Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cooking with Miss Monday

Cooking is not something I do on a regular basis. Most of the time, if I'm hungry, I'll do something with bagels or soup, or just go to the handy-dandy gas station, about a mile away, that sells tasty hot dogs and huge cups of tea.
But I digress.
Today, I found myself making a large-scale meal: rice fried with chicken and little chunks of egg. If I ever hosted a cooking show, it wouldn't be to instruct people on how to make delicious meals - it would be purely for the comedy that follows me when I set foot in a kitchen.
I spent what felt like half an hour picking apart what was left of a chicken. I fear I would not be allowed to come near any restaurant's kitchen, ever - I was a terrible, terrible, lazy chef. After rinsing off my hands, with no towels (other than the one sitting on the floor, soaked in homemade tea, which is a story for another time), I used myself as one instead, and transferred most of the water to my clothes.
The same problem arose when I got egg all over my hands, and my solution didn't change.
I'm so glad my slightly germaphobic little sister wasn't there to see it.
Anyway, the eggs took forever to scramble. They sat there for far too long, all smug and runny, and when I got bored and fetched a book, all of a sudden they were smoking and I spent the next few minutes furiously stirring them with a spatula, attempting to keep them from turning into a charred/runny mess.
Finally, though, I got them reasonably under control, and, since I didn't remember how my father usually did the next part, I just dumped in all the chicken and hoped for the best. I wanted to do the same with the rice, but unfortunately, it had other ideas... It huddled in its pot in a sticky mass, and didn't respond to my increasingly frantic attempts to scrape it out. All I got for my efforts was a few little lumps, and I was terrified that my other ingredients would begin to burn.
Thinking fast, I turned the pot upside down, held it over the frying pan, and shook it as best I could (pots full of rice are heavy!). All at once, it slithered out and fell in one clumped mass on the pan, exactly the way it always comes out of those little take-away boxes they give you at Chinese restaurants.
"YES! Who's a boss?" I cried. "I'm the boss!"
I sat there for a moment, looking at the mountain of rice.
"So... What now?"
The next few minutes were spent smashing it and cutting it with my spatula, and then mixing the whole mess together. My arms were exhausted (I have the upper body strength of a sickly hamster), but I was triumphant. I'd cooked my very first family-sized meal!
Now I just have to figure out what I'll do tomorrow night...

Blue Ridge, GA... Why are you so obsessed with bears?

 This is a post I wrote several weeks ago, then forgot about. I figure I might as well post it now. Enjoy!

Today, Saturday (the older sister) decided we were going to have an Adventure. After a morning of math and Minecraft, we hopped in the car and drove an hour and a half into the mountains of Georgia. Our destination: Blue Ridge, chosen for its mountainous location and its reputed 'cute little downtown'.
I'd like to say that the trip was filled with witty banter, but alas, I have nothing all too humorous to report there. Here's our travel montage instead:
Weeeee are the CHAMPIONS, my friiiieeeends! Laaaaaa! Lalalalala! Lalalalala! Lalalalala! And there's a creepy doll! That always follows you! It's got a ruined eye, that's always! Open! And there's a creepy doll! That always follows you! It's got a pretty mouth... To SWALLOW. YOU WHOLE.

Finally, the car trip was over. We had reached Blue Ridge.
At first glance, it seemed to be a bit of a disappointment. There were a few buildings along the highway, but nothing like the nifty downtown area we'd been promised. We visited a local diner, then headed back to the car and made our way to a place called something along the lines of "Huck's Mine".
There was no mine.
Fortunately, there were several nifty shops, which we visited systematically. They weren't all that similar, except for one strange thing...
All of them featured bears in some way.
This one had bear jewelry, that one had a few stuffed bears here and there, one place had some bear book-ends...
And one shop was devoted entirely to bears. Bearskins, teddy bears, bears statuettes, bear paintings, bear signs, bear cards - anything remotely bear-related that you could possibly ever want. It was an ursidaeophile's heaven. Tuesday (the younger sister) was convinced that the owner was the descendent of the witch from Brave.
I think everyone would be just fine with it if they renamed the town to "Bear". Not "Bear Ridge" or "Beartown" - just "Bear".

A few other highlights:
- One shop featured a display of poop, along with a sign that said "Our poop now costs a nickel. You can't buy _ _ _ _ that cheap!" (sic). Immaturely, I spent a solid minute giggling over that one.
Really, how many swear jokes do you expect to see in a small town in the deep south?
- In one antique store, a red-headed ventriloquist dummy was prominently displayed. That's not a legitimate purchase, Store Owner - that's the start of a horror movie.