30 September 2015

We All Go Haywire At Times And If We Don't, Maybe We Ought To

Yesterday was National Coffee Day. It came right after National Strawberry Cream Pie Day. I hope that National Crème Brûlée Day is right around the corner.

I hate acronyms, but I accept them. You can’t work for the U.S. Peace Corps and not accept (if not embrace) the acronym. I know thousands, truly. But the portmanteau is an entirely different matter. And if you can’t define portmanteau without Google, you’re probably today’s target audience. Now I will accept brunch, and possibly even smog. But there I draw the line. Labradoodle. Really?! It is too difficult to explain that your dog’s sire and dam are a Labrador retriever and a poodle? And don’t get me started on text/blog/Facebook abbreviations. PGOC, really? How utterly unromantic. Whatever happened to beautifully written prose? Were Hemingway alive today, he’d kill himself.

What likely began today’s rant, though there are always myriad possibilities, was finding tiny worms in Jill The Pill’s chow. Chow that is kept in an air-tight container . . . or so I believed. Nothing says, Good morning, Costa Rica like a few squirmy worms in your dog’s breakfast. We often eat cereal for breakfast, so Jill has grown accustomed to some leftover milk on her chow. This morning we breakfasted on the remaining strawberry cream pie, so Jill got cold milk from the fridge. And there they were. Worms. Dear God. Monday a snake and today worms. Plural. Over the side of the mountain went the contents of an entire tub of chow. Did the worm(s) arrive inside the bag of good-enough-for-Tico-dogs Purina® chow that I purchased? If so, thanks Purina. I should add that I purchased the plastic, fully-sealed bag . . . not the coated-paper bag sealed up-top with spots-o'-glue. Purchased it in impenetrable plastic for the very reason of avoiding any fauna. Perhaps the worm and its offspring entered the chow tub after it entered our home? Now that’s a frightening thought. No wonder we keep cereals and all flours/meals in the refrigerator; and all sugars, rices, etc. inside o-ringed, screw-top tins.

So here we are clearly roughing it in a developing country eating strawberry cream pie and yet, worms notwithstanding, we’re faced with First World problems. We have an insulated beverage holder (see it there with the tiramisu ingredients?). It’s quite large. Has a screw-on lid with a pop-open cap. I keep my iced latte in it; and it’s so well insulated that I can remove it from the fridge, bring it to the 90-plus-degree terrace, and the latte remains cold. So what’s the problem? Well, when I give it a good shake to get a good froth on the latte before pouring it over ice, it leaks just a bit. A tiny spilled drop is the neon light that invites insects. Also, my small hand is a tight fit (first world problems) to reach down inside for a periodic thorough cleaning . . . and believe me when I tell you, everything in this world requires a periodic, very thorough cleaning. That dog chow tub is going to meet some non-diluted bleach very soon; and it will never enter the home again. Rusty can store sockets inside, or jeweler’s rouge, or a cam shaft, or something.

Humbolt Fog. The greatest cheese on the planet. Period. End of discussion. But other than Humbolt Fog, an ordinary quality chevre is possibly my favorite cheese . . . or a prized bleu or a blue or white Stilton. Heck, I love all cheese. Though a fine aged French bleu drizzled with a flavored honey and infused with Groot Costantia’s Wyn, now known as Grand Constance is arguably the best dessert in the world. But I digress.

Goat cheese is easy to find here in Samara. Problem? I like it in a little quenelle on endive, but I can’t find endive. Kyle, you know what I’m saying about the endive. Chevre sin endive. First world problems. Poor me. Clearly, I’m still cranky about the worms, which has me drinking beer a bit early. And weren't we speaking of cheeses?

I’m not really an expert on anything. Well, perhaps cold-process soap-making . . . and definitely grammar. If you need to know when to use that versus which, I’m your gal. Who versus whom? Oh boy, just ask me. And yes I’m quite aware that the grammar in my posts isn’t always proper. My use of Okay, for instance, would make most English professors cringe; but at least I’m aware of the error, and it’s done for effect. Okay? As Becky says, We may be crazy, but at least we’re self-aware.

I am an expert in making tofu. Sadly, I hate the stuff outside of a bowl of hot & sour soup, or unless my darling Sadia has seasoned, skewered, and fried it. And there’s not a great demand for makers of tofu, is there? Not a lot of money to be made in that racket . . . at least not in Samara. Anyway, making tofu taught me a great deal about cheese making. Rusty, too, is a cheese maker.

Yesterday was National Coffee Day. That means tiramisu, ‘cause merely drinking a cup o’ Joe to celebrate isn’t enough; and those traditional coffee cocktails are less appealing than my old standby, gin and juice. 

Yesterday Rusty made these hand-made lady fingers for tiramisu. Heck, I was simply going to use the so-called pound cake from Samara . In fact, he’s even made marscapone. Me? I’d be using that so-called cream cheese available here in Samara. After all, are we going to embrace this culture or cling to our Central Market items? Still, if Rusty wants to mis en place all of the ingredients for tiramisu, I’ll happily assemble it . . . and eat it . . . and tug a little harder on those shorts.

Now though Rusty's marscapone wasn’t the best on the planet, it's close . . . and it’s the best in Samara; and the man gets an A+ for effort . . . though why yesterday? Why the mess after Janet’s housekeeping Tuesday morning? Oh, ‘cause yesterday was National Coffee Day? Can’t someone coordinate these intensively messy national food days with my housekeeper's schedule? Yes, it was a classic Rusty's-in-the-kitchen mess. 

And now it is time for me to be myself and post a few catty observations. Had I not ruined two (2) baked doughs/crusts for National Strawberry Cream Pie day, would Rusty be in the kitchen at the oven? I asked him how he knew to pipe the ladyfingers onto the perfectly prepared baking sheets. His reply? I read the instructions. Well &#$*@ *%@!, my pet. Yo, pal, it’s not that I don’t know how to use a pastry bag and pipe . . . I’d have simply chosen to embrace Samara’s pantry items.

Speaking of embracing . . . WTF is it with NaBloPoMo? Whoops! Was that an acronym? If you’re familiar with this freaky NaBloPoMo portmanteau, I applaud you, said Kathy Davis, never! I will concede, however, that this blog of NaBloPoMo is the most clever hook in the blog world. Genius, I say. I’ll happily give praise when it is so well deserved; and Melissa Ford, you deserve it. Nevertheless, were there a genuine National Blog Posting Month it would be recognized on the official National site, right there with National Strawberry Cream Pie Day and National Poultry Month. I’m just sayin’.

So here’s the gist of NaBloPoMo:
Oh, heck. It’s so horribly but brilliantly conceived that I can’t bear to discuss it further. Plus, that portmanteau-thing. Suffice to say it's a great way to drive visitors to a blog where they latch on like barnacles to some post-a-day every-month challenge. Come on . . . pick a month. Is NaBloPoMo September, October, or November . . . or every month . . . Mel, you genius, you?!

 Dear God! Who has time for that? Oh, must be the same women who have time to make those adorable girly web sites on Pinterest where you’ll find 807 million crafts that you can’t possibly make without spending 808 thousand dollars. Great googly-moggly: I can’t even figure out how to post something on Pinterest. Pin, yes; post, no. Ever heard the phrase quality, not quantity? Oh my, looks like someone missed a dose of Xanax.

So let’s get back to Rusty and his no tion that he can out-bake me . . . he is, after all Cap'n Sparky, a Pirate King. And thus far he has successfully made lady fingers, a yummy marscapone, stir-fry ginger beef with a out-of-this-world homemade fried rice. WTF? Okay, my pet . . . it is, it is a glorious thing to be a Pirate King!  

Bring it, baby. You may out-bake me . . . but out-bake Loretta and Cynthia, never. Did I see another acronym? Lo que hay.