Saturday, October 22, 2011

Drag queens and All Points South

God Bless the Freaks.  I know that this particular sentiment is sooooooo not the best position for a "Christian" to have -  but hey - I am nothing if not honest and really I am not setting myself up to be the posterchild for all things HOLY so really -  bring me your poor and rejected,huddled, bedraggled masses with streaked mascara.. . .  Bring on the freaks I say.  I am just so tired of judging.  I've done too much of it in my 42 years to last a lifetime.  And in that I post a HUGE apology to the God I personally believe in THE Father, Jesus and the most reverend HS!

Judging is the focus of my most recent book idea.  It really is a huge thing with me since when we judge someone else it puts us into a very unique and arrogant position.  DISCLAIMER! - I am absolutely  NOT saying humans should never be in that position.  I'm just saying that when you are - you better be certain your heart - conscience and life are in perfect alignment and if you have ANY thing and I mean ANY FREAKING THING to repent of - DO IT!  Judging puts you where God stands.  It puts you in a position of decision of the fate of someone else.  Even if it's a merely a positional (think job) or stature thing and you are not deciding life or death it's still a big deal in the eternal realm. 

So why the title? 

Miami was a great time for me.  It took me to a great place and also helped me see some things I knew about me but was ignoring.  It was refreshing.  God is awesome.  Forgiving - benevolent - and supreme.  Don't think anything slips HIS notice.  YHWH's got it going on.  I went to a Gospel Brunch with drag queens.  It rocked.  I laughed - sang - cried - clapped and GASP even worshipped a little.  But start to finish - I judged NO ONE.  It was so freeing.  Or maybe that was the champagne that went with it . . . can't say.

BUT - this girl don't know everything.  I know - shocking!  Right?  I don't have it all on paper - together - nailed down.  Life is messy - I used to say "bring paper towel!"   Now I say bring a freaking f'ton of bathtowels!  Life is so simple but we make it so hard.  Humans are dumb.  There's a reason God calls us sheep so very often.  We do so many dumb things on a regular basis . . . .

I'd like to have this amazing recipe for you - all I have is a bright red hand - think bleeding for my dinner . . . . beets rock. 
I made boiled - mashed - beets (the rest went into a vinegar bath with jalapenos and sugar for a few weeks. Hello sweet - spicy pickled beets!!!!)  But peeling beets leaves NO ONE unscathed.    You gotta love a food that makes such a statement.  Beets are so underrated in American cooking.  They are so good for you and also make a hell of a dye for yarn (but that's a different post altogether!)  Beets - like the sun - color the righteous and unrighteous alike!  (okay maybe the scripture mentions rain but I am paraphrasing!)

"Judge not - lest you be judged." 

That scripture always BUGGED me since it was usually wielded by a "non believer" to make whatever "the believer" was going to say -  go away.  Kind of like a cootie shot.  But really it was just a statement from Jesus to "the Believer" to be sure they don't do anything in the world without making sure their personal plate was clean.  People are watching.  THE WORLD is watching you.  HOPING -  PRAYING even that you mess up so that they can then judge you for making a mistake because you are supposed to be perfect.  Well, then.  I've made so freakin many mistakes - bring on the parade of accusers.

BUT.  the difference in me is I've been humbled.  humility is unbeatable.  I can go lower.  Try me.  I've been put in my proverbial "place" and yup - I suck.  In spades.  So judge me.  please.  If you are a Christian I'm telling you to make sure your motives and directives ARE TRUE - if you judge someone because of their actions or behaviors - be SOOOOOOOOOO sure you are right with God because HE really is the only perfect force here. 

My hands are stained red and unless I pour bleach over them they are RED!!!  There's a symbol for ya!  I've been stained  - and I prefer to think of it as THE Blood which covers me BUT then that's an EASTER message and not one for today - just get the fact that like in the book 1984  - Big Brother (aka the world) is watching and you need to be on guard. 

The world is watching.  Don't suck.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The first cut is the deepest

They say you know where you are from by the things that you would want as your last meal.  Me?  If I knew I was saying bye to planet Earth (or "rrrrrrrrrth" as Max Von Sydow said in Flash Gordon) it would be Clifford's fish fry  - Wauwatosa WI - (well worth the google my friends!!!!) I'd eat until I pretty much exploded.  I wouldn't worry about the flour on the fish breading or the grease or my hips expanding beyond their already Germanic proportions - I'd eat the fantastic tangy cole slaw with abandon and take plate after flaky plate of fish - french fries and slaw.  Thank you Jesus.  If there is is no fish fry in heaven I don't want to go. 

Tonight was group - family - crazy contingent that I call kids friends and extras - dinner.  We feed them all happily.  I'm a feeder by nature so hey grab a fork - bring it.  Bring an appetite come to my house you won't leave empty.   My house is going to be the teenage hang out.  I feel it - oh wait it's started already.  That to me is not a bad thing.  I'm slightly smarter than your average 16 yr old so I got a leg up.  Yeah me. 

But the meal. ?

Call it the Holy Trinity plus

Everyone in the south talks about the holy trinity.  Besides Jesus God and the Spirit - we are talking - celery, onion and pepper - to the French it's carrot onion and celery also called mirepoix - I won't start a war so I made peace and just made it all good.  Bacon fat is the great equalizer.   true that.

Bacon fat.  yeah.  Fat is flavor.  I should have that tattooed someplace . . .  :D

But it's true folks - it's the vehicle for which all other things will have tasteful meaning.  It either tastes good and you want to eat it or it's a freakin rice cake and you are eating it because you feel guilty.  I won't eat another thing out of guilt or fear again.  I have lived that life and am done with it.  My body belongs to me and God.  I like me.  I like me at 130 lbs and whereever I end up after running this marathon.  I can not run and eat and run and eat and well - eat.  Whatever.  I like me.  I hate me.  I get me.  I'm bitchy.  I'm real.  I can be ugly and sexy and stupid and genius.  I'm just me.  Hey.  Revelation - I sort of don't suck - what I say is witty and worth publishing (hello  - I want to write a booooooook???) :D

But end of day - I don't look at what I look like anymore to gauge my self worth - I really don't - in fact my clothes don't fit and I'm kind of pissed to have my  favorite skirt not fit right.  I'm just gonna wait til I'm done with this marathon.  There will be another but the first is kind of the litmus test.  Do I want more ?????? I think I do.  I'm kind of hooked.  Disney in January may be the next.  The kids and I have never been to Disney - Tell me that's not cool.

So - what did we have tonight

Southern Mama Roasted Chicken' -
Heat the oven to 500

wash and dry the bird and stuff her full of limes and garlic
salt and pepper the outside and cover her in butter.

stick her in the oven and then turn it down to 350

when she's brown bring her out and put a cup of white wine around her and tent it with foil

bake for at least 1 1/2 hours.

let rest and cut up

I made honey corn bread and the holy trinity plus to add with


Bacon fat

cut up celery
hot pepper

saute until soft - enjoy

I may be a girl from up nort' but I know from good - and you may not be able to fix stupid  - but when you know something is right. . . . . . .  it is.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Manassas Frogmore Stew

Okay I try hard not to be a snob since I come from up country German Danish mutt stock from frickin no where Wisconsin.  I'm German - Danish, Polish, American Indian (Iroquois from NY). So no - I got no "people from" . . .  I'm just a small town girl - living in a lonely world . took the midnight train - going anywhere. . . . "

Journey aside.  It's really all about where you are from. 

I can't be a snob since my mom puts noodles in freakin "chili." 

I don't but it's only one generation off.  I'm tainted. 

That's WI chili.  UGH.  I know from what I speak.  I've been in chili cook off's and kicked ass with my white chicken chili with green salsa!!!  YEA - but the WI aberration called CHILI by my people - NOT.

Terroir - It's a french term - it speaks of where something originated from and where your ingredients are from and the indigenous nature of them both.

Terroir makes Champagne made outside of France _ NOT champagne.....

It's pronounced TER _ WAAAH

I've never had a Belon Oyster - though I thought I had.  I won't try another till I go to Brittany and eat the original there.  Tony (bitch) has had many as have Anne de Belon's dogs.  I want to reincarnate as her dog.  I'd know the good stuff.  I know from good oysters. 

I love raw oysters.  They are as close to truth and sex as there is. 

Terrior is all about where something or someone is from - their foundation - their soil - what fed them as they grew - the sun, the air - the upbringing - all speaks of terroir.

Being from WI I could live a very very long time exploring fish fries and cole slaw and hot pepper jelly and Amish bread and all the crazy shit my people ate at holidays - CHRISTMAS SOUP is a text and blog and post and wrist slashing all it's own.....  don't even get me started on sturgeon spearing.


Frogmore Stew comes from South Carolina and if you have ever been to the midwest - it is sort of similar to a fish boil in it's ingredients.

It contains potatoes - celery - shrimp - blue crab meat - corn - tomatoes -sausage - and hot chili's

You start with your shrimp broth -

I took 3lbs of raw head on shrimp and tore their little heads off :D  The rest of their yumminess will go in out pot.  You can also shell them now or not - if you do save the shells and put them in with the heads.

In your kettle put 8 cups of water with the heads
mix in a cup of white wine
one finely cut up onion
and 2 chopped up stalks of celery
add 2TB either Old Bay or New Orleans Shrimp Boil mix (Bayou Blends is what I used) 
Boil for about 45 minutes - cool slightly

In your stew pot cut up your sausage into bite sized pieces - I used chorizo (made locally hence the Terroir element) - brown it and remove to another place to await being reintroduced later.

I cut up 6 hot serrano chili's and added them to the chorizo grease - then 1 cup chopped celery - 1 cup chopped onion and cook until soft.

Drain your shrimp broth to remove heads and stuff - and add 4 cups to the soup pot - scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any browned sausage and stuff (don't want to lose that!!!) and then add in the rest of your broth.

Once it boils add your crabs two at a time and remove them when they are pink.  I did 6 but you can add or reduce that number as you see fit.  Take your crabs and cool them - pick the roe out of the middle and add to the pot and take the meat out of the claws and reserve til right before serving.

Add in 4 cups of chopped peeled yukon or white (waxy) potatoes. 

let cook about 15 minutes then I took the corn off the cob (3 ears) but you can just break up the cobs and add them to the pot.  add 6 tomatoes that have been skinned and chopped. and bring to a boil. 

add in 1 TB more of your shrimp boil seasoning. put your sausage back in
lastly add the shrimp and crabmeat and boil 3 minutes or so and consume.

It is really quite tasty!!!

Terroir - I may not be from here - but I'm learning what's good.  And this stuff is awesome!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Have you ever seen a shooting star?

Okay - I can ask one better  . . . have you ever known a shooting star?  Now, of course I'm speaking metaphorically since a star is a giant ball of gas - which is probably not someone or something you want to "know" per say - but I've personally known a shooting star and I can tell you - you know when you've been in their presence.  Wayne.  was and will always be to me a shooting star.  He was physically and in personality a shooting star.  There was no way this earth could contain this tornado - this Tasmanian devil - of a human without imploding or at least a small tsunami!  He was that huge in person and persona.  He was pretty much 14 months pregnant the most of the time I knew him and pretty much as tall.

He was addicted to everything - spoke in the Philly accent where he came from and knew the Bible back and forward - inside and out.  He talked with his mouth full - sneezed the biggest booger onto my leg IN CHURCH! - and had a heart the size of Texas in the rain!  He loved out loud - full on - no holds barred.  He was an amazing Christian and a penitent sinner.  He did nothing quietly.  I mean nothing.  He snored - in public - like a freakin freight train and I was pretty good at chucking olives into his open mouth at Thanksgiving dinners (aftermath that is).

And he died from a heart attack on his 48th birthday in the street in front of his house.  Massive corollary.  His heart just exploded basically.  It makes sense - and then it doesn't.  He left behind a new wife and 2 little (under 5 at the time) girls.  He had started over in Southern WI with my then husband and myself who opened our home to him.  He left 3 - almost adult  - kids in PA and wanted to start over.  But it makes sense - physically anyway.

There are people in your life for a season - for a reason - for a purpose  - to show you something or to just be amazing.  Wayne was amazing.  Still is - since I believe people and their unique personalities live forever - somewhere (up or down as it were.)

I personally feel drawn to wanting to be on the shooting star side but choose to be star - light.  I have so many destructive tendencies that would make me a statistic that I get the "tone it down sister"  admonishments.  I get being super introspective to the point of super egoism and outward facing as to being the martyr.  I'm really seeking that balanced middle ground lately  - where my footing is more sure and I know where I'm at.

Coming home from Wayne's funeral I was jacked up on white wine and Vicodin since I'd just had oral surgery.  . . Tim and I came to a wide spot in the freeway and a star went from west to east across the night sky!  We both sucked in enough air to empty the car and I said "bye Wayne!"  He went back home.  So did we.  Very shell shocked and sad to lose someone as large as that.  But he was too big - too much - too - too - too. 

I can settle for just being me I guess.  Too much of anything ends up being sickening.  Balance.  It's a good thing.  I'm a Libra after all.  LOL.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

what price this thing called money?

okay - have you seen the SNL skit where the pawn shop paid full "sentimental value?"  That skit always hit me because - though I am a travel lite and tread softly on this earth person - there are things that mean things to me - mostly from my kids - the random "i lurv yu momy" drawings but there are also some accomplishments that warranted trophies that though I left the actual trophies behind the plaques and insignia still traveled with.  And yes - every term paper I first draft only drafted.  I'm a nerd - so sue me.

I have had nothing and I've been flush with this thing called money. I've had only tombstone pizza and water to eat for what seemed like months because I freakin worked there and they gave it away - and more money than my frugal self can take in... I personally pick this. Being poor sucks.  I've been there.  I've had to choose in the shopping line because I had 25 bucks and still had mouths to feed.  I don't pick that.  I can do it because I can add in my head in the store - still freakin do it though I don't need to - habits break hard.

My son is special.  As in the short bus special.  Asperber's special.  But he's amazing and I want him to be amazing.  I signed him up for a program that deals in Autistic and Asperber youth.  It's not free.  Wait.  It's f'n stupid expensive.  But - if you look at a human success or failure . . .  it's free.  He came home a rock star.  He was full of ideas and talk and willing to take off his sweatshirt (aka security blanket).  UGH!!!  amazing!

My newest favorite show behind Anthony Bourdain(no reservations) - CSI - LV - is Big Bang Theory.  My son is so like Sheldon - lite.  Sorry - I don't watch tv per say so this (yes 5 years in the making!) is new to me -   I only hope he can rise above his lack of social skills - or just knowing when his enthusiasm knocks someone out of his way.  That would personally make me happy - that and closing his mouth when he eats.  But my son is great and is going to be a great person if given the right encouragement and support.  All my kids are going to be amazing and rock in their own right.  Not because they have learned to speak mandarin at 2.5 and were potty trained as fetus' - but because they have a mom who tries.  I fall down a LOT.  I suck as a mom a lot.  But I try.  I get the costume fabric that was asked for and WOW mom this is better than what I was thinking!!!  WOW thanks!.  That is going on my tombstone- thank you. 

I work a very stressful job - okay who doesn't.  But if you take your shit seriously like I do and have that "stupid overachieving but grossly underpaid for what you do gene" - you get that my job is stupid stressful and I would be best to listen to my husband and quit and just write since I'm so amazing and could find another one just like this one in a heartbeat.  Well that may be pandering and oh so true . .  . . :D I don't just leave a job.  But yeah - I'm underpaid because I'm a woman doing a woman's job in a company that pays the 2nd in command a fraction of what they pay the next lowest man.  True that. 

It sucks - but again.  What price money?  I won't pay shit for a purse.  It's a fucking money carrier.  If I've put more into the carrier than is in my wallet . . . . really?  You have been suckered girls.  I won't pay more for a purse than I will pay for shoes - at the thrift store and that's .  . .  15 bucks.  NOW running shoes - another story - RYKA's are my girls and I buy them 3 pair at a time now.  I run on average 13 miles a day.  I love it.  but I burn them out before they look worn. 

I will pay for my son to be his best.  I will sell my left arm to get him to the best place he needs to be.  I've been poor - I've been rich and as far as I'm concerned - Today is rich to me.  I so totally know I'm not rich - we drove through Clinton VA today.  I'm NOT rich.  JC. I'm not rich.  But since I'm wearing good clothes and driving a Volvo that's paid for and we had shrimp and lobster and steak for dinner last night (I found the most amazing Korean grocery store that practically gives it away if you don't mind that no one speaks English) I am still me - but I just care about things that matter to me = pretty much to the exclusive.  I knit because I can - I spin wool because I can and I cook because it feeds my soul.  Beyond that is books (uber necessary) and running.  I run to keep my mind at level set.

It's money - they make more everyday.  It's Roald Dahl and the Bible.  Two amazing sources.  I embrace both.  I get not having it and having it.  I'm sorry but the not - sucks.  Don't want that again.  But I can count in the store if I need to again.     Just sayin.