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following the journey of an Ohio Buffum…


Category: People

*whistles while she blogs*

So March kinda ended shittily. Darling husband has informed me that he doesn’t like when I talk about him in my blogosphere. That he feels as if it’s telling the world too much. Well I’ll mostly respect his wishes, except where it coincides with my life. then well. :P suck it.

So on that note. E’s dad passed away 3/31/09 so we went up to The Meadows (Las Vegas) and had the funeral and all. It was very moving. There were actually two funerals, a Catholic Mass and a Military funeral. It was my first military funeral. Gun salute, flag presentation, the works. And everyone there is more respectful than I’ve seen at any other funeral I’ve been to. Very cool.

Other news of the Ides of March… we got a hellacious windstorm (like 40-50 mph winds) and I almost lost my precious lemon tree. I ended up having to lop off a good 3′-4′ of height so that it wouldn’t act like a wind sail when the wind whips over the stone wall. Then somehow I managed to pound a metal stake into the ground and get it lashed down on the north side. Which is the side the wind hits first. All of that during the windstorm and I got cut to hell and back. The lemon tree has thorns, some are a good 2-3″ long. I had cuts all over me. Looked like I’d gone to the mattresses with my cat ;)

But some good things did happen in March as well. First of all my lime tree is going to provide fruit this year finally *sings the hallelujah chorus* Dooo dooo dooo WHOOT! Seriously I’m so happy, now I have limes and lemons this year. Also I ripped up some of the crappy vegetation in the backyard, (much to the cat’s chagrin fortress-wise), and planted a bunch more herbs and also green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers (red and yellow), lettuce, and a brand new rosemary bush. Well I had rosemary before but it was a new plant I grew from a seedling, and rosemary is a tough barked slow-growing shrubbery. So everytime I needed some, I felt like I was killing the plant. The new one has **Tons** of harvestable herbage.
The cilantro is going *crazy* it just loves it’s little life now. I’ve also got thyme, chives, tarragon, dill, and actually I’ll have coriander seeds soon too. The ‘cilantro’ plant is really a coriander plant. Cilantro is the leaves from the coriander plant, while the ‘coriander’ itself are little seeds that sprout after the cilantro produces lovely white ‘queen-anne’s lace’ type flowers. So Yarr, two benefits in one. I also planted an avocado seed in the corner of the garden, but it’d be you know like 15 years before avocados would be harvestable but I figure the next owner of the house will get to reap the rewards of my frugality. I would get an orange or grapefruit tree, but I’m kind of out of room. Hee. The last note is that the kalanchoe and the oleanders are blooming beautifully right now. I’ll upload some pictures in a bit.

Hope everyone has a Happy Easter!


You know one of the reasons I live in the god damn desert is because of it’s distinct lack of exposure to the cold/flu virii. Seriously. I mean wtf.
So I get ready to go to the OSU game because well yeah woo hoo! But the day before we had gone to a pep rally hosted by OSU Alumni Association.The hubby, which from now on I’m just going to call him DH (darling hubby) or E, and I got loaded into the car and drove down to Tempe. I believe what finally sealed the deal for him to go with me was the OSU cheerleaders were going to be there, and you know E and cute Ohio girls *smirks*. So we get there late (well duh) and I missed most of the ‘big speakers’ like E. Gordon Gee, Tressel, and Archie Griffin, but really, whoopee. I got to see the band, and the cheerleaders and Brutus! My first in person spotting of the Brutus in many years *sniffs* it was great! (And cheesy!). So I got to sing the big songs and even Carmen Ohio, which of course made me cry like a baby. meh, damn sentimentality. We picked up little signs that said “Go Bucks!” I got a t-shirt for Liz from the OSU Phoenix Alumni Club, and in retrospect should have got one for mom too, but damn $20 for a t-shirt? I am so cheap. I digress….
So we cheer we go home, I start to feel kinda icky. Well hell.I wake up the next morning and yep something isn’t quite right… Like that feeling of impending doom starts to creep in and says you’re going to blow the game you know it right? and I said, fuck that shit cupcake. I am *GOING* to the game.
So we leave about 1:30pm and get down to the stadium relatively easily at 2pm, and thus the fun begins. So I get to park in the handicapped spaces because of my parking pass (you try lugging around this much weight in 120 degree heat in the summer!) and yeah I know it’s not summer, but I ain’t walkin 60 miles either…. So we go to pull into the space and yahoos next to us have a chair in the space, and me being the bitch I am say, “you gonna move the chair?” And they’re like we’re saving the space for our friend. To which yes smurfs I have read the rules of the stadium and it says quite clearly, NO SPACE SAVING! Quixote ahead!…They continue to babble on, I turn to Erik and say, Please move the chair. He looks at me like are you sure? sees the look and says, Okee dokee. Hops out and moves the chair to the sidewalk in front of the space. To which they go nuts and I hear “You don’t look that handicapped, you coulda walked another 10 feet(it was farther than that to the next space)” to which I retort back, You don’t look all that handicapped either princess. (A normal looking 40ish woman in a chair with a beer) to which I swear I saw her recoil and almost fall out of the chair. I parked. I get out of the car. By now, see nothing I do goes unnoticed. A police officer has pulled up on a golf cart. He says, you okay? I say I am fine officer but let me ask a question, is it legal to save spots in the parking lot? He says, “technically no, but I’m not able to enforce the rule either way.” So I say oh so I can park here no problem, RIGHT? and he says sure, I say of course Have a great day and thanks! giving a little wave and smile. And turn around to walk by the assholes next to me with a big ass grin on my face.Now they’re all jabbering on and I”m not caring about most of it, till I hear the pasty white 60 year old snark off, “Nice parking job!” And I KNOW darling husband has just snapped because I heard the ping of the grenade pin in my head. So I turn and he is in the car like a viper, backing out of the space and reparking it PERFECTLY in our space but ABSOLUTELY as close as he can get to their vehicle as possible. Almost driving over their drink coolers in the process. He hops out and slams the door and says, How about that? Is that to your satisfaction. And I swear as I glared over at them I saw them all dribble a little in their shorts.
Sometimes I love him more than I ever thought possible. :D
I gave him a big kiss and we walked off in search of the Disabled shuttle to the “College Footballs Biggest Party!” We got our ride to the party and ended up cruising past the car on the way there. I didn’t even look over. I know E did, I wonder what the look on their faces was. heee
At any rate the OSU band was playing when we got to the party which was cool, and so we walked around a little bit then headed over and picked up our box lunches and sat with a nice couple from Cleveland and jabbered a bit. I still think that Buckeye fans are the nicest bunch of people in the world as long as yer not from Michigan or the opposing teams fanbase. Hee hee. Lunch was a sad little hotdog, a scoop of potato salad and some of Tostitos new Jalapeno Scoops, with a little bit of bean & cheese dip. I have to say, the chips aren’t bad, nothing to go screaming to the store for on the other hand. I would classify them as “MILD” but then I eat habaneros for fun so judge for yourself. :)
We got another dog, E ate the potato salad, and I helped eat his chips :D Then we headed off to get the shuttle back to the stadium. Which by now it was 5ish pm. And originally I thought the game started at 6, but turns out it was like 6:30 or something. Anyway I wanted to get to the seats early in case I had to tell them we needed different seats because my fat ass wouldn’t fit in them :D

So Phoenix Stadium (Yeah University of Phoenix Stadium, not that anyone from that class D online school needs a stadium), is kind of weird. You enter at the top of the section 100 seats. I swear I had a Michigan Stadium toilet bowl moment when I knew I had to walk down all those steps to my seat. I remembered it was hard to dodge the beer cans flying at my head and was grateful to find out that the stadium only has those plastic beer bottles and plastic cups. Hallelujah no dents in my scalp! So I start going down the steps and they’re those little half steps which are nice to go up and down but I had a vertigo moment or two and had to grip the rail, dunno why.Got to the seat and HOLEE SHIT it’s awesome! It’s been a while since I’d been to a game. And I’d never been to this stadium, but yeah, it’s massive. Accoustics SUCK Wolverine ass! I mean if you put your fingers in your ears, you could hear the loudspeaker perfectly. What the fuck.
But the view. The VIEW I tell you was G dog damn impressive. For $0 tickets, they were the sha-hiiizzz-nit Baybee! We sat next to a very nice grandpa and his grandson (grandson about 22) They were Texas fans, but very nice. Then we had the beer drinking high 5′ing chest bumping two buckeye fans on my right. LOL. Texas in front of us, and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t Rory Nicol (#88′s) cousins sitting behind us. So all in all, a good game crowd. Beers believe it or not were $8, Hot Dogs $5.50, Burgers $6.50, no idea on chips or churros or whatever else they sold, but holy shit. OH and they had both beers Bud and Bud Light. Holy fuck, can you please serve a non-piss flavored beer? But I guess that’s what University of Phoenix students like. :P
So we watched the game, I started to feel queasy after about halfway through the first quarter. And no, it wasn’t the game. I was hot as hell, but E said I felt like clammy ice. Yay! Officially Sick! I did my best not to hurl, when the hotdogs looked really good I should have realized what was going on. I dunno if when I’m sick I crave hotdogs, or it takes me eating a hotdog to realize I’m sick. But it’s usually teh case, if I’m sick, like reaaaaly sick. I’m usually snarfing down hot dogs. Weird I know.So half-time comes. Erik says you going anywhere, I say fuck no, I want to actually see the band for a change. They do cool stuff, like you know Script Ohio. Oh hell yeah, actually they did that before the game, but still. More cool music. Oh yeah like the 1812 overture with cherry bombs going off in the endzones. Now that is a damn band :D TBDBITL! Holy crap loud.
Texas’s band came on and we mocked their out of step, body jiggly style. I mean okay you have a baton twirler but she’s not even in front of the band, she’s just wandering around the field like she’s drunk. And then she lit flaming batons and I swear it was like a circus side show. Oh and she was rude. Dude, really twirling her baton on the sideline when OSU’s band was playing. Really? Rude much? And then there was the single Male Flag Corp twirler we saw. I mean. really. In texas. Male. Flag Corps. Flaming much? Dude, I couldn’t believe it, and on top of that. Jazz Flag Corps, In little black tights and that shit brown/orange that texas wears. and they had the junior jazz band size triangle flags. Really. Your marching band needs jazz dancers? I guess the song was true… In Texas Steers, Beers, and Queers, Oh my….And btw, I am glad our mascot isn’t a giant stinking pile of cow shit. Bevo… mmm tastes like dinner.
So 2nd half came, and went, and we almost won, and it was a hell of a game. :) I still am very happy I went. I am very sad we lost. But hey, shit happens. When Laurinaitis walked by we all gave him a standing ovation. I’m gonna miss that boy… *sniffs* So we headed out of the stadium, got to the car and you remember the assholes that parked next to us? GONE. I guess, they were a little scared. ;D Poor babies. We checked our car, it was fine. E had written down their license plate and they saw him do that. :D A nice lady flagged us down when we backed out and we gave her a jumpstart to her car. She said “Figures it’d be a buckeye fan to stop for us.” I was like yeah we are a nice bunch of people. :) So we took over an hour to get out of the lot, then we got home about 11pm. Which was a pretty good day. :)

Needless to say the next day I felt like I had gone 3 rounds with Chuck Liddel so I sat quietly and drank my water. By Thursday I felt fine, little did I know what was percolating in my lungs…Friday I woke up with the begining dry hack. hack. Hack. Hack.HACK. Oh fuck.Yes you guessed it Acute Bronchitis. Wheeee so for the 9th-14th I spent everyday with a fever of 101 and sucking down the NyQuil and very little else. Finally fever broke Thursday the 15th, I drove to teh grocery store, because sadly little E is now a carrier of the Bronchitis. Poor baby. I feel so bad he got it. I know from me. :( If I knew who coughed on me to give it to me I’d kick their ass.
So here I am, alive, and still hocking loogies at the moment, but at least not feeling like death warmed up in the microwave. :) Oh and I’ve dropped 48 lbs Since November. :) 16 of them the last week. Whee. I should write a new book called the Bronchitis diet. ;D
All things considered, not a bad start to the year ;)

*yawns* I should learn to sleep like a normal human but then, well that’d make me normal. And well, that’s not really happening anytime soon.

So Christmas came and went, and took the New year with it. Not much to happen with either. We stayed home this year, blissfully ignoring as much family as possible, (well parents anyway). It’s not that we don’t love them. But traveling to Ohio one year and Nevada the next begins to wear at you. I for once wanted to put up *my* tree and watch “A Christmas Story” and play with the Wii-jah since I got Monopoly and the E got Call to Duty. (I’ve whipped both already, E thinks CtD sucks) Oh well.

That’s about all we spent on Christmas presents this year so a couple days later, mom says that they have Buckeye tickets on sale. WOOO!!! So I sure as heck logged on, saw they were selling the OSU student tickets for the Fiesta Bowl through ticketmaster and voila! I got a pair. Section 105, Row 8, seats 7 & 8. And the best part? I got to use my reward points from American Express to pay $0 for them. Booyah! Double Booyah nummers! So joy to the world. The game was great. Too bad we didn’t win, but was a great game.

My niece and nephews came by for a short visit when passing through around Christmas, which was great I haven’t seen them since they were very little, well except the oldest, I’ve seen a few times. They’ve grown so much. Damn, I’m old. :) Officially 39 now, and holding on with tooth and fang. Loki is doing fine, mom got a new cat and called me to name him, so I suggested Miki which is hawaiian for active or rambunctious. Yay verily.

Nothing else new to report. Happy Winter everyone!

That’s right. I’m the big 39 today (the 10th) Yippee kay aye motherfuckers… It’s the odd ones you have to look out for dont’cha know?

Plan is to go to The Melting Pot for dinner, which will blow the fuck out of my current healthy living and lose weight mode (I’m down to the lowest I’ve been in over 2 years. Yar!) But. It’s my birthday, and I managed to loose weight even over the gorge-o-rama known as Thanksgiving here in the US, and that’s after I spent triple digits and 4 days cooking. :D (I censor the amount so darling hubby won’t pop a vessel when he reads this *^_^*)
So I guess I should go into the planned dinner and the resultant dinner. :)

The planned menu:
Roasted Turkey with Homemade Gravy
Herb Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes with Truffle Butter
Broccolini with Hollandaise au Supreme
Champagne spritzers
Pineapple & Coconut Creme Anglaise Bread Pudding with Dark Chocolate Ganache

So the outcome: :D
I started shopping Saturday before Thanksgiving which for me is 3 days too late. I got a fresh 15lb turkey at the market, all certified and never frozen. I also picked up the majority of the ingredients, which I’d list but your head would spin. :)
Sunday I had to go out to pick up the stuff I couldnt’ find Saturday, namely, Maderia wine, aged balsamic, foie gras, black truffles and figs. 3 stores later, success. I rested up rest of Sunday and then Monday prep began.

Monday I prepared the veggies which meant about 4 hours of mincing and chopping away at pounds of onion, celery, carrots, parsley, apples, shallots and ripping apart the challah bread to let it dry out for the bread pudding a bit. Worn out back aching I called it a day.

Tuesday started off with the stripping of the whole fresh pineapple, coring and slicing into rings. Man those things are sticky fuckers. IF the spines on top don’t get you, the juice will soak you like a snowcone. After the pineapple I prepped the compound butter. Which, consisted of 8oz of Kerry Gold Irish butter, about an ounce of shaved and crumbled black truffles, parsley, lemon juice, kosher salt, black truffle oil, fresh globe basil (from my garden). Creamed together, formed into a log and refrigerated till thursday. I also prepped 4 gallons of vegetable stock with standard mirepoix plus candied ginger, allspice berries, and a stick of cinnamon.
At this point my fridge was so full of containers and things we were in a serious fuck-a-ree of storage issues. I actually contemplated going out and purchasing a small mini fridge to give me more space. But my fridge was packed rafter to rafter, stem to stern.

Wednesday was go day. I started off in the morning making volute sauce, that took a while, after which you turn the volute into allemande sauce. At this point (about 1.5 hours) I held short to turn it into hollandaise au supreme on thursday. I then took a container of blackberries and added them to the simple syrup (1 cup sugar 1 cup water heat to thread stage) after the berries began to burst I used the stick blender to carefully puree the berries. Sieve over fine mesh strainer, fridge to wait. After that I de-stemmed and chopped in half a handful of the figs and put them in a cup of maderia to re-hydrate in the fridge. Time to prepare the foie gras. Which you can only by the full 2 lobes. So I had to cut it down to portions and store for other occassions. The 1.3 lb lobes seperated, blood lines removed, and sliced into 3/4″ slices made 6 servings for 2, (12 slices) Not bad,and I Only fucked up one set of slices which were the left over bits which will probably be used in a forcemeat at a later date. By now it’s mid afternoon and time to brine the bird. I used half the veg stock and prepped it for the turkey brine by adding a cup of salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar, boiled to meld, and then cooled to fridge temp before adding the bird breast meat down, and filling the chest with enough ice and water to cover the turkey.
Gobble. Gobble. You died not in vain you tasty noble fowl.

Thursday I woke up about 5am. God help me. I played puzzle pirates till about 6:30, damn my lazy ways. I’ll pay for that later. I started out sautéing more mirepoix (carrots, onions, celery) till they were sweated and soft. I did begin to caramelize the onions before adding the celery and carrots. To this added a whole granny smith apple, 2 tbsp italian parsley, salt and pepper and another stick of butter (to the one stick already in the pan for the sautéing). Finely a bunch of minced fresh sage, minced rosemary stem, and some more basil from the garden. When soft, I pulled out the fresh egg & cornbread cubes I got from the bakery and poured them into a big bowl. Poured half the veg over the bread cubes, added the pork stock (kosher out the window) I’d had in the freezer from previous culinary genius and added it to the veg simmered till a low boil then poured it all over the bread cubes and mixed, mixed, mixed. Till lovely gooey. Dumped it all into a greased baking dish, put the lid on and set aside to do it’s soak and combine thing. So that was about 2 hours.
Erik is now up so I make the first of the appetizers deviled eggs. Eggs come out, go on table. Snarf. Time to grab the bird, yank it from the brine, gently pat dry, pull out compound butter cut off a tablespoon and place it under one side of the breast skin, mash around, do same to other side, rub down outside of bird with sesame oil. stuff the aromatics into the cavity (1 sliced red apple, 1/2 sliced onion, cinnamon stick, and the herbs (4 sprigs rosemary, a bunch of sage) into the cavity after being pre softened in a cup of water in the microwave) pour the water from the aromatics in the bottom of the turkey pan. Pour in 1 cup and half of the brine under the bird, the rest of the veg stock, as well as more mirepoix drop the rack on the pan, drop the trussed bird on the rack, into 500°F oven for 30 mins. Pull the bird. cover with foil triangle, insert probe thermometer, plop in oven at 350°F till alarm goes DING at 161°F saying birdy birdy done! My god damn efficent oven once again screwed me and finished it in about 1.5 hours instead of the standard 2-2.5. (See I told you I’d pay for the puzz earlier)
At this point another 2 hours has gone by. Time to make the foie gras. I start with reheating the allemande sauce and ladle a coating on the plate, turn and form a circle in the center of the plate. Place madeira and figs in saute pan adding drizzles of the aged syrupy balsamic, and a tablespoon of stock and begin to reduce. Get out the slices of foie gras. Place them in hot naked saute pan, realize pan is too hot. Remove from heat, pray. Woo saved, barely. Because that’s $30 of food right there. And I can already hear Gordon Ramsey yelling at me that I’m wasting his food stock. Sear lightly for 30 seconds each side, plate on center of allemande sauce. Drizzle the madeira/fig reduction around the outside of the allemande/foie gras, place 3 halves of the figs around plate. Serve. Drool. Fucking expensive, but so good it’s sick.
After that it’s time to drop the stuffing into the oven next to the bird. Damn I’m glad I have the big oven. :) So gibblets go into pot of water with salt and pepper, boil to make stock for gravy. Peel a dozen new potatoes, place in pan cover with half whole milk, half heavy cream. Boil for 20 mins or so till tender. Now it’s onto dessert. Simmer 3/4 cup of heavy cream, remove from heat dump in 9oz of Scharffen Berger 62% cacao chocolate bar that’s been chopped up. Melt, combine. voila ganache. In the meantime make the creme anglaise (eggs, heavy cream, vanilla, lemon zest, sugar, coconut extract) and whip till smooth, let sit till airbubbles pop, otherwise you get lumps in your pudding! Dump bread pieces of the challah bread into the creme, soak soak soak. Butter & sugar baking pan, chop up fresh pineapple for the bottom till a good single layer is formed. Dump bread mixture into baking pan and top with 1/2 cup or so sugar to form a nice golden crust. Set aside.
So at this point I realize i’m fucked. I haven’t prepared the rolls, or peeled the broccolini. Fuxor. In the weeds. The turkey dings. WEEEDSSSSS! We pull the bird and the stuffing. Pop in the bread pudding. While turkey rests. Bring stuffing to the table, mash the potatoes, (reserve the cooking liquid to readd to the potatoes to make them creamy) and whip them smooth with stick blender. Plate bird. Take to table. Pour 1/2 oz blackberry syrup into bottom of champagne flute, add berries, add champagne. eat. Yum. Good. Oh and the compound butter gets placed ontop of the potatoes at the table. Take the bread pudding out of the oven after 45 minutes to hour or so, when it’s puffed up.
So we ended up with Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with the butter and the champagne. Erik said it was okay to skip the rolls, we had enough bread in the stuffing, and we’d forgo the broccolini for another day.

An hour or so later after my back began to let me move again, we served up the bread pudding with the chocolate ganache. I found the ganache to be too overpowering for the light tropical flavor of the pud, so on subsequent eatings, I used some of the blackberry syrup with the pud instead. That. Was fucking out of sight.

So that was thanksgiving. :) I made enough food to feed 15 people probably. Well, a week of left overs was nummy. :D Nom Nom Nom!

Happy Holidays everyone, time to figure out what i’m making for christmas besides the ham. ;D

So okay I swanned off to Ohio, for what was supposed to be 13 days of mindless slave labor for my parents, a hockey game with friends, and general dick-off time with whomever…

Last Wednesday my father collapsed on the floor, and became unreponsive, I had to dial 9-1-1 (999) and get an ambulance then race back and yell at him to stay with me while I waited what seemed an interminable 5 minutes. Off to the Hospital, mom in the ambulance, me driving her car.
Spent 6 hours that night at hospital, they admitted him. Lest I drone on about more, spent the next Thur-Sunday nights in various departments, ICU, Heart Center, and finally Oncology. Needless to say daddys Emphysema, and Cirrhosis of the liver finally combined to do him in. After many years of lack of air, and energy he finally passed away Monday Oct 2nd at 10:35am.
I’ve cried till I think I can’t cry anymore the wrenching ache in my chest won’t go away, and all I can think of is I’ll never see him again, never get a bear hug, or a beer scented kiss, or be scolded about some minutiae that doesn’t matter in the long run.
Tangling fishing line while trolling for Pike in Lake Huron, or calling for Whipporwills in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas. Learning to pee in a coffee can, or watching the snake crawl out from under the boat dock to eat my sun fish I caught and ‘set free’ in the little rock pool to watch swim. Railing at the injustices of the world on how could a thing like this happen. Arguing with him over politics or the latest sports scores…
Seeing his goofy grin, or his face light up like a christmas tree when I walked in the door from the flight from Arizona….

I know most of you don’t care and you can skip this, or have already, and I won’t be offended… I don’t need consolation or consideration, but I can’t sleep, tomorrow we have the viewing all day, of people passing by and through my life saying they’re sorry for my loss, and I’m sure they are, and I know that they care about me and want to help me through the pain, even Erik flew out..
… but I can’t care, I can’t sleep, and I can’t stop crying, and I can’t stop the pain, there is a hole in the universe that wasn’t there two days ago, and in two more days, we’ll bury my father in hole in the ground, and I’ll fly home and that’ll be that… but it won’t be the same ever again… No matter what