Tag Archives: OHMYGODYUM

I Remember It Being Hot

 

I remember it being hot, I think. Even at 9 a.m. or whenever it was, in the morning. The sand was hot, the topmost layer, at least, and the water felt cold, at least at first. And still we’d storm into the waves and thrash and make ourselves breathless, and our throats hoarse and our mouths and lips salty with sea, some of which we’d swallowed in exuberance, accidentally.

 

After we’d spent however long forever in the sun, maybe Mom—or would it have been Dad?—would march down to the shore to tell us that breakfast was ready. And we’d wrap ourselves in sandy towels and trudge—joyfully—back up endless unsteady quartz powder and through sea-oat tunnels finally to the shade.

 

Australian pines (an invasive species, they’d want you to know now) make windy whistling whispers up high and drop marble-size cones that hurt like the dickens to step on, so we three kids danced toward the picnic tables or sometimes remembered to put on our flip-flops, and we sat with wet bums on wood benches, hungry.

 

The prep work would have begun hours earlier, before we’d even gotten out of bed, the baking and packing, cracking eggs into mason jars to be scrambled, stored and transported, and then cooked on an old pan over a gas camp stove alongside bacon, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls kept warm under tinfoil. Morning-squeezed orange juice from the trees in our back yard, Valencia and navel, and an Army-green thermos of fragrant black coffee for the grownups.

 

That the beach had, for a time, taken precedence over our tiny mouths’ pre-breakfast begging says something about the beach. About that beach in particular, and perhaps about our ages then, pre-adolescents and urgent, first and foremost, to splash.

 

When you’ve spent a small hour gasping and giggling in the Gulf and swallowing brine, scrambled eggs feel in your mouth an easy creaminess, and cinnamon rolls hearty and replenishing, and fresh juice is vibrant and tart in a way you can only crave most when you are tired and salty, morning sunburned, and in need of sweet, cold moisture.

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Hamlard

poutine

Poutine or not poutine?
That is the question.
Whether ‘tis Canada-er in the dish
To suffer the pangs and harrows
of unpototatoed beer
Or to take curds against a sea of gravy
And then potatoes, eat them. To eat, to weep—
No more; and by a weep to say we cry
The tears and thousand natural joys
That fat is heir to. ‘Tis a consommé-tion
Devoutly to be wished. To cry, to weep—
To weep, perchance to seam—aye, there’s the pub,
For in that weep of joy, what seams may burst
When we have shoveled down this aortal clog,
Must give us pause. There’s the diet
That makes insanity of so large meal:
For who would bear the chips and dips of blah,
The suppressor’s tong, the dietitians veggie sticks
The pangs of uneaten food, the line’s delay,
The impotence of whiskey, and the turns
That drunken merit of the caloric takes,
When she herself might her poutine make
With a raw potato? Who would these smoothies bear
To nom and snarf under a brew’ry light
But that the dread of something after food,
The undigested grease, from whose toilet
No diner returns, puzzles the gut,
And makes us rather bear the salad we have
Than to stuff our faces with crap we know not of.
Thus conscience does make dieters of us all
And thus the native hue of gravy-ation
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of curd,
And enterprises of great fry and flavor
With this regard their nomness turns a fry,
And lose the name of dinner.

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What I Did on My Summer Vacation

scooter

San Diego transportation, in style.

I don’t mean to brag, but I just got an 18-pack of Bud Light for $13.69 and BOGO parmesan cheese—I feel a sense of accomplishment. (Also, on Thursday I finished my book just in time for PTI—talk about vacation, right?)

Oh, yeah, and I got my cast off yesterday. (Woooooooo…ew, my body is vile.)

But the biggest accomplishments of this vacation—indeed, the whole point of it—centered on my trip to San Diego. Here are some of the things I did:

  • Sat next to a guy who was even more freaked out about the choppy-droppy flight than I was. (Seriously, he was shaking and twitching.)
  • Negotiated a two-minute layover in ATL. On crutches.
  • Learned  how to use a knee scooter like a skilled, responsible pedestrian.
  • …and then rode it bicycle-style down a hill before Thing 2 pushed me across the street.
Wore a basket.

Wore a basket.

  • Diagnosed the difference between a heat wave in Florida and one in SD. (AC is, apparently, optional in SoCal.)
  • Bought additional shorts and tank tops at Target.
  • Shopped for sugar skulls and socks and shot glasses in Seaport Village, Spanish Art Village, Hillcrest and Ocean Beach.
  • Saw sandcastles!
beaver

Took awesome pictures.

  • Slept with the door open.
  • Did my fantasy football draft in a dark, cool bar at 4 p.m. (Verdict so far? Fuck yeah Wes Welker.)
  • Witnessed a plethora of bananas.
  • Bonded with Thing 2’s friends over football, beer and Intervention.
  • Caught up on My Drunk Kitchen.
Hell yeah dancing bananas.

Hell yeah dancing bananas.

  • Got coffee at five different coffee shops and drinks at 10 different bars in six days.
  • Ate burgers, carbonara, pizza, pigs in blankets, homemade salsa and five different kinds of tacos.
  • Played “Boy Named Sue,” “Doin’ It” and “Brave” with a single jukebox dollar.
  • Danced in a stranger’s apartment.
Wore a pig.

Wore a pig.

    • Skyped with Thing 1 in Raleigh. (With special guest appearance by Captain Slack!)
    • Spent an afternoon/evening brewery-hopping for three different San Diego samplers and some home brew nightcaps.

And now? At long last, wrote a blog.

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Makes Me Want a Hot Dog REAL BAD

Apparently today is National Hot Dog Day. I’ve got my Nathan’s in the fridge, although the Salty Dog is right on my way home, so there’s a decent chance I’ll be swayed by a batter-dipped, deep-fried, quarter-pound wiener of awesomeness.

 

 
And then there’s this:

 

 

 

Awesome. This is my 101st BananaHammer post. Yay hot dogs.

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Fantasy Thursday: My Last Meal

mcdonalds-Cheeseburger

Where’s my nuggets, yo?

For my third and final (and possibly favorite) fantasy this week, I gave much thought to assembling the best spread ever.

Have you ever seen some of the things people order for their last meal on death row? Granted it’s kind of a morbid topic, but if you just think about the food—it’s these incredible lists, more than many people could ever eat in a single sitting. Not a “meal” in the sense of a single composition, but just a big pile of your favorite things to eat, ever.  I tried to limit myself a top-10, all-time favorite and/or transcendent indulgences (plus beverages)–and while I think this is pretty darn good, I feel like this list is going to be an ongoing project…

  1. Ma’s Spaghetti carbonara. Pasta, eggs, bacon, cream, butter, cheese. Can’t beat it.
  2. McDonald’s cheeseburger and chicken nuggets. They count as a single item because I put the nuggets on top like a condiment.
  3. Oreos.
  4. The Beach Bistro “White Castle slider.” Seared foie gras, tenderloin, demi-glace and béarnaise on a garlic bun.
  5. Mashed potatoes with lots of butter and some real brown gravy on the side.
  6. Eggs Benedict. Cook the eggs just barely firmer than normal, real back bacon (Hi, Canadians!) and lemony Hollandaise with a little bit of cayenne or hot paprika kick. And real, well-done home fries to sop up the extra.
  7. Snow crab legs with drawn butter.
  8. Granny’s baked mac ‘n cheese.
  9. Cheetos.
  10. A hunk of brie.

For beverages? Three Bud Lights, a Mountain Dew, Van Winkle Special Reserve 12-yo, and some whole milk (for the Oreos).

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Just Give Me Some Season(-ing)

There’s a small but vocal part of my brain that gets mightily embarrassed when I write new lyrics for pop songs. And whenever she gets going, the rest of my brain just sings louder.

Right from the start
You were a chef for healthy hearts,
And I reject your dictum.

You made me eat the parts of things
That weren’t all that pretty,
And with every bite, I icked them.

You’ve been using fat-free cream, uh-oh.
You’re taking all the taste from me, uh-oh.
You tell me that a pat’s enough.
I say tough.

Just give me some season,
Just a little salt’s enough
…plus some pepper.
We’re not broken just bland,
And we will learn to cook again.

It’s in the fats,
All these butters should be eaten in vats.
We’re not broken just bland,
And we will learn to cook again.

I’m sorry, it’s your heavy hand
Where all this salt is coming from.
I thought that it was good.
(No, it needs everything.)

Your palate’s running wild again.
My dear, you’ve eaten everything.
Please watch your BMI.
(Yeah, this is fattening.)

You’ve been using so much cheese, uh-oh.
They say it’s linked to heart disease, uh-oh.
I really think you’ve had enough
Of that Fluff.

(Oh, I love that Fluff.)

Just give me some season,
Just a little salt’s enough
…plus some pepper.
We’re not broken just bland,
And we will learn to cook again.

It’s in the fats,
All these butters should be eaten in vats.
We’re not broken just bland
And we will learn to cook again.

Oh foie gras terrines.
(I’ll fix us some greens.)
We’re helping our spleens keep our system clean.

(You’re building a chin.)
You’re really too thin.
Oh nothing tastes as good as red meat.
We’ll just eat.

Just give me some season
Just a little salt’s enough
…plus some pepper.
We’re not broken just bland,
And we will learn to cook again.

It’s in the fats,
All these butters should be eaten in vats.
We’re not broken just bland
And we will learn to cook again.

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Money-Saving Tips

Some of the ways I’m making $80 last two weeks this pay period.

Food:

Starbuck’s tasty Greek yogurt breakfast parfait with honey and the special no-sog packet of granola and slivers of toasted coconut? Easy enough: a big container of Greek yogurt, some honey (or agave nectar you have lying around after your homemade margaritas adventure), box of granola cereal and some shaved coconut. Mix the yogurt and honey in a Tupperware container, then lay some cellophane on top and put the granola and coconut in there.

yogurt

Put the lid on, and everything’s ready to go for whenever you wanna mix it all together.

Find things that are awesome and appetizing when reheated, and cook a shit-ton of them: Black beans and rice, brandied chicken breasts, spaghetti carbonara, stroganoff. The kicker for me is that they have to be super-appetizing, otherwise after-work dining out wins. Which tends to mean they’re pretty fattening, too. This is where money-saving runs headlong into calorie-saving. Money wins. As does my tummy.

Volunteer for food contest judging.

meatloaf

Gourmet lamb meat loaf with roasted tomato jam, goat cheese and asparagus risotto. For? Free.

We’ve got weekly contests for finding various local food “bests,” and week before last, it was meatloaf. I’m not saying it’s the healthiest thing to do, but traveling all over town to sample four different kinds of meatloaf saves you money on dinner, that’s for sure.

Likewise, embrace the work luncheons you’re obligated to attend.

chicken

Any time you’re getting free risotto, you’re doing something right.

I wasn’t exactly psyched about today’s cancer luncheon, but teriyaki chicken on creamy risotto with asparagus from the Ritz? Yeah, that’s a deal.

choc cake…oh, and there was chocolate cake.

Biking to the grocery store encourages limited and lightweight purchases. I am not a motivated enough beer-drinker to ride 4.5 miles with a case of Bud Light on my back. Plus, this works in favor of calorie-consumption, too.

Booze:

Invite considerate, lightweight friends over who will bring a 12-pack, drink one, and leave the rest for you.

Take a chance on a $2 hockey raffle ticket.

raffle beer

Hoptical Illusion alone is worth the $2. Plus: bonus mugs!

The key here is that “improving my chances” was too close to “throwing my money away,” so I took a single, low-risk chance and got myself eight fancy beers. Win.

And lastly, obey these booze-buying words of wisdom: “You should always think about cost per ounce vs. credit card interest.” In other words, don’t buy the smaller bottle just because you’re short on cash; put the handle on the Visa and congratulate yourself for being a smart shopper.

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