Sunday, November 18, 2007

So, this is (not quite) Christmas...

"What's the spork for", asked Mr. Scoop as we left the house today.

"Well, we have so many from all the take out we get. And, it's not like they're useful for eating", I replied. "But, you just never know. We could always find ourselves in a spork related emergency. Haven't you ever seen an innocently parked bicycle outside of a mall and realized that its spokes are just crying out to be jammed with a spork?"

"No", he said. "And I drink."

"Well, I do too", I said. "And I hate bicycles. And sporks."

Last year Mr. Scoop and I made the mistake of trying to get some shopping needs taken care of at the mall prior to Black Friday, the most repugnant of all shopping days (unless you're my mom. Then it's more important than the Baby Jesus's birthday because it's about buying shit for the Baby Jesus's birthday.) This year...we forgot and went to the mall again.

It was my fault. This will be the second year in a row that I get to host Thanksgiving and I had decided that I needed to invest in a real roasting pan. Not one of the disposable aluminum ones that gets tossed as soon as its contents are no longer interesting. Or have become fuzzy. No, a big honkin' Calphalon one that I can put over a burner and use to make gravy. Which is stupid and ostentatious, I know. I'm going to actually have to wash it, for Christ's sake. What the hell am I thinking?

The massive construction project affecting the mall seems to be nearly done. Parking wasn't quite as difficult as last year. We actually parked near a building, instead of in another zip code. There seemed to be fewer bodies milling aimlessly about the place, perhaps because there was more square footage to spread them over (although...is it wrong to hope that the thinning masses were due to most undesirables being herded into a holding pen. You know, you can call it "Nordstrom's", but we both know, right? I won't tell. Really.)

They gave Crate and Barrel its own building and parking lot, which somehow only made me feel more the bull in the proverbial china shop upon visiting it. More square footage to damage if I choose to visit it after partaking of a bottle or two of Chardonnay at the mall's branch of Legal Seafoods in the other mall building on the other side of the parking lot. So many sparkly, breakable object on the first floor of the building. So little time. So not looking to get another restraining order. Again.

This year Santa was sober. Which was disappointing because we weren't. And mall security was ready for us this year. We kept walking. Unfortunately, this meant that we soon found ourselves walking into the circle of Hell that is Macy's cosmetics and fragrance department.

"Try my blush!" exhorted one blonde bimbo from one side of the corridor. "No", exclaimed another. "Come here! For purchasing just $50 of our products we will give you a free makeover!" She smiled a shark's smile. Had the same dead doll's eyes too. Mr. Scoop reached for his flask and splashed her with bourbon. "The power of Christ compels you!" he yelled. "Put that away", I hissed. "Don't waste perfectly good whiskey on these harpies."

Another desperate sales whore jumped in front of us. She brandished a tester of perfume. "Get swept away by the power of Obsession", she ejaculated. I couldn't take it anymore. I whipped out my spork: "Get away from me bitch. I'll gut you."

We eventually made it to the car. But I really need to remind myself not to do this again next year.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Strata

I really do enjoy a weekend morning in which I'm not too damaged to actually make brunch. Yes, brunch - because after a long night of kicking ass and taking names I'm certainly not getting up in time to make breakfast the next day...although I'll still want breakfast type food.

This recipe is the bastard love child of a strata recipe (think savory French toast type thing) from a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and a fondue we had while recently visiting Lance Manion and his Mrs. It is full of eggy, cheesy goodness and will cure the common cold, cancer and, mostly importantly, your hangover.

Rosemary Sourdough Strata With Gruyère and Shallots

1 round loaf of rosemary sourdough cut into 8 slices (and then cut those in half)
(alternately, use regular sourdough bread and add 1-2 t. minced fresh rosemary to the eggs)
5 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded coarsely
1 large shallot, sliced thinly into rounds
4 eggs, beaten to within an inch of their lives
2 cups milk
1 T. dijon mustard
salt and pepper
2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
paprika

1. Grease an 8"x8"x2" baking dish. Lay half the slices of bread on the bottom (you may need to cut or tear some of the pieces creatively to accomplish this. Go ahead. It deserves it.)
2. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the bread followed by the sliced shallots.
3. Whisk the eggs, milk, mustard and a dash of salt and pepper together. Pour half of this mixture over the bread, cheese and shallots.
4. Layer the remaining bread on top of the ingredients in the baking dish. Pour the remaining egg mixture on top, being sure to smother all cut surfaces with eggy goo. Press the layers down into the egg so that it knows you really mean it. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan and paprika. Allow the casserole to sit for about 30 minutes and play "Can't Breathe".
5. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Bake the strata for about 45 minutes, or until it realizes the error of its ways and stops weeping. Then put it in time out for 10 minutes so it doesn't try to scald you in revenge when you try to eat it.

Serves 6.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The French Are Very Different Than You Or Me...

This would be the new French commercial for Orangina:




via Daily Motion

I have no words...

I think I might like to surrender my passport now...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

So, How Was Your Day?

I was having one of those mornings where I find myself standing bleary eyed in front of a Dunkin Donuts staring at the wad of cash I'd pulled from my pocket and wondering just where did all those single bills come from?. I was fairly certain I hadn't been trolling strip clubs in my sleep again. That damn sleep stripping. But then I remembered that Mr. Scoop and I had been out the night before. I was looking at the remains of the tens of dollars I'd taken out of a grossly surcharge jacked ATM located in a Store 24 somewhere in the 9th circle of hell...because the taxi ride home was...expensive...

Note - If you ever get so drunk that you forget that you've actually driven to your destination and take a cab home instead, causing you to have to take a cab back the next day and get your car - you were to drunk to drive home.

Yesterday, I tried to convince Mr. Scoop that we should spend Halloween in a bar avoiding the trick-or-treaters. Mr. Scoop was having none of it: "The Mexicans will egg our house if we are not there to greet them with Reese's peanut butter cups and little bags of M & Ms. This is because they use real sugar in their Coca Cola, giving them energy for such endeavors. Plus, I took an informal straw poll among the last ten homeless guys that dove our dumpster. We need to be home. Preferably, armed."

"Ok, fine", I said. "You're on door duty though. And don't forget to ask them if they have any peanut allergies before you give out the peanut butter cups." "Their heads will swell up and they will die and they will LIKE IT!", he shouted, furiously dumping candy that had been hastily purchased from "Manny's Store U Like" on the corner into a empty Coors Light case. For the kids, you know.

At 7 o'clock, the doorbell rang. "Trick or treat!" came the happy chorus from outside the door. I was standing in the kitchen so, as Mr. Scoop opened the door, I had a clear view of the smiling faces of a little witch, the tiniest ninja and some assorted older siblings hoping to continue cashing in on candy until they got bored and decided to go toilet paper something. In the front of the assembly was a little boy, no more than 2, wide eyed in his fuzzy rhino suit and excited by the shouting voices of his siblings and idea of impending candy.

"Trick or treat!", came the cries of the children at the door. Mr. Scoop looked the baby rhino dead in the eye. "Give me all the Oxy!" he yelled.

The children ran screaming from our porch.

And that's when I turned off all the lights and snuck us out of the back garage to hide out in the bar for the rest of the evening.

Does anyone need any toilet paper?

Because we have lots.