Sunday, April 8, 2012
To setup this blog I’ll provide a little backstory. When I was but a child my mother belonged to a group of ladies who got together every week or maybe it was monthly for meetings. They called it the Hit and Miss Club. Aptly named, so that they could hit--or miss--the meetings. No pressure. Their purpose may have been to simply get out of the house for a few hours with or without their preschool aged kids. Kids. That’s where I come in. My older sister and brother were in school so I led the charmed life; it was almost like being an only child for a few hours everyday. I got to go to the meetings with my mother. I was allowed to wear a “good” dress and my Sunday school shoes. Before one meeting I waited as my mother got all gussied up, as ladies did in the fifties. Going to something as important as a Hit and Miss meeting on a Thursday afternoon would require wearing a frock more upscale than a house dress. No pedal pushers, either. In the 50s a proper woman wore a girdle. The purpose of a girdle was twofold. It made darn sure that there was no jiggle in the derriere, and it held up the ladies’ nylon hosiery. Back in those days, hosiery came in two pieces, unlike panty hose. After Mom was all decked out in her navy blue skirt and jacket she commented on the unpleasant fact that her girdle did nothing but “push the fat up so that it was above her waist”. During the meeting somewhere after the reading of the minutes and before the refreshments were served I announced to everyone that my mom’s “girdle pushed her fat up so that it was above her waist”. Needless to say my mom was mortified.
So….not long ago I discovered a pair of jeans in my size (or so I hoped) when I bought them. Now these were not my usual pull-on with the elastic casing at the waist. These were the real deal; genuine Lee Riders 5 pocket jeans. The big come-on was the slimming effect created by the “slimming tummy control panel”. What could be better? Well, that “slimming tummy control panel” and the $10.00 price tag. All this in one pair of 5 pocket jeans? Off to the checkout counter I went before the Jeans Police appeared and said “Move away from the $10.00 jeans and no one will get hurt.”
I took my newly acquired jeans home and tried them on. Well, guess what? The amazing “slimming tummy control panel” seemed to be doing its job. It took a good look in the mirror for me to realize that the “slimming tummy control panel” did nothing but push the fat up so that it was above my waist. Paybacks are hell. But, as soon as I get them hemmed up, I’m wearing them anyway. If I don’t shorten them by a couple of inches I’ll be forced to wear stilettoes to keep them from dragging through the mud. I plan to pair them up with a big oversized sweater in an attempt to conceal the bulge above the waist. After all, they were only $10.00.
By the way, my mother hasn’t been to a Hit and Miss meeting in several years. Maybe decades. Hmmm. One can only guess why.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
It all started innocently enough. We were “snowbirding” in Arizona in a small, cozy RV park when I had my first taste of Butter Tarts. For those of you unfamiliar to them, as I was, they are melt in your mouth delicious and they just happen to be a holiday favorite of Canadians. One of the Canadian “parkers” made them, not once, but twice and kindly shared them. Let me tell you – they are wonderful.
So, I decided to give them a try. I found a recipe online, rounded up the ingredients. That took only one or two trips to Safeway. I cleverly used a coffee mug as a rolling pin substitute to roll out and wedge together the pieces of a box pie crust. I asked my very capable husband to light the propane oven and set the temperature. After removing the contents of the oven (a selection of miscellaneous pots and pans) the mission was accomplished. A side note: Motorhome dwellers usually store stuff in the ovens. The microwave doubles as a cupboard for the dish draining equipment.
Moving along….the butter tarts in the oven. Moments later the smoke alarm goes off. Yet another side note: When the smoke alarm goes off our dog gets panicky. Not much bothers her but she knows that when the blaring of the smoke alarm will cause her people to be talking loud (code for yelling) at one another. He says, “Can’t you remember to turn on the */@*%#& fan?” I can’t print my response. Fan gets turned on. Window gets opened. Smoke is filling the 31 foot motorhome. Smoke alarm goes off again. Door is opened. A second fan is turned on. Oven is opened to check butter tarts and more smoke fills the motor home. They are not burning. Hmmm. By now, the smoke is so thick we can’t see down the hall to the bedroom. I hit the smoke alarm with a broom handle to shut the thing up, attempted to calm the dog and checked butter tarts again. They still are not anywhere close to being done, but out they come. In the fracas the timer quit working so I am clueless as to how much longer they should cook if I would be crazy enough to return them to this appliance from hell that used to be known as an oven.
The smoke is starting to clear. Thinking it would be a good idea to try to find the source of the problem a closer look in the oven from hell we found a piece of sponge that was placed between a couple of the aforementioned pots to prevent rattling and banging when we are moving. It took the better part of an hour to scrape the piece of melted spongey stuff off the oven rack.
The end result…. I was able to choke down a couple of the undercooked butter tarts just to make sure they were not suitable to share. The remainder hit the garbage. My Canadian cronies don't have to worry about any competition from me in the Butter Tart construction.