Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Martha Stewart I’m not. Never claimed to be. Don’t really want to be. As a matter of fact, I find some of the things she does more amusing than useful.

I know some people like to do the things she does. I even have some friends who are all Martha Stewart-ish. But I just can’t bring myself to that level.

OK, first off, she makes her own vanilla extract. Me? I’m perfectly happy with the stuff on the store shelf. I’ll go as far as to get the “pure” stuff once in a while, but I’m not ashamed to admit I currently have a large bottle of the “imitation” extract sitting in my cabinet. Nothing wrong with that. Works just fine for me. As for homemade, well, I don’t often have vodka (a required ingredient) in the house, but when I do, I think it tastes much better mixed with a bit of orange juice instead of a bunch of vanilla beans.

Then there are marshmallows. I remember watching Martha Stewart actually make her own marshmallows. From scratch. (Which she promptly put into steaming cups of her from scratch cocoa.) Yeah, I’m sure they taste great an all, but I like my store bought marshmallows. I even like the tiny little hard ones that come in the instant cocoa and get a bit soft when you add the hot water. One friend of mine whose daughter recently made her own homemade marshmallows told me that I’m missing out on the different flavors you can use when you make them yourself. Well, I actually found chocolate flavored marshmallows in the store and really, what other flavor do I need?

I can make some things from scratch of course. I love to make chocolate chip cookies. And I do make a pizza casserole that the hubs just totally loves. (Although, since it uses biscuit mix for the crust, I don’t know if it’s really considered “homemade.”) There are some things I have tried over and over again to make and can just never seem to get it right. Take gravy for instance. I cannot make gravy to save my life. It always comes up either too thin and tasteless or so thick you could cut it into slices and just lay it on top of your potatoes. (Not very appealing really.) So, anytime I need to make gravy, I grab the cream of mushroom soup. A can or two thrown into some pan drippings and you’ve got gravy. As far as I’m concerned  you do anyway.

And don’t get me started on biscuits. My mother could make the best biscuits (although she said her Aunt Marie’s were even better), but I just can’t get the hang of it. They just never taste right and the texture is really, really bad. So, I pull out the biscuit mix. I can make some pretty good biscuit mix biscuits. I even worked at the local McDonald’s for a while making biscuits on Saturday and Sunday mornings and was told I made the best biscuits there. (Yes, they are made with a mix. Surprised?)

Years ago, a friend told me that if I loved my family, I would make everything from scratch, something she claimed she did. I told her it’s because I do love my family that I don’t make everything from scratch. I’d really like my husband to live a good long life, and by not subjecting him to my from-scratch culinary skills on a regular basis, I think I’m helping him in that respect.

So, it is true I will never be a Martha Stewart, but really, why would I want to be?

She kinda creeps me out.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Late Birthday Thoughts

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve....but I'm not going to talk about that.

Day before yesterday was my 41st birthday. Let's talk about that for a bit.

When the hell did I turn into an adult?!?! I honestly don't feel like one most of the time. Most of the time I feel like I'm around 16 or 17 years old. Yeah, I have the usual adult bills to pay, and many extra ones from the hubby's illness over the past couple years, and you'd think that with that responsibility I'd feel all that ADULT weight on my shoulders. Well, I don't.

OK, so I do look in the mirror and notice a few extra lines here and there around the eyes. And yes, the gray hairs are starting to multiply at a rate that can only be called hyperspeed. Oh, and I sometimes actually see my mom looking back at me even. (Was always told I looked like her, but this is getting ridiculous.) But, I still can't wrap my mind around the idea that I am 41 years old. That's supposed to be like middle-age or something, right? Well,I certainly don't feel like my life is half over. NO WAY! NO HOW! I still have a whole lot of things to do. For example...

...I want to see Mount Rushmore...

...I want to visit Hershey, Pennsylvania (for obvious reasons)...

...I want to go on a real-live ghost hunt (not just one of those mamby pamby tourist attraction type things either, although I want to go on one of those as well)...

...I want to win the lottery (a girl's gotta have dreams)...

...I want to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Yeah, I know. This one may have to wait until my next life)...

...and that's just a few of the things I want to do. 

I have a friend who is fond of lists. I've started following her lead and making some lists myself, trying to get organized and not really succeeding. I don't like the idea of a "bucket list" because that makes it sound like something that I HAVE to do before I die. I don't care if I don't complete my list before my time in this life is done. The dreaming and trying is half the fun. 

So, I mark my 41st birthday, not feeling anywhere near that age, by counting not way am I EVER going to count candles. Instead I like to count the laughs I've had over the past 41 years. It's been a rough road in some spots, but there has always been time for a laugh or two with my friends. That's all that matters.

Oh, and chocolate. CHOCOLATE MATTERS!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blog Issues

I have to wonder if anyone else is having trouble with their blog setup lately. I like the way my blog used to look, but for some reason it has changed and I can't seem to get it to look the way I want any longer. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just a bit internet illiterate.

In the mean time, I keep trying to get it going the way I would like, which means the look will change every once in a while as I fiddle with it. Can't help it. I've never been on to leave well enough alone.