Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A 32 Year Old's Christmas Gift

What does one get for her 32 year old husband for their first Christmas as a married couple? The man who has everything and wants nothing...

Well, I got him a long board. What's a long board, you ask? Why, it's a long skate board.

Basically, I got him the gift of broken bones.

Long boards have gi-normous, soft, rubber wheels that are wide set.

I'm sure it has a real name that I would tell you if I knew, but that white rubber piece allows the board to bend and turn. 

Here's The Canadian demonstrating the bending and turning in the dining room.

I have also given myself the gift of broken dishes, apparently.

I learned that no board is complete without a layer of stickers.

I always wondered why he collected stickers from every place we went. I had no idea we were saving for this glorious event. Now everyone will know who's board this belongs to. Thank God.

Anyway, I think my surprise gift to The Canadian was a hit. He rode around the house all night - since it was snowing outside. 

Then, just for good measure, I threw in a cupcake holder. This way the frosting won't get smushed in his lunch. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dum de dum....

I'm just walking through the backyard...

Maybe I'll snack on this shrub...

Hmmm, I wish my antlers would grow some more...
Maybe if I don't move a muscle they won't see me...

Dum de dum...

My father came upstairs as The Canadian, my mother, and I had our noses pressed to the window.

"Why are you letting that buck eat my shrubs?!" he roared.

"Because I'm taking pictures, Dad," I replied. Obviously.

He stomped outside and gave that buck a piece of his mind, "Hey! Get out of my yard! And don't come back!"

You tell 'em.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Rearview

We went on a road trip the other day. It was a long drive.

I'm not a very good passenger. I got bored. Can you tell?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sailor Jerry

Having eggnog this year? (French lesson of the day: Lait de Poule = Eggnog)

We did too. It was my first time drinking grown-up eggnog. I chose the shaken, not stirred, method.

When I went to the liquor store to inquire about what type of rum goes best, I was quickly directed to the manager who swore on his wife's brother's aunt's dog's life that this is the best spiced rum on the market.

"Forget Captain Morgan. His ship has sailed," the manager informed me.

Okay, sold. The man knows what he's talking about. Plus, the label is awesome. And we all know I buy based on labels. Is there any other way?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Let Me Show You How It's Done - Part II

When I was growing up my grandparents came to our house for Christmas every year. My grandpa was a pastry chef as a youth and eventually went on to serve in the US Navy, where he continued his culinary skills.

Every year he would arrive with tupperware containers full of holiday cookies and candies he had already prepared. But as soon as he got to town he would head straight to the grocery store to pick up ingredients so that my sister and I could help him make more sugar cookies and other treats.

The first year he and I made white chocolate party mix I must have been about 13 or 14 years old. I don't remember how we made it, but I do remember two things. The first; it was delicious. The second; he let me pick what color we dyed the white chocolate. I chose yellow. Bright yellow...perfect...I was always a happy kid. I dumped the entire bottle of yellow in the melted chocolate and thought it was beautiful. My grandpa let me do it and never made a comment. Looking back, I'm pretty sure that the white chocolate party mix looked like one thing, and one thing only - peed on party mix.

So, I've learned to leave well enough alone.

The Canadian needs Christmas treats for work? Sure. No problem. I can whip up some party mix. Without the pee. 

Let me show you how it's done.

Mix up 2 or 3 cups of cheerios, 4 cups of m&m's, 3 cups of mini pretzels, and (if you live in America) a cup or so of Chex cereal, and (if you don't work with children) a cup of peanuts.

If you're gangsta like me, rig up a double boiler. Dump 3 American bags of white chocolate chips, or 5 bags of Canadian chocolate right in there.

Pour in 4 1/2 tablespoons of veggie oil. This prevents you from eating the chips right out of the pan. It's all about being proactive in my kitchen.

Dear God, we're going to be here all day.

Maybe crank up the heat to get the good stuff.

Dump it in the dry mix and stir it up.

Next, spread it all over parchment paper because they don't sell wax paper in Canada. If you're a forward thinking, proactive, slightly gangsta person like myself you should go ahead and tape the paper to the counter. 

Let it cool until you can break it into solid pieces. Like this.

Put it in the biggest bowl your pantry contains and prepare to steal the show when you serve it.

Let Me Show You How It's Done - Part I

It's not that the food in Canada is weird, it's just that there is a definite lack of southern comfort. Forget about grits, they've never even heard of them. Sausage isn't the same either. I'm no expert on sausage but I know there is more to it than just links. For example, Jimmy Dean = John Doe here in Canada. It doesn't exist. I don't know how they expect to make a decent breakfast. How does one make breakfast casserole? Sausage egg scrambles? Sausage cheese balls?

Let me show you. 

The Canadian has to bring more food to work tomorrow and when I suggested sausage cheese balls he kind of looked at me like I had eight heads. That was enough for me - it's time to show the Maritimes what they're missing and why Jimmy Dean should be translated in French.

You start with 1/2 cup of milk. No, I don't know how many milliliters that equals.

Then you go to three different grocery stores in search of sausage in a tube. You graciously act like you don't notice the weird looks you get when inquiring about the whereabouts of this strange sausage. Spicy sausage in a tube? Not happening. I was lucky to find normal sausage in a tube.

Then you add 16 ounces of cheese. No, I don't know how many grams that equals and I don't care.

Then you go to two more grocery stores looking for Bisquick. Then you finally find it, with no help from the employees, on the bottom self, way in the back all by its lonesome.

You add three cups. Again, I don't care or want to know how many grams that equals.

Then, because you're feeling sassy after all the grocery store hunting, you throw in some rosemary.

Then you mix it all up with your hands and try not to develop arthritis. Then you wash your hands and try not to contaminate your whole house with salmonella.

Then you roll it all up into little balls and remember how yesterday you won the Wife of the Year award. And you'll probably win it again today, too.

Then you bake it for 20 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit. No, I don't know what that is in Celsius.

Then you sit back and enjoy your eggnog because you just single-handily showed Canada what an authentic southern appetizer looks like.

God bless the South. And Betty Crocker. And Jimmy Dean.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wife of the Year

I had one mission today: make 8,000 batches of chocolate chip cookies for The Canadian's co-workers.

In the States, making cookies is not too difficult. It's one of the few recipes I manage to do fairly well.

Here in Canada, it is the world's largest pain in the rear. My recipe is American, therefore calling for cups and ounces of ingredients. Here in Canada all the all the ingredients are measured in grams and milliliters. Not to mention the French labeling. Not to mention the bizarre brands. Not to mention the bizarre shelving assignments at the grocery store that I will never understand. What used to be simple trips to the grocery store are now enough to make me pull all of my hair out, bite off all my nails and have a minor stroke.

The chocolate chips look weird, even though they're made by Hershey.

Why can't they all just look the same? What can't we all just get along? And what the hell is a Chipit?

Whatever...I finally gathered the ingredients so I got out my glorious super-sized mixer (thank you, Grandpa).

I mixed and I mixed. I made a complete mess of my kitchen. The government may declare a natural disaster area tomorrow. Watch your local news.

I got my hands dirty, but fortunately I remembered to take off my rings this time. God forbid I lose a diamond in this chaos.

In the end, after countless hours, endless cleaning, and never ending expletives, the cookies were complete.


Of The.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My New Favorite Game

We celebrated Christmas with The Canadian's family this past weekend since we won't be here for the actual holiday (watch out Atlanta, here we come!). We both received great gifts...but one in particular stole the show. Let me ask you, when was the last time you got a toy for Christmas? I'm talking the kind you can play with for the rest of the afternoon and can't wait to show off to your friends. It's been awhile, right?

Let me introduce you to your new favorite toy - ColorKu.

You've played, or at least heard of, Sudoku...this is the colored wood version. No numbers, just colors.

Hours of endless entertainment.

The same rules apply. Each color can only be used once in every row and once in every square.

Instead of the 'fixed' numbers written in the boxes, you choose a card that shows where to place the fixed colors.

The set comes with just over 100 puzzles, ranging from easy to extreme.

I chose the easy route. It may be several years before I reach moderate.

The best part is there are no nasty erase marks. You just pick up the ball and start over.

When you finally, three cups of coffee (or wine) later, solve the board you'll feel like you've just climbed Everest. The feeling can only be described as pure joy. Or relief. Whichever.

I lied before, the best part is actually not playing the game at all but just arranging and rearranging all the pretty colors in fun patterns. It's my ADD and OCD. It makes fidgit and organize.

I can't help it.

PS - They give you the answers too - NO CHEATING!