Friday, April 3, 2015

Say Anything

I know, if you can't say something nice...  but what if you can't say something interesting?

Just say anything, I guess.

my whole weekend so far--

I'd say something interesting, but I'm not into baring my soul to the world at large, especially when my "world at large" includes...pretty much everyone I know.  I mean, I'd possibly be more comfortable if I didn't know most of you, because who cares what strangers think, right? ME

And I'd try to say something funny, but I think all my funny is used up for now, and that would also require concentration and making words fit together, which is a skill I seem to have depleted lately.  This also explains why I have several tabs open on my computer right now that are unfinished things that need to be finished before lunch and it's 11:48 a.m.  And I just remember I have a 1:30 chiropractic appointment, and I haven't showered yet...

So, that explains my state of mind today.  Hey, I did say something, right there...

Since it's Good Friday and a special holiday weekend for us, and I don't have any deep thoughts about candy flavors or shoes or tips for driving, dressing, or using Facebook, and I'm out of fun family stories, I thought I'd just share our weekend menu ideas here, instead of on Pinterest.  Because everyone knows Pinterest is where entire days of nonrefundable time go to die.

This is also a shout out to any of my vegan friends, because our youngest has been more or less vegan for about 6 weeks, and I'm trying to create dishes she can or will eat, while still including the dyed-in-the-wool dishes we always eat.  And, since butter, cream, wheat and meat are very central to our special occasion meals, I'm somewhat stumped.  I go completely all Paula Deen for holiday meals.  BECAUSE BUTTER Y'ALL.

For some reason, I also haven't started on any of our food yet.  Not like I haven't started baking, I haven't even been to the grocery store yet.  Which also means tomorrow I will be in the kitchen freaking out going WHY DIDN'T I START ALL THIS ON WEDNESDAY??

Procrastinating.  Procrastinating is why I didn't start all this on Wednesday.  That, and a lot of knitting.  And my nails are wet.  And because DOG.    It's a busy life, OK?

Without further ado, here's the bar I've set for my holiday Martha/Paula alter ego this weekend.  Bearing in mind that it's just the three of, picture SMALL amounts of everything, except I'm also trying to use up about about 7 dozen extra eggs from our chickens, who must have heard our youngest's new vegan rule and decided they had something to prove.

Homemade hand-dipped chocolates with coconut and peanut-butter
Homemade peeps.  ain't nobody got time for that
Iced sugar cookies  (and by "iced", I mean, I may take a butter knife to them with some icing on it)
Angel food cake with raspberry-current preserves from the garden
Breakfast crepes with apricot preserves
Organic ham from our own pigs
Steamed asparagus (we grow it, but Lord knows it's sure not ready YET, because we live in Narnia)
Homemade pickles
Mashed potatoes
Spinach salad with feta, dried cranberries, almonds and raspberry vinaigrette
  OR - pea salad, because spring
Paska - Ukrainian Easter bread
Creme caramel (and no, we don't have a milk cow.  I heard that.)
Hard-boiled eggs (did I even need to say that?)

*ponders a moment*

Yeah....Not much of this ties in with our vegan OR  plant-based, wheat-free diet idea.  *shrugs*

Have a beautiful weekend!  Hopefully next time I'll have something more interesting to say.

 Feel free to chime in if you have vegan substitutions that non-vegans would also love...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Kind of Protest--

time to trim the list down

I just remembered that I had promised to write a post about flavors that shouldn't be flavors awhile ago, along with my "No Blue Candy" rule.  Call me a dark-haired patriot with flashing eyes if you must, but...sometimes you gotta take a stand.

What reminded me of this pressing issue that gets no coverage? Well, for now-- Taffy.  Last night we were sitting around eating a bag of random salt water taffy from Seaside, Oregon, one of the best places to get salt water taffy in the history of the world ever. Part of the "fun" of salt water taffy is that they are wrapped in special wax paper that can be molecularly bonded to the actual candy, so by the time you open it, you no longer care what flavor it is.  You're starving.

They're conveniently not labeled, either, so in a mixed bag, you're really just on your own.  Go ahead and pop that red taffy in your mouth.  It could be lovely cherry.  Or blazing hot cinnamon.  At least Jelly Belly jelly beans have a handy color-coding chart on the bag, so if you don't rip the bag in half opening it, you can sort of match up your candy and see what hand you've been dealt.  Like this:
I guess I'd rather know, but I don't see any flavor here I would EAT

Oh, sure.  Salt water taffy is color coded.  SORT OF.  But when you're dealing with like 10,000 flavors of candy, you tend to run out of color combos.  So the candy-coloring folks just start making stuff up, like, "Hey, let's just leave this one white with a few flecks of green in it.  See if they can guess what THAT is. HAHAHAHAHAAAAAA, it's 'hot dog bun'!"  *high five*

Pretty soon they'll be like Willy Wonka and start actually doing that.  Or maybe they have.  Isn't there bacon-flavored gum or something now?  Will we be able to buy a bag of "Steak Dinner" jelly bellies someday?  digressing

It's a sad truth that there are candy flavors that just don't need to exist. Call it discrimination, but some things should only be that flavor when they're the actual thing.  Like green apple.  The ONLY thing that should ever taste like green apple IS A GREEN APPLE.  Buttered popcorn.  Wait- what??

Briefly, let me clarify some flavors that we should stand up to and demand (with protests and flags and signs and stuff) that they be removed from circulation and not forced upon us any more forever and ever amen.

Apple.  Green, red, golden delish, I don't even care. Just  NO.  Leave these where they belong: As fruit, juice, or sauce.  Or pie.

Anything blue.  There are no blue fruits, but still you'd think maybe blue..berry, right?  No.  Raspberry.  Go figure.

Banana.  Come ON.  This is so gross.  I like bananas, but "banana flavor" is just - wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Lose it.  (Also too easy to mistake the color for lemon and get a nasty surprise).

Black licorice.  We can all guess what the black ones are.  Unless you were born in 1903, does anyone even still eat black licorice any more?  They're always the last ones left in the bag, so there's your sign.

Bubblegum.  What?  No.  Take three steps to your left and BUY SOME GUM.

Buttered popcorn.  Who the HECK thought of this?  The great thing about popcorn is that it's crunchy, warm, and CORNish.  This doesn't translate to taffy OR jelly beans.  Gross.

Coconut.  Iffy.  I'm all for lovely coconut candy like Mounds because they have actual coconut, but make it a jelly bean and I'm out.  Too fake.

Coffee.  Jelly beans?  Seriously?  Don't we get enough of this at all those java huts on every corner?  I can deal with it as ice cream, but a brown coffee jelly bean is just a shock to the palate.  Also especially nice if you just ate a lime jelly bean.  Just sayin'.

Cotton candy.  Again, why flavor a candy with the flavor of another candy?  Move further down the counter and get the real thing.

Grape.  At least it's purple, but still.  These usually taste like cough medicine, but we eat them anyway, because they're all that's left at the bottom of the bag with the black licorice taffies.

Marshmallow.  Disqualified, because they're already a candy.  Plus, they're too easy to mistake for Vanilla; see below.  

Peach.  This only belongs in the actual fruit.  The kind you eat standing over the sink on August 10th with the juice running down your arm.

Pear.  For the longest time, I couldn't for the life of me figure this flavor out.  The only thing I could come up with was..."stink bug".  They smell like stink bugs.  Then I checked the bag.  "Oh, riiiight.  PEAR.  That makes it much better."

Peppermint/spearmint/wintergreen.  These need to be ONE flavor.  Come ON.  Just go with "mint" K?

Pineapple.  Oh my gosh, so much NO.  Pineapple belongs at a luau as a fruit, or sauteed in rum and caramel.  Nowhere else. These are also another pale color that gets mistaken for something yummier.

Root Beer.  I can't even stand the drink, so why would I want it in a jelly bean??

Strawberry.  Too many red things.  The only red thing should be cherry.  Or a well-coded cinnamon.

Tangerine.  Ew.  Do people still eat these?

Tropical fruit.  No.  Some fruits we only pretend to like, like mangos and papayas, because we think Hey, they come from the islands, so eating them will make us feel like natives and forget that we live in Narnia where it is winter forever except August 10th and 11th.  It's a lie.  No one likes these fruits, not even the natives.  Pretty sure they're just decorative, you guys.  Quit pretending to eat them.

Vanilla.  Well DUH.  White taffy.  White jelly beans.  Wonder what this one is.  Nice palate cleanser after the coffee jelly bean, though, so they can stay.

Watermelon.  Another flavor that should only be found inside AN ACTUAL MELON.    EW.  And WHY is it always green?  I mean, yeah, the outside is green, but when you think of "watermelon" the think of red or pink.  If it has to stay, at least make it pink.  On second thought--no.  It can't stay.  And don't even get me started on "honeydew".

To sum up, here is a handy color chart that clearly shows what everything should be:

Red = cherry.  Green = lime.  Yellow = lemon.  Orange = orange.  White = vanilla.

Feel free to add on from there.  I'll be over here, sorting my jelly beans.