Sunday, March 27, 2011

So... what's this about spilled milk?

Hey, kids!

Hope you are all doing well, and if not, I hope there's a pill or something for it.

The past couple nights have been brilliant fun, and a lesson in... accepting things as they are, then moving on... so as not to sacrifice good times. I am so glad I listened to that little voice that said: "Hedy, quit crying over spilled milk. What good does it do? Can't you just... for the love of gawd, move the fuck on?"

Why yes. Yes I can.

Friday night was an unexpected good time. I almost ruined my child before it turned into that, though. I was in the process of making one of my favourite meals, and realized a key ingredient was missing. See? I went to Trader Joe's Wednesday for my usual shopping trip, and somehow forgot to procure my gluten-free pasta. (By the way, I'm not sure what they do to this stuff, but it is the only one I have found that doesn't have uneven spots, or disintegrate in the water.) If you haven't tried it, you really should. I can't tell the difference between it and the conventional semolina stuff.

Anyway, I had started the sauce, and it was left to simmer so the balls could cook. (I make and eat balls. I do. And they are tasty.) I looked into my cupboard to this unpleasant discovery, all the while realizing the store is only about 10 seconds away by car, and I thought to myself: There is a good chance I can get what I need, and back home without having the sauce bubble over and ruin my kitchen. It worked. Whew.

The big save comes while leaving for the store. MicroSqueak spots me, telling me she wants to show me something AMAZING upstairs.

I had to let her know that I really needed to get to the store right then, and didn't have time to stop and look. She hung her head low, and slowly began walking back up the stairs. I felt so bad! So, I invited her to come to the store with me. She immediately perked back up, ran, got her shoes, and came along. She helped me in the store by grabbing one of the little kid carts, and was so proud of herself for being such a smart shopper, since we used her cart, instead of a big one. On the way home, we shared a fruit leather, which was our little secret. Shhh!

When we arrived home, I checked on the sauce, which was no worse for temporary neglect, gave it a stir, and walked upstairs with her. She had turned her bed into a pillow/book fort with a tap light in the center, so it was all aglow. This was one proud little girl! I have to admit, it was pretty darn cool.

I had impromptu plans with Miranda later that night. I stopped by her place, and in our true fashion of taking forever to get anywhere, we decided to go to a place that wasn't that close to hers, so we could hang out in the car and talk in transit.

When we get together, getting us to shut up is an exercise in futility.

As I drove through downtown Portland, we came up on Pioneer Square. Passing the square, a man in a nice looking dress shirt, slacks, and a tie ran up next to our car, and leapt to the right, as if he were about to cross the street, and basically commit... well, injury since I wasn't going very fast. He stopped short at the corner, twirled around, threw his tie over his shoulder, and grabbed both pecs. He looked as if he was about to say: "I'm an accountant by day, and a fucking super hero by night! You do NOT want to mess with me!"

And, no. No, I didn't.

We both burst out laughing at this point. And Miranda had this to say: "What the fuck was that? Seriously! That is the weirdest fucking shit I have seen all day, and I've had a weird day!"

I was just glad there was a red light there, because I was laughing so hard, I almost had to pull over. Hope the rest of that guy's night was as entertaining.

We went out for drinks at one of our old haunts, and had some tasty martinis. Had to laugh, because the waiter must have been quite bored. We had been sitting at the table for... less than 30 seconds, and he tried to take our order. Nice if you know what you want, I suppose, but we... are... slow. And indecisive. And... damn. Third time was a charm though. And when he finally did take our orders, he carded us! If I'd had a bag of gold stars, I would have handed it to him. Alas, he had to settle for a good tip, which I'm sure was probably more useful, anyway.

I love getting carded. In my early 20's I thought it was a big pain in the ass, because I'd have to dig through things to find my ID. I couldn't wait for the day when I finally would no longer be carded. And when it came, I looked back on all of those other times pretty wistfully.

He did get one hefty tip.

While there, two men walked in. One looked remarkably like Mr. Hed. It was uncanny, and freaked me out a little because at first I thought... "Who is that guy he's with, and who is watching the girls???" Obviously it was not him, but damn.

As we were leaving, I caught him checking me out. Seriously. Very strange. Miranda and I got into the elevator, and waited for the door to close. He was still behind another door, but you can never be too careful. She turned to me saying: "I wonder what Mr. Hed would say if you brought that guy home for a three way?"

Yeah, I don't really want to find out. That's... fine. No, really.


Yesterday was a ball of laughs. I started out with an extensive to-do list, because we threw a birthday party for our friend Laura. Of course, I didn't take into account I wouldn't really have help with this, as Mr. Hed and Laura's husband Brian were putting up a fence in our backyard. We have been waiting to get that project knocked out for a while, so I was glad, and then I was overwhelmed.

The girls were having a rough day, and I didn't have a whole lot of stuff planned to keep them entertained as I prepped the house, and made food for the party.

The menu was supposed to look like this:

Peanut butter cup birthday cake. (Chocolate cake, peanut butter filling, chocolate buttercream frosting, with peanut butter cups on top.)

Gluten Free vanilla cupcakes with lemon curd filling, and vegan/soy-free lemon vanilla frosting.


Mild and lethal salsas

tuscan bean salad

olive whip

Most of that stuff, I was able to accomplish in a competent manner. I had done a bunch of spring cleaning all week long, so the only real cleaning I had to do was just pick up after the kids as they made messes throughout the day. Not so bad there.

The stuff that failed was the stuff I had high hopes for. I decided to try a new frosting that I could actually eat. Can't do conventional buttercream. Can't do buttercream made with margarine. The recipe called for a bunch of interesting ingredients, and the directions seemed clear enough... but well? When I went to the store, they did not have a key ingredient that was clearly needed. Powdered coconut milk. I even went to the good store to find this, and no dice. The clerk at the store suggested I try creamed coconut. It is basically what it sounds like. They take the entire pulp of the coconut, and just mash it into oblivion... and this is what comes out as a result: A dense, heavy, brick'o'coconutty goodness. I have bought it before. Tastes a little like white chocolate, and is a nice treat to have once in a while. I agreed that this would probably be a passable sub-in, so I bought a box.

When I got home, I threw that into a food processor, and started the process immediately, because it said that it would take at least 6 hours to set up in the refrigerator. All said and done, it was pourable liquid, and tasted amazing. I poured it into a bowl, stuck it in the fridge, and went about the rest of my day.

When the chocolate cake had baked, I realized I had forgotten to take the butter out to soften it, and therefore would not be able to do a mix-only buttercream. I also didn't have enough eggs, any heavy cream, or... at that point, patience to do a traditional boiled sugar buttercream, so I went to the damn store and bought a can of frosting. (And this is where I hang my head in shame, because I have not done this since I was about 20, and didn't know any better.) But still... Duncan Hines to the fucking rescue, I guess.

I decided not to make a big fuss about this, and got started on the lemon curd. I have a tried and true method that has NEVER failed me before... but today? Good lord. NO! Even that didn't come out right! So... the gluten-free cupcakes were served in the buff. They were still eaten, and I will be making that recipe again. They were really tasty, and it was nice for LadyBug and I to have something to eat when the cake was cut. But next time, I will try the frosting recipe out in advance so I don't end up repeating that disaster. It turned out like... delicious, albeit grainy... ricotta cheese. See, the creamed coconut, (I'm guessing,) acted like cold butter in a mix-only buttercream. Yeah, please. If you are going to do buttercream this way... soften your butter! Trust me, and just do it, kay?

0 for 3 on the goo. The only goo that worked out was the hummus. Because... well? Just being honest. But, damn. I know what I'm doing there.

The party was a complete success though. Many of Laura's friends, who she wasn't expecting to see, (some from the other side of the state, even,) showed up early. When Laura walked in, she handed me a bottle of Red Zinfandel and said: "Happy Equinox!" (This was our ruse in getting her over here, since she had expressly told Brian she did not want a party this year.)

Well... enter Hedy... Heh heh heh... I'm the pretty prince of parties... and let's face it. I will find an excuse... any excuse... to throw one!

Things ended with a little jam session in my living room. Yay, guitars... and Goonies!

Weekends like this are welcome anytime.



  1. Yum! Can you post your recipes for all of the above? I've only made traditional buttercream and would love some new ways to make it. In addition to the coconut recipe and hummus!

    I have got to pick your brain about good alternative recipes. We don't have a ton of allergies and things in our house but people we know do and I'm always on the lookout for good yummy healthier recipes!

  2. K. I think I want to try the vegan buttercream one again before I pass it along to anyone else though. The end product was VERY strange, and I ended up just throwing it out. I may do actual tutorials on some of this stuff with photos, because that's how I roll. LOL