Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shitshow Kitchen: Oven-Dried Tomatoes

I want to start by telling you this recipe has the single greatest work to reward ratio of any recipe ever devised. I defy you to give me an easier recipe that results in a better and more versatile finished product.
Your ingredients.

Cherry or grape tomatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt

I didn't list amounts because there's no set amount on this stuff. I used about two pounds of tomatoes and two heads of garlic, although if you want to do more or less you just use more or less.

Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees and de-stem your tomatoes.
No one eats stems, not even your mother "because they are good for you."
Take out two sheet pans-- the kind with the little rim are better, jelly roll pans, but if you accidentally caught them on fire the last time you used them as a drip pan for your meatloaf and then you threw them out the back door into the snow until they stopped smoking and then you forgot about them and moved, so you don't have them anymore, you can use cookie sheets. I wrapped mine in aluminum foil because I hate doing dishes.

Cut all your tomatoes in half and spread them on the pans. You're supposed to cut them on the equator, like the fat middle, but I always forget. Then separate the garlic into cloves (with the peels still on them) and cast them about the pan.
We are indiscriminately halved
Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil (I cheat and use a plastic bag with the corner snipped off for easy drizzling) and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Totally cheating and I don't care who knows it
Put your pan in the oven for 2-3 hours. You can take them out when they go from this:
We are plump and watery
To this:
We are emaciated and dessicated
Let them cool for a few minutes, then pop the garlic cloves out of their skins. Scrape the entire thing into jars or tupperwares and cover with olive oil.
This is the greatest ingredient in the world
You can use these tomatoes on ANYTHING. I use them on bread with mozzarella, parm, and oregano to make awesome tapas.
I don't have an after picture because I burnt the shit out of them
Cut into squares and watch the marriage proposals roll in.
I was salvaged from the flames
Or you can toss them with noodles, oil, parmesan, and basil for an easy dinner. Use them as a pizza topping. Throw them (with a little oil) in the food processor for a tomato tapenade. Mix some of the tapenade with mayo for tomato-garlic mayo. The oil on its own is kind of a tomato-garlic infusion, and can be used in the place of your other oil in recipes. I usually just keep filling the jar with oil when I take out tomatoes, so at the end you have a jar of tomato-garlic oil. NOM.

Basically, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING WITH THESE and they are so delicious! They have just the right concentrated tomato flavor without any of the chewiness of sun-dried tomatoes. They are heaven. This will make your life beautiful.

ENJOY, ladies and gents. The easiest, tastiest, most versatile recipe EVER.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Friday, July 29, 2011


Look at me, getting awards! I thought I was going to get another award today but as that has not apparated yet (*ahem*, Siren) I have taken matters into my own hands and stolen an award from Rachael.

I KNOW! AN AWARD! I feel so accomplished. Suddenly, my whole day has taken a turn for the better. The miserable slump I was in this morning I have all but forgotten. My headache just disappeared. I think I might be better-looking now. No, I am sure I am.

OK, and now it is confirmed, because I'm writing this at work, and my last customer just introduced himself and told me that he thinks he loves me.


ETA: He just came back to tell me he loves me again. I AM BEING TOTALLY SERIOUS. This award is awesome.

ETA: I got my other award, too... I think my hair is shinier! And my voice is more melodious! My cat just turned into a liger!

Today's Post is brought to you by Sarcasm, Narcissism, and the letter Y

Now gimme my award, dammit.

About My Blog
  1. How did you find my blog and how long have you been reading it? What was the thing that first "captured" you? I found you blog through a link on the forum. I've been reading it since... I think September? Maybe August. The first thing that captured me was you personality on the forum. I would probably have read your blog if it was just pictures of telephone books. Or dictionaries.
  2. Which one of my blog entries is your favorite? (You can list more than one.) I can't really point to specific ones, my memory sucks. But I like the Carolyn ones. Even though they are sad, they are beautiful. And some of the ones when you were figuring things out for yourself-- when you were here in the present, and learning things about your past through new experiences. Your way of explaining things and your memory for conversations are gifts.
  3. What's your favorite thing about my blog overall? I guess now it is probably your humor.
  4. In what way or ways is my blog totally better than yours? My blog has no real unifying principle, I don't take photos of birds, and your commenters are pretty dang awesome. Also, you are hilarious.
  5. In what way or ways is my blog totally better than most other blogs, period? Most other blogs are uninteresting and the bloggers are not as... wide-eyed and new about things as you are. I mean that in a good way.
  6. Have you signed up as a follower of my blog? A public follower? Fuck yes. Why would I follow it privately? I don't get that. Unless it is something that the blogger wants me to do to protect their privacy, I always follow publicly.
  7. How many of your own blog followers are actually you using a fake username? (Oops, sorry, this question should've gone on the "Insecure Blogger's Survey Meme.") HAhahahaha. None. Good idea, though.
  8. What's one of the funniest things I've said on my blog? ALL THE THINGS. There were a couple times I was almost crying with laughter. Like when you got your boots, or when you had to go get your hair done, or when you were getting the new couch and being flaunty. Or when you gave that bird egg the Royal Hat.
  9. The most brilliant or original or insightful? This one. I bookmarked it on my computer when you wrote it, because it was so perfect. Partially because I relate to it, partially because it is such a beautiful picture of love.
  10. Which of the pictures on my blog is your favorite? This one.
  11. You have read my entire blog, right? Yes.
  12. How often do you mention me or my blog on your blog? I've actually mentioned it a couple times. I linked it once. But don't worry, I have like three readers, and they were all yours first.
  13. How many of your blog entries either were inspired by me or are examples of you shamelessly plagiarizing and/or outright copying my ideas? (Please provide links so I can get the credit I deserve.) BAM!
  14. How often do you mention me or my blog in your offline life, say, at the dinner table or something? Hm. Not as much as I should, apparently.
  15. When was the last time you made someone listen while you read something of mine to her or him out loud? HAhahahaha. I can't remember. I think I showed my husband your snowflake pictures.

About Me

  1. How much do you love me and why? Please be specific. I love you as much as David Hasselhoff loves leather pants. Because you are strong and intelligent and witty and eloquent and hilarious.
  2. Why else? Also because you are unabashedly egotistical.
  3. Other than the reasons you love me, what's your favorite thing about me? Your ability to remember conversations word for word.
  4. In what way or ways do you see me as better than you -- morally, intellectually, or otherwise? You are way better than me at Scrabble.
  5. As superior to the average person in general? ALL THE WAYS.
  6. In what way or ways do you wish you were more like me? I wish I was as confident as you. Oh, and that I had a startle reflex because I think it would be hilarious. I don't mind jokes at my own expense.
  7. That everyone were more like me? That people were honest with themselves and others. All the time.
  8. Which of my qualities do you envy the most? Your wordsmithery.
  9. Which of my qualities do you admire the most and/or find the most inspiring? Your strength.
  10. Do you envy any of my possessions? If so, which ones? YOUR COWBOY BOOTS. Also, your chicken beak.
  11. What's the most complimentary thing you've said about me recently? See the above.
  12. Did you write it on your blog? (If so, please provide a link.) Here you go.
  13. What do you think is my most attractive physical feature? Your elf ears.
  14. My second most attractive? Your Bambi eyes.
  15. You can list additional ones here if you need to. You also have nice lips and you are skinny and now I am feeling weird telling you this stuff so I am done.
  16. What would you say are my greatest strengths? Your emotional fortitude.
  17. And finally, which of the following would you say is my one possible weakness? Definitely #4.
    1. You're so intelligent sometimes you forget how hard it is for the rest of us to keep up with you.
    2. You don't appreciate how attractive you really are.
    3. You're too hard on yourself.
    4. You're too modest.
    5. Honestly, I can't think of any weaknesses


Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I have a bunch of disjointed things to share with you today. Mostly because I am still kind of out of my mind with sick and medicine and working and I just want soup and a bed but I am stuck here until FUCKING SEVEN O'CLOCK WHAT THE HELL. Also, that O' looks like it is mocking my pain.
I was sampled a bottle of Skinny Girl Magarita, and I have to highly recommend it, even though it was made by one of the orange women on that Housewives show or something. It is a WINE BOTTLE full of pretty decent margarita, made with blue agave tequila, but with one FIFTH of the calories of a regular margarita. It's like 100 calories for 4oz. Or... roughly 400 for the entire bottle, which would be more helpful of them to notate.
There is some sort of festival in town that is like a RenFair/Comicon hybid. Everyone is painted blue and green and orange (full paint on their faces and limbs) and they are all dressed in flowy, baggy clothes with beads and ribbons and leather satchels and elf shoes... I have no idea what is going on. One person was carrying a duct-taped and painted styrofoam sword, which makes me think they do those fake battles.
My mother-in-law gave me "Slippery Elm Lozenges" to help my throat, and when you suck on them, they start feeling FURRY. I am not joking. It is the grossest thing EVER.
Someone came into the store today and asked if he could trade me three silver spoons for a couple cans of Copenhagen.
Have I mentioned that my mother is visiting next week? And I may actually need to be committed after that. For real. FOR REAL FOR REAL. I know she is going to make all kinds of comments about our house being as empty as a masoleum, and I just do NOT want to deal with it. WE HAVE NO MONEY SO WE HAVE NO FURNITURE. And she will be all, just go to the secondhand store! Buy total crap! Just for now! EXCEPT we need the money to fix the gutters and the front door. Also, it is none of her business. ARGH I AM GOING TO GET YELLED AT ABOUT ALL THE THINGS IN MY OWN HOUSE. She is so fucking high maintenance. I just... want to run away. Or die. ANYTHING TO AVOID THIS VISIT.
OK, now I can't talk about anything else because after talking about my mom, I really need to finish that bottle of Skinny Girl.

Name That Tune #7

Monday, July 25, 2011


So although, 80% of the time, I am a bad ass motherfucker, there is at least 20% of the time that I am a mess of frayed emotions and sneaky self-hate spirals and general bitch-and-whininess. I am telling you this because when I get sick, the penudulum swings to the opposite end of the one I'm usually occupying, and ALL I CAN DO is whine. Like a tiny infant.

I woke up yesterday feeling ick, and chalked it up to not-enough-sleep combined with too-much-wine. But it was my throat that was hurting, and kind of my sinuses, and my body was kind of aching. And it didn't get better all day. And I lost my appetite, and my throat got worse, and then by the time I went to bed, I was feeling like someone had beaten me severely and forced me to swallow a pineapple.

Then, as I laid in bed, I got cold. The kind of cold that was like being whipped from the inside of your skin with a cat o'nine tails made of ice. It hurt to move, but I was shivering (and therefore moving) nonstop. So I got out of bed, put on a fleece jogging suit, added two downy blankets to the bed, then huddled under my pile of clothes and covers, waiting to heat up.

Finally, about an hour in, I started getting cozily warm. It was then that my heretofore unused brain realized I probably had a fever, as it was about 75 degrees in the house, and I looked like I was sleeping outside in the tundra. So I got up, took a few ibuprofen, went back to bed.

Passed out. Thirty minutes later, I woke up to go pee, then couldn't go back to sleep because I was worried that Wal-Mart was going to sneak into our store and steal all the wine. Also, I could not stop thinking about the Rogue varietal that we had to bottle in the morning. This is when I realized I was hallucinating.

I drank some water and waited for the ibuprofen to kick in. About 20 minutes later, I started getting uncomfortably warm. I took of the blanket, then the next blanket, then shed my clothes, then finally laid there in my undies on the bed, sweating so much that I literally drenched the blanket. Gross.

Somewhere in here Dust woke up to go to work. Around 5AM I finally passed out, and slept til 9AM, when I woke up feeling like every muscle I had wanted to cry.

I am supposed to do ALL THE WORK on a grant today, and all I feel like I can do is sip tea and lie here inert. I am such a damn baby.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shitshow Kitchen: Pizza!

OK. To make the pizza, you need:

One half recipe of flatbread, finished to the "take it out of the oven" part
Four cans of roasted garlic and basil diced tomatoes
At least 16oz. shredded mozarella
A couple handfuls of parmesan
A few sprigs of fresh oregano and basil
Any other toppings your little heart desires

Turn the oven on to 500 degrees. Maximum heat. Put your pizza stone or cookie sheet into the oven while it heats up. Take your cans and open them.
This is totally cheating but it is the best.
Drain the tomatoes. You can save the juice for Bloody Marys... or just add some to a glass with vodka and drink it while you continue. Whichever. Throw the tomatoes in a food processor.
Turn on the food processor until your tomatoes are sauced.
You are done with the sauce. I KNOW!! It is SO FUCKING EASY! Now take out your blisteringly hot pizza stone, do not use a wet towel to grab it or you will be sorry because water conducts heat and OW WTF WHY DO I NOT OWN OVEN MITTS. Then put the sauce on the flatbread. Be generous.
This is how hubby would prefer to eat it.
 Sprinkle on some oregano and basil, then any toppings that don't really need to cook (like olives), then the mozzarella (cover the sauce kind of lightly, a little cheese goes a long way), then sprinkle the whole thing with parmesan and put the rest of your shit on top. Pepperoni always goes on last so it will get crispy.
I did mushrooms last, so obviously I do not take my instructions seriously.
Throw it in the oven. If the crust starts getting too brown and the other shit is not done, turn on the broiler. It should take about 8 minutesish? If you turn the broiler on, though, watch that thing like a hawk so it doesn't burn black. When the cheese is turning a little brown in places and the pepperonis are getting crispish, pull that baby out.

Let the pizza cool for a couple minutes, then sprinkle with parm and/or hot pepper flakes, cut it up, and serve! I always cut mine in squares because... well, because.
And there you have it. Grade A pizza in about the same time it would take to wait for delivery. You're welcome.

Friday, July 22, 2011

In My Opinion

Preface: If you do not understand that Rachael was being sarcastic, you do not know her well enough, and need to get more of her in your life.

Rachael left me a comment the other day that I was going to address in a rant against relativism in artistic meaning, but I got sidetracked and instead went on a rant against value judgments in general. So... I will come back to a rant about art later. But for right now,


You know what? Some things ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS.

This is one of the things that pisses me off to no end. People thinking that their uninformed opinion of something should be taken into account just because there is some sort of wussy "all opinions should be treated equally" mantra floating around out there. ALL OPINIONS CANNOT BE RIGHT, because then A would be both A and NOT A at the SAME TIME, IN THE SAME RESPECT. And that is IMPOSSIBLE.

And who is the judge of this, you say? Because doesn't it end up being put in their hands, the fate of art and taste and all things? YES IT DOES. And I AM THE JUDGE, BITCHES. Actually, I should qualify that by saying I am totally not the judge on most things. I will defer to those more knowledgeable than myself, in most instances. But I can be the judge in areas in which I have been educated. Because I believe that my opinion regarding literature is more informed than most people's opinions, for example. If some illiterate eighth-grader said that Hamlet was a misogynist play that made no sense, I would tell you that he is WRONG. He is not just interpreting the play as it can be interpreted because there are many interpretations and aren't they all right? NO.

And I'm not saying that you have to know Shakespeare's life story, or have read ALL THE PLAYS, or have an earth-shaking love of poetry or theater to love him OR to realize that he IS, unqualifiedly,* a genius. But I am saying that the worth of your opinion depends on your familiarity with the subject on which you are opining.

You are entitled to your opinion in the same way that I am entitled to tell you where to shove your opinion. Freedom of speech does not necessarily entail equality of opinion. You don't go to me to place your horse racing bets, because I do not know a fetlock from a forelock. You go to the stable hands and jockeys and backroom odds-makers, because their opinions are MORE VALID. You don't go to Rachael to tell you how to solve your sinus problems, you go to a DOCTOR, because his opinion is MORE VALID.

And now I am running out of steam because I got sidetracked reading up on fetlocks and sinus problems. Dammit. Let's just have a beer and look at this beautiful picture.

Degas' Ballet Rehearsal. Definitively Beautiful. 

 *Unqualifiedly is so a word. Fuck You, Spellcheck. My opinion is more valid than yours 99.9% of the time.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fuck. Yes.

I have been waiting for this beer since our reserves ran out in December. It's back, baby. With orange zest from Seville, Spain. Cocoa nibs from Theo's. Pasilla Negra chiles. Bourban barrels. An Imperial Porter, 22-oz Bomber, the top dipped in black wax.

Yes, this is the view from my bathtub.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: Arizona No Carb Diet Green Tea with Ginseng

First of all, fuck for what, why is the name a million words long?

Secondly. This is the proper size for iced tea. It is 23 ounces of refreshing goodness. That's 680 mL for those of you who are in the wrong countries.

Third. Tastewise, this thing is like... the lovechild of Sweet Tea and water. It has a touch of honey, so it kind of coats your mouth with a little sweetness, then punches in with some tang towards the end. But it really tastes nothing like tea-- no tannic effect or dark flavor. It is more along the lines of a water with lemon and honey.

YET! It is lightly caffeinated. Just enough to keep you awake at 5:30PM on a Wednesday when you were up all night with a sick toddler and have been at work all day and still need to make it until 7:00 before you can lock the store and run home to take a bath and fall into bed.

Fifthly or something, it has zero calories, no sugar, and 75% of your daily dose of Vitamin C.

Also, DOUBLE BONUS, it is only 99 cents.

In conclusion: cheap, big, relatively inoffensive on the tastebuds, like water but tasty, with a slight buzz of caffeine and NO SUGAR??


Friday, July 15, 2011

Cinderella Story

There are a million rooms in Cinderella's Castle.
And each one fits its occupant
Like a glass slipper:

And Cinderella moves
Through dark mirrorless hallways,
Her smile brightening
Just before opening the door

And here she fluffs a pillow
And here she draws a bath
Here she stokes the fire
And here she shares a laugh

And when they ask where
Her Prince Charming is,
Her smile doesn't falter
(For she practices)

"He is off helping someone
Who needs him tonight.
He'll be back soon,
Once they are alright."

"Snow White, I believe, in
The forest below. Last night?
Sleeping Beauty. But
They need him, you know!"

And she closes the door,
Walks the hallways once more
Takes a breath, lights her smile,
Tinkles "Goodnight, my friend!"

And this room is the Princess
Who can't stand the pea
"I assure you, it's perfect,
as clean as can be."

And she slips back to the kitchen,
Sits tall on a chair
Her crow's feet just show here,
And the grey in her hair.

Prince Charming returns
from Snow White this time,
His apple cheeks glowing,
His eyes bright and fine

Up she stands once again,
takes a kiss, holds his hand.
"I'm back home!" he sings,
"With my world, my wife!"

And she hands him the cocoa,
the dried pea grey and hard.
"You'll need these, tonight, dear.
 Her room's not too far."

His eyes brighten as her sparkle fades,
And he dances away before her face betrays
The snap in her heart or the cloud in her eye
As she watches him twinkle and sashay and sway.

As she cannot begrudge them
She cannot begrudge him
The Happily-Ever-After
That someone else penned.

But if it were her story,
To tell and to live,
She'd write Prince Charming out
And Mr. Right in.

FNH, I love you.

I visited Food Network Humor on a whim this morning, and let me tell you, nothing can turn my frown upside down like a dose of this:

If you have not been to that site, and you love to hate Food Network, please do yourself a favor. Even if you only love Food Network. Please. Otherwise you will miss things like this post, in which Jillian shows a picture of Giada "RAPTORFACE" DiLaurentiiiiiis with a slight pooch in her tummy, caused by BEING HUMAN, and then reports that Giada's twitter feed blew up with pregnancy rumors. Jillian: "Uh, obviously you’re not pregnant, Giada. What do you weigh, 72 pounds? If your stomach was any flatter, it would start inverting. And if you had any less flesh on your bones, you’d be the crypt keeper."

For real. I love them. LOVE.

Please visit them NAO and leave me all of the things that made you roll on the floor in laughter in the comment section.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sluts v. Whores

At least sluts aren't just in it for the money.

Not Afraid

(From Eminem's Not Afraid)

Ok quit playin' with the scissors and shit, and cut the crap
I shouldn't have to rhyme these words
In the rhythm for you to know it's a rap
You said you was king, you lied through your teeth
For that fuck your feelings
Instead of getting crowned you're getting capped
And to the fans, I'll never let you down again, I'm back
I promise to never go back on that promise, in fact
Let's be honest, that last Relapse CD was ehhh
Perhaps I ran them accents into the ground
Relax, I ain't going back to that now
All I'm tryna say is get back, click-clack BLAOW
Cause I ain't playin' around
There's a game called circle and I don't know how
I'm way too up to back down
But I think I'm still trying to figure this crap out
Thought I had it mapped out but I guess I didn't
This fucking black cloud still follows me around
But it's time to exorcise these demons
These motherfuckers are doing jumping jacks now

...aaaaand that is the line Guin wanted me to illustrate. So instead of a blog post, you get my drawing, because I have no more creativity in me tonight. Although now I kind of want to do a whole series of Eminem illustrations.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Here's the deal.

I still have an antiquated yahoo account for my email. I know, I know, I should have made the switch lightyears ago, when most of you were infants or fetuses in the womb. Feti? Fetae? I think fetuses is right.

REGARDLESS. I have two gmail accounts, neither of which I use. One is just for writing and commenting on blogger. The other one was a requirement for getting my Droid, which is definitely a racket on the part of google. I do not check those emails. At all.

OK, second thing: I am kind of paranoid about the intersection of my online and offline lives. Like, who knows if you are all not just reading this from San Quentin or Alcatraz or something? Or worse, some dingy room lined with pictures of me and locks of my hair, obtained in the creepiest of ways?

Um, sorry about that. I mean, I am sure you are fine. But it's those other loonies out there. WHO CAN YOU TRUST THESE DAYS and all that.

I will just stop beating around the bush and say that Google+, Google's answer to Facebook*, aside from having a really annoying "+" in its name, which means my fingers don't know where the key is and I have to actually look for it, is traumatizing me by foisting upon me an existential dilemma for the computer age.

I don't know which email address to use-- my "real" one, which I don't use but has my actual name in it, or my "public" one, which has no connection to me and won't even be found if I die. It is this huge quandary for me. Do I lower the veil on this one? Or do I maintain the separation in my life?

I know that it is not good for one's psychosomatic health to be all dividing things up into neat little boxes that way. People don't work that way. We are complicated behemoths, and our personalities and problems and emotions and wills are bound up in our sense of self. It's probably not healthy to divide them up this way, with one persona for one set of feelings and desires and confessions, and another for another.

GRR. I mean, it bothers me that I have a journal where I write about the things that I am ashamed to tell everyone, the secret heart of me that is not proud and bold. I would rather have ALL THE THINGS here, in one place, the good, bad, and ugly, but I am just not brave enough. Not yet.

Which takes me back to the whole Google_(()_*_)_(_+ THERE IT IS debacle. I don't like being reminded of my inability to accept all the things about myself. To show everyone, to be honest with you, about who I am. But at the same time, my sense of self-preservation, which is usually totally content to hide behind the football bleachers, smoking pot, has chosen this seemingly insignificant event to rouse itself.

Self, you are confusing. Google()_+DAMMIT, you are kind of just a piss-off to me right now. And Facebook, I am kinda pissed at you just because you won't let me be complacent.

And this probably didn't even make sense. Hmph. Whatever. I UNDERSTOOD IT. Which might be part of the problem. GRRROWL.

Oh, for the simpler times, when we just had to worry about who our parents were going to marry us off to.

*I don't even understand this, because Google owns 10% of Facebook, so... WTF.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Shitshow Kitchen: Flatbread


1 1/2 T granulated yeast
1 1/2 t salt
1 T sugar
1-3 T herbs (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 3/4 cups warm water
6 1/2 cups flour

Look at me, all remembering the recipe. I am ON it. And this one is so easy that you can probably do it drunk. Or with a three-year-old, which is what I did.

OK! Take your first five ingredients and throw them in a bowl. You can use whatever herbs you want, fresh or dried, depending on how you are using your flatbread. If they're dry, kind of moosh them in your hand to release the oils.

I was going to make pizza crust, so I used marjoram, fennel seed, oregano, basil, and lots of rosemary. If you have some sort of boutique olive oil you could use that instead of regular-- I'll use the oil I pack tomatoes in and it is YUM. I highly recommend rosemary regardless.
Yeast is kind of a gross word
Add the warm water (it needs to be relatively warm, not super hot, for the yeast to grow) and stir.
The dark matter of flatbread
You should wait for it to start foaming a little. Since I was working with a three-year-old, I had no choice but to continue at warp speed before he threw an entire pound of flour into the bowl.

Add the flour. Make sure you kind of fluff it with a fork or something before spooning it into your measuring cup and leveling it off. This is VERY IMPORTANT otherwise your measurements will be way off and your flatbread will be more like thin cement than bread.
Stir it just until it all comes together and pulls away from the bowl.
Do not eat it yet. It is nasty.
Spray it with non-stick oil and cover with plastic wrap, then set out in a warmish spot for 2-3 hours, or until it grows a large amount. I think it is supposed to double or something but mine always triples. Look, I'm not joking:
I will take over your home. JUST WATCH ME.
I decided to knead it for about four minutes, but I am not sure that is entirely necessary. It does help the bread to roll out better, otherwise it is too elastic and springs back into ball shape instead of spreading out when you roll it. SCIENCE, folks. It is just oozing science.
We will eat your children.
When you're done kneading, cut the mondo doughball into four smaller globs. Or maybe five. I think five, maybe, would have been a better idea, but the kid wanted to play with the extra dough so mine turned into four. I like to put them in separate containers, spray the tops with oil, then put them in the fridge.
We will still grow in our little terrariums. YOU CANNOT STOP US.
You can keep them in the fridge up to 12 days, and I honestly think you could freeze them at this point, too. You just need to thaw them before using, then allow them to rise about two hours or so. It will rise in the fridge, so if it's going to be a few days, you'll have to make sure it hasn't blasted its lid off and started consuming your produce if you go the fridge route. I threw them in the fridge, then pulled two out for dinner tonight, about an hour and a half before I needed them. They do need to rise again like the South before you roll them out.

When you're ready, and you've let them rise again like Jesus for an hour or two, dust some sort of clean work surface with flour and throw that baby on it.

I am so good at looking innocent.
Before you start rolling, turn the oven on to 500 degrees and put your baking sheet/pizza stone in there while it heats.

Roll it out. There is no need to roll it into a circle or square or anything, you can make it look like any random made-up shape in existence. I was just making pizza out of mine, so I wanted it to fit on the pizza stone.
Note small three-year-old hand in the bottom corner.
Put it on the hot sheet, being careful not to burn yourself because MOTHERFUCKER THAT THING IS HOT. Prick it with a fork all over or it will puff and bubble. Either brush with oil or spray with oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, grape halves, tomatoes, herbs, whatever, or just let it be, like I did.
Let it be, Let it beeeeee, Let it beeee, Let it BE
Bake for... a little while. Like ten minutes maybe? I dunno, check it. Put your oven light on. It can burn quickly. You just want it to be kinda brownish in spots.
And there you have it. Cut/break it into wedges/squares/shapes and serve it with fine wines and cheeses, tapenades, Nutellastraightfromthejarwhat?, or leave it whole and make it into a pizza. You are a god/goddess.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Perch

Perch on their water perch hung in the clear Bann River
Near the clay bank in alder dapple and waver,

Perch they called ‘grunts’, little flood-slubs, runty and ready,
I saw and I see in the river’s glorified body

That is passable through, but they’re bluntly holding the pass,
Under the water-roof, over the bottom, adoze

On the current, against it, all muscle and slur
In the finland of perch, the fenland of alder, on air

That is water, on carpets of Bann stream, on hold
In the everything flows and steady go of the world. 
--Seamus Heaney

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nostalgia, Tinged With Joy

I got the kid Robin Hood today.

Not the book, not the men in tights, not the Prince of Thieves. I got him Robin Hood. The original Disney movie, complete with baby Prince John and obsequious Sir Hiss and a minstrel narration. With Robin Hood, wily and sly. Maid Marian, beautiful and good. The Sheriff, a fat blister. The people of Nottingham, downtrodden but never hopeless. Friar Tuck! I should have known I'd end up Catholic, with him as the priest paragon.

That movie-- I mean, for real. That movie. It is beautiful. I love it in so many ways, and for so many reasons.

And although that is the perfect entreƩ to a post about it, I am so tired and mildly intoxicated it may have to wait 'til tomorrow.

Suffice it to say, redistribution of wealth has never been so attractive to this Libertarian.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shitshow Kitchen: German Chocolate Cake, Part 4359834670

I know, I know. You are all, "Didn't we finish this thing? Like, a long time ago?" But no. We did not. I totally dropped the ball after you made the cake and the filling and frosting, and you were left with a bunch of cakes that got stale and gross and you had to throw out, and then you stirred the filling into ice cream, and ate the frosting with your finger.

I HAVE FAILED YOU. But look, people of the future, my fans who are not yet born, to you, I am just coming along a few posts later. Not WEEKS later. A mere blip on the internet in between the cake and the other stuff and the end. It is to you, the ones I have not let down already, that I dedicate the final installment of this fucking beast of a post.

OK! I am going to run through this like a marathon. HERE WE GO!

FIRST! take a cardboard box, cut out a square or circle or whatever that is a couple inches bigger than your cake, and cover it in aluminum foil. Then take a few strips of wax paper and lay them along the outermost couple inches of the makeshift cakeboard.

I look homemade.
Stir the pecans into the coconut goo.

Split your two cakes in half. NOT LIKE YOU CUT A PIE. You have to do it with a serrated knife, on the side of the cake, so you end up with two thin cakes. Try to do it evenly or your cake will resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Halve the cake like THIS.
Take one layer, lay it on your board, and smear it with the coconut goo.

Repeat three times. Then you should have something resembling a cake.

Scratch that 'resembling a cake' BS. You should have something that looks like a wildebeest on your cake board. If you frost it now, it will look like a frosted wildebeest. You need to clean that shit up. Take your serrated knife and saw it to a uniform shape. Just take it around the sides, trim off the bare minimum, make it look decent.

I look worse, don't I. DON'T LIE TO ME.
OK, yeah, it looks horrifying right now. But it is EVEN, which is all that is important at this juncture.

Now you take a bare minimum of the ganache and "seal the crumb"-- a very thin layer across the whole cake that is there for pragmatic effect only. It is not supposed to look good. It should look super shitty, but the point is that it seals the crumbs into the icing so they don't float about freely when you put the final coat on.

 After you seal in all the crumbs, put on a big thick layer of the ganache.

Much better.
Then fill a bag (fitted with a BIG star tip) with the remainder, and pipe it around the top. Slip the wax paper pieces out from under the cake and pipe a border on the bottom.

Look how clean it is!!
Take the cake to a party. Let everyone fawn all over you.

Congratulations, Faux Martha Stewart!!
EAT. Your piece will look much better than mine, which is actually a sliver of leftover cake taken the morning after the revelry.

The Best Kind of Leftovers

What do you think.

Taken by my friend at a gay pride parade