Tag Archives: food

A condiment conundrum

imagesW and I have been fighting. Over condiments.

I spell the red stuff you dip your fries into this way:

c-a-t-s-u-p

and write it like that on the grocery list posted on the fridge.

“Who spells catsup that way?” W asks.

She says it with distaste. Like she has swallowed a pint of sour milk.

“What do you know?” I reply. ” You don’t even like catsup.”

“It’s just weird,” she says.

“I’ll tell you what’s weird,” I say. “Someone who dips their fries in mayo. You can’t trust someone who doesn’t believe in fries and catsup.”

“I think you can’t trust someone who spells ketchup c-at-s-u-p,” she says.

* * *

So, what is it folks? Catsup or ketchup? What do you dip your french fried potatoes in?  

 

 

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Stupid Rumi

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That’s me/Michelle on the left.

It’s been one of those days. Taxes are due, and there’s a complication with our filing. I’m dieting. I’m forced to ride the daily ebb and flow of a teenager’s moods like Michelle Rodriguez in Blue Crush. We’re still waiting for a contractor we hired last year to replace our roof to correct a problem. It seems like I’m always working or cleaning or cooking and have no time for my personal writing. Did I mention I’m dieting?

Today, something pushed me over the edge.

And then I wanted nachos. Or someone’s head covered in hot, melted cheese. But really, I wanted nachos in all their cheesy, nachoey glory.

imagesO1L67PQO

I was like this guy eating a Red Delicious apple.

Instead, I grabbed an apple and ate it angrily, pieces of red skin flying in the air like confetti in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

“That must be a delicious apple,” my son said.

“Shut up,” I said.

I ate the apple and cleaned the litter boxes and packed lunches and scrubbed the kitchen floor and unloaded the dishwasher, trying to channel my anger into something productive.

After all that, I sat down at my desk and noticed a piece of paper I had saved. It said this:

“This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meaness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor …

Be grateful for whatever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.”

— Rumi

Stupid Rumi, I said to myself.

And then I let myself feel a tiny bit better.

It’s the little things

I’ve been in a funk lately. No reason, really. I think it’s just the way I’m built with storm clouds inside.

During this period of general moodiness, W and I have cleaned up our diet, eliminating almost all processed foods and loading up on fruits and vegetables.

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From today’s grocery shopping trip.

I’ve been experimenting with new foods — chia seeds, flax seeds, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, homemade smoothies and juices. I’ve been trying out new recipes, too. I made broccoli tots, and they were delicious. Napoleon Dynamite’s got nothing on us. I found a recipe for three-ingredient pancakes (3 eggs, 1/2 C cottage cheese, 1/2 C oatmeal) that keeps me full all morning long.

IMG_0385

These tots are tops.

It’s weird, this taking-care-of-me thing. I find myself slowing down and enjoying the little things: a banana with a tablespoon of almond butter, a perfect apple, a bottle of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.

IMG_0382

Protein-packed pancakes with banana and Trader Joe’s almond butter.

But it extends beyond food. This weekend, I bought some socks off the clearance rack, and I found myself appreciating the bargain as well as the simple pleasure that comes from owning a pair of warm, comfortable socks. I am growing basil inside the house in a small container. Every morning, I smile as I check on the new green shoots as they crack through the soil in search of sunlight.

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A pair of my new socks: awesomeness you can wear on your feet.

These little things give me the boost I need to move forward.

I had an eye exam and am waiting for new glasses.

I called the gynecologist today to schedule an overdue annual exam.

I tell myself I am worth it. Sometimes I believe this more than other times.

Scary things like doctor appointments start with a small step — a phone call.

I call and schedule and wait.

In the meantime, I savor the small things: a new notebook, a warm sweatshirt on a cold day, the comfort of a favorite flannel shirt, a hot cup of tea, a good book, a cat in my lap …

* * *

What about you? What little things bring you joy?

Angry butch

As a kid, I wasn’t allowed to show anger. When I was angry, I was supposed to express it in some silent way far removed from my parents.  Even a raised voice was considered talking back.

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#1 in moping and sulking

I became an excellent moper and sulker.  Like Olympic gold medal moper and sulker.

I learned how to punish people with silence.

It was polite.  It didn’t violate our family’s code of conduct.  And I soon learned that it cut deeper than a string of cross words shouted in anger or a clenched fist.

It just took patience and perseverance, two of my best qualities.

When I got older, I learned that anger turned inward is depression.  That made so much sense as I have suffered from depression for most of my life.

xx

This is what I look like when I’m angry.

When I get angry these days, I don’t know what to do with this strange and foreign emotion.

Last night, I was angry.  I felt it in my body but mostly in my trembling hands.  I wanted to put my fist through a wall.  I thought about it.

I went outside and raked leaves as the sun went down.  The physical activity felt good.

I came inside and still wanted to punch something.

Instead, I used my adrenaline to bake a cake.  A tiny lemon cake with lemon frosting.

W and I split the cake before bed and rinsed it down with hot cups of tea.

I ate too much lemon cake.  I ended up with an upset stomach.

Tums

“Do you want some Tums?” W asked.

“Yeah.”

“How many?  You can have as many as four.  They’re big.”

“Two,” I said.

I chewed them.  They were sweet and chalky.

“One of them was lemon,” I said.

I think W rolled her eyes, but I couldn’t be sure because it was dark in our bedroom.

“This is probably why you shouldn’t eat lemon cake baked with anger and bitterness right before bed,” I said.

So, that’s the moral of the story, folks.  Never eat a slice of angry lemon cake before bedtime.

* * *

What about you? What do you do when you’re angry?  Do you have any tips for mitigating anger?

The butchest things I did on vacation

Holy Hera!  Admired vintage Wonder Woman Pez at the Pez factory and museum in Orange, Conn.

Wonder Woman Pez

As you can see, this butch loves her some Wonder Woman.

Went deep sea fishing out of Plymouth, Mass.

xx

This cod was about 14 inches but too small to keep, even if it had been cod season.

Spent time with my girl in Plymouth, Mass.

xx

Behind us is Plymouth Rock, which is underwhelming and not very butch at all.

Ate a spicy bowl of huevos rancheros for breakfast at the Ugly Mug Diner in Salem, Mass.  No, I was not flirting with the cute waitress.  Ok, maybe.

xx

You can’t see the smoke coming from my ears.

Had lobster for dinner at the Clam Shack in Salem, Mass.

xx

There is something butch about using hand tools to eat your dinner.

But perhaps the butchest thing I did was survive a seven-day road trip with three teenagers.

* * *

What’s the butchest thing you did on your vacation?

Good things come in twos

It was good to be this butch today.

First, I got a belated birthday gift.  When I wasn’t even expecting one.  And it is awesome.

Shows my love for baseball and beer.

Shows my love for baseball and beer.

It’s called the Clink-n-Drink.  It’s a bottle opener with a bunch of high powered magnets on the back.  So, you can stick it on any magnetic surface like a refrigerator or even a car for tailgating.  I told you it was awesome.  Butchtastic.

We also went out for burgers tonight for an event we dubbed “Celeburgerbration.”  Lots to celebrate, including my book deal and birthday.  Oh, and we have a local restaurant — a fancy Creole place — that has $6 burgers and fries on Thursday night.  I went for the Breakfast Burger, which is topped with a fried egg, bacon, Velveeta and onion straws.

Breakfast?  Lunch?  Who care.  Dig in.

Breakfast? Lunch? Who cares. Dig in!

They also have a donut burger (with bacon, of course) if you really like to get crazy with your sweet and savory.  You can check out the menu here if you’re into that sort of thing.

Donuts.

Mmmmm.  Donuts.

I tried a Starr Hill Pale Ale on draft, which was a winner.

Lots of great pairings tonight.  Burgers and beer.  Birthdays and beer.  Burgers and bacon.  Bacon and eggs.  Beer with everything!  I’ll have another BEER.

Here are a few more of my all-time favorite “couples”:

  • Xena and Gabrielle.
  • Birthday cake and ice cream.
  • Butches and femmes.
  • Dress shirt and tie.
  • A good book and a cup of tea (Earl Gray).
  • Liver and onions.

* * *

How about you?  What “twosomes” turn you on?

Questioning the luck of the potluck

xx

— Source: icanhas.cheezburger.com

“You’re a terrible lesbian,” W said to me yesterday.

I knew exactly what she was talking about.

“You mean the potluck.  Because I have no faith in the luck of the potluck,” I replied.

We’re having a potluck at the wedding to cut down on costs.  I’m worried there won’t be enough substantial food for our guests.  I was going to make two trays of ziti and now I’m afraid that won’t be enough.  I was thinking about testing out some crockpot recipes this weekend.

“Whatever you want, baby,” W says.

That’s what she tells me when she knows my head is about to explode.

W is cool and calm about the potluck.

“If we get five kinds of potato salad, we get five kinds of potato salad,” she says.  This has become her potluck mantra

Maybe I should just pray to the potluck goddesses for a plentiful spread.  Or perhaps sacrifice one of those mini crockpots or a tray of deviled eggs and call it a day.

* * *

The wedding is only two weeks away, so I will be posting short wedding-related posts as we count down to “she do” and “she do, too.”

Why love is like tiny cheeseburgers

My brother is getting a divorce.  He and his wife have been married for 14 years.

“We are no longer in love,” he told me in a text message.

I relayed the information to W.

“Is it possible to fall out of love?” I asked her.

This question has been occupying my thoughts.

I vividly remember falling in love with W.

Love is a lot like this

Love is a lot like this

I know why someone somewhere once referred to this process as falling in love.  It’s a lot like falling down a flight of stairs or an elevator shaft.  There you go, head over heels into the darkness.  You can’t stop plummeting, even if you wanted to.  It’s all a ginormous adrenaline rush.

But can you fall out of love?

You can fall into a whole lot of things.  Traps and clutches and cracks.  Pits and holes and trouble.  You can fall into place or fall into line or fall into a kiss or fall into someone else.

What do people fall out of?  Maybe a plane if you are extremely clumsy and unlucky.  Or, a window (see clumsy and unlucky in previous sentence).  Generally speaking, people do not fall out of things.

W and I have been together for about seven years now.  Often when I write about her and us, people say that they have been waiting all of their lives to find their W.

Obviously, I only post snippets of our lives.  Situations that I find amusing (like the time that we trapped a groundhog inside our house) or sweet (when she brought me home flowers for Thanksgiving) and that lend themselves to the telling of a story.

Our relationship has not been without conflict.  We have weathered our share of ups and downs just like any other couple.

But even at our lowest point, I have never fallen out of love.  Not even for a second.

Love looks like this, too

Love looks like this, too

Our love looks very different than it did seven years ago.  I couldn’t keep my hands off of her back then.  Our kisses were hot and heavy and urgent.  We steamed up our eyeglasses and our windshields on a regular basis.  Everything was urgent.  Me and her and us together.  We made time even when we didn’t have any because, yes, we had to be together.  Now.  Right now.  Things were new and fresh and hot.  It was like getting a half dozen warm Krispie Kreme donuts from the drive-thru for free every single time that we were together.  Heck, it was better than warm donuts.

Things aren’t like that anymore.  I still can’t keep my hands off of her.  Go ahead, ask her.  What’s missing is the urgency.  Now has turned into how about Wednesday night?  Or, maybe sometime next week.  And that’s ok.

xx

More love

In those first few months of a new love relationship, you never know how long it’s going to last.  So, yeah, there’s a sense of urgency.  I mean, if you heard a rumor that White Castle was closing down in a month or two, you’d probably make a lot of late-night runs for sacks of tiny warm cheeseburgers.

But when you’ve committed to someone for the rest of your life, where’s the hurry?  Sure, life is unpredictable and tomorrow is never promised.  But the beauty of commitment is that that person is there, has agreed to always be there, through good and bad, thick and thin.

What about love though?  Can it just disappear?  Can you fall out of it?  One day, you’re eating tiny cheeseburgers and loving every bite. The next day you can’t stand the sight of a mini burger.  Is this even possible?

xx

How we loved you, marinated artichoke hearts

When I was in college, my roommate and I would go to the grocery store every week or so.  We were on a tight budget and bought economical college staples like ramen noodles, peanut butter, bread and pasta.  We always splurged by purchasing a single jar of marinated artichoke hearts on each shopping trip.  We thought we were fancy and sophisticated and that we deserved such a delicacy to go with our peanut butter sandwiches and cans of Busch pounders.  Eventually, we tired of jarred artichoke hearts and stopped buying them altogether.

Had we fallen out of love with marinated artichoke hearts?

I don’t think so.  We had just eaten too many in too short a period of time.  We hadn’t spaced them out enough.  We were young and impulsive after all.

The truth is we would always love marinated artichoke hearts and tiny cheeseburgers and warm donuts.  You can’t change love.

You just have to give it room to breathe sometimes.  You have to be patient and understanding and give it space every now and again. But know in your heart that it’s there forever.

Alice B. Toklas and the giant bag

Well, W and I are back from our big weekend in the big city.

Sometimes I am so accustomed to living in the suburbs that I feel a little like Country Mouse when the buildings exceed three or four stories.

The Addams Family musical was entertaining, especially if you grew up with the TV show.  It certainly isn’t Les Mis or even Hairspray, but then what is?

You had me at budino

Dinner was delicious.  Highlights: a sheeps milk ricotta appetizer and an Italian custard  called a budino.  Best dessert ever.  It had a dark chocolate bottom, a creamy, velvety middle and a salted caramel top.  I told W that it made all of my taste buds come alive.  I felt like Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio  for a moment.  The budino was way sexier than Padma Lakshmi, and that’s saying something.  This is evidenced by the fact that I am posting a picture of the budino and not a gratuitous photo of Padma like the one that appears on the cover of French Playboy.

I couldn't help myself

I couldn’t help myself

On Sunday, we were able to sleep in, enjoy a nice breakfast and do some in-town shopping.

Alice B. ended up joining us for the play and dinner

The most unusual part of the weekend occurred before the play.  We were looking to kill some time and wandered into a gay bookstore.  W and I browsed, and I found a copy of Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas on the clearance rack.  I decided that I needed to own the book and went up to the front counter to pay for it.

There was a very skinny gay boy working the register.

I gave him a nod.  The nod spoke volumes.  It said: “Hello.  How are you?  Nice day we’re having.  I have enjoyed shopping in your store.  I am glad that there are still gay bookstores around. ”

I placed the book on the counter.

He looked at me quizzically, unable to decipher the nod.  It always works with butch women.  Straight guys, too.  I was puzzled.

The clerk picked up the book very gingerly, possibly concerned that it might contain lesbian cooties or something, and announced the price.

I silently paid in cash.

“Do you want a bag?” he asked, unable to mask his annoyance.  I wasn’t sure if he was put out by my literary selection — it certainly wasn’t Sexy Sailors or Bend Over! — or by having to push a few buttons on the cash register.

I thought about the bag for a few seconds.  I wouldn’t be carrying around The Harder She Comes: Butch Femme Erotica or something racy like that.  But, I would be taking the book into the theater and a restaurant, so a bag might be nice.

“That would be great,” I said, trying unsuccessfully to sound friendly and approachable.

xx

Alice B. and the giant bag

That’s when he bent down under the counter, pulled out a giant white paper bag and placed Alice B. Toklas inside where she slid about, bonking her head here and there, because the bag was so fucking large.

When we are outside, I tell W that the big bag was a big fuck you to the big bull-dyke buying classic feminist literature.

She tells me to be nice.

On our way to the theater with Alice B. Toklas and the ginormous bag in tow, I play a  game that I like to call “I could fit a _____ in this giant bag.”

“I could fit this week’s groceries in this giant bag,” I say.

“I could fit a loaf of French bread, a large wheel of cheese and three bottles of wine in this giant bag.”

“I could fit a pair of Dr. Marten’s 8-eye boots and four flannel shirts in this giant bag.”

“I could fit two of our cats in this giant bag.”

(At least two.  Maybe all three, I think now as I write this post.)

And off we went to the theater, me, W, Alice B. and the bag.  We all had a lovely time.

I tell W this afternoon that I will be blogging about the bag.

“Be nice,” she says.

I am not sure why she is constantly reminding me of this.

She’s talking, of course, about the clerk in the gay bookstore.  Not to rip him to shreds over a giant paper bag, especially one that is 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable.

Upon reflection, I realize that my approach was all wrong.

Warning: The Text Below May Contain Extreme Stereotypes

No Harm Was Meant in the Writing of This Blog

Blog Is for Entertainment Purposes Only

I saw skinny gay dude and thought show tunes, see-through shirts and attitude.

He saw non-communicative large woman and thought angry butch lesbian.

That didn’t leave much for either of us to hang our hats on.

I think now that I should have opened differently.

For example:

Me: “Hi.”

Or,

Me: “Hello.”

Or,

Me: “Great bookstore.”

Or,

Me: “We’re in town to see the Addams Family.   It’s a musical.”

Because just like the Addams, we are family after all.

The Addams Family Musical

Going away and not going crazy

W and I are going away this weekend.  Just the two of us.  No kids.  No cats.

We only go away two or three times a year, so it’s a pretty big deal.

The last time that we went away for the weekend?  October.  We spent Saturday night at a local casino with friends.

In the days prior to that get-away weekend, I over thought the whole trip.  What if the food isn’t any good?  What if our room is dirty?  What if we can’t find a thing to talk about?  What if my expectations are too high?  What if we get in a fight?  What if the weekend is a total bust?

With these get aways coming every five months or so, everything seemed to be riding on this one weekend.  Fun times or bust.

Turns out that we had a great time.  We always do, despite my anxiety.

Heidi KlumThis time, I thought I’d try a different strategy.  Like just go with the flow and trust that everything will be as silky smooth as satin sheets or Heidi Klum’s legs.

So our trip itinerary — which features 24 hours without a single child (two legged or four legged) — includes The Addams Family musical and dinner at a fancy restaurant.  We have dinner reservations for 11:00 p.m., which I think makes us hipsters, at least for the night, or at least really, really cool like P!nk or Bruno Mars.  I bet they always eat dinner after 10:00 p.m.

I was thinking today that the infrequency of these get aways might actually make them a little more special.  A little more shiny and new.  If you got a new car twice a year, would you really care after year two?

Which, in turn, got me thinking about the things in life that you really only want to do once, or at most, twice a year.

My List

  • Vacations.  Not weekend trips but week-long trips that involve stopping the mail and the newspaper, finding someone to care for the pets and buying a new bathing suit.  For one thing, I stress over what books to bring, one for each flannel-covered personality.  And no, I don’t believe in Kindles or Nooks.
  • Eat corned beef and cabbage, preferably on or around St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Eat a candy cane.  I have one every Christmas and then ask myself what all the fuss is about.  How did these crooked mint sticks ever catch on?
  • Go to a parade.  Once a year is enough to see all of the fire trucks within 20 miles of your hometown.
  • Watch a classic tear jerker in which someone dies of a terrible illness like Steel Magnolias, Beaches or Terms of Endearment.
  • Partake of jelly beans or candy corn.  These foods are only appropriate eating on their respective holidays.
  • Order an egg cream.  I think I like the idea of egg creams better than the actual drink.  I mean, it sounds like a good idea, all classic and vintage and cool.  Oh, soda jerk, I’ll have the vanilla egg cream and make it snappy.  But then I look around at everyone drinking much more satisfying milkshakes at nearby tables.  My son had a sip of my egg cream and said it tasted like air.

Ok, spill.  What things do you think should be given once-a-year status?