September 21, 2008


OKAY SO! Between the block party on Saturday (I made Southern Living black bean salsa and 1 MILLION people asked me for the recipe--- it is an AWESOME salsa) and the shower at my house Sunday, I have not had 15 minutes to do the drawing or make the mailing list go. WHO IS SURPRISED? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

Hmf. At least PRETEND to be surprised... It WILL happen. This week. Hand to the LORD it will.

DIGRESSION: If you want the salsa recipe, the basic version is HERE but I cut the kernels off 2 ears of grilled corn and add them or use a small pack of frozen corn or even a drained can. Grilled is best. Also, I use spring onions instead of sweet onion and I use a MILD pepper like a banana pepper or even sweet red bells instead of jalopeno or I just leave out the pepper altogether. RIGHT before I leave the house or serve it, I chunk up one or two avocados and add them in. Don’t add the avocado too early because it can get mooshed. This salsa and a bag of chips are my standard covered dish contribution and I always come home with a licked-clean bowl and a big head from the compliments, and then people think I am a brilliant cook. HEE!

My friend Lydia used to be QUITE useless in the kitchen. Like, RICE defeated her. When that BOIL IN A BAG thing happened, that was a big day for those of us who practically lived at her studio apartment because she hadn’t ever before managed to achieve rice. (For the record, neither had any of US who were freeloading at her place. ALSO she is now an AWESOME cook--- this was back in grad school and we pretty much LIVED on vodka and top ramen and canned green beans.)

Anyway, she had this part time travel agency job where she wore tiny skirts made of scarf material and brick red MAC lipstick and swanned around being hung over and darling and five-feet tall and peach skinned and as big-eyed as a bush baby. She was the PET of the office, and that’s gratifying in a lot of ways, but on other days one can begin to feel PATRONIZED.

SO they planned to have a special covered dish luncheon and everyone was like, OH LYDIA! YOU CAN… BRING SODA! NO? UM… YOU CAN BRING…NAPKINS? Because they all just ASSUMED that she was useless in the kitchen. Which she was. Which didn’t stop her from being MORTALLY insulted by the ASSUMPTION.

SO she signed up to bring a BRAIDED HONEY LOAF and when asked what a BRAIDED HONEY LOAF was she said a bunch of lies about three types of baked meat in a braid forming fruity porky beefy honeyed perfection, and she had really had no idea what a braided honey loaf was because she just made it up on the spot and then she got off work and panicked and called me and asked if there WAS any such thing, and there was not.

I don’t remember what she eventually took to that party? I remember ELABORATE PLANS to fake a car accident and be very late and say the honey loaf was ruined in the crash. We were going to throw MEAT all around her car so she could show them the place where it smashed into her windshield. We didn’t do that. Maybe she called in sick or just brought plastic forks? Maybe she will say how it ended in the comments. I can’t remember.

ANYWAY. If you are NOT a wizard of the kitchen, then that Salsa is a lifesaver. *nodnod*

BUT even though I am a very poor excuse for a hostess, the baby shower went off very well. Vicky got many many nice things and there was enough to eat and it was good. I had my WHOLE HOUSE cleaned up and as pretty as it can possibly look given the circumstances (and here the circumstances are understood to be 2 slobby adults, 2 even slobbier children, and 6 animal friends.)

The only room that was COMPLETELY unacceptable was my troll-armpit of an office, and so I took some SHOWER RIBBON and made a decorative locking mechanism to keep anyone from accidentally going in there and catching bubonic mold or realizing how FOUL I am or both. Here is my LOCK---Please not the Mosaic cat scratch pattern my thoughtful friend Schubert has drawn into the wood of the door to please me:


Also – My fruit ring was LOVELY. It TRULY was. The juices were too dark to show the fruit properly, I should have used plain pineapple, but it was STILL fetching and I felt like a successful girl. Remember I said I was going to give all the guests cardboard rolls and force them to look through the rolls DIRECTLY at my lovely pink fruit ring and not at any other parts of my house?

Well, Scott thought handing guests our used paper towel rolls was not all that classy. SO. He made up FRUIT-RING-LOOKING GOGGLES and his idea was to MASS PRODUCE THEM and issue them at the door and then position guests around the punch bowl with their heads pointed FIRMLY at the Fruit Ring. UNFORTUNATELY we did not have time to get them made up at a factory, but here is my friend Julie, modeling the prototype. You can tell that the beauty of the fruit ring has so enthused her and filled her with vigorous wonder that she has no desire to notice my filthy baseboards.


My husband is a genius.

Posted by joshilyn at September 21, 2008 6:17 PM

The fruit ring thingy turned out lovely! I do adore that husband of yours. I snorted at that picture... also, genius tying a ribbon on your french doors! Glad the shower went off without a hitch.

Posted by: jenn at September 21, 2008 7:11 PM

The fruit ring is indeed gorgeous. Even without the special goggles I'm sure people couldn't look away.

As for cooking, I'm still rather hopeless, but almost all my best recipes have come from internet sites. If it weren't for the internet, I'm not sure I'd ever be able to make dinner.

Posted by: Caryn Caldwell at September 21, 2008 7:15 PM

Please give Scott a squeeze from teh Intertubes, ok? He's just wonderful and you're so lucky you've got someone as creative as him... even if he does natter on about dams at times :-)

And if somebody is at a party looking at the baseboards? Either the party is a bust or they shouldn't be allowed to party with the cook kids!

Posted by: Beth at September 21, 2008 7:24 PM

Wow! I don't even remember being there!!! I must have been in awe....

I'm definately going to use the majick sparkley ribbon for my next party. Maybe I can tie it to my front door... :)

Posted by: JulieB at September 21, 2008 10:02 PM

Your husband IS a genius. Julie looks very pleased. ;)

Posted by: Mir at September 21, 2008 10:34 PM

I was a little hesitant when I read about the goggles. But as soon as I saw the picture and saw that they are GOLD and SPACEMAN-Y, now I'm sold.

Posted by: nik at September 22, 2008 1:12 AM

Oooh...what a beauuuuuuuteeeeeefullllllll fruit ring! My goodness, it's just stealing the whole show!

Oh my ~ wait a minute! I see GOLD. SPARKLY. GOGGLES! And a really cute model! Wow.

Nope ~ it's faded away now. There's that fruit ring again.

Must. look. away. from. the. ring.

Posted by: Kim at September 22, 2008 2:57 AM

The lock on your office is brill! It looks all "shabby chic" and antique-y, like you distressed the door on purpose to go with a vintage theme! I want doors on my office!

Tell Scott the goggles are AWESOME! Totally unneccessary with that siren song of a fruit ring, but still awesome.

Posted by: jen at September 22, 2008 7:55 AM

GAH, I miss y'all. I don't know NOBODY else who would've thought up those goggles. And the fruit ring...tres chic. ;)

Posted by: Amy-Go at September 22, 2008 9:47 AM

Scott really is a genius. And a creative genius at that (best kind). I must know where one finds GOLD duct tape!?!
And/but I've got to ask - what's that bit in btwn the stereoscope (aka toilet paper holders)?

Thanks for sharing w/visual aides.

Posted by: Elizabeth J at September 22, 2008 10:27 AM

Wow, that is a MIGHTY FINE fruit ring! The goggles, too, are impressive.

But the thing that really cracked me up is the braided honey loaf. I immediately thought she meant BREAD. The thought of braided meat, though, just fills me with... confusion? How would one do that? But I now want to invent a recipe for it.

Posted by: Aimee at September 22, 2008 10:53 AM

Hah! The tube goggles are genius! I need a couple of those to issue at my front door. But just out of curiosity, what is the yellow sausage-shaped thing between the tubes on the goggles? Is it just a spacer to keep the tubes straight, or is it the homing device for the fruit ring?

Posted by: Holly at September 22, 2008 12:31 PM

Materials list for Fruit-Ring-Viewing Goggles:
(1) Safety Goggles (splash protection type)
(2) Toilet paper tubes
(1) 3" paint roller cover
Black duct tape
Clear silicon sealant

The roller cover is there, really so that the toilet paper rolls stay centered in front of your eyes. The duct tape isn't gold, it's just all spray painted.

My son thinks these things are da bomb and made us save them for him after the party. I think he may be planning on using these in a supervillian sing-a-long blog. Hard to be sure, though....

Posted by: Mr. Husband at September 22, 2008 12:56 PM

....and a loverly fruit ring it is. Anybody's Granny would be proud, a girl raised right.

Posted by: Desi at September 22, 2008 6:08 PM

Those goggles are such an epitomy of awesomeness it makes me want to make a pair for that convention I'm going to next month. Scott could TOTALLY make a sweet costume with those.

Posted by: Sarah at September 23, 2008 4:05 PM

Uh-oh. I have been a housewife and mother for nearly fourteen years, and I just mastered rice a few months ago. I think that becoming a good cook will take longer than I am currently expected to live.

But the fruit-ring goggles are very very terrific, and I plan to make some of my own very soon.

Posted by: alala at September 24, 2008 5:45 PM