Friday, December 13, 2013

Those Boys

If you'd like to hear some adorable stories about my precocious children and their endearing habits . . . well, maybe some other time. Instead, let me share the following:

Charlie is developing into quite the little comedian. So far his best routines are raspberries on any exposed bit of skin on the lucky receiver--usually me and my cheek, which is simultaneously hilarious and gross, what with the attendant slobber--and pooping in the bathtub.

Yeah. That last one is so not a hit with me. There are few things I enjoy less than cleaning feces out of a bathtub. But it's so much worse when the poop is deliberate. And I know it's deliberate, because the first time it happened, it was an accident. But there was so much ensuing hilarity--thanks to boys and their appreciation of anything scatological--that Charlie now does it on purpose to make Cubby laugh.

This does not make me laugh. In fact, it makes me swear freely while I scrub the tub.

Cubby's latest little quirk is "I can't." As in, "I can't take off my snowpants; they're too tight."

Five minutes and a lot of screaming later, the snowpants are off with no assistance from me other than repeated statements to the effect of, "You can and you will, because I'm not."

Or from Cubby today: "I can't walk up the driveway to the house. I'm too tired. I need to lie down in the snow."

My response was something along the lines of, "You can and you will, because we have been out in a blizzard on the beach for an hour at your request and Charlie is cold and miserable and we are going inside right now."

Obviously, "can't" is not a word I have much sympathy for.

I also don't have much sympathy for pooping in the bathwater, but that's way more disgusting.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

This Could Be Bad

Lately I've grown somewhat disenchanted with my beloved peanut butter. The issue I've been having is with the texture. It was too . . . smooth or fatty or something. I couldn't quite put my finger on it until I read this book called Make the Bread, Buy the Butter.The author compares commercial peanut butter to Crisco.

Bingo. And gross.

She then went on to give a "recipe" for peanut butter, which was all of three ingredients (unsalted peanuts, neutral oil, and salt) and one direction (pulverize in a food processor). So OF COURSE I had to make it.

And now I really, really wish I hadn't.

Not because it was bad. Quite the opposite. The damned stuff is so good I can literally eat it with a spoon. I added a very small amount of maple syrup to it, because I do not enjoy peanut butter with no sweetening at all. I realized after the, uh, third spoonful (maybe fourth . . .) that it's so intensely peanut-y and delicious that I essentially made pureed peanut brittle.

I have no control around peanut brittle. None whatsoever. The combination of salt, sweet, and fat is much too addicting. The only thing that stops me from eating all the peanut brittle in my reach (whenever it comes within my reach, which is not often for this very reason) is the fact that it's so chewy and sticky my jaw starts to hurt after awhile.

But if it's in a paste form, like this homemade peanut butter? This does not bode well for my jeans.

* I straight-up loved this book. I don't really agree with all her conclusions about what's worth making at home and what isn't, but it was very, very fun to read.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Mustard Verdict

Remember when I ground mustard seeds in my molcajete like some crazy peasant person? So I could make my own mustard like a crazy peasant person?

Well, that mustard is CRAZY PEASANT HOT OWOWOW.

It's delicious, but it is really, really spicy. And I used the white mustard seeds! It's the mildest kind! Thank God we didn't happen to have brown or, God forbid, super-hot black mustard seeds around to make it with. I probably still wouldn't be able to taste anything.

So I could never eat it on, say, a sandwich. But if it's cooked, it loses most of its heat and just tastes good. It's like a ready-made sauce for meat. Pork, particularly. And who has a whole pig hanging out in her freezer? Why, the same person who has a jar of mustard that needs to be cooked to be edible. Hi!

I've stirred it into soup, added it to sauces, and mixed it with honey to make, uh, honey mustard to coat pork chops and ham steaks. It's really, really good. Cooked. And if you're into spicy, it would be good uncooked.

I've almost used up the half pint of mustard I made a week ago. Guess I'd better limber up my grinding arm and haul out the molcajete. We're gonna need some more mustard.