Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Easy, My Ass…

“…books about cooking largely admitted what every homemaker knew to be true:  that feeding people was backbreaking work, and then you died.” (The “Myth” of Easy Cooking by Elizabeth Dunn – linked in earlier post referenced and linked below)

Thanks to Els’ encouragement to expand on my earlier post (which was really just a link), and because my blog pal’s latest post has sparked some excellent commentary, here is my little screed on the matter of “Easy” cooking.

Every single thing in that article resonated with me.  I have DOZENS  of cookbooks (even post-cull) and any number of them promise “easy”.  Easy.  Sure.  Maybe in an alternate universe.

Let’e talk turkey, shall we?

30 Minute Meals.  I owned 4 of these cookbooks.  You can’t actually prepare any of this, from lights-on to table in 30 minutes.  Really, you can’t.  Not unless all your prep is done ahead of time.  And then – let’s talk about the sheer ridiculous number of post and pans and utensils required to produce the meal – basically an hour of clean up.  And you know what else?  In my house, the produce is not all washed and dried and prepped and ready for me to slice/dice/chop.

How about ingredients?  Spurred on by this article, I pulled out a couple of my “easy weeknight meals” cookbooks.  Kohlrabi.  Celeriac.  Butternut Squash (you know it takes an hour alone to simply carve that thing into something you can actually at some point cook and eat, right?).  Le Sigh. (Disclosure – I can actually get kohlrabi and celeriac at my local grocery store, but I’m lucky that way and anyway, it’s only fairly recently that securing some of this stuff didn’t require a pilgrimage to Whole Paycheck).

Mostly where Dunn gets it right is in WHO is exactly creating these recipes.  Not “home cooks who learned at their mothers’ elbows in family kitchen”.  Culinary School grads.  Nothing against them, but what the ^%$#(*&^do they know about screaming into a driveway at 6:30 (sure, you left the office at 5, but then you had the commute and you had to pick up the kids from daycare and then you still had to stop by the grocery store before heading home) with tired, hungry, cranky kids?  Answer?  Big Fat Hairy Zilch, that’s what.

I firmly believe that there are nights you pick up a grocery store rotisserie chickn, maybe a frozen mac & cheese and bag-o-salad.  That’s what you do unless you have a martyr complex the size of Mt. Rushmore.

You also need to get over youself and allow that shortcuts by way of semi-prepared and/or prepackaged food items are not only permissible, they’re essential.  Look, most women, whether they work outside the home or not, ain’t sitting back on the chaise longue, sippin’ on mint juleps and noshing on bonbons all day.  They’re really working.  All day.  And some of them are herding small children.  All. Day. Long.  They’re tired.  Kids are tired.  Hubs comes home – he’s tired.  Everybody’s hungry.  Shortcuts are your salvation, and if you can swing some prep work on the weekends, or even do some make-ahead meals, that’s great.  Otherwise, let’s all chill out and stop worshiping at the altar of “Everything-From-Scratch”.  And have a glass of wine, while you’re at it.


I Knew It Couldn’t Just Be My Problem

FINALLY – some actual honesty about “Easy” cooking for the family.

Recommended reading for anyone who has to cook dinner for more than him/herself.


You’re Welcome!


Friday Rant – Author Edition

One of my guilty pleasure authors just jumped the shark and it pissed me off so much I’d have thrown the book, but it was an e-novella and I’m willing to destroy my Nook over that BS .

I don’t get too wrapped around the axle if authors slide some of their political/sociological/cultural/religious viewpoints in to their fiction, as long as it’s in keeping with story line and is with consistent with the characters as developed.  But, if you’re going to neuter (and that’s what she did) a hitherto fore well-defined character just so you can fling  about your prog-in-good-standing-card (or con card, but that wasn’t the case in this particular instance), well, EFF You.  I’m not buying your stuff anymore!

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced this author didn’t even write the novella.  Clumsy execution and boring as well.  Dammit!



Another Rabid Case of PoorLittleS**tUponMe-Itis

(title updated because, well, it was kind of rude)

No – not ME!!

This stupid, whining cow!

I think I shall take myself away from Le Internet for a short while, lest I have a complete, behind-baring meltdown and find myself featured on WTF post somewhere……  🙂

Happy Thursday!

(The meltdown reference is a little H/T to the MIL – her favorite response to tantrums – “Well, she just showed her behind,didn’t she?”  You can feel free to adopt it if you want to).


The Spiceman Cometh (because fall is here I guess)

I’m reblogging this because it’s that time of year again. That time of year when I get all twitchy because you know, “the spice that dare not speak it’s name” comes screaming to the foreground of all things culinary. Actually, it slithers in sneakily in the guise of “Pumpkin Spice” Fie on you Pumpkin Spice AKA n****g! Fie I Say!

Wannabe Martha

Some people are upset with Starbucks over their Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Apparently the “pumpkin mix” incudes condensed milk. The “some people” would be vegans. You can see how this would present a bit of a problem. Now, I’m not sure why anyone would actually want to be a vegan, but what I’m really confused over is why anyone wants their coffee infected with pumpkinyness.

I actually like pumpkin stuff – as long as it’s pie or muffins or cookies with cream cheese frosting. OK, Jack-o-Lanterns are fine too, but that’s it. I really don’t understand the all-things-pumpkin craze anymore than I understand the all-things-zucchini obsession.

Really though, it’s the whole “spice” combo that worries me. I’m sort of weird about spices and I harbor suspicions about the actual contents of the pumpkin-pie-spice mix. Mostly I suspect (and fear) that it contains nutmeg. Now, as far as I’m concerned (and have…

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A Little Friday Randomness

There is, apparently, such a thing as “Artisanal Lard”. I KNOW. WHO KNEW AND HOW HAVE WE SURVIVED SO LONG WITHOUT IT?

You can use a regular old mason jar as a blender container (well, as long as you’re not using one of the extremely special ones that have an odd shape). I don’t have a blender at this time – we had a bit of a falling out.

The best way to clear your coffee/spice grinder is to use rice. I’ve actually used kosher salt, and that works pretty well.

Feeding coffee beans to elephants so they can hang out in the pachyderm’s intestines and them be pooped out apparently produces the most fabulous coffee. And I’ve discovered that there are limits to my love for coffee.

Some kid at Summerville High School got arrested at school and suspended because for a creative writing assignment, he wrote about shooting a dinosaur. SOUTH CAROLINA’S EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM…THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING (see, apparently other states were having all kinds of fun arresting their students for stupid s**t instead of just, you know, telling the kid to knock it off – of all the things SC was jealous of and wanted to match other states, this had to be it? Really? Le Sigh)

Oh yeah – I still haven’t been convinced to read “Outlander”, nor The Book Which Shall Not Be Named (nor any of it’s sequels). But I did pick up Hannah Jayne’s newest Underworld Detection Agency novel, “Under A Spell” in actual paper format so I can read it in the water.


I’m Cranky Today

And so I’ve allowed myself to get into a bit of an argument about why Outlander IS NOT my cup of tea (so much to choose from – adultery; beating your wife; rape; the list is just endless).  I’m actually really very liberal in my reading – as in, there ain’t much I won’t read (just finished re-reading The Bees – FANTASTIC and I might write a review of it – Thank You Miss BC for the recommendation), but even I have some “nope – not going there” territory.  Part that gets me is that there are CATHOLICS making excuses about the adultery because of “time travel” – and this with CATHOLIC “hero/heroine” (I deliberately use the quote marks because I don’t find any of it particularly heroic.

Anyway – I’m annoyed.  Mostly I’m annoyed that my objections are being dismissed as “not fair to the books” and “you shouldn’t talk about them if you haven’t read them” – well, I think it’s fair to say I don’t want to read them because there are elements which just revolt me (I’m certainly not saying others can’t read or even enjoy the books; I’m just stating WHY I don’t want to read them – and that is apparently not fair or some such BS).

So anyway, I’m annoyed.

[Edited to add – really – I’m very broad in my reading tastes:  Mystery, Romance, SciFi, Fantasy; Historical Fiction; Biography; Dystopian stuff; PNR; Urban Fantasy – yep – I read it ALL with great pleasure]

[Edited again, because clearly I’m not done here.  It’s not that I can’t read a book with rape in it – quite the contrary; in fact, one of my favorite series has the main character suffer a terrible rape, but – and this is the salient point – IT’S NOT BY THE MAN WHO CLAIMS TO LOVE HER, it’s by the villain.  I consider this a rather important distinction.  Also, I don’t mind Le Sex in my reading either (I’m not actually a prude) – but there just isn’t anything romantic or sexy about adultery – deceiving your spouse and violating your marriage – yeah – uh, nope.  And finally – man hits his “beloved” – I’m DONE; just NONONONONONONONONO.

I might be back again.  I’m not sure.]

[Yet another addition – And apparently I can’t keep away from the discussion.  Maybe getting some work done would be a nice diversion, no?? Le Double Sigh]

[Also I am a glutton for punishment, apparently, because I can’t keep my mouth shut; er, fingers off the keyboard.]


How to Insult Someone Without Even Trying

Her:       So, Maevey, do you think your house would be cleaner if you didn’t have to work?

Me:        No, not really.

Her:       Why not?

Me:        Well, (you stupid cow), because if I wasn’t working I’d be sitting outside by the pool, drinking mimosas and reading some good trashy novels all day, not cleaning the (damn) house.

Her:       Oh.  Well, I guess it’s nice that you know what your priorities are.

Me:        Yes, it is (plus I un-friend you).

(I was only thinking the parts in parentheses – and I didn’t think the word “cow”, but I’m trying to clean up my potty-mouth, er potty-thoughts)


A Little Lesson in Social Etiquette – Apologies 101

“Insincerity is, in fact, tantamount to lying.”

I read that phrase a really long time ago (most likely in a romance novel, of all things- HA) and it’s always struck me as the absolute truth – particularly when it comes to apologies.

I propose that whenever one hears the word “IF” in conjunction with an apology, one ought to substitute “as long as”.

“I’m sorry IF you were offended by what I said” becomes “I’m sorry as long as you were offended – otherwise, I’m not.”

Slick, ain’t it?

By employing the conditional, “IF”, the apologizer neutralizes the apology and dismisses his/her own culpability for the egregious speech/actions.   It actually makes the apology conditional upon the response of the injured party.

When people apologize with an “IF” they’re not sorry and not regretful and that “IF” just indicated disdain for you.  It’s not an apology – it’s pandering – an attempt to weasel out of being caught.  It’s a verbal backhand to the face.  Don’t accept it.

So how does one tell if an apology is sincere?  Well how about this… “I’m very sorry FOR having hurt you with my unkind words.  Please accept my apology.”  Now, that’s an actual apology.  I take responsibility for my actions (you can tell because I used the word “FOR”); I don’t try to mitigate the situation.  I don’t try to lay any sort of responsibility on “you”.

Today’s lesson in social etiquette is now over.

Please resume your regularly scheduled fun for the day.


We Interrupt This Lovely Day for an Unpleasant Announcement

It’s National Eat Your Veggies Day.

I object to this.  It feels vey judgmental; as though everything else (hamburgers, cheesecake, chocolate fondue) are second class citizens.

Yes, I know they have their own holidays, but notice that they’re not “Eat Your Cheesecake Day” or “Make Sure You Get Enough Hamburgers Day” “Consume that Chocolate Fondue Now Or Else Day).

You see what’s going on here?  THE MAN is ORDERING YOU TO EAT SOMETHING HEALTHY.

I’ll tell you what I plan to do – Ribeye with baked potato lots of butter much red wine and cheesecake and espresso (like 4, probably) – I suggest you do the same.

(See, I SUGGESTED you eat something luscious, I DIDN’T TELL  you to- also I really hate being told what to do by people who are “just looking out for my best interests” and “only want what’s good for me”).

Um, I know what’s best for me and I’ll look out for my own interests.

$%#!*&^*@!     (I don’t need to translate that, do I?)