Friday, December 28, 2012

Things in Jars

I've been buying canning jars lately. I find something very satisfying about putting food in jars. And it seems to be a theme of the this week - blogwise and reallifewise. I guess having the week off is turning me into a jar using fool.

Squash soup in jars!  And let's take a minute to wax poetic about squash soup. Holy crap, can there be anything better? Particularly, it seems, when made with homemade broth. Ginger and butternut squash and lots and lots of lime juice. Perfection with or without the jar!

While we're talking jars, let's check in on our sauerkraut.

Sigh. Making sauerkraut is not even remotely satisfying. We're 48 hours in and there are still weeks, perhaps even a MONTH to go!

(Clearly, things are pretty exciting around here after a week off!)  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


So, I am embarking on my latest culinary adventure. Fermentation. It seems that eating billions of bacteria is extra good for you. I touched the surface of this in my happy homemaker blog , but aside from a couple batches of coconut milk yogurt, there hasn't been much bacteria growing in my house (at least not on purpose). But, it's time to right that wrong. I think I've done a pretty good job of cleaning house (ie, most of the bad bacteria seems to be out of my system) and now I need to remember to add more of the good stuff. Well, rumor has it that rotten cabbage has lots of the good stuff!

Now, I'd love to add to this blog a laundry list of 100s of things that fermentation will make better, but my quick google search was vague. I think essentially you're increasing the good bacteria content in your digestive track which improves digestion, vitamin and mineral absorption, and basically, well obviously, improving life. And who (besides a few annoyingly happy people) doesn't need a better life.

I have made great strides in improving my digestion in the last 2 years. I think it's good to continue to fight the good fight.  Bring on the critters.  (BTW, there is an amazing New Yorker article from October this year that discusses bacteria and what our war on bacteria is doing to our bodies. According to the article we have 3 pounds of healthy bacteria chugging away in our bodies - helping "manufacture vitamins and patrol our guts to prevent infections; they help to form and bolster our immune systems, and digest food". Lack of these bacteria may cause a host of diseases.  I highly recommend the article)

Anyhow, bacteria yes. Let's rot some cabbage.

It's super easy to make. Chop some cabbage. Add some salt. squish it up for a while with your fingers. Add a bit of carrot and garlic. And then the sad part. Wait and wait and wait. For weeks!

So there is my sauerkraut story. I will be sure to let you know how it turns out. And BTW, those are shot glasses on the top. They are full of water and holding the cabbage below the brine level.    

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Merry

I had to make a couple cards yesterday, so we had a photo shoot and tried to pull ourselves kicking and screaming into the Christmas spirit!

Uhm, I'm trying to nap here!

NO!  I was not beating him.

Second try.
Even I got excited!

Seems photo booth gives you a mirror image of the world!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Christmas Nightmare

Shall we have a little sing along?

So, there are many reasons one might complain about Christmas and/or December. Today we're going to focus on something that has been driving me crazy all day, Christmas carols! Now, I'm not complaining about beautiful Christmas carols sung at a festive Christmas event or chipper carolers strolling around the neighborhood spreading light and cheer.  I'm happy to listen to a little Vince Guaraldi once a year or so (special Vince Guaraldi shout out to my girl Tracy!). What I am talking about are the ubiquitous, perhaps obligatory Christmas songs piped into each and every retail establishment during the month of December. So, one goes shopping, paying attention to the task at hand (today it was making some returns) and really not even hearing the music.  But unfortunately, your subconscious isn't so oblivious. The song works it's way around your little brain cells. The next think you know you're singing an endless loop of some terrible song.

Today, I have spent the entire day singing 'oh by gosh by golly, it's time for.......' And then I run out of words. So I start humming, da da da da da da da.... And then I run out of melody, and what happens then???  Do I move onto another fascinating topic, NO!!!! The loop starts again... 'oh by gosh by golly.....'. And it goes on and on and on. Occasionally things get really exciting and another xmas tune will join in the melody somewhere among the da das, but after I while we go right back to, well, you know where.

And if it isn't this song, it's another snippet of some other stupid song. Over and over, for the entire month.

Help! And not in the Beattle's sense.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The White Elephant

So, most of you who know me (the real me as opposed to the blog me), know that Christmas is not a personal favorite of mine.  In fact, the entire month of December could be cut from the calendar and you wouldn't get much (any) complaint from me. But one Christmas 'tradition' I do like is a white elephant party!

At a white elephant party, everyone brings a joke gift. Then everyone draws a number. You chose gifts in the order of the numbers. When it's your turn, you either open a new gift, or steal a gift from someone else. Gift can be stolen twice and then their 'locked' (ie the person who stole it for the second time gets to keep it).

We used to have white elephant parties at work every year. My favorite present that I received was a bronze monkey soap dish. It's a standing monkey and the soap dish rests in his hands. Inside the soap dish the gifter placed a bar of soap and a box of raisons! I got it years and years ago, have changed jobs and desks multiple times and it still sits on my desk (I'll try to take a photo and post..... stay tuned). Well, that used to be my favorite white elephant present. Until yesterday when I got this beauty.........

No, it is not an animal on my head!  It's a hat. I guess it's from goodwill and is faux everything, leather (which you can't see) and fur! I will be SO HAPPY on cold weather dog walks when my head is blissfully warm.

In other news, I scored 160 in a words with friends game (for those of you who dont know words with friends, it's essentially a 160 point scrabble word! It's probably a good 50 points higher than any other word I've played!

As you can imagine, with all this excitement, it's time for a nap. Tune in soon, when I discuss the financial impact of my trip to the emergency room and maybe (as an extra bonus), post a picture of the monkey soap dish!.. whooopp!!! (Who knew an Ottoless blog could be so exciting.) 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lazy Sunday

It's feeling like it's time for a blog, but I really have nothing to say. So, in honor of this cold, wet gloomy sunday, I thought I'd post some lazy sunday photos.

(Warning, these may be photos only a mother could love!)

If this doesn't make you warm and fuzzy inside, your heart is cold!

Why yes, his head is resting on my feet!

Hi mom! (everyone repeat after me, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh?)

Daisy and Otto duking it out over who gets the bed.

Looking left.

Looking right (Is it safe to make the next move?)

Yes! Onto my lap to watch 24!
Daisy and Jack Bauer.
 And speaking of 24, has anyone else watched it and noticed that the acting SUCKS and it is totally ridiculous, even sometimes laugh out loud funny.  And that Jack Bauer's very favorite word is 'NOW!!!!' (that's not to be confused with the word 'now'). As in, 'I need you to tell me where the bomb is NOW!!!!!'  Or 'I need to speak to the president NOW!!!!'  Or in one of the funnier scenes in the show 'KIM (his daughter), you need to shoot him NOW!!!!!' (screamed through a cell phone). Or has anyone noticed that Jack Bauer loves every sentence he utters so much that he needs to repeat it.

Turns out if you google jack bauer you get sites of Jack Bauer jokes. A few examples:

1. Passed out, surrounded by terrorists and nerve gas, and handcuffed to a table leg, Jack Bauer laughed to himself and said, "I have them right where I want them."

2. There is a deeper reason that Kim will not forgive Jack.  For years during her birthday and Christmas when Kim would look for presents Jack would just laugh to himself before finally telling her, "I give you my word."

3. When Jack Bauer goes to church to pray, he simply goes up the the priest and says, "Put him through"

4. All Video games now feature four difficulty levels: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Jack Bauer...No one has ever beaten the game on Jack Bauer.

Anywhoooo, if you haven't watched the show those mean nothing to you.

I will now end this babbling blog, as I have a lazy afternoon nap screaming my name NOW!!!! (No, jack bauer will not be joining me.)