First World Problems from 2014

Things I unfortunately said in 2014:

“This new car smell is hurting my eyes.”

car

(image by Naeem Mayet)

“I want backyard chickens, but do I want that many eggs?”

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

(Image by Iwan Beijes)

“I worry about all the food in our fridge going bad while we do this juice fast.”

fridge

(image by tim and annette)

Happy end of 2014!

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The occasional recipe post

So, I’m writing a cookbook. And considering that I’ve been working on said cookbook for almost as long as my husband has been in grad school- and the fact that he just graduated-  it’s about time I wrap this project up, me thinks! It’s, well… you’ll see, because I’ll periodically post some recipes here. Just know that I don’t in any way put on airs about my cooking skills, but we cook at home constantly, so… that’s gotta count for something.

King Crab Legs

crab

(sand crab image courtesy of Caetano Lacerda. Just use your imagination because there were no king crab images on the free image website I use. If those grains of sand were cars you’d have the scale almost right for king crab)

Here’s the thing, this meal is not cheap- but it is one of the quickest, fastest, hardest to mess up meals you’ll ever have to make. How many ingredients are there? One. Crab legs. That’s it. So why is this going to be in a cook book, you ask? Aside from how easy this one was on the lovely author to write, the more important (up for debate) answer is: technique.

Before we get into technique though please know that there are LOTS of crabs out there to choose from, but I picked king crab for the simple reason that it is my very favorite. The meat is easy to remove from the shell and the taste is sweet and clean. Sure, snow crab legs are less expensive, but to me they have an undertaste of garbage and mud (similar to mangoes that way). But this is coming from the chick who prefers Mediterranean sea salt to any other kind and swears she can taste the difference, so take my preferences on crab with a grain of Mediterranean sea salt.

I also like eating king crab because their leg span is up to 6’ and that makes me feel like some kind of monster-eating Greek god. “Verily, what is that leggy monstrosity, Hermes? Bring it to me and let us ingest it with copious amounts of melted butter! And what are the Sibyls up too these days? Oh ho ho! And they didn’t see that coming, you say?! Oh that is as rich as this crab-monster!”

Soo… back to the crabs. When I say crab, you say…boil, I bet. Boil, boil, boil… crab boil. The term crab boil is in the dictionary, so it has to be the correct technique, right? Nope. Please note- crab boils are ONLY for smaller, whole and uncooked crabs! All king crab legs (snow crab too) are ALREADY cooked! Are the crab legs in the seafood section reddish orange? Yup- that means they’re already cooked so do not boil them! Doing so does nothing except ruin the texture and dilute the flavor- all you really need to do is to steam them to reheat.

Ingredients:

King crab legs- figure on around ¾ of a pound per person

*(try not to get the large white top joints- those don’t have the same flavor as the legs)

Serve with:

Melted butter

Lemon

In a large pot over high heat, add enough water to just cover the bottom with about a half-inch of water and bring to a boil to create your steam. (Watch carefully so you don’t boil your pot dry.) If you can fit a colander or steaming basket in the bottom, do so now: but if you don’t have them it isn’t the end of the world-  just try to have as little of the crab touch the water as possible. Add your crab legs, cover with the lid, and steam for 5-7 minutes. Remove to a platter for serving, leaving the steaming liquid behind. Go ahead and dump that steaming water out and wash that pot as fast as you can because the smell… the smell is not what the crab tastes like, we’ll just put it that way.

Serve with melted butter and lemon.

Enjoy!

(Totally counting this as a legitimate recipe for the cookbook.)

From the paper: Where Would America Be Without Everyone Else?

Sometimes I write guest opinion columns in my local paper. I know the easy quip would be that I do it because I don’t want anyone to read my writing or that doing so means I should apply to AARP. I don’t give a crap though- I love it. Seeing my face and my few small words in newsprint… not to get all Hank Williams Jr about it, but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy because it’s a family tradition. And now that I think of it, Hank Williams Jr. would probably love my local paper… his beliefs are all OVER that opinion page even if my own are usually not.

newspaper(Image courtesty of Jean Scheijen)

My guest column, titled “Where would America be without everyone else” is in response to the shark-eyeroll inducing original letter titled “Where would America be without Germans”:

I will give it to good Mr. O. and agree with the first two sentences of his recent column that stated (in summary) that October passed with little acknowledgement of it being German American History month. I’ll agree with that statement mostly because I had to look it up to make sure that was a real thing. Kudos! It is. Though it’s also Polish American History Month, Filipino American History Month, Dwarfism Awareness Month, Auto Battery Safety Month, Italian History Month, and Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender History Month. You want to talk about the makings of an awesome Month Awareness Parade! Let’s commit, as citizens, to making that happen next year.

And I’ll agree with another statement in that column as well: that (in summary) no German Americans perpetrated any sabotage on American soil during both world wars. But let us also not forget that they were not alone in that fact. No Japanese American or Italian American was accused of nor convicted of sabotage during WWII, as well. So let’s not claim sole credit for what seems to have been a bit of a fad of loyalty to the stars and stripes during that period by the American citizens who just happened to be of ethnic descent from our enemies.

And yes, I’ll give you that there are notable inventions by Germans that you listed in your column. Kudos again! Only thing is this: everything else was invented by…everyone else. The car was invented, yes, by a German in 1885 (Karl Benz) but electric brakes were invented by Mexican inventor Victor Ochoa in 1907. Squirrels and street-ball players salute you, Mr. Ochoa. And that must have been a pretty nerve-wracking 22 years in the interim. The telephone was invented by a Scotsman. The weather balloon by a Frenchman. The list of literally every other invention is pretty extensive so we’ll leave it at that.

But the picnic?! To have stated that the picnic was invented by German Americans?! How is that even possible? I’m pretty sure the prehistoric humans had many a picnic- which is provable by the fact that neither houses nor tables were invented yet! But even discounting that- the word picnic itself is French and dates from the early 1690s. There is a French painting by Lemoyne of a picnic in 1723 that is titled the Hunt’s Picnic.  That is years before America even became a country for there to be citizens of German descent living in. I could go on, but that claim certainly has a whiff of Gore inventing the internet to it.

If you’re special then we’re and they’re all special is my point. All cultures. All ethnicities. All nationalities. All batteries. Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. All of us are special and deserving of real respect, and so one shouldn’t presume to try to set themselves above others. And the real greatness of that fact is that it puts us all on the same playing field. We are all and walk among giants everyday that way. But the question to ponder is does that make us all giants or just raise the height of normalcy? Not to be insensitive to our fellow citizens with Dwarfism. Dwarfism Awareness month taught us that back in October.

Linked Post: Leigh Anne Tuohy Update: One Of The Teens Responds

Annnnd the follow up, proving that Anne at thebellejar.com was spot fucking on!

The Belle Jar

One of the two teens involved in Leigh Anne Tuohy’s recent social media stunt has spoken out on Instagram (his name has been blurred out for privacy):

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Person One aka Teen Leigh Anne Tuohy approached at KFC:

Yeah people don’t know what really happened because I actually had money I have a job and have had one for over a year I was gonna pay for my brother the other guy in the picture but he was insisting on waiting on his uncle but his phone was dying so we were charging it which is the reason we were in KFC in the first place.and the game was only a 3 min walk up the street I don’t see why she said bus fare that kinda ticked me off a little but the way she worded it is making us sound less fortunate and that isn’t the case at…

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Linked Post: Leigh Anne Tuohy, Racism, and the White Saviour Complex

Love me some Anne over at The Belle Jar… she is so spot on here!

The Belle Jar

Leigh Anne “That Nice Woman Sandra Bullock Played In The Blind Side” Tuohy recently posted the following picture and caption on her Facebook and Instagram accounts:

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We see what we want! It’s the gospel truth! These two were literally huddled over in a corner table nose to nose and the person with me said “I bet they are up to no good” well you know me… I walked over, told them to scoot over. After 10 seconds of dead silence I said so whats happening at this table? I get nothing.. I then explained it was my store and they should spill it… They showed me their phones and they were texting friends trying to scrape up $3.00 each for the high school basketball game! Well they left with smiles, money for popcorn and bus fare. We have to STOP judging people and assuming and pigeon holing people!…

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Batmobile

So, the thing with being an outside salesman* with a huge territory is that, interspersed amongst the hours of mind numbing driving, you run across stuff like this.

batmobile

Yup. Totally the Batmobile. Bet it’s a middle aged white guy driving.

batmobile 2

Totally called it.

*What? If Meryl Streep can be an actor I can be a salesman. I do what I want!

Fruit Flies of Destiny

There was such a problem with fruit flies  in my office last… let’s say Thursday… that I feel I should have captured them and started experimenting; to do otherwise was really a wasted opportunity. Somewhere, somehow, there should be 10,000 fruit flies with green eyes and a willingness to do my bidding waiting to be born. Next time, my future minions… next time.

fly

(image courtesy of teslacoils)

Did you know the Latin name for fruit flies translates to Dew Loving? Should be Coffee Loving. You damn little f*ckers…

Images

Before this whole blogging thing I had no idea about image copyright laws. Wow, you can’t just use a Goggle image search and plug any image you like into a blog. “Do ye want te get SUED?!” So I have, well, dived into is way too strong- sighed and grudgingly explored- the world of free image websites. Free stock images are… well, you’ll see, because that is almost all I’ll be using here. They range from advertising product images to grainy randomness. Why are stock images all I’ll be using? Mostly because I refuse to not be an active participant in life and turn myself into that sad, separate watcher of existence that we call: a photographer. No offense, photographers, though I’m sure quite a bit taken.

So to turn this into lemonade has led to… the first instalment of the Random Stock Image Blog Post! One of the free image sites I’m now a begrudging member of has a Random Image generator. And so every whenever-I-feel-like-it I will post a random stock image on the blog and comment on it!

And the first installment is…

square vent

(image courtesy of 3veritas)

A square vent on a hospital waiting room ceiling!

This image may look familiar because many, many readers have seen these while pleading for the life of a loved one! I wonder if the hospital vents think humanity is praying to them? What would this hospital vent’s response be? “I’m only a hospital vent! Please- I’d help if I could, but I have no power, none at all, to affect anything here! I mean, I’m flattered… but all of this is so misplaced! Pray to the doctors- they have at least a modicum of control in these things!”

Yes, that was actually a random stock image- swear to hospital ceiling vent.

Brown Bear vs. The Board of Education

Anyone else hear the news reports warning that due to habitat loss polar bears and grizzly bears are interbreeding and thinking that the alarm over that sounds just a wee bit… familiar?

Polar Bear Close Up

(Image coutesy of Andreas Krappweis) Ohhhh… god forbid the scary brown bears interbreed with your precious white bears! What about the phrenology of bear skulls? Using that to support your claims of the superiority of the polar bear, are you? Get on the right side of history, polar bear enthusiasts, that’s all I have to say.

Starting a Blog

Hardest part? Blog name.

Choices so far?

Large Mouth Sass*

The Joke Cracker

The Skipjack

The New Bee

Banter Decanter

Ugh…

What am I going to name this damn thing?

*(Have you read that new post by Large Mouth Sass?” “Yes, I love Large Mouth’s Ass!”)