Saturday, October 25, 2003

One of the biggest regrets of my life is that I discarded years and years of Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines when we moved into our house three years ago. "Everything's online now," I thought to myself. Everything except a recipe for the most special gingerbread in the whole wide world. I can't find a recipe that comes close. I think the original recipe was in one of those two magazines in the early 1990's, but I can't find it online. There are gazillions of gingerbread recipes, but none of them is right. This one is close. The recipe I'm looking for had dark coffee in it (but the stout would work I guess), an a little black pepper I think. It was a very old, traditional, British-style gingerbread. Can anyone help? Calling all gourmands!

Do you like pomegranates? I bought three for four dollars yesterday at Broadview and Gerrard. It's the deal of the century.

I'm in a fondu mood. What a pant load of work, but they're so fun! We have two oil fondu pots, and one for cheese. My favourite thing to fondu is mushrooms and onion rings. I make a bowl of pancake mix (from scratch, natch, no boxes please), add some garlic and mustard, and dip the mushrooms and/or onions (or even shrimp) into the batter. Plonk! Sizzle Sizzle!

On Day Four of the Sammy Sam Watch, his breathing hadn't really improved and he was re-admitted to the hospital. Poor Schnook. Today is Day Five, and he's still there. "Fix him" I want to shout. "Don't make me come down there."

I rented Anger Management last night; it sucked, except for a funny scene with John C. Reilly, who we love. Tonight I'm watching Bend it Like Beckham, then perhaps Steel Magnolias, which is on TV. The best part of Steel Magnolias is the performances of Olympia Dukakis and Shirley McLaine. I want to be just like them when I grow up. Growing tomatoes, yelling at neighbourhood dogs/children, wearing eccentric clothes, keeping my dearest friends close to me, and being secretly thrilled with my life. And I'm fairly certain I will be, too.

To bring cheer to my sweet friend Ice Queen, who has been very sick, I put some new content up on 2DM.

Now if only I could bring her some gingerbread...

Friday, October 24, 2003

My nephew is (almost) healthy, and back at home! Finally it's Friday. Here's the Five.

1) Too busy to cook? The cupboards are bare? Who ya gonna call?
Ho-Lee-Chow is my takeout of choice. Mr. Crabby prefers pizza or Jamaican. I have ordered Ho-Lee-Chow so often lately that Einstein, our more social cat, has developed a relationship with the delivery guy.

2) Do you eat in front of the TV, or at the table?
Admittedly, we eat with Jerry Seinfeld and Alex Trebek most nights. In the summer we do this less, as it's so nice to eat in the backyard or on the front porch.

3) What's for dinner tonight?
Tonight I'm on my own, so it'll likely be popcorn and/or raw broccoli. I think I also saw some pickled mushrooms in the fridge... Mr. Crabby, I hope, will take the leftover stroganoff and noodles to work tonight.

4) What's the state of your kitchen right now?
It's tidy and ready for action. I've got a day of cooking planned for Saturday.

5) If you could have any meal, with anyone, absolutely anywhere tonight, what would you select?
I would want something stewed and savoury, with a cheese plate and candied nuts, exceptional wine that I would never buy myself, with Mr. Crabby, in a cabin somewhere in the rocky Canadian Shield, where it is windy and snowing outside the clattering window, by the fireplace where our kitties and puppy are dozing, with a whole bunch of movies and music to enjoy throughout the evening.

Alternatively, I wish that same evening for Cecilia - that she be home with her family for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

To the four nurses at North York General Hospital who wouldn't help me last night, I say "Thanks For Nothing". Did you ignore me because I was being too assertive? Did you ignore me because I was wearing a red clown nose and had my hair in sticky-upy pony tails? Or did you ignore me because you are so inured to the reality of your job that you've decided to leave the "care" out of "health care worker"? Here's the story.

Phone rings Chez Crabby last night: "Crabby? Can you come? I'm at the hospital with the boys. We've been here for seven hours. Sammy's really sick. Adam hasn't had any dinner yet. Can you come get him?" And she's crying. So I cry too. "I'll be right there." My sister's youngest boy has had viral asthma-related breathing problems. When his lips turned just the right shade of blue yesterday afternoon, in they went. He's only 17 months old! Oh honey, why did you wait so long to call me?

I called Mr. Crabby, who while upset for my sister and the baby, was more than happy to leave his midnight shift to rescue us all. He picked me up at home, and we tore up the Don Valley Parkway to the inhospitable hospital. When I entered the Emergency department, I faced one of those ubiquitous "Do not enter without a mask" signs. Naturally, there was nobody at the mask/registration desk, so I grabbed a very large, ill-fitting one and proceeded to the next obstacles - one unhelpful nurse after another. I walked through the ward twice, looking around, feeling like I was invading people's privacy. "Look," I finally said. "They've been here all afternoon. A blonde woman with a blonde baby and a red-haired boy. Last name Peters. Surely somebody can tell me where they are!"

At that moment, my five-year-old nephew comes tearing around the corner in standard five-year-old nephew mode. "Hey!" I called to him. "Heyyyyyy!" he called back, laughing at my clown nose. "Auntie Cwabby!" His shock of red hair and pale face under that flourescent lighting made me blink back more hot tears.

Mindful of Uncle Crabby idling outside, I said "let's blow this joint, Buddy. Wanna get a burger?" He led me to my sister, who was lying on a bed behind a curtain with a very sick-looking little boy sleeping on her lap. He looked smaller than he should be. My heart, thick with both our tears, broke a little just then. Meanwhile, my buddy gathered up his gear and we kissed my sister goodbye. As he and I made our way out of the ward, he insisted on saying goodbye to the doctors and nurses with whom he'd made friends during his afternoon adventure. "Auntie Cwabby's taking me to McDonalds for a burger now. I'm going now. Bye now. Thank you for the popsicle. Bye." One doctor shook his hand, glancing sideways at my fetching clown-nose-over-surgical-mask look.

"Uncle Cwabby, can I have some music back here please?" Uncle Crabby smiled and turned on the car radio.

"Could I please have a happy meal with a cheeseburger with no pickles and some milk and a hot fudge sundae with no peanuts please?" "Honey," I say gently, "I think that's a Dairy Queen thing." "Oh right. Then whatever kind of sundae you have would be fine, please," he says to the McCounter Girl. She offered him his choice of two toys. "My baby brother's really sick at the hospital, and I think he'd like this one best." Enter more hot tears. My heart broke just a little more.

I sat watching Adam and Uncle Crabby eat their burgers, then we took the boy home and put him to bed two hours later than usual. "Can you tell me when we get to Primrose Street, Auntie Cwabbie? I'm a little tired now."

The baby's still at the hospital, with very low blood/oxygen levels. Mr. Crabby assures me that he's in the right place, he's where he needs to be... but that hasn't stopped the hot tears from rolling down my cheek.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Do you remember the "Hinterland Who's Who?" television PSAs that aired years and years ago? I loved them. Good news! They're back!

No matter what part of the country people come from, everybody seems to remember the "Hinterland Who's Who?" Which was your favourite? I like the beaver best.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

I bought a bottle of Pernod some time ago, wanting to replicate a delicious shrimp concoction that my sister-in-law once served us. The shrimp got used in last night's Jambalaya, so here I sit, surfing for Pernod cocktail recipes.

Radmila, this one's for you. Cheers!

Anaylze This

Bad Dream #1: I am on my way to Glencoe to help Ice Queen find her lost poem. Something happens and I fall down on the highway. There I am - lying on highway 401 in rural southwestern Ontario, and I can't get up. I'm hurt. It hurts. Off in the distance, I see oncoming traffic. It's a big red streetcar. It's bearing down on me. It's being driven by my mother. She's not stopping the big red streetcar. She hits me. Instead of squashing me, as I expected, the streetcar just sort of pushes me along the highway. She's smiling down at me from the driver's seat. I'm really cheesed off at her for pushing me along the road like this. Eventually she stops the streetcar. I get up, brush myself off, get on the streetcar, pay her my $2.25 fare, and sit down in the second-seat-driver-side just like I do everyday.

Bad Dream #2: I have a job interview in a newly errected shack in the parking lot of the Loblaws Super Centre at Leslie and Lakeshore. It's some sort of health care facility. I arrive early, only to notice that I'm wearing my suit jacket, a cami, stockings, and pumps. No pants. Ok, ok, pretty typical nightmare so far, I know, but I'm not horrified or humiliated in this dream. I'm just surprised that I forgot my pants. For what seemed like the next five hours I walked all over this shack looking for my pants. My mother was supposed to drop them off. Where are my pants? I'm a little cold without my pants. Still lots of time 'till the interview... wish I could find my pants. They're blue. Has anyone seen my pants? Then I looked at the job description, and saw that the position paid way less than I wanted, so I just left. Without my pants.

In other news, I made a most delicious Jambalaya last night. My house has Jambalaya Wiff. The recipe said it would feed ten. Ha!