Food Store Deli Diary – May 22

July 12th, 2013

It was my night to prepare fresh ham salad and turkey club salad for the deli case.  This normally means a trek through the store for some of the necessary condiments needed for the recipes; which would be ranch dressing, bacon bits and sweet pickled relish.

Dressed in my white deli smock and Boar’s Head cap, I set-out to gather the needed provisions.  As I neared the dressing section of aisle 5, a young mother with her two young daughters seated in a shopping cart were before me.  I needed to pass the cart to get to the ranch dressing.

A little blond girl, approximately 3 years of age, sat in the child seat at the front of the cart, facing towards me.  A little brown haired girl, who appeared to be about 5 was seated inside the cart.  She was facing the other way, towards her mother, who was reaching for products on the shelves and pulling the cart sideways, rather than pushing the cart from the front.

Just as I was passing the cart, the little blond girl in front twisted her body, extended an arm and tapped her older sister on top of the head.  Then she quickly about-faced, and with an utterly straight demeanor, acted as if nothing had happened.

I caught this interaction as I passed by and was reminded of my own childhood, when my siblings and I would often play the mystery tap game. We actually named it; ‘Tip-Tap.’  It was a fairly straight forward but fun game to play.  You sneakily tap your brother or sister when they least expect being tapped, preferably when there’s somebody else in the near vicinity who might be blamed, then you distance yourself from suspicion by either quickly moving out-of-sight, or feigning innocence…  “What? Me? No! Never! Why would I want to tap you and risk catching your cooties?”

‘Nice fake-out, little girl,’ I thought as I passed their cart.  I was impressed with how well this little tyke was able to pull-off her ruse.  It honestly never entered my mind that she would be sophisticated enough at the game to even consider the strategy of timing it so that somebody else would be blamed.  I mean, she was all but 3 years old. And sitting in the bumper-seat of a grocery cart!  Surely, she was merely at the ‘tapping and feigning’ level, she couldn’t possibly be devious enough at that age to even dabble at ‘deflecting blame,’ could she? Read the rest of this entry »

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Easy As Pie

July 6th, 2013

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

I just love making a quiche on the spur-of-the-moment, using whatever ingredients I might have handy.  But I hate paying $3.99 for Pillsbury unroll and fill refrigerated Pie Crusts.  In these days when we’re all trying to squeeze the most from our dollars, paying four bucks for what is essentially just flour and vegetable oil seems a bit ridiculous.

In a perfect world, I would love to make a pie crust for my quiche with real butter.  But that would require a pastry blender, which I don’t have.  And while I do have a rolling pin, I’m not crazy about the idea of a big, long, messy rolling dough episode in the kitchen – which would totally take the ‘spur-of-the-moment’ out of my spur-of-the-moment quiche.

So, I went on-line and found an Easy Oil Pie Crust recipe by Carroll Pellegrinell at About.com.  No pastry blender or rolling pin needed.  I gave it a try, and was quite pleased with the results.  I mentioned it to my sister, who asked me to send the recipe.  I figured I’d do better, and share the recipe on my blog.

Easy Oil Pie Crust
from Carroll Pellegrinell at About.com

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tblsp. cold milk or water

Whisk flour and salt together with a wire whisk.

Stir in oil.  Stir in milk (or water).

Mix completely.

Place dough in the middle of a glass pie plate and spread dough out with hands, covering the bottom, and over the sides.

Fill and bake according to your favorite pie recipe.

Tonight, I made a spinach and mushroom quiche. I covered the bottom of the pie crust with spinach,  mushrooms and diced onions (sautéed together first in a dab of butter).

Then I whisked 5 eggs together with about a 1/4 cup of half & half.  I stirred about 3/4 cup of freshly shredded muenster cheese* into the eggs, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I folded the egg/cheese mix on top of the spinach/mushrooms and placed in a pre-heated 375° oven for about 30 minutes. Halfway through, I added a topping garnish of a little spinach and mushroom and sprinkled about 1/8 cup of shredded muenster cheese on top. Yummy!

* Bonus money saving tip:  Ask your local deli if they offer cheese ends at a discounted price.  I shredded my muenster cheese from an end that I purchased for just $2.99 per pound. I bought a big shreddable hunk for a little over a dollar, and still have more cheese leftover for a future meal.

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My Incredible Shrinking Dress

May 23rd, 2013

Yeah, I actually watched the news last night, and learned from the weather report that we were supposed to get some rain. Lots of rain, most likely. But, when I woke up this morning, there was simply an overcast, which I didn’t deem too foreboding.

Unlike most people, I actually enjoy a dense overcast. It gives me a feeling of comfort and insulation. I think of a dense overcast as God’s way of covering me with a warm, cozy blanket.

I had a noon council meeting at the Salvation Army. After driving my 85 year old uncle to the local senior center for his 11 am bridge game, I was pressed for time to get myself ready. I jumped into the shower for what my Mom would call a ‘military style’ cleansing. Two or three minutes tops to wash the essentials, then you’re out, and dried and dressed in less than five.

I had little time to spare, so I grabbed from my closet what I considered the easiest thing to put-on in a hurry; a cute breezy Ann Taylor dress, with a subtle floral print. Perfect for a spring day, I thought, and modestly appropriate for a meeting with the other volunteer council members at the Salvation Army. As you read the rest of this story, please keep the words ‘modestly appropriate’ in mind.

About halfway through the twelve minute drive to Tarrytown for my meeting, the clouds cracked, and it started raining down in buckets. It was still raining heavily when I pulled into the Salvation Army parking lot. Raining bucket after bucket, with no end in sight. I knew I couldn’t wait-it-out, or I would miss the meeting! I just had to make a mad dash for the door, and hope I didn’t get drenched too badly.

Ahh! Phooey! A Little Rain Never Hurt Me!

That is what I was thinking as I ran to the door, wearing my Ann Taylor dress and grey suede slingback heels. At the midway point of my dash, I realized that I had seriously underestimated the ferocity of this rainstorm. I was already drenched, but I had no choice but to forge forward.

I landed in the meeting room, facing my fellow council members and the Salvation Army Officers in charge of our Tarrytown Corps. with my entire body dripping with rain.

“Oh!!! You are soaked!” said outgoing Lt. Argelia (soon to be Captain in Newburgh). “You need some dry clothes… Let me go upstairs and see what I can find.”

As Argelia went upstairs, I met aside with Janet, the secretary – to discuss the parting gift and card we arranged for our parting Lts., to be given at the meeting.

Meanwhile, I noticed a tightness happening in my arms. Not only in my arms, but really, all over… Yes, the dress I was wearing was shrinking, and tightening up all around me! In all my years of living, I have never had an article of clothing shrink while I was actually wearing it! This was a first for me. So much for the ‘Dry-Clean Only’ tag.

I looked down towards my breast area, and saw that my shrinking dress had squeezed my boobies together, creating a cleavage I had never known, despite my best efforts to buy a good wonder-bra. Jeez! I thought. My boobs look more like those of a fraulein serving beer at Octoberfest than a humble Salvation Army volunteer! Is that a good thing? Or a bad thing?  I don’t know.

Then, there was the skirt issue, which can’t be skirted. Before shrinkage, my hem length was respectfully at the knee. Upon shrinkage, that hem length went up and up – to mini-skirt levels, and beyond. Which might have been okay, if I wasn’t meeting with church-going people! But, it wasn’t okay, and I kept pulling at the bottom of my skirt until Lt. Argelia re-appeared with some dry clothing for me to change into.

I quickly ran into the restroom to change into Lt. Argelia’s offerings. A navy blue skirt that the Salvation Army officers wear, and a forest-green T-shirt that had ‘Manhattan College’ printed across in white letters. Not exactly fashion-forward, but dry.  Hey, if you’re going to get caught in an awkward situation with a shrinking dress, the Salvation Army is THE place to be.

As I ran to the restroom, I held down the bottom portion of what was once my ‘modestly appropriate’ dress, now turned to a skimpy mini dress, and I said a simple prayer; ‘Thank You, GOD… for giving me the foresight to not wear a thong today.’

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My Faux Facebook Birthday Blizzard

February 9th, 2013

The poor tree didn't stand a chance.

Thanks everyone, for your heart warming birthday wishes! Hell, if one is going to celebrate a ‘faux Facebook birthday,’ it seems oddly fitting for it to be accompanied by a not-so-faux nor’easter… or, yeah, in other words; a friggin’ blizzard!

I’m amazed, but not so surprised that with all this snow, we still have power. Not so surprised, because the guy who lives next door works for the town, and for some odd reason, our neck of the power grid always seems to stay juiced in the midst of the most inclement weather. Hmmm. I wonder why?

(Side note to self; If ever thinking of purchasing or renting a home, enquire about the profession of all nearby neighbors. It is wise to live next door to a guy or gal who has the power to keep his/her home with power when everyone else has none. I think Ghandi said that … nah, probably not.)

Of course, after surviving many years of hurricanes in Florida, I never take any storm for granted. I always properly prepare for the worse case scenario. The worse case scenario for a blizzard here in NY is we lose power, and can’t keep the house (or our butts) warm. Thus, my main preparatory goal was to gather as much wood as possible – to burn in the fireplace.

There’s an ample stockpile of logs here in the yard of my 85 year old uncles’ house, but those logs have been there for years. With all the freezing temperatures we’ve had lately, most of those logs are frozen solid together, or rotted and rendered unusable. I went out and gathered what I could; a log harvest of about five good ones. I knew the logs would need time to dry, so I brought them inside, and hoped for the best.

I went to work later that afternoon, for my part-time evening shift as a deli clerk at a local supermarket. The pay sucks, but even as a part-timer, I get union membership and some form of health benefits, which is a helluva lot better than NO form of health benefits. So, I graciously put-up with the arrogant and not-so-gracious whims of the rich and mighty of Bedford Hills, NY – all for the comfort of knowing that should my body develop some rare form of shoulder-blade cancer, I will be covered by some meager form of a union negotiated health-care plan. Yeah. Wish me luck on that one!

Before I stray off the issue of the not-so-gracious rich and mighty of Bedford Hills, let me state that it is NOT polite, nor is it appropriate for anyone to ever request that their pound of salami be sliced ‘very, very, very thin!’ Seriously! Those two extra ‘very’s are ‘very’ unnecessary. We get it when you say you want it ‘very thin.’ OK? The next time some miserable rich A-hole requests that I slice their salami ‘very, very, very thin,’ I’m going to humorously present him or her with an empty sheet of deli paper, and say, “So, you’re telling me you want invisible salami?” Seriously! ‘Very thin’ suffices. We get it. All us lowly deli clerks get it! Even those of us who don’t have legal working papers. We get it, with just one ‘very.’ Using three ‘very’s is superfluous and insulting, especially to those of us who know the meaning of the word superfluous, and how to spell it. OK? So, stick to just one ‘very.’ OK?

And another thing, (while I’m ranting)! Don’t ever tell a deli clerk that your cold cuts need to be sliced ‘very, very, very thin,’ because your kid won’t eat it otherwise. That’s just wrong. There are millions of hungry children in this world, who would thank God for a slice of Boar’s Head Oven Gold turkey, regardless of how thickly or thinly it’s sliced. You should be raising your child to be thankful, not spoiled and unappreciative. I mean, really! You are doing your child no service by pandering to such nonsense. The next time your kid complains about a cold cut being too thick, you should simply say, “Oh, ok. I guess you’re not that hungry. Let’s bring this pound of Boar’s Head ham to the local food bank, to feed some other child who will actually appreciate it.”

OK, now that I’ve gotten those little issues off my chest, let’s move forward.

Pandemonium ensued at the grocery store, as would be expected on the day before the strike of a major blizzard. Customers were lined-up by the dozens to buy pounds of perishable lunch meats, the logic of which escapes me. Cold cuts need to be kept cold, otherwise they will spoil. So if you lose power, and can’t cook for a day or two, you will also lose refrigeration. Wouldn’t it make more sense to stock-up on cans of tuna and chicken, etc., than to buy tons of perishable lunch meats? Just saying…

As I was slicing very, very, very thin lunch meats for my very, very, very panicked customers, I made a mental assessment of my own home survival situation. I came to the conclusion that since my Uncle Ed and I had a freezer and refrigerator full of enough food to last us weeks, not to mention the formidable cache of canned goods (purchased prior to the end of the Mayan calendar), which could feasibly keep us nutritionally sustained for at least 3 months, I didn’t need to worry about bringing home more food. I needed to bring home wood.

Five semi-frozen logs from the yard does not make for a sustaining warm abode, should we lose power. I worked an extra half hour, till 10:30 pm, to help get the deli department closed and cleaned for the morning crew. Then, I filled a shopping cart with two large burnable bags of hardwood.

Upon arriving home, I cleverly left one of the bags in the trunk of the car, because I had every expectation that my dear old Uncle Ed would give me a hard-time for spending money on wood, when we have so much here in the yard.

Sure enough, when he saw me lugging the first batch into the house, his eyes went wide and wild, and he exclaimed, “You bought wood?!!”

I answered him matter-of-factly, and said, “Yes, Uncle Ed! I bought wood! I took as much as I could from the yard today, but the rest of it is frozen solid. In case you didn’t know, we’re about to have a blizzard. We might lose power. And there is NO way you and I are going to be sitting here in an icy cold house without some firewood to burn! OK?”

Uncle Ed locked his eyes into mine in a steely glare, and then he smiled and said, “OK. You’re right. That was smart of you to do that.”

Fortunately, we never lost power (as I mentioned earlier). But we have been enjoying the warm glow of the fireplace ever since.

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A Duffle Bag of Journals

November 28th, 2012

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’ve got a giant duffle bag full of journals I’ve been keeping since childhood. I’ve resisted the temptation to review these old journals for years, because reliving the past can be emotionally traumatic. Writing about my thoughts and experiences has always been a therapeutic way for me to cope with whatever crap life flings my way, especially when I address the crap with a sense of humor.

I believe most human beings are gifted with a selective memory, which allows us to block the bad stuff and remember the good. We either block the bad memories, or we find something humorous about them, and go on from there. Revisiting my journals means reliving all the good, selected memories, and unfortunately all the bad. But, I figure there’s a reason why little Betty Anne Von Achen from Blue Point started writing in her books all those years ago. Little Betty Anne Von Achen apparently had a message for grown up Liz Von Achen, and grown up Liz Von Achen is a fool and a coward if she doesn’t go back in time, and read what Betty Anne had to say.

A couple of months ago, my dear Uncle Ed and I attended the wake of one of his longtime friends. It got me thinking about the frailty of life. How at anytime, it could be the end of our time, here on earth. After the wake, my uncle and I had a morbid but somewhat cathartic talk about our wishes, should either of us meet our demise before the other. Uncle Ed’s biggest wish is to be buried in the plot next to Aunt Peg at the Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island. Uncle Ed’s an easy-going guy, who doesn’t care whether or not he’s embalmed for a showing at a wake, or comes to the cemetery in a cremated urn of ashes. He just wants whatever remains he has to be buried beside the love of his life.

My final requests were a bit more complicated. Of course!

“I don’t want to be embalmed, or have a showing.” I said. “I mean, most of my family and friends are in Florida, and I don’t think too many people would come to Westchester to view my wax-museum-like body in a coffin… I want to be cremated, and I want my ashes spread in two, no make that three places. I want some of my ashes spread in the Great South Bay of Long Island, which is where I spent the first 20 years of my life. I want more of my ashes scattered off the east coast of Florida, which is where I spent the next 20+ years of my life. Then, I want my remaining ashes to be taken to Paris by someone who loves me, and placed wherever they want. I’ve always dreamed of going to Paris, and if I can’t get there while alive, I’d like to at least get there when I’m dead.”

Uncle Ed politely listened to my rant, then he smiled and said,
“Liz, you’re not gonna die anytime soon, and we will go to Paris together, someday…”

“I hope so,” I said. “But this leaves me with my most important final wish. Uncle Ed, if I should pass away before you, will you make sure that my duffle bag full of journals gets sent to either my brothers Bob or Chris, or my sister Karen?”

“Of course, I would!” Uncle Ed responded. “But, what about Terry?” he asked.

“Terry has enough shit on her plate to handle. The last thing she needs is to be burdened with my journals!! Besides, I figure Bob is the most educated member of my family, and Chris and Karen are the most creative.”

“OK…” said Uncle Ed.

I realize now that it is totally unfair for me to place the burden of my journals upon anyone else! I’m still alive, and it’s time for ME to be responsible.

My sister Karen got on my ass when I visited Florida for vacation, three weeks ago. She said, “You need to take accountability for your life!”

She was right.

So, this is why I’m writing … I’m delving deeply into the past, referencing my journals, and what I’m writing will not be published – for free, on this blog.

My Mom phoned me this morning, and asked “Honey, are you okay?”

My response was, “Yes, Mom. I’m okay. I’ve just been delving into the past, and writing a lot … My working theme is ‘My Extraordinary Life As An Ordinary Loser.’”

“Oh, honey!” she said, “You’re not a loser, and I hate to think of you thinking of yourself that way.”

“Mom, I know I’m not a loser. I’m a writer. But, let’s face it; nobody wants to read stories I write about how wonderful I am. Self-deprecating humor is what I do! It’s what I do best!”

“I know, honey…” said my Mom.

“Starting with the time I swallowed that quarter that Nana gave me, which landed me in the emergency room… with a quarter lodged halfway in my esophagus. What the heck was I thinking? Oh, this shiny quarter looks a lot like a foiled-wrapped chocolate, so I’ll just eat it…” I said.

My Mom laughed, and said; “You know, swallowing that quarter was actually a brilliant move on your part, because after that, Nana had no choice but to give all you guys a dollar bill whenever she visited.”

Yes! There it was! Proof-positive that there was and always will be – some method to my madness!

Stay tuned…

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Adopt a Kookie Aunt for the Holidays!

November 20th, 2012

With Thanksgiving just two days away, I’m convinced I’m either going to have the best Thanksgiving ever, or quite possibly the worst.  I guess it will be up to me to decide.

Foreshadowing gloom is the fact that I’ve agreed to work my part-time job at the deli till 4 p.m., which pretty much excludes me from driving over 2 hours south to mooch a meal off friends or family on Long Island.  I mean, really!  Who eats Thanksgiving dinner at 7 p.m.?

While I might make it in time for the customary ’2nd Round’ Turkey Sandwich Leftover event, it would hardly seem worth the effort, as I would then have to drive back home just a few hours later, to make it in time for work on Friday.  And who wants to drive for more than 2 hours on a stomach full of tryptophan?  Everyone knows that stuff makes you drowsy!

I’ve considered other options such as volunteering at the local Food Bank, but I was told by my friend at the local Food Bank that they didn’t need any more volunteers.  They had an over-abundance of do-gooders for the holiday.  Apparently, Thanksgiving Day is the most popular day of the year for people (i.e. politicians) to volunteer at the Food Bank, and it’s all about who-you-know in order to get-in … as a volunteer.

So, then I thought; if the Food Bank didn’t need me as a volunteer, maybe I should just show-up as a hungry, needy guest… Maybe all those ‘extra important who-you-know volunteers’ would appreciate an extra mouth to feed, and I could be of some service in that way.

Then, I thought about all the people in the area who have a legitimate need for a hot meal on Thanksgiving Day, and I realized how morally reprehensible it would be for me to pretend to be financially needy of a meal, when I’m really only emotionally needy, and afraid of being alone on such a big family oriented day.

That’s when another option I had been kicking around in my feeble little mind set-in …

What if I offered myself up-for-adoption on Craig’s List?  Why not?  I’m thinking it might actually work!  My ad could say something like; ‘Kookie Sitcom Aunt-type Seeks Adoption from Big, Dysfunctional Family for the holidays, and other special occasions.’

I would then promise to show-up at all events wearing an eclectic get-up, perhaps even a Mumu (which I think is the standard attire for most Kookie Situation Comedy Aunts), and I would prepare a series of fascinating stories to tell of my mad-cap adventures abroad.

What family wouldn’t want a ‘Kookie Sitcom Aunt’ to breeze in and out of their lives on holidays and special occasions?  I would even bring some sort of oddly conceived dessert to all occasions, which would make the children cringe and the adults feel superior. Yeah, I’m thinking Indonesian Fruit Cake…

Yes, being adopted by a large dysfunctional family (preferably of Irish decent, because they seem to have the most interesting drama on the holidays, or an Italian family, because let’s face it; they have the best food) seems quite plausible.

But with Thanksgiving just 2 days away, would my target adoptive family have enough time to do a thorough background check on me? Which, of course, I would highly recommend.  I mean, you don’t just invite a kookie adopted aunt to your Thanksgiving dinner table without some reconnaissance, do you?

Maybe I’ll have to resort to Plan B.  Plan B is to roast a small chicken (or possibly a Cornish Hen) for myself  – throw some canned gravy on some mashed potatoes, guzzle a bottle of chardonnay and make drunken ‘I LOVE YOU’ calls to everyone on my contact list.  But then again, that would be so old hat, because I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what I did the past two Thanksgivings. And, honestly? It really wasn’t all that much fun… especially on the morning after.

So, I’m thinking now that I’ll just have to wing-it this year (no pun intended).  I’ll leave work at 4 p.m., and let whatever spur-of-the-moment inspiration I might have move me to some course of action.  Or, no course of action at all.

One thing will be for sure; On Thanksgiving Day, I’ll be thankful for all the people in my life who still manage to love me, despite my obvious flaws.

Happy Thanksgiving to All My Family and Friends!  I truly love ‘You’s Guys!’

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Never Forget

September 11th, 2012

I’ve always loved this time of year – when the humidly thick and hot air of summer gives way to the crisp coolness of fall.  When I can rejoice in reintroducing boots and jackets into my clothing repertoire.  When the dense forest of green donning the surrounding Westchester hills begins its own wardrobe transformation;  gradually adding orange, yellow and red as each day passes.

It’s back-to-school, and those ragamuffin kids across the street are no longer sticking to themselves and loudly playing summer yard games past their bedtime.  Instead, they politely come around knocking on the door at dinnertime, hawking over-priced kitchen gadgets, greeting cards and candles from slickly printed fund-raising catalogs, which of course, I can’t resist. I take a gamble and buy the most potentially useful (or useless) gadget I could find .

It’s the time of year that heralds the seemingly magical appearance of Mallomars cookies on the grocery store shelves, as well as colorfully decorated pumpkins on the neighbors’ front porches.

After a long regular summer season of baseball, fans are charged-up for the post-season pennant race, pinning their hopes on their favorites to make it to the World Series.  For those whose favorites are nowhere in the race; well, there’s always next year.  And, there’s always football. The 2012 NFL season kicked-off on September 5th, with most football fans across the nation feeling, if not optimistic, at least hopeful for their teams.

Foodies and fans of locally grown produce (such as myself) are happily gathering fresh harvests of carrots, and filling the house with the wonderfully rich scents of autumn by slow cooking soup, spiced with nutmeg, cloves and a touch of cinnamon.

Fall has always been a hopeful and happy time of year for me – to leave all the dull predictability of summer behind, and behold and imagine something new.  New clothes? New teachers? New Classmates? New test scores? New opportunities? New President?

It’s sad that this hopeful, happy time of year for so many of us is forever marred and made solemn by the unconscionable acts of just a few, as we remember our loved ones who perished on 9-11.

As sad as it is, this day must always be a solemn day for reflection and remembrance.  Today, I honor and remember all the innocent victims of 9-11.  My heart goes to their families, and I tearfully grieve with them.

- Never forget!

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Shocking Evidence Proves Liz is Not a Mutant

March 6th, 2011

Energetic. Electrifying. A highly charged bundle of positive energy. I suppose you could say I am all of those things. But most of all, I’m shocking.

I’m not shocking in a “Hey, Father Flanigan, did you hear the one about the lesbian, the prostitute and the pedophile?” sort of way. Well, okay, so I have been known to tell an off-color joke or two in the presence of clergy. But, in my defense, nuns hardly ever wear habits anymore! How was I supposed to know Sister Malone was a nun? I mean, I thought ‘Sister’ was an odd first name, but hey, if some Egyptian guy can name his kid ‘Facebook,’ who’s to say someone couldn’t name a child ‘Sister’ or ‘Brother’? And besides, Sister Malone was three sheets to the wind, shouting “Beer bong! Beer bong!” as she danced on top of the bar. So, I’m totally, almost 90%, at least 50% sure I won’t be going to hell for telling a dirty joke to a drunken nun.

But that’s straying off topic, and we really should get back to me and why I am so energetic, electrifying, overflowing with positive energy and above all else, shocking! How is it that I’m so shocking? You wonder. Okay, well, maybe you’re not actually wondering that. In fact, I’m fairly certain that you’re wondering why I think you might think this particular blog entry is of any interest whatsoever to you. You are probably in the midst of a deeply stretched yawn as you read this, and pondering what you should do about dinner. ‘Hmmm…Should I make hamburgers or meatballs?’ you wonder.

More than likely, if you’ve managed to read this far, your mind is reeling with questions such as, ‘What the hell is wrong with Liz? Why is she always writing about herself? Energetic, electrifying? Sheesh! Who the hell does she think she is, anyway? It’s always all about Liz. Liz, Liz, Liz, Liz, Liz … Oh, sure, occasionally, she’ll spice things up with a story about a bank-robbing grandma, or going on a date with a transsexual, or something kooky like that… But, really! What is all this crap about her being so shocking? And why should I care? And, how the hell does she know what I’m thinking right now, anyway? Damn, I forgot to buy pickles. Oh, well, I guess I’m making meatballs tonight. How does Liz know I forgot to buy pickles? She’s a friggin’ freak! That’s how she knows! Aw, heck, I probably shouldn’t be so judgmental. I mean, after all, it IS Liz’s blog I’m reading. And isn’t a blog short for web-log, which by nature should be all about the person who’s blogging, and not about streaming stories from other blogs about Charlie Sheen? Come to think of it, Charlie Sheen is a much bigger freak than Liz could ever be. At least Liz isn’t claiming to have a 10,000-year-old brain and the boogers of a 7-year-old, like Charlie Sheen did on that Piers Morgan show. So, I suppose I should just continue reading to find out why Liz thinks she is so shocking, even if she is a little weird, but much less weird than Charlie Sheen. Do I have any parmesan cheese for my meatballs?’
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This ain’t yo’ mama’s meatloaf sandwich!

February 25th, 2011

Being an avid foodie, there isn’t much I love to do more than don my vintage apron and get busy with some serious kitchen witchin’. As much as I love to cook, it may seem odd that I rarely post my recipes on this blog. It’s not that I don’t like to share. It’s more a matter of not actually cooking with recipes.

I guess you could say I approach cooking like I approach life. Driven by improvisation and instinct, I work with what I’ve got, no set-in-stone plan in mind. Thus, my life and my cooking are often blessed or cursed with inconsistencies. A bi-polar chef; I can achieve both disappointing lows and wonderfully exhilarating highs in the kitchen. Rarely is anything I cook simply mediocre. God forbid, I aim for and accomplish anything average!

That being said, there is no possible way I could write the recipe for the delicious turkey meatloaf I made last night. All I can tell you is that I spiced the meat with an unmeasured combination of chopped onion, minced garlic, oregano, marjoram, black pepper, salt, and the ingredients of a Simon and Garfunkel song.
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Valentine’s Day in NYC

February 17th, 2011

I'll miss you Starbucks the Snowman...


I couldn’t let Valentine’s Day pass without visiting Central Park to see how my dear Starbucks the Snowman was holding out. Alas! Poor Starbucky was not in good health, and had withered away… Lucky for me, I had a back-up dinner date with a very charming, handsome and fun real-live man, who was a good sport to take this photo.

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