Straight from the Scullery

a blog about life, love, and the pursuit of food and happiness...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What Would You Eat?

I passed by some serious doom and gloom billboards a while back, they were shrieking at all freeway drivers, reminding us all that the end of the world was on its way any day now.

Shortly after their predicted doomsday date came and went with no apocalypse on the horizon, the billboards had a new message: "Whoops!" they admitted,"our calculations were wrong. It's actually in a few months..."

I wonder if these same people can remember what time their dinner reservations are. Or when to pick up their kids from soccer practice. There are some details about things which really ought to be at the forefront of the mind.

Pretty sure getting the date right for all of humanity ceasing to exist is one of them.

Well, evidently our cloudy minded friends are really, really sure that tomorrow is It. It's all over. I wonder if these all-knowing naysayers did their homework? Because if they HAD done their homework, they would recognize that the future-predicting rock in the Mayan museum does not actually have much in common with the Hallmark puppy calendars we hang on our kitchen corkboards.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Smallest Details Matter the Most

There's nothing more unfair than a day that the kids have no school but I still have to work. I will say, however, that one of the benefits is the ability to schedule an early early morning meeting (8:20 is PAINFULLY early), arriving back at the house to a hot breakfast that is ready to be served. 10:00 is the perfect time of day for breakfast, in my opinion.

I could smell the bacon before the door had completely unlatched, and two smiling faces peered out of the kitchen doorway. "Do you want to try the BEST pancakes EVER made?"

I knew the kitchen would be a mess. I knew the dog was eating bacon drippings on his dried out dog food at this point in the morning. I knew the pillows and blankets had not yet been cleaned up from the sleepover in the living room and that the television (along with every other energy draining appliance in the house) was still on. But the smell of bacon negates all of that in the blink of an eye.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Endless Possibilities for an American Icon

Until today, I've only caught bits and pieces of the economic strife of the Twinkie. Mostly headlines...things like "Hostess CEO Blames Union Strike" (you mean when people don't come to work, things don't get done?) "Price of Twinkies Skyrockets as Hostess Plans to Shut Down" ("skyrockets??" Like from a quarter to 50 cents?) or my personal favorite so far, "Will Twinkies Be a Sweet Deal for Mexican Billionaire?" It's my favorite because apparently Grupo Bimbo has put a bid in for the second most disgusting food on the planet (the first unarguably being Balut, from the Philippines (I encourage you to Google the article entitled "The 6 Most Terrifying Foods in the World" and try to hold your breakfast down).

At any rate, it's my favorite turn of events in the Hostess story of demise, simply because I am curious if those futbol teams who currently harbor the marketing nightmare of wearing the word "Bimbo" across their chests will rise to the even greater challenge of the word "Twinkies" plastered everywhere.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Still More Than I've Done Yet

The media loveLOVES a good "falling from grace" story. The cure for cancer could have been discovered, Communism could crumble, nuclear weapons could be wiped away from the planet for good...none of that would matter if a once-hero from America was caught doing something horrendously human.

I do believe that when in the public eye, especially when touting humanitarian efforts, you have somewhat of a duty to live up to a high ethical standard. I think you have that duty anyway, whether in the public eye or not, actually. Perhaps I just think that those in the public eye are just not so tremendously bright to think that either a) they're above those silly little rules that we like to call "morals" or "values" or 2) they're just so incredibly sly and witty, there isn't a chance they're going to get caught.

I remember sitting around an enormous walnut table in the dining room of a grandiose house on East Bay a number of years ago. I don't remember who exactly was there, it was a book group made up of moms from school, and it was one of the last I attended, for whatever reason. We were eating Sweet Potato Chili, which has since turned into a wintertime staple around here. Amazingly delicious, especially for something that is so good for you. And we were discussing "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

An Unexpected Twist in the Plot

As soccer season draws to a close for high school boys, so does pasta dinner season. Nights before home games are filled with tastes of Italy, or some variation...spaghetti, lasagne, rigatoni, garlic...

For some unknown reason, I thought it was a good idea to add my name to the volunteer sheet (that sentence could really stop right there, but it goes on) toward the end of the season. Right when things are at the height of chaos. And on top of that...well, let me just give you the original title for this particular posting: "Never Sign Up to Bring Pasta to an Italian Woman's House." 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Where Did I Go Wrong?

I'm not exactly sure when it was clear that the soft, hot pretzels were destined to become dinner for the mouse that steals from my garbage can. In hindsight, I think it was right from the beginning, when I wondered if the yeast and sugar had spent enough time turning into the "creamy" mixture the recipe described.

Or three minutes later when I'd added the 8th tablespoon of water to the dough in order to "soften it up a little bit." Well, order to actually have it look like something more than a pile of crumbled up old chewing gum.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lessons From the Kitchen

Working with young children has the capacity to teach adults many lessons. By nature, children are kind, inquisitive, present, loving, and above all, they have an inherent trust in the adults around them. Taking a moment to reflect on that trust brings forth the realization that our tasks, as early childhood educators, are nothing short of monumental.
                Think about that. The children around us spend their lives imitating all that we do. They are fascinated with the “adult world” and spend their time role playing, creating scenarios in order to make sense of it all. It asks of us, the “adults” in their worlds, to be conscious of our actions, responsible, respectful, and authentic. Children learn lessons from us during every waking moment, watching carefully as we maneuver through our day-to-day activities, internalizing our gestures, actions, and habits.

Get Up and Go!

I’m going to begin by telling you what I had for breakfast…the real version, not the “what my mother would like to hear” version. A coke, because that’s just standard. Not a coffee drinker. Two Chips Ahoy, string cheese, half a piece of leftover pizza, and a glass of V8 fruit and vegetable juice, primarily because I knew I’d be writing this down. Without a doubt, however, I can say that the days that I start off with some V8 (peach and mango) and/or oatmeal, I hit mid-afternoon in a much better mood. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Great Pacificator

September 9, 1850

The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) ended with an American victory and some new land for the United States. Alta, California and New Mexico were purchased for $15 million. Additionally, Mexico now officially recognized Texas as a part of the US, having not viewed it as such after the Texas Revolution back in 1836.

US President James Polk had achieved his goal to expand American Territory all the way to the Pacific coast. The political implications pointed directly down the road toward civil war, however, as the Southern slave states and Northern free states could not agree on the status of the territories.