Demented Ramblings life is too short to refrain from eating jam out of the jar


Coffee? Me? I’m a soda girl!

I am trying to find a coffee that I like. Even if I sugar a cup of coffee to the max, it won't have near the calories of a pepsi, but all of the caffeine kick which I need in the morning. I'd been eyeballing a bodum travel coffee press at kroger for a couple of weeks, and they put it on sale this week. I also picked up a sample size bag of millstone's foglifter coffee.

I have to say, the first drink was all "holy gawd, that's some kickass coffee" but once it cooled a little it also mellowed out. Or maybe that was due to the milk and sugar I put in it. Either way, it's tasting pretty good at this point. I'll have to keep experimenting with the sample size bags until I find a coffee that I love, I'm sure it's out there somewhere.

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First cooking lessons

Work is stressing me out hardcore and I have 84000 things to do, so of course I am blowing it off for blogging. I had lunch with my mum today and we were talking about her pantry. I housesat for her last week and of course had to peek in her cabinets and fridge, she has almost nothing but convenience foods. Toaster struedels, frozen pretzels, microwave meals, and ice cream novelties. She does that because my stepsister might get hungry during the day and is only allowed to use the microwave. I think that the girl is old enough to learn to cook, she's 16. She might be a bit challenged, but I think that everyone should be able to cook a few simple things. Mom'll never teach her, she never taught me, I just learned on my own. So, I've decided that it falls on her big sis to teach her to cook.

My question to you is this: what would you recommend as a good starting point for learning to cook?

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In my mother’s kitchen

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about my mother, and most especially about her kitchen - the things I learned from her. Sometimes I think that I'm still a teenager at heart, rebelling against my mother, striking out on my own and testing the waters. In very few ways have I ever been able to escape her reign. Those of you who've known me for any time at all know how much those apron strings choke me but that no matter how hard I try I can't seem to free myself, she wields guilt like a weapon reigning me back in when I pull too far away. In the kitchen however, I am completely my own person.

When I was young, my mom actually cooked things. She made biscuits from scratch and real mashed potatoes and sit down dinners. But with every passing year her interest in cooking has dwindled. I truly expect her to declare it too much trouble to heat things up any day now and I will find her eating cold soup directly from the can. A woman who loves a shortcut, why make a cheesecake when Kroger will do it for you? I will admit to occasionally using those packaged shortcuts, especially on a work night. But when I set out to cook, I dive into it completely. However, my greatest kitchen shame is this - I can not make a macaroni and cheese that I like as well as what comes from the blue box, especially when made with butter and cream. I have tried repeatedly, but always wind up with a glompy mess that lurks in the back of the refrigerator until it is unrecognizable.

It's funny - my mom loves food, loves to try new things. However, she's rarely been able to bring herself to break away from the familiar in the kitchen. Myself, I love to branch out into uncharted territory and experiment in the kitchen. I'll bring home vegetables from the farmers' market just because they were "pretty", having no clue what I will do with them. Then I'll break out the stack of cookbooks and find some recipe to play with. And if it turns out badly? So what? That's why we keep peanut butter and bread around the house.

Dad and I are creatures of habit. It probably took us 7 years after mom left to rearrange anything in the kitchen, and most things are still kept exactly where they were when it was her kitchen. Some things may have shifted up or down a shelf, but I believe that everything is still in the same cabinet it was always in. It isn't her kitchen anymore though, it is mine. Sort of. It's mostly dad's, but he doesn't do much of the cooking anymore.

Someday I will have my own kitchen again. One where I can put all of my gadgets (instead of hiding them away in stuff jail) and where the precious kitchen aid stand mixer will once again have a permanent spot on the counter instead of having to be lugged up and down the hall and stored in a closet. That boy is durned heavy.

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