Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving

Went to Dave's 10 year class reunion. What. A. Blast. It was straight out of a movie. Small high school (90 students in the graduating class) in a Small Midwesternish town. Dave's friends were absolutely wonderful (not that i would expect anything less from Dave) but I'm so happy I got to meet them. Most of the attendees seemed decent, although there was that core of popular kids who held on to their late 90's shittiness, and brought it to the reunion by way of passive aggressive comments, whispers, and eyerolls.
The reunion took an awkward turn after it relocated to a local bar afterwards where the football star who made Dave's life hell during high school drunkenly admitted he is miserable and on antidepressants after marrying his high school sweetheart, the equally rude and bitchy lead cheerleader after knocking her up right out of high school. I couldn't make that shit up--well i could, but I'd like to think I'd be a bit more creative.
On a less uncomfortable yet schadenlicious note Dave's lovely friend Erin and I spied a karaoke machine and sang Wake Me up before you Go-Go by Wham, and had the bar jitterbugging.

Dave's Uncle John--my favorite of Dave's 398 members of his extended family. The sweetest, gentlest, kindest man I've met in a long time.

Bottle Fed a calf

Peace and quiet. Can't get enough of it.

3AM somewhere in MD Dave nailed a deer and totaled his new car. My back's a bit tight, but otherwise we're OK. And thanks to AAA, full coverage car insurance, OK Towing, vacancy's at the holiday inn, and Dave's father generously picking us up from the hotel and lending us his car to get home, we made it there and back OK.

Jello Salad. Colorful, kitschy, and creamy...yet it tastes awful.

Pennsylvania. I hate that state.

Unbelievably long car ride

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tell me Toni Tony Tone, Do you know what today is?

6 years. 6 crazy, difficult, wonderful years have passed since Dave and I first met and all i can think is...son of a bitch...we're old. To mark the occasion I bought Dave, 'Mr. Astronomy himself', a star. Well actually I bought Dave an expensive piece of paper, as the name isn't recognised by anyone outside of the International Star Registry, but that's OK. Ready for cheesy? The star can be found within the coordinates of 11/1 (our anniversary) Aww within the Virgo (Dave's birthday) constellation AWWWW. Along with the star Dave got my signature message pie. A pumpkin and molasses pie with cutout stars and the mathematical symbol of pi cause I'm punny and Dave's a big ole geek.

Plus some records as mentioned in the post below.

2 Eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 can solid pack pumpkin (15 oz)
3 tablespoons molasses
3/4 cup evaporated milk

Line a 9 inch pie plate with dough and set aside
beat together eggs cinnamon salt ginger nutmeg and and sugar, beat in pumpkin and molasses, gradually add milk, pour into crust and cover edges with tinfoil. Cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, remove foil and reduce heat to 350 and cook for 28-30 min (until knife inserted in the center comes out clean) cool for 2 hours and serve chilled.

Semi Sweet pie crust for Squash Pie or Custard Pies (from The Pie Book by Louis P. De Gouy)
1 1/4 cups Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/4 powdered skim milk
1 tsp corn syrup
2 1/2 Tbsp Water
1/3 cup shortening

Mix together don't chill roll out and bake

I'm into
Peter Hunt, a folk artist from Cape Cod. After a few subtle hints, and a not so subtle email with direct links, carefully price-shopped and subtotaled, Dave fed my Peter Hunt obsession by buying some out of print/hard to find books; Peter Hunt's Cape Cod Cookbook, Peter Hunt's workbook, Peter Hunt's How to Do It Book, a copy of the Oct 1971 Playboy with Darine Stern the first black woman on the cover of Playboy (and as it turns out isn't featured in the magazine itself. Boo) and finally service coupons (1 free back rub, will cook romantic dinner etc) Wow. What a man!!

For our super special anniversary dinner we dined at The Gourmet Dumpling House. Best Chinese food in Chinatown. And cheap. Not kidding, I could hand them $100 bill and walk out with the deed to the place and 3 orders of scallion pancakes.

The rest of the night we spent quietly at home listening to Dave's new records (see post below) and reading our fortunes. We read tarot, tea leaves, palms all with pretty much the same result; "You have a nice relationship buttttt....yadda yadda yadda". Bullshit. I broke out my 4th grade paper folding skills and whipped up a fortune teller.

Dave's Fortune: We will marry in Vegas,buy a '52 Airstream and live nomadic lifestyle. I (Angie) will make cheap jewelry, handmade scrunchies, and hash brownies and sell them roadside, you (Dave) will grow a survivalist beard, whittle little animals out of soap and wood, and do odd jobs for locals. 2 of our children will sing and play guitar for the spare change of passerbyers. Our less musically inclined 3rd child will pick the pockets of those who don't financially support our artistic contributions.

My Fortune: You will go broke, and die alone in a house fire caused by a rogue cigarette ash discarded in a pile of stacked newspapers and fossilised cat turds.

annndd this is why I'm a Cathloic.

Happy Anniversary baby :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thrift Score!!

As you know, adore antiques, flea markets, but most of all I am all about the thrift store. Not to be confused with consignment shops which are carefully stocked with gently used designer clothing, there's no imagination in that. I"m talking junk shops, and charity based thrift stores which are packed with...well crap. Whether it's furniture I can refurbish, a keyhole paperback of a VC Andrews novel, or a grandpa sweater I can lounge around the house in to the disgust of my boyfriend, there's something about digging through a bunch of junk and finding that one gem I can't live without.

So my latest trip to the salvation army I scored a mid to late 60's barware (and that is the ultimate find for a bric-a-brac whore like me) and and a 'record album' similar to a photo album but filled with early 20th century records (originals) from the late 1800's to 1930's. (the thick, heavy, thin grooved kind) . A bunch of Italian records which is more of a Dave thing, but also a few early blues records by someone by the name of Mr. Memphis Minnie. (A woman actually, and found a nice little article on her) The quality is amazing. $20 playa.

Deep Fried Sweets

A few months ago i was sitting in the waiting room of my doctors office flipping through a back issue of national geographic when i came across an article on the State Fairs of the Midwest. With activities such as the annual Corn Dog Chomp where the Iowa state fair gathers 8400 participants to bite into a corn dog (fried in bacon fat btw) at the same time, State fairs don't just encourage American fatassery they celebrate it. God bless 'em.
Deep fried foods are the true delicacy of the fair circuit. They will dip anything in oil; pickles, cheese curds, cheeseburgers, veggies (which I've had and are delicious!). Amazing. But none so amazing as deep fried sweets of which I've heard rumors, but never had the pleasure of sampling. Ms. Amanda came up to visit me earlier this month and together we decided to give it a shot.

We decided to narrow our experiments down to the oddest yet most common of the deep fried sweets.

*Coca Cola

We made a thick sweet batter of mix of powdered sugar, flour, water and pancake mix. Measuring smeasuring.

First the Oreos, I had about three glasses of wine at this point and Amanda took over the actual work (as seen in pic above) and i did what i do best; drink, bark out orders, and snap photos. She coated the cookies with the batter and dropped them in the oil. Now if I were smart...and sober i would have thought to myself. "Wow, the oil is smoking perhaps we should turn the heat down a bit" But alas no. We dropped the first cookie in there and nearly ignited a house fire. By the end of the pack we were deep frying oreo champs, and let me tell you. They were a thing of beauty. Warm, gooey, yet still firm enough to handle. By far better then any oreo or any other cookie i have ever eaten. Amanda loved them, and Dave and Adam weren't complaining either.

Next up? Twinkies. We all hate Twinkies, in fact i don't think i have ever met anyone who has ever liked Twinkies. They're much too sweet, dense, and you always feel a bit guilty, sick, and irritated after eating one. I was going to nix the idea all together, but we just saw Zombieland, and considering they don't contain not one natural ingredient, it's probably the easiest and safest 'food' to deep fry. So once again we coated and dropped it in. Oh. My. God. Amazing. Possibly the best thing I've had the pleasure of putting in my mouth.

Even Amanda's boyfriend Adam enjoyed it and he's a chef. Who, side note, is lovely and by far my favorite of Amanda's boyfriends. It's no secret that I've never cared much for the men in Amanda's life (although her taste in women is impeccable :p ) but Adam's top notch. Plus he's a dead ringer for Jeremy Miller (Yeah I said it. If your reading this, sorry buddy, but I've watched enough Growing Pains as a kid to spot Ben Seaver when i see him.)

So by now the bottle of wine is nearly empty, and we're getting drunker and cockier by the minute. and like most people who let their cockiness get the best of them, it was downhill from there on out. Case in point Snickers. Dropped it into the oil and it melted. Frickin melted. The chocolate almost completely came off the bar and the peanuts kind of came half way out of nougat. It wasn't bad. Just not good. Like eating a candy bar that was sitting out in the sun.

Cheesecake? disaster. Honestly the worst thing i've ever eaten. It was just oily. Warm oily cheesecake. I think it turned Dave, who's a cheesecake nut, off the stuff forever. l

Last up was Coca Cola. No frickin clue how to deep fry Coca Cola. Do you soak it in cake then deep fry it? You don't just pour the Coke into the oil...cause after a few drinks I seriously considered doing this, thank god sober minds steered me towards a less dangerous idea. We turned to Ben---I mean Adam, who has cooking experience. Ultimately we decided to fry it as you would a funnel cake. Flour, pancake mix, eggs, sugar, a crap load of Coke, um....other stuff and tried it out. Again nasty. It just kind of dissipated in the oil and burnt on the outside yet remained raw on the inside. The taste? watery coke. Not exactly what I had in mind. I could see how this would be delicious if done by competent chefs. We are not competent chefs.

Well at the end of the day, I packed on an extra 2 pounds, the house smelled like a fairground for a week, had a wicked hangover, and my already bad skin looked like that of a 16 year old fry cook, but I got to see Amanda, we had a blast. So all in all? Great way to spend a few hours. Y'all should try it....