Monthly Archives: August 2011

Water RULES!

A couple months ago we discovered this game called Plants vs. Zombies, and I swear it contains the secret to time travel. Every time we turn it on, 72 hours passes like five minutes and I crash back into time when I realize I have to get up and pee but can’t because there is a quicksand of potato chip crumbs and spilled coffee cementing me into the couch cushions. I refuse to believe I have lost entire days of my life because I actually gain satisfaction from blowing up zombies by planting exploding peppers and corn cannons. Which leaves just one option: WORMHOLE. Stephen Hawking – call me.

Even though I am kind of a wizard at keeping zombies from killing from my digital veggies, I have a huge problem with keeping plants alive IRL. My coworker recently went out of town for a few weeks and asked me to keep her desk plants alive while she was gone, and I was a basket case the entire time. My face broke out. My heart raced. I actually LOST HAIR over that shit. I had no idea how often to water them; all I knew was that every plant I’ve ever owned has gotten all withered and shriveled up, become LeAnn Rimes’ doppelganger, and died. I decided that watering twice a day would keep her plants from a similar fate. Guess what? Watering twice a day will definitely hydrate your desk plants. If by “hydrate” you mean “drown them Titanic-style.” By the time I realized the roots had pretty much disengaged and the plants were not so much planted as they were floating, it was too late.

ANYWAY my points are these: A) What are some plants I can buy that won’t die if I forget to water them for a period of time ranging from 1 day-forever, and B) EAT A SANDWICH, LEANN.


Advertisements

Pam, please? I have Country Crock.

True story: I gained like 30 pounds in college, mostly because of the weekend waffle bar. I went to a Christian university and clearly Jesus saw it fit to reward me for living like a nun without beer for four years by giving our cafeteria staff the divine inspiration to set out a vat of melted butter with a ladle in it next to the waffle maker on weekends.

You guys, this setup changed my life because every time I eat a waffle, I have to pat butter into each individual square. Belgian waffles aren’t so bad because there are 20 squares, tops. But your standard waffle – with its grid of hundreds of squares – poses more of a problem. It takes me about an hour to prepare an Ego and I look like Rain Man doing it. Anyway, when I was introduced to the Butter Ladle, I overreacted a tad. Like, there was sobbing. Every Saturday and Sunday morning for four years I made myself a waffle and slathered it enough melted butter to float a small boat in.

I loved butter so hard (as hard as my poor, clogged arteries), but after a while I couldn’t ignore the fact that my ass had developed cellulite pockets as deep as the squares in my beloved Belgian waffles. So I did the inevitable and hated myself for a couple years. After that, I hit the gym and lost those 30 pounds (plus an extra 20 for good measure).

Hi, I’m Heather. It has been five years since my last ladle of butter.

Even though I don’t pour it onto my food by the cupful anymore, I do use butter occasionally for sautéeing veggies and such.  I’m totally not a food snob (I dare you to find a food I will not put Easy Cheese on), but one day I was looking at the ingredient list on the back of a butter package and one of the items was “special flavoring.” That’s as specific as it got. I’m pretty sure that is Land-o-Lakes-speak for “whatever residue is on the machine we clean once a year.” So I decided to try making my own butter … and it was so delicious. And so easy! Even I was not able to mess that shit up, and I once microwaved a Capri Sun.

Anyway, here is all you need to make your own butter: Cream and a food processor.

Just pour the cream into the food processor and churn it until it becomes thick. It took me about six minutes and I was doing it by hand:

Watching Mad Men while churning butter with the RocketChef! Just like the pioneers!

Once it’s thick, scrape it out of the processor and rinse it with water until the water runs clear.

Put the butter onto a hard surface and press on it to squeeze out any excess water. At this point you can add shit to it to make it fancy. I made two batches: One with  a clove of garlic and one with half of a chopped up jalapeno. The garlic one turned out amaaazing. We sauteed eggplant in it pretty much every night until we ran out of butter and pants that fit. Highly recommend.

The original title of this was ‘A Lively Fisting’

I was feeling all proud after finding time to post yesterday until I pushed “publish” and WordPress bitch-slapped me with a little message o’shame:

Perhaps I’m overthinking it … maybe they just wanted to congratulate me? But that “Wild!” after telling me I’ve updated four times in almost two months seems a tad snarky. It’s the equivalent of when one of my staff members comes in late and before I can stop myself I’ve said to them, “Hey, you’ve only been late 14 times this month! FANTASTIC!”

I do not have a “World’s Best Boss” mug.

I know it’s super stupid to talk about work on your blog. I read Dooce. But this morning I got a rejection letter from what I thought was going to be my dream job (technically it’s my runner-up dream job, since nobody is offering to pay me to eat sandwiches and make out with a freshly-showered Colin Farrell, WHAT THE HELL, WORLD?) and I just don’t really care anymore. I may get fired and become homeless, but bums don’t have to wear pants so SCORE.

Because I’m not homeless yet, I thought I’d share with you how to make a super-awesome spraypainted clothespin mirror that is the perfect piece to display on your wall. Or to use as a bitchin’ rear-view mirror on your shopping cart full of possessions parked under the bridge, if you’re me. This project was featured on Design*Sponge a while back, so click here if you want to read how to make this from someone who actually knows what they’re doing.

Materials

Small round mirror with unfinished edges (I had to drive 80 miles to a Michael’s craft store in a whole other state to get mine, since the closest thing we have to a craft store is Walmart and when I asked if they had unfinished mirrors the guy was all “Ya mean a mirror without the shiny part on the front?”)

A couple packs of clothespins (Dollar store!)

Spraypaint

Ribbon

Hot glue gun

Find something round – I used my spool of ribbon – to place in the center of the mirror.  You’ll be using it to ensure the clothespins are placed in an even circumference (Confession! I took “math for idiots” and totally don’t know if circumference is the right word here. I have to have like five sheets of scratch paper just to figure out how much to tip my server).

Start clipping the clothespins around the item in the center of the mirror. This is mostly to figure out how many you will need to spraypaint. When you’re done doing this, promptly undo all the hard work you just did and take them all off, go outside, and spraypaint away. I had to rotate mine about four times to make sure each side was coated. While I was bent over on the front porch rotating my clothespins (that’s got to be a euphemism for something), I noticed the same truck drive by like six times. Which brings me to my next tip: Don’t wear a miniskirt for this portion of the project.

Once the paint is dry, repeat the first step and clip all the clothespins on around the round object again. Once you’re satisfied with how they look, remove the round object, fire up ye’ old glue gun and glue everything in place. Dab some glue on one side of the clippy-part of the clothespin and then open and shut it a few times to get glue on both sides, and then clamp it in place, holding it closed for a few seconds while the glue sets. Do this for what feels like a million hours until all the clothespins are glued and you are experiencing early symptoms of carpal tunnel. Be sure to loop your ribbon through one of the clothespins before gluing it down so you have something to hang it from. I forgot this step, and it’s a good thing I work out because it took all my strength to pry a clip off of the mirror once I had glued it. Hot glue: As strong as my love for Colin Farrell.

When you’re done with all this, you will have a quirky piece of homemade art to hang in your home and, if you did it right, a lingering contact high from all that spraypaint:

Reasons I haven’t posted in a few weeks:

1. My laptop has taken to powering down randomly every time I’m about to save a blog post/send an important email/watch a video of a cat wearing a kilt play the bagpipes. Basically it works for about two hours per day and then lies in wait for the most opportune moment to fuck me over. My computer is K-Fed.

2. By the time I leave work for the day my brain capacity is hovering between “Kardashian” and “Anyone who watches ‘Bachelor Pad.'”

3. Vodka.

The good news is that a new career possibility is on the horizon, one where I won’t have to convince people I’m not part of a super secret conspiracy to get a municipal code passed to allow farm animals within city limits or get called Hitler for not running material that is simultaneously racist, bigoted, libelous and so mind-numblingly stupid that it makes that book by Snooki look like Proust. And more importantly, it won’t require every shred of my energy being channeled into resisting the urge to hide behind the dumpster and shotgun multiple King Cobras before 8 a.m. And if I don’t get the job, I guess I will have to start thinking of crafts that incorporate beer cans.

Order up! I’ve got a Yentl soup, James Beans and a Howdy, hold the Doody

There’s a little hippie-run health food place in town I eat at all the time, and my love for their veggie burger inspired me to try and make one of my own. I initially considered asking for their recipe but a) It felt kind of cheesy being all, “Hey, tell me exactly how to make your food so I can do it at home without having to tip anyone or pretend to enjoy  hearing didgeridoo duets during my lunch!” and b) the amount of tie-dye clothing for sale in this place leads me to believe that their recipe would have included, like, bread crumbs brushed with patchouli oil and baked on a stone hearth at the summer solstice, and frankly I’m much too busy tanning dried tofu for my homemade vegan Birkenstocks to take on such endeavors.

Instead, I Googled the shit out of veggie burger recipes and decided to combine the parts I liked from each recipe into one delicious, healthy burger. The ones I made included:

I 16-oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 ear of corn
Half a bell pepper
Half a jalapeno
Half a white onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili sauce
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Buns
(I didn’t think to add cilantro, but I think it would be an excellent addition)

Preheat the oven to 375. (I’m telling you this now because I HATE when recipes wait until the end of the instructions to tell you what the oven temp needs to be set at. Waiting until you’re done prepping your food to heat up the oven is like waiting until the end of Center Stage to start drinking every time Jodie Sawyer bites her lip and makes a relationship decision so dumb that even her legwarmers judge her. Why would you NOT do it, is what I’m saying.)

After you drain and rinse the beans, mash them with a fork until they look like the contents of an infant’s Huggies after a bout of vein-popping diarrhea:

A fun party trick* is to make this in advance and store the mixture in a diaper, which you then pull out of the fridge in front of your guests to form their burgers. *Not really.

Put the corn kernels, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion and garlic into a food processor and chop. I got a bit carried away with the Magic Bullet, and ended up pureeing the vegetables. I do not recommend this, as I had to add about 12 loaves worth of breadcrumbs to make these into patties, which I’m pretty sure negates any health factor these may have had going for them. Also, the veggie puree was so shockingly green that when I poured it into the bowl with the beans it looked like the Grinch vomited into a diaper. I was too busy feeling like a failure to photograph this stage, but here’s a shot of the veggies pre-puree:

About to be massacred.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg, cumin and chili sauce, and then pour this mixture into the bowl of poopy Grinch barf. Add the breadcrumbs and then form into patties. Place the patties onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes on each side. You can also grill these if you have a barbecue and the skills necessary to operate it. I have neither.

Here’s the final product:

What? I like ketchup.

These turned out pretty tasty, but I couldn’t fully enjoy myself because I kept catching myself straining to hear the sound of a bitchin’ didgeridooist (Didgeridooer? What the hell is a didgeridoo player called?) piping away in the background while I ate. Turns out those loveable hippies may be onto something.