Category Archives: housewife

It LIIIIIIVVVEEESSSSS!!!!

BOOM BABY!!

BOOM BABY!!

So, I’ve been gone for a long, long while. After healing from my broken finger and working back up to my 5k running skills, we got PCSd by the Navy! Again! I hope you can understand and forgive me. Posts will begin again soon! Prepare for a list!

Holy shit a list this is the best day ever oh my god oh my god oh my god!!!

Holy shit a list this is the best day ever oh my god oh my god oh my god!!!

First, though, I must tell the tale of the shit-storm that was Fall of 2014. Dun-dun-duuun!! They sent us right back to the same place we were before going to CA, but we had sold our house so now we’re renting a condo. We had less than 30 days to pack, find a place to live and get across the country. On the way, I am sad to report, Miss Kitty passed away.

Rest in peace, Miss Kitty.

Rest in peace, Miss Kitty.

The stress of it all caused my back to lock up. The doctor (once we got here) put me in physical therapy, but the office was at the hospital which required close to three hours of driving to and from for 45 minutes of stretches. Fuck that noise. Yoga was working for me and I could finally get my underwear on by bending over again. Seriously. I couldn’t put on my panties without laying in the fetal position. Still, I was on the mend and making my way back into the gym. Then, disaster struck again.

Taking out the trash one morning, I stubbed my right toe, lunged forward to brace myself and…. felt the arch pop and give away. Part of my foot that has never touched the ground felt the cold cement. I couldn’t put weight on it. I had sprained my mother fucking arch.

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This was right before Halloween. It is now just past St. Patty’s Day and while I can walk now, I still can’t run or play volleyball. Advil is  never less than three feet away. I still have Flexeril (for my back) that I need to take some nights just to get some rest. I now weigh about ten pounds more than I have ever weighed before – even when I gained my “freshman 15.”

Still, I can go to the gym again. I have lost four pounds so far and can go five miles on the stationary bike. Work is still a bit of a pipe dream, but a clean house is totally within my grasp. And now that we’ve shaved Boyo, once I vacuum I’m fairly certain I can keep this ridonc cream carpet clean.

And with that… peace and I’m out

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Flepic Pail of Doughm!!

Mediterranean Black Olive Bread

Ingredients (Original recipe makes 1 - round loaf)
3 cups bread flour  
                    2 teaspoons active dry yeast 
2 tablespoons white sugar          1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup chopped black olives       3 tablespoons olive oil 
1 1/4 cups warm water              1 tablespoon cornmeal

Directions

1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, yeast, sugar, salt, black olives, olive oil, and water.

2. Turn out dough onto a floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside, and let rise about 45 minutes, until it doubles in size. Punch down. Knead well again, for about 5 to 10 minutes. Let rise for about 30 minutes, until it doubles in size.

3. Round the dough on kneading board. Place upside down in a bowl lined with a lint-free, well floured towel. Let rise until double in size.

4. While the bread is rising for the third time, put a pan of water in the bottom of theoven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).

5. Gently turn loaf out onto a sheet pan that has been lightly oiled and dusted with cornmeal.

6. Bake loaf at 500 degrees F (260 degrees C) for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake for 30 more minutes, or until done.

Again I’m all bakey. It seems that lately I’ve been on a massive kitchen kick, and I can’t help feeling it’s related to the fact that I finally cleaned all the random crap off the table. I can sit at it, the curtains are tied back to let the sun in and I can watch all the old people that live in the park drive by on their way to work.

So today we’re trying a bread from scratch that I’ve been eyeballing for a while. Olive bread. Yum! I buy olives every year for Christmas dinner (along with a couple of pounds worth of cold cuts and cheeses) because fuck turkey at Christmas. That ain’t how the Bernasconi clan rolls. Speaking of, I used croissants rather than sandwich rolls this year and it was delicious!

Back to the bread – I bought my usual Sicilian spiced and oil cured olives in the smallest quantities possible because I married a viking who fails to appreciate the genius of olives. This year, however, I bought the olives at the local Dutch market and apparently the Amish believe “oil cured” means “salt lick substitute.” Boy howdy! So those went back in the fridge and have just been staring at me for the last two weeks. Then I stumbled across an olive bread recipe and it was a miracle!

It’s on the first of three rises/raises/risings (DARK KNIGHT!) so I have no idea how it will taste. I do know that my next attempt at this bread (since I have half a thing of olives still) will include less water and/or oil. That stuff never became properly elastic during the kneading the way bread dough usually gets and I’m a tad concerned that it’s going to affect the eventual outcome of the bread. I guess we’ll know in a couple of hours.

EDIT: I’m sorry to report that my bread has failed. It never rose. I’m gonna bake it anyway because the oven has already preheated, but yeah… Never fear. Tomorrow we’re trying again with less oil and water. Yay!

EDIT (Part 2): Umm… It actually baked up okay. It’s pretty good as the bread for a prosciutto and provolone sandwich with mayo. Nom.

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It’s Not Quite What It’s All About…

Those who know me may or may not be aware that I worship at the altar of Nigella. She is my idol and (as Eric von Zipper says) my ideal. She cooks and bakes to picturesque picture perfect perfection – okay, alliteration failed me – and it always looks like something you’re meant to eat. And she does. And I want to… a lot.

The other day I watched a few hours worth of The Almighty N on youtube and got all bakey. So I made a Mediterranean herb and cheese bread from a bread machine mix. Only I’m an epic failure with those death machines so I did it all by hand. It was a little chewier in the center than I would have preferred – a little dense – but the hubbs loved it and we ate the whole thing with oil and balsamic vinegar. Yay!

For New Year’s we made a Russian chocolate cake (apparently a traditional thing there) from scratch. He loved it even though the cake was a bit dense and dry (totally my bad on poorly scooping flour) and the rum wash didn’t quite come through the flavor of the ganache. I love that word. Ganache. All this baking and cooking and talk of food makes me want to get even more bakey so I’m trying a recipe that’s deceptively difficult.

Hokey Pokey. Honeycomb. Diabetes in a tin. That’s what I’m working on right now. You know what they say – third time’s a charm!

We’ll see.

Batch one was awful. The instructions call for 1 ½ tsp of baking soda. I accidentally grabbed a ½ tbsp. Whoops.

Batch two tasted better but was flat and chewy and still a tad too carpet powdery. Blech.

Batch three is cooling now and I’m praying my tiny heart out – oop. Nope. Flat and chewy again.

The whole idea of this snack/desert thing is that it’s supposed to set all fluffy and hard and then you smack the crap out of it with a hammer to make hard little chunks of biteable yummy. I can’t tell what I’m doing wrong but I’m doing it WAY wrong because I keep ending up with chewy taffy-like stuff. While I’m sure someone somewhere could do something with this stuff I’m unfortunately not that talented and I’ve got a hubby on a diet. WAH!! Anywhoo… there are no pictures of this baking failure, but I will embed what should have happened a’la Nigella.

All hail Nigella!

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Did you ever notice??

There are moments in life that make you realize how un-adult you are. Sometimes it’s a large event like going to Disneyland. I’ve been. Sometimes it’s getting that easy-bake oven you’ve wanted since you were five. I had one so I’m good. So were the cakes. Every now and then it’s something simple and horrifying. A cockroach.

For my money there is nothing more terrifying than a cockroach- no matter the size- and I don’t care what kind it is, how rare it is or how nice it might look with rhinestones and a leash (thanks Tyra Banks for THAT nightmare fuel). A roach is a roach and unless it’s the ass end of a joint that bastard has to die. The un-adult problem starts once it’s dead because then I have a tiny icky body to dispose of and no husband or sister around to take care of it for me. So here I am with a dead cockroach that needs disposing of and I’m alone.

The solution was a well placed paper towel and the trashcan pressed against the counter. Well, to be honest it also involved my dish gloves and a cardboard box so I wouldn’t have to touch the paper towels covering the bug as I slid the bastard bug into the trash.

Of course, the biggest problem with seeing and killing a roach is that it’s just the tip of the icky iceberg. Now I must clean, bleach and scrub every surface in my kitchen. This includes clearing out every drawer and cabinet , buying even more bug traps and spraying every crack with buggy death in a bottle. The only thing that would make it all better would be new PopD podcasts since I’ve recently re-read every Crusie novel and you can’t read while you scrub. I suppose I could get some books on tape, but a man reading Krentz is the best I’ve ever heard and frankly you haven’t lived until you’ve heard a man in his sixties reading the female dialogue in a sassy romance novel.

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Flour, Butter and Sugar. Nom.

So, yesterday I made this:

Not pictured: flour behind my ear and in my hair.

This is my second attempt at making shortbread and it’s still not right but my poor husband came home right as they were just finishing in the oven. The house smelled of sweet buttery goodness and my poor hungry husband realized he wouldn’t be able to eat any of them. Why? He’s on a diet.

Yeah, I’m a bastard.

I woke up this morning and walked into the kitchen to discover my cookie tin sitting next to the pan. A small, subtle reminder from my loving hubby to put the shortbread away. So now I have a full cookie tin and a full biscotti jar because I apparently chose the “shit-ton” recipe.

This isn’t really about what a jackass I am but I had to take off my watch and wedding rings to knead the dough but forgot to put them on after I got cleaned up. Being lazy I spent the entire night trying to adjust rings and a watch that weren’t there. At one point the hubby suggested I get up and put them on but I would have had to get up and at the time I was playing a video game… Yeah.

But it struck me how empty my finger looked without the rings and this morning when I finally put them back on it felt so right. And that’s how I fell in love all over again with my husband twice in the last twenty-four hours.

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Cleaning House (Sucks)

Why does it always feel like every step forward in my battle against clutter is met with two steps back in another room?

I do laundry and a million dishes appear. I wash those dishes and stacks of random papers form on my cedar chest. I clear out those stacks of paper only to notice a mountain of husband flotsam on my living room floor. Does it never end?!

I’ve mentioned before that I’m trying (and failing) to create a schedule for myself not unlike a work schedule. The trick is actually building one and then sticking to it. I think I might have an idea, so wish me luck! If I can’t get this house under control I may go batty.

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Easy Like Sunday Mornin’

What a crock. My Sunday morning was spent grocery shopping followed by rearranging living room furniture with the hubby and re-alphabetizing all our DVDs and games.

Why? ‘Cause that’s how we roll.

I’ve been considering doing my own version of a 50’s Housewife Challenge but the food is the main reason I’ve been holding off. As most of you know my hubby has to stick to a strict diet in order to maintain his weight for his job. Somehow I can’t help feeling that a meat mold is the best way to keep the calories down.

Oh, God... Why!!

My main interest in the challenge would be the housekeeping and the supporting your husband portions (though not in a creepy step ford way). Our home is tiny. TINY. We live in a mobile home that is a mere 12 x 60 that for some reason has a “second bedroom” in it. I’ve had closets bigger than this room.

The house is cute enough, and it’s all bought and paid for which is more than I can say for our car, but in the end it requires real effort to keep it clean because it is so small. Even the slightest hint of clutter can take a space from cozy to clutter-fucked in a matter of seconds. So, if I do decide to take the housekeeping challenge (minus the snazzy clothes and jello-molds) I’ll be sure to document it all for your watching/reading pleasure. Who knows – maybe my house will be under control for once.

Also, does anyone have an idea how to multitask a cedar chest without using it as a coffee table or entertainment center?

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