Monday, December 29, 2014

but without a sweetheart I never get enough

I forgot to tell you guys what the Lodge lady told me to do so I don't break my pans anymore--heat the pan with some water or oil in it, then dump it out before you put in the bread.

How was Christmas for everyone?  Ours was nice.  I love our families and it's good to see so much of them.  Lots of delicious food, good company, all our needs and most of our wants taken care of . . . it's a wonderful life.
I am starting an adventure in January, and if it succeeds I'll tell you about it.

Monday, December 22, 2014

product may stay: lodge enameled dutch oven

6 Qt. Dutch Ovens

You guys know how I'm crazy about my Lodge pans.  I have a few of their frying pans that I cook in every day, and I have two of the enameled Dutch ovens that I bake my sourdough bread in a couple times a week.  Fantastic pans.  Recently the enamel on the inside of the lid of my older pan started to flake off (did I tell you how my Cuisinart just flat out exploded its enamel in the oven? Don't buy Cuisinart) and I was like NOOOOOOO.  So I called Lodge to figure out where I'd gone wrong, told the nice lady about my process (put the empty pan in a cold oven and preheat oven and pan at the same time) and she was like, oh, you're not supposed to ever heat an empty enameled pan because it makes the enamel separate and flake off.  Whoops, stupid me.  Then she said she didn't know if they're be able to replace my pan because of the misuse, but to send them an email about what happened anyway, and long story short, they are sending me a new pan!  YOU GUYS.  I love a company that has this kind of customer service.  Remember when Zappos gave me a VIP account to make up for the terrible pair of Justin boots that Justin wouldn't replace?  Because of that I have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars at Zappos (and have never bought another pair of Justins).  When I boycott, I boycott hard, and when a company earns my loyalty, I am a customer--a vocal customer--for life.  So although I am only one person and Lodge doesn't really need me, they treated me like they do, and that makes me happy.  Product may stay.

Here is their website.

Friday, December 19, 2014

strike the harp and join the chorus

Today I was watching that video where they ask a whole bunch of people the eternal question:  "Lennon or McCartney?"  Everything proceeds as you might imagine, with the results seeming to be fairly evenly split, and then there's a guy that says this:  "As a person, Lennon, but McCartney's (something something about songwriting)" I stopped listening because I was so gobsmacked by AS A PERSON, LENNON.

Remember the part in Forrest Gump where Jennay has that douchebag abusive boyfriend who at one point excuses his outbursts by blaming Johnson for being a warmonger, you know, 'cause the boyfriend is an anti-war protester.  He loves peace so much that sometimes he just has to hit his girlfriend in frustration if there's not enough peace going around.  Well, that guy is a TOTAL John Lennon--full of righteous judgment for everyone but himself.  I love Lennon's music, and there is so much beauty and truth in some of it, but like many of our beloved celebrities, the man himself was not the personification of his art that we wanted him to be.  He was a scold, a hypocrite, and a weenie.  And maybe (maybe) Paul McCartney was a weenie too, but you can't be going around saying that you prefer John Lennon as a person unless you want to be exposed as a jerk.

There's a bit on a superhero-themed episode of This American Life where John Hodgman talks about how he often asks people the other classic question:  Invisibility or flight?   He gets into what motivates people to choose one over the other, and he has noticed a trend--that people who want flight typically want to use it to help other people, while those who want invisibility want to use it to get away with stuff, e.g. shoplifting.  One guy he talks to says that invisibility is the choice of craven masturbators.  What I'm getting at here is that I want people to ask the two questions together:  Lennon or McCartney, and invisibility or flight, and then do an analysis of the answers.  Like, I wonder if there are people who claim to care about peace and love, but really they just want to boss people around and steal stuff, and if that would be manifested in the data.  WHY DO I NOT OWN A THINK TANK?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

mormon musings

I was thinking about coffee ice cream, and how much I like it, and how much Ike loves Mexican Coke (as if he could tell the difference from American Coke in a blind taste test, 'tis to laugh), and I reflected on how as a young girl I was a little bit scandalized that my uncles drank Pepsi and Coke, which although not forbidden by the Word of Wisdom yet have a disobedient air about them for many Mormons.  

There is a behavior not unique to Mormons that is sometimes called hedge building--take instruction such as "dress modestly" and build a nice big hedge around it so it means "little girls who wear sleeveless sundresses to church should be chastised."   (This is a topic for a different lecture.)  The Word of Wisdom has a directive to avoid hot drinks, and the general consensus has long been that that means coffee and tea, which were the standard hot drinks at the time the revelation was given, and so therefore it must be the caffeine that's against the rules, which means for many Mormons that caffeinated sodas are also out--and there's the hedge.  Caffeine is addictive, y'all!  (Aside:  I would really love to see how much caffeine-free Diet Coke gets consumed in Utah, because caffeine or not, there is a serious problem here.)  

Anyway, because of the hedges it took me a while to figure out that drinking caffeine was not indicative of a serious moral failing, and not equivalent to shooting up in a rat-infested, urine-soaked alley.  Likewise, not drinking Coke or Pepsi or Mt. Dew (my grandma's favorite--it helped keep her awake driving home from her shift at the temple) because of the caffeine is a great thing, because soda is not good for us, but it doesn't mean you're more righteous.  Also coffee ice cream is delicious, and if you like the taste of Coke I guess it's delicious too.  So I don't know if I'm just trying to find a way to justify my lack of orthodoxy, but I think I'm for sure less of a self-righteous prig than I used to be.  So on balance I think it's a win.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

just look the other way and I'll disappear forever

I keep losing my mouse cursor thingy on my computer screen, and that's always the time when the touchpad decides it doesn't feel my fingers anymore.  I feel like it's possible that maybe the reason my computers keep acting up isn't them . . . it's me.  Maybe I transmit some weird kind of energy that causes electromagnetic anomalies.  I bet that's it.

I am Rogue, probably!  This is a very exciting development.  In related news, finding such a sanitized picture of Rogue is a little like finding a needle in a haystack.  The image search on her is very depressing.

Last night John and the kids and I all sang a song together at our extended-family FHE, and it was like a dream come true.  I love, love, love singing with my family.  We blend really well, probably because we are all related, and even when it is a "boring song," according to Grant, it is a pretty boss experience to sit there and listen to my children lift their voices in song.  Inch by inch we are nearing my family band goal.  We'll be singing "Don't Shoot Me, Santa" in no time!

Groceries scratched me on the chin the other day because we were trying to hold him like a human baby when he wasn't in the mood.  That's okay, I respect his distance.

The buck goat that is staying with us has the weirdest voice.  It's really loud and high-pitched like he's being tortured all the time, which is going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy if he doesn't watch out.  You're not going to have any friends if you don't learn how to chill, fella.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

there are dog- and caterpillars and a copper centipede

Here's how the pie situation shook out:  together, my sister-in-law Emily and I made nine pies.

1. banana cream
2.  chocolate cream
3.  cran-raspberry meringue
4.  lemon meringue 
5.  pumpkin
6.  pecan
7.  maple syrup
8.  apple blueberry 
9.  apple 

The cran-rasp went better than I feared it would, the apple-blueberry was a soupy mess (I should have gone with my gut and pre-cooked the filling like I normally do), the maple syrup one was a nice surprise and with whipped cream it tasted like breakfast, the pumpkin was not a big seller, and it was nice to finally have pecan pie at Thanksgiving, since I've heard that's a thing that people do, I just haven't grown up in or married into a family that observes the pecan tradition.  

The turkey was probably the best turkey I have ever eaten.  Turkey is hard, we all know it, and most of the time we want so badly for it to be better than it is, so we retcon it to make the day seem more fulfilling.  But this turkey was perfection.  We skirted around and dabbled in controversial conversation topics (polygamy; Mormon heterodoxy) and dived deep into others (the terrible primary teacher who singles out my niece for harsh, unmerited criticism; food) and raised our eyebrows in dismay about this and that example of bad behavior.  A good time was had by all.  I love Thanksgiving!  

I was very resistant and grumpy about going to cut a Christmas tree this year, but John talked me into it, because he said it was clearly an important thing for my mom.  So off we went, and we got a good tree, and now it is up and lighted and ornamented and I'm glad we went, even if I do have to sweep up needles for a month.