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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blissful Jam

There is currently a blogfeast blogfest going on! And the timing couldn't be better, as I am currently experimenting with cooking for the first time. Around 500 words or less, about food in some way. Could life get any better than this!  Also, as I have been struggling to write about my kitchen-time, this could work!
My first dinner! Caribbean Chicken

I recently moved into a new place. And for some reason, got all excited about cooking.  At 33, I have never really cooked before, or had any interest. I made my first meal, a Caribbean style chicken thing I found online with spinach and fruit. It turned out pretty good, and I was greatly surprised, and encouraged to move forward.  My goal is to learn to cook food that is good, but also nutritious.

This has been an interesting journey.  As you know (since I published Gym Germs), I am a bit of a germaphobe.  And raw meat is OHMYGAWDDISGUSTING.  But I have a box of sugical gloves.  And yes, I wear them when touching raw meat.  Because raw meat is OHMYGAWDDISGUSTING.

Notice the surgical gloves?
However, I could not decide what to make next. I was the proverbial stand-still. Then came the dilemma of my life. (Not my WHOLE LIFE, just of that moment. But sometimes, those moments feel like lifetimes!)

My grandma makes homemade jelly. It is delicious! I crave, I mean crave her blueberry-rhubarb jelly so much that just typing those words right now made my mouth water. There is nothing better in my world that this jelly with peanut butter, butter, or just bread. Even just on a spoon, really. It's that good.

Recently, my parents' stockpiles dried up. They ran out of said jelly. I was devastated.

Off to the grocery I went. (How did I know I wouldn't find it there?)  I have never bought a jar of jelly in my life, I didn't even know where the jelly was! I had to wander up and down isles. Once I found it, I stood in front of the mass jelly jar collection for at least ten minutes. (I probably looked a bit foolish.) I didn't know what to do, which one to pick, what the brand differences were. I examined prices, to see if maybe there would be an obvious difference, surely leading me to the best jelly available. No help.

I left with no jelly.

I went to the health food store, hoping for something, anything, that would resemble homemade.

No dice.


Jelly!  From MY kitchen!
 On a whim, as I do many things, I decided I would make jelly. With one successful meal under my belt, why couldn't I make jelly? I bought rhubarb and blueberries at the farmer's market and got a big stew pot, sugar, sure-jell, and jelly jars.

Suddenly, I have the vision of enterprise in my head. I will sell my amazing jelly! I will market it and be as famous as Smuckers (the brand I saw the most of in the store)! I shall call it Blissful Jam and it will be an instant hit. I designed a logo and a sticker on the computer and printed them out on stickers to put on the jars of my amazing jelly.  Meanwhile, I hadn't even started making it yet...)

My first PBJ!

I made it. It was good.

Little runny, but good.

Maybe not instant-hit-good, but certainly good.
Jessica's son getting the mailed jelly.

So I put the labels on. (Cuteness!) I posted pictures of my jelly on Facebook. I gave jars to my parents, sister, roommate's parents, friends, anyone who would take one. I sent two jars to my grandma and two more to a friend in Tennessee.

The feedback I got was that my jelly is good. My grandma even used the words, "GREAT JOB!"  I am encouraged by this. I continue to cook meals. I have been collecting recipes from friends and have several adventures to take on. If you have a recipe that you particularly like, please send it over.

Also, I have made a roast, some homemade soup, a chicken rub, and a chicken-spinach thing.  Also, I am learning to make small things, like bbq chicken.  Cooking nutritionally is fun and a learning process.

My next adventure is scones.  :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gym Germs

I found this in the editing section of my Blogger.  Written on March 1st, but never published.  It made me laugh, as I'm sure it didn't that day.  So I'm publishing now.  Enjoy my craziness...

I left work early today.  Not really, I had a meeting.  But I got done with my meeting earlier than I would have gotten off work.  BONUS!  So, I took my happily free self to the gym to celebrate. 
In case you haven't caught on already, I live in a very routined world.  On Mondays (as that is today), I usually go to a class at the gym from 5:45 until 6:45.  In all honesty, it's more like 5:55, after I frustrate myself thru traffic.  Either way, this class is awesome!  It uses weights and aerobics to get the job done.  It is a total ass-kicker, but man, it feels good.  Today, I didn't go to that class, I didn't get to grunt my way through a techno-version of 9-5 by Ms. Dolly Parton (no, that is NOT a joke.  They seriously played a TECHNO 9-5 last week!). 
Germs.  Oh. My. God.  Germs. 
I had to change clothes in the locker room.  About as unsanitary as I can imagine.  (deep breath, deep breath.)  I do not use dressing rooms, and yes, I am very particular about public bathrooms.  I certainly do not change clothes in a locker room.  Well, today it was either that or not work out, so I did my breathing in the car and geared up.  I walked in.  (I wonder if anyone could feel my panic?)  I successfully got my shirt changed and was feeling like the new king of the world when I realized I had to take off my shoes and remain standing in order to change pants.  So there I stood, in a work out top and a dress pants and shoes, trying to figure out how to manipulate this situation.  (Yes, I wear the little booties at the airport so I don't have to walk through security without shoes on.) 
Finally, I remembered that I am, in fact, acrobat. 
I took off one dress shoe, stood on one foot, took the pantleg off, put the pantleg of the sweat pants on, then my tennis shoe.  I repeated with the next leg, thinking, "I got this!" 
Then, I remembered that I am NOT, in fact, an acrobat.
Halfway through removing my dress pants (remember, I now have one leg in one pair of pants, one tennis shoe on, and half of the other leg in dress pants), I start to quiver.  I start to lean.  I fall.
New bruise.  Location: upper left thigh.  Sexiness scale: 8.3.
In spite of all the drama, and the germs I contacted, I was still able to go ride the bike for 6.5 miles.  I was shooting for eight, but also wasn't planning on a sore leg.  When I got up to get the paper towel and whatever that sanitizing stuff is that sprays and makes me feel comforted to use on the equipment, a very tall man got there first, and got the paper towel for me.  I didn't have to touch the dispenser!  He thought he was just being nice.   But he made my day.  As I did not have to touch the handle on the paper towel dispenser, thus I did not contact any more than I already had in the locker room. 
Seriously, thank you, tall man at the gym. 

I wonder, am I sharing too much?  Are you freaked out by me yet?  My germ stuff is never in your face this much in real life.  I have learned to cope in subtle ways and not let on in groups that I have issues.  Only very few of my friends (until the advent of this) even realize I actually am freaky like this. 

Whatever.  Welcome to me.

My Top Ten List That DIDN'T Make The List

I'm late. I'm always late.

I saw a post last night on facebook that my Olivia had posted her top ten favorite TV shows of all time. I thought to myself (and said out loud to myself) “I will definitely read that tomorrow!” I was trying to make myself turn off the computer and make myself go to sleep.

So today, yesterday's tomorrow, I logged into find Olivia's blog, and it is not just a list, it is a blogfest. I do not participate in many of these, but this one was certainly intriguing. First, I love love love television! I have loved it for my whole big entire life. Second, I love retro television. In part, because Ted Turner ran reruns when I was little and living in Nebraska and baby, it's COLD outside for about five months a year. Third, television is now something of a novelty. There is little to be proud of anymore, little to say “I have to get home! (Blank) is on and I must see it!” Reality shows and drunken sex parties (not that there's anything wrong with that!) have taken over. It's like all the writers decided they didn't want to be writers anymore and just found the most ignorant representation of Americans they could find, and said, “Hey, would you like to be on TV?”

As I was reading Olivia's list, I found myself making my own. So I clicked over to the blogfest, and sadly, it ended yesterday.

But I've decided to make a list anyway. I can't help it.

You will see many of these shows are above my age, but you can take that up with Ted Turner. Also, a lot of this is past tense. It doesn't matter. It's of all time.

10. One Day at a Time
I don't really know what this show is, other than another single mom in the 70s who needs the help and antics of a man with a tool belt (Schneider). I had dreams of being tall and skinny with great big teeth like Mackenzie Phillips. Alas, still 4'10”. But my teeth are very nice.
I also loved The Mamas and The Papas, so it was fascinating to me that she was Papa John's daughter.  That was really cool, until her recent revelation.  Crap.  I just threw up in my mouth a little.  Must. Change. Subject.

9. The Partridge Family
Oh, how I love love love David Cassidy! I have loved him since I was a wee little girl! That flowing hair, that beautiful voice. I watched the Partridge Family every time I could find it on television. I could not get enough! I even checked out the Partridge Family books at the library when I was little! Even today, if I come across it, I stop and sigh.

8. Sisters
This was my must-record-show. I loved everything about it. “...friends come and go, parents die, but you'll always have your sisters.”

7. The Brady Bunch
As with everyone my age and about five years older, I have been watching this show for as long as I can remember. Corny, cheesy, undeniably out-of-touch with the reality of the seventies (sans the hair and clothes), this show is good fun! (sans cousin Oliver)

6. The West Wing
I have every season of this show on DVD. The writing is brilliant, the actors too perfect for the characters they play, and very realistic, even idealistic, of a great government.

5. Big Love
OBSESSION! I officially love Mormons because of this show. My only wish is that HBO would get its crap together and make more episodes for a season.  Home Plus is Us+Us+Us.

4. Glee
Yep. I'm a GLEEK. This show is amazing, and the talent in these actors is unprecedented. New season starts tonight! YAY! Sorry, back to the topic. I was a bit embarrassed to watch this show the first time, but my choices are running slim for scripted-television. I was so excited when it was over! It blew me away!  "This show is my I have to get home!  BLANK GLEE IS ON!"

3. All in the Family
Life doesn't get much better than Archie Bunker spitting instead of swearing, insulting everyone and everything around him, and Edith's annoying little voice!  And, of course, any show that can use the word meathead over and over and it still be funny has my vote!

2. The Golden Girls
As I've mentioned before, I have a slight obsession with Betty White. This show is the reason. I still watch the reruns.

1. Family Ties
I don't know if you are aware, but I was going to marry Michael J. Fox. We were going to be so happy together. We are both short, have brown hair, and he was my density, I mean, my destiny. Unfortunately, Ellen, um, Tracy Pollen stepped in front of me and made him forget all about me. Regardless, I still love this show, the contrast between the hippie parents and conservative 80s kids.
There's my list.  I'm late, I won't be part of the blogfest.  But man!  That was fun!