Archive for In The Kitchen, and Around the House

AAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaants!!!!

Oh my g-d, I came back to my apartment from being away for the weekend to an infestation of big black ants. They are showing up everywhere in my white and khaki apartment. If anyone knows me, you know that nothing scares me more than worms and certain bodily secretions/sounds… and ants are right up there with worms (and all other insects, etc.).
Let me shed some light on this for you people that don’t know me so well. When I went to Ithaca, they had beautiful gardens and lawns lining every cement sidewalk. Well when it rained, somehow the worms were flooded from the ground and would cover every sidewalk like a plague. If you know western New York, you know it rains like Ireland. When it rained I could not go to class, because the thought of stepping on a single one of those worms actually made me cower in my apartment and/or gag.
At least I have grown past cowering, now I can kill bugs without being hysterical in fear. But let me tell you, these little fuckers are fast- and they even climb the ceilings. I am going to go to Price Chopper first thing in the morning to buy the most expensive traps and pesticides that exist: all you naturalists can shove it because I am going to use every chemical possible to get rid of these things… I don’t even know if I’ll be able to sleep tonight knowing these things are lerking in the dark.

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Raspberries in Spring

Price Chopper is having a sale on raspberries, a 1/2 pintfor $1.98. I was so excited and bought two cartons earlier this week, but now all I can think about is how right Matt was when he said “these are nothing like the ones you pick yourself” as he dropped them one by one into the frying pancake batter.
I miss picking raspberries and blueberries behind my house. They always grew where the woods and the lawn met, and I’d always have to fight myself to not eat more than I put in the bucket. None of the places I live have that now, and I miss it.
I think because the weather has brought such warmth and mildness this week that I’m getting excited for spring. I never have before, I usually want the winter to drag as long as it can so my dad has business and I can work more hours. I even feel the urge to go on walks and exercise. I want the apartment to be clean and I even started by cleaning out my car. I’m being more organized I’ve noticed, and procrastinating less and less.
I’m starting to think that either someone has drugged my raspberries, or maybe I’m just growing up.

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The noise below

So that guy with the loud music downstairs… well it started up again tonight. It’s techno this time- house music, maybe Cascada? I jumped up and down really hard on the floor… and it got louder. Of course Matt followed with “what do you expect me to do about it?” So I called the rental management company (this is the 3rd time and counting), and they sent over this little old 4’11” white-haired man with a beer belly larger than our fridge and penny-loafer-slippers. He said he’s been working 24hours over time and we woke him up to come here and listen for the loud noise. Needless to say, he didn’t do anything, and when he came into our apt. the noise below stopped. It’s just like that knocking in your engine that gets progressively worse and worse until you finally bring it in to the shop and it runs great for the mechanic. Grrrr.. Anyway, he told us to call the police if it happens again. Great. I thought I was done with the police when I moved off South Pearl!

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Sweating the small stuff (and loving it)

Don’t you hate it when you’re all ready to leave the house, then something stupid happens and you’re suddenly 20 minutes late and still have to find a new shirt? Every time I get dressed in the morning, it seams, I inevitably lean into the puddle of contact solution Matt left on the sink counter for me. I must have asked him 1,000 times to remeber to wipe it up, and I must have ruined atleast 2,000 outfits in the morning because of it. And I just finally told him the other day how much I hate how every time a song comes on in the car he likes, he turns the volume up; I’m telling you by the time we get through a whole CD he likes, the speakers are blown and my ears are broken. But last night Matt asked me, “Did you ever see something that made your brain happy? Like that feeling that’s just relaxing and great, but you just zone out and watch something else?” I knew exactly what he meant: that feeling you get when you’re in a carwash. Or the sensation you experience when you watch someone getting their hair cut. Just hearing him talk about this made me forget about how pissed I was that he took the last clean towel without telling me for the 50thousanth time, or brought the car back with no gas in it. And I’m glad that I have him -in good and bad- and that I’m able to see that.

I’ve been noticing how different I am from my sisters lately. While they flip through US, People, and Cosmo, commenting on Brittney’s new do or Lindsey’s rehab stint, I find myself buying Woman’s Day and Family Circle, for decorating ideas and coupons. My grandma always said Sarah’s the “partygirl” and I’m the “homebody”, and I always agreed, but I never thought that I could find such pleasure in sitting here admiring my new curtains.

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Sick days…

I wanted to make linzer tarts for Valentine’s Day, but instead I got bronchitis. It’s a good thing I work in a doctor’s office, but a bad thing that I have classes every day that I cannot afford to miss! Depending on how I feel & the snow conditions, I may try the cookies Wednesday afternoon. I’ll let you all know how I make out.

I got a job post today on SitterCity for babysitting a child when he’s too sick for day care. I laughed before I responded, because I’m too sick to babysit!

BTW- The dehydrator really does take practice. I didn’t like the pineapples at all, and I am afraid to try the fruit roll. Tomorrow is going to be very busy with fieldwork at kindergarten, classes, and my grandpa Orville’s 90th birthday… but if time permits I will try to throw in some banana chips. Does anyone have suggestions for this feat?

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So… about my domestic hobbies

I like to bake things. I’m not so sure I am very good at it, but I love to do it. I also love to buy all kinds of kitchen gadgets, even if I only use them once… one day I’ll need them again. I just know it!

Speaking of which, I recently bought a food dehydrator.

Nesco Food Dehydrator

I waited for two weeks and when it came in the mail it was like Christmas/Birthday/Yom-Kippur-Break-fast all at once! But, it wasn’t exactly the one I thought I picked out online, atleast not as many cool features or pretty design, but I waited so hard & long that I opened it and used it anyway. I just started using it the other day and it’s a little more time consuming than I expected. I even bought a different one first, (Ronco) then returned it, because it required me to rotate the trays every three to six hours, and fruit would take something like 46-72 hours to dry! Who the hell has time to do that? I think they’d dry in the sun faster! So I returned it, plus it was reaaallllyyy ugly, researched a little, and just got this new Nesco one. (By the way, I found this guy, Brian Glass, who has the same one as me, and his site is pretty interesting too.) It is going to be pretty interesting though, because every time I try to use it, it’s either too late in the day or something comes up, and I have to turn it off part way through. So I started off with a strawberry/apple fruit leather and some pineapple rings, then had to wrap them in saran and put them in the fridge until I could turn the dehydrator back on (I don’t want to leave it on while I’m sleeping and burn the house down or something). The owner’s manual says the best way to perfect your dehydrating is practice. Isn’t that the best way to perfect anything/eeverything in life?

I love this lady’s page, “Fancy Food… and Silly Stories” because, for example, there are pictures of this wonderful grapefruit bar – a spin on the traditional lemon bar – that she made. In fact she includes BEAUTIFUL pictures of almost everything she makes. They’re truly inspiring (and the stories are actually fun to read)! These pictures are much better than the ones I find in the reader-posted recipes on VeryBestBaking.com (probably because it’s Nestle’s website). They’re much better than anything I could capture, and her desserts are just so delectable and perfect it’s almost depressing to me!

I used to want to be a dessert chef of some sort, but I really need to work on consistency. I made these amazing chocolate dream bars once, and my whole family loved them. So, of course I made them for the next family event and, of course, they tasted like shit. I think my stove is not accurate. And my kitchen’s too small. Yeah, that’s it…

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