool group we joined also seems to keep us busy.

this week we're making paper with the group and last week we went rock climbing. in two weeks we have a field trip. it's good to get out, but it's also one more thing on the schedule.

in the meantime, it's definitely fall here with an eye towards winter. and my mission should i choose to figure out how to actually do it this year considering i have flaked the last 9 years is to get these godforsaken bulbs in the ground so spring blooms in a bounty of color.

hey, if i managed to move those christmas boxes in the hall then i bet i can do this!

oh, wait, yeah, i guess i didn't.



Monday, October 01, 2007

how you can tell your six year old is reading too much garfield.

"wingman, what do you want for breakfast?"

"oh, a danish, some coffee, the paper"

happy monday.