Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Day in the Life Part Two

Time to Eat

Happy Thanksgiving and holiday greetings my friends. The holidays are a great time for friends and family and of course food. Tons and tons of food that come January, we will regret having eaten since it will have added to the weight we resolve to lose by June in order to fit into our bathing suits.

This story is about one of my nearest and dearest friends Kim. Kim and I have known each other since I was a sophomore in high school. She was a year ahead of me but we shared a few classes together. One of those classes was Adult Living taught by Mrs. Barnes (not her real name). In Adult Living, you learned a little bit of home economics, mixed in with normal economics, and child care. It was supposed to help prepare you for adulthood by teaching you the basics of cooking, managing money, and raising kids (stop laughing). Kim did great at managing money and kids but cooking was a different story. The following stories are three instances that I have never let Kim live down.

The first time we got a cooking assignment Kim tried to warn Mrs. Barnes that she had no cooking skills but Mrs. Barnes did not heed the warning. It was a simple task, make sausage balls following a recipe. Okay, seemed easy enough so, Kim, me, and our friend Amy got started. Mrs. Barnes even had all the ingredients laid out for us Well, the recipe called for a jar of Cheez Wiz (6oz). Kim read the recipe to us but what she did not pay attention to (like most other high school kids) was that Mrs. Barnes bought a 12oz jar of Cheez Wiz and only wanted us to use half of it since she had another class later that day. Oops, you guessed it. They were more like cheese balls than sausage balls but, it was kind of a good thing we did double the cheese amount. Mrs. Barnes bought HOT sausage to use. The cheese kind of soothed your burning mouth after you took a bite. The best way to describe the flavor of the sausage? I think some people eat something like it in a circus act. Right before they breathe fire. Man was Mrs. Barnes mad at us for using all of her Cheez Wiz.

Second attempt
A few weeks after the sausage incident, we got to make Chocolate Chip cookies. Yum right? Wrong! Mrs. Barnes bought All Purpose Flour instead of Self-Rising. I do not know how many of you know the difference so here it is. Self-Rising has everything in it, ready to go. All Purpose, you have to add salt and baking soda. Knowing the danger of having Kim read the recipe, I decided to read and help Amy prepare the dough. Kim’s only job was to add the salt and baking soda to the flour. To this day we (Kim and I) have no idea what happened. . The cookies turned out flat, black, and they stuck to the pan so bad it took an S.O.S. pad and a knife to get them off the sheet. I open the oven and immediately break out in tears laughing. Kim and Amy rush over and while Amy is scrubbing away at the “concoction” on the pan, Kim is trying to shut me up and get Mrs. Barnes (who was over with the popular crowd as usual) attention. I think Mrs. Barnes eyes popped out like a cartoon characters when she saw our cookies. How I ever passed that class I will never know.

The final story takes place after we graduated. I had not seen Kim in about a year but knew she went into hair styling. After I ran into her, I was having her do my hair one day and asked if she ever learned to cook. To which she replied with a laugh and this story. It seemed that the night before she ran into me, she was cooking meatballs for her husband following a recipe she had found in a cookbook. Here is the funny part brace yourselves. It was a two page recipe and she only used one page. She told me the dog would not even eat it after it came out of the oven. After I stopped crying from laughing so hard, I asked her. “Kim,” I said. “Didn’t you think it was odd that it was a meatball recipe and they did not come out as well… balls?” I still don’t think she has an answer for that. You will be happy to know that Kim can now cook rather well thanks to some cooking tips from her Mother-in-law.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life
These are a collection of entertaining stories involving people in my life (including myself).
Part one
I jumped
(As told to me by my sister, Donna)
The two best ways to describe my brother, Eric, when he was 10 are adventurous to the point of recklessness, and thin to the point of being bony. Those characteristics are important in this story so keep them in mind.
One of Eric’s favorite things to do as a child was to climb trees to see how high up he could get, or jump off of a tree at a certain height onto the 14ft trampoline in our backyard. On one particular occasion he made it to about 20ft up, lost his footing, and fell. That little adventure cost him six weeks with his arm in a cast. How he only broke one arm and no other bones is either a mystery or miracle, take your pick. My personal theory is that he was so skinny his sweater caught in the wind and he just sort of glided down. He probably would have been fine if he had known how to land.

Six weeks slowly passed as me and Donna unjustly got stuck with his chores. Hey, his arm was broke, not his legs, I have a right to complain.
One week after the cast came off, Donna and Eric were in the backyard and Eric was, once again, climbing trees. His tree of choice this time was a dogwood. Now, I don’t know if you know anything about Dogwood trees so here is a little educational fact. They aren’t big trees and have a lot of branches. Eric got pretty high up and started dangling from a branch about the size of his arm. Donna, being the caring sister she is, tried to warn him.
“You’re going to fall and break your arm again stupid.” I can almost hear her voice.
“No I’m not. Shut up!” Was his reply.

Donna shrugged and turned to walk into the house when she heard the dreaded but predictable, SNAP, WHOOSH, SNAP, CRASH, BOOM! She turned around as fast as she could, expecting to see my brother’s limp body lying beneath a pile of limbs. What she saw instead was Eric standing upright, legs stiff, arms stretched above his head with the broken branch still in his grip.
Eric looked at Donna and with as much pride as he could, said with a straight face. “I jumped!” It has been over 20 years and we still laugh about that.