Posts Tagged ‘food’

Bountiful: The Joy of Being a Total Ouiser

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Clairee: “Why do you give all these to me?”
Ouiser Boudreaux: “Somebody’s gotta take em, I hate em, I try not to eat healthy food if I can possibly help it.”

Anelle: “Then why do you grow them?”
Ouiser: “Because I’m an old Southern woman and we’re supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt. Don’t ask me those questions. I don’t know why, I don’t make the rules!”

–  Steel Magnolias

I’ve been working really hard on looking at positives this Summer. Summer makes looking at positives much easier, what with all the sunshine, and water, and ice cream and such. Basically, that means I’m trying to make quick work of the things I don’t enjoy, and then finding (making) the time to do the things I love. Reading, writing, running, dog cuddles, listening to music, dabbling in the worst painting ever (anyone local want to take a painting class with me?), volleyball. . . Hell, y’all. I’m taking up tennis again. But the thing that absolutely brings me the most joy? My garden.

My garden has expanded in the last couple of years. Instead of the one bed I started out with down at the street, we now have a sunnier spot in the side yard and we’ve put two more beds there. I love vegetables. Pretty much all vegetables. But tomatoes. Oh, tomatoes! They are my heart and soul.

And I went a little bit overboard this year with the tomato plants. Not really, but keeping up with all of them has proven challenging. We have tomatoes lining the windows.


And tomatoes (and okra, and basil, and cucumbers, and peppers and beans) in baskets.


In response we’ve taken to pickling and freezing like we were my Grandma. Our fridge is already packed to the gills with pickles. And pickled things. The last few days, we’ve been bombarded with more vegetables than we can possibly eat. I gave a bunch to my sister. And today, I spent the day putting up veggies.

So, I made another jar of dills, and then an extra “Kitchen Sink” jar – Cucumbers, green beans, jalapenos, and banana peppers all jammed in together.


I made okra and tomatoes. Reminds me of my mama. So good, even if I’m probably the only one that will eat it.


I’ve already frozen about a kabillion cherry tomatoes, but I froze some more. (Those are easy. Dump them in a bag. Seal the bag. Freeze them. Use over the winter for sauces and soups. Yum.)


We still have tons more of the cherries, so we will probably make caprese salad for dinner every night this week. My favorite and the kids like it, too. (Although, let’s be honest, it’s just a vehicle for olive oil and mozzarella, right?)

And I also tried out roasting cherry tomatoes and they were so damn good that the neighbor kid and I almost ate them all and had no more to freeze. I’ll have to do those again. Easy and delicious.



I made a ton of pesto. I usually make it every week or so during the summer and then freeze it. There is nothing better than homemade pesto on a cold night in January. I put it in piles on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then put them in freezer bags for storage.



This time, though, I put some in mason jars to freeze. I’m hoping that will help with the color issue. Freezing it makes it lose it’s brighter green color and it basically ends up looking like baby poo. It does not taste like baby poo. We’ll see how that goes. That second jar below got hit hard, because I had to taste it and make sure that it tasted alright. It’s gonna be pretty good, I think. I also feel sick from too much pure pesto ingestion.


And then to cap it all off, I set up some of my herbs to dry: Marjoram, oregano, lemongrass, chamomile, lemon thyme, tarragon, and chives. (Already have a ton of dried basil.) Finally found a use for my grandma’s clothes pins that I brought home from the lake. I couldn’t bear to get rid of them. Weird, I know.


I know. I’m a total Ouiser. This is universally acknowledged by all who know me: Cantankerous, sharp-tongued, blunt and honest. I’ve just been in a very bad mood for 40 years.

But growing things makes me happy, and makes me feel tethered to the earth, and I am going to be super pleased to have that frozen stuff over the winter. I’m gonna need some help eating the pickles this summer, though, so hit me up if you like pickled things. And I’ll definitely have them at Wednesday night pool dinners, so come by and have some.

P.s. Debbie, if you read this, and you like pickles or pesto or anything else you have seen above, I would like to propose a trade, because I badly want to try your ice cream. Badly.

She Cracks Me Up

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Tiller: “Can we eat out?”
Me: “No. But we will probably eat out tomorrow before Rollie’s game.”
Tiller: “Can we have S&S?”
Me: “Well, i guess so. I was thinking Jason’s Deli, but we could do S&S instead.”
Tiller: “Okay, well, let’s agree.” [Her head nodding affirmatively, palms face up, and out to the side.]
Me: “Good idea.”

Mardi Gras

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

I’m attending a community planning meeting this morning to help save programs at my child’s school. Then helping my parents move some stuff at the new house. Then? Then, Todd and I get to go to our friend Lucy’s Mardi Gras party. Lucy is a Mobile native and they have a party every year. This is our first chance to attend, so we are very excited. Anyone have a great Mardi Gras-themed appetizer or side dish recipe?

And in honor of Lucy’s Mobile Mardi Gras party, i thought I’d post a link to information on the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center’s website about Mardi Gras in Mobile.

I could seriously spend two weeks straight going through all the awesome stuff digitized at The Library of Congress’ site.

Restaurant Suggestions

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

So, Todd wants to take me out for my birthday dinner. Suggestions? What are your favorite restaurants?

Yeah, i don’t get out much, i guess. Help a loser out.

Salad Sucks, Mama

Monday, February 26th, 2007

What Rollie thinks about salad.

I Have a Problem.

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Why does it have to taste so good? Why do we have to eat it at all?

This is the Mrs. Winner’s leftovers guilt talking. We have a lot going on around the house (we are putting it back on the market next week) and so Todd brought home a bucket of chicken for dinner last night. We don’t do this often (like, ever). There were leftovers. Mrs. Winner’s is not on Weight Watchers. I think that if you look up Mrs. Winner’s in the Dining Out companion that WW gives you, instead of points values for the chicken, it just says, “Give up now.”

I woke up this morning. I was really good. Coffee, with Splenda and fat free creamer. Breakfast bar to go as I walked out the door to take Rollie to school. Came home, went to pour one last half-cup of coffee, and stumbled across. . . I can only describe them as two buttery biscuits of love. That reminded me of the chicken leftovers in the fridge. Suddenly, I was putting a chicken wing and two biscuits on a plate and popping them into the microwave. At 10:00 a.m.

I quit smoking. I could quit drinking if I wanted. Food? I have a problem.

I Know

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

I should not look a gift horse in the mouth, or be ungrateful, but when you leave the vacuum cleaner, broom and dustpan, windex, paper towels, and furniture polish all over the house, it is pretty obvious what you think of my housekeeping skills. That is okay – I will overlook the insult as long as you keep my kids. Even if you did stock my pantry with vanilla wafers, double stuff Oreos, two kinds of jelly with sugar (even though we had two sugar-free versions already), a tin of Hershey’s kisses, Rice Krispies, and two new containers of pourable sugar (as opposed to the cheap bagged type I use). I mean, if I wanted my kids to eat that crap, it would probably be in the pantry already, but whatever. More with which Mama can sabotage her diet after 8 pm.

Seriously: I cringe at the thought of what has entered my children’s mouths throughout the various times they have been taken care of by their grandparents. I know it will not kill them, and the free time is worth a cavity or two, but the worst part? I cannot physically bring myself to throw out those Oreos. A full bag? I cannot do it. They will sit there and slowly ruin my weight loss until Todd comes home on Saturday, when they will succumb to one of two scenarios: 1)Todd shows extreme willpower and kicks them to the curb. 2) Todd goes out for drinks with the boys, and then comes home, skulks around the kitchen as the rest of us sleep, then eats Oreos in one sitting with a peanut butter jelly sandwich.

I know this is our weakness, and not theirs. Why does it have to be so hard?

Road Trip! Ronnie! LeatherFace!

Monday, January 29th, 2007

My sister Lisa came to pick up the kids this morning. She and Mark took them to the Georgia Aquarium. Todd and I went to his office, picked up the Ryder Van and Ronald McDonald, and hit the road for Orlando. Yes, I said “Ronald McDonald.” (I call him Ronnie. We are on first name terms after riding from Atlanta to Orlando all day. He likes classic rock.) He is starring in a shoot that Todd is working on in Orlando. Ronnie cost $10,000 to make. Unfortunately, I forgot my cord to upload pictures to the computer, so you will have to wait on pics of Ronnie. Suffice to say that his fucking clown feet are huge, and I got a little scared when the sun went down and it was just Todd, Ronnie, and me in the van.

Other gems of wisdom obtained by riding in a van for 9 hours with my hung over husband (Advertising Awards – who knew those addies were so wild?) and Ronnie:

  • Mrs. Winner’s biscuits are awesome, but the ones at Cracker Barrel are better. That being said, if you eat both, along with mac and cheese, fried okra, mashed potatoes and fried shrimp, you will feel sick. Especially while bumping along crappy roads in north central Florida.
  • When choosing a ten cent peppermint stick at Cracker Barrel, just choose Butterscotch flavor. Other good flavors include: Cherry Cola, Strawberry, etc. Do not choose “Horehound” flavor, simply because it sounds like a good fit. You will spend the next forty minutes eating a stick of candy that you do not find that appetizing, and regretting your faulty choice while your husband sucks merrily away on his butterscotch one.
  • Radio stations from about Macon, GA to Orlando suck ass, with the exception of the University of Florida station, which played Fugazi’s “Suggestion,” but neglected to play the next track, “Glue Man,” which sucks for anyone who really likes the album, because it just ruins it when the tracks split. We then drove out of their piddly range. U of Florida itself, and the greater Gainesville area, also suck ass.
  • The other exception to the radio rule is the awesome bluegrass show with a local doing the dj thing and giving shoutouts to the regular listeners, who are all named Mac or Bud or Bubba. “Wabash Cannonball” at sunset was rather nice. Also the song about letting the racehorse run.
  • Another radio rule: If you come across a song you even remotely like, for instance, “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” or ELO’s “Don’t Bring Me Down,” just go ahead and go with it, because it is the best you are going to do for, like, an hour. You will spend the next ten minutes just scanning through the GodRock, scripture-readers, scary-talk, and new country stations. If you find a classic rock station, just leave the dial the fuck alone. If you, like us, manage to get a run of Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, CCR, and Tom Petty with Stevie Nicks, count yourself lucky. BTW, that whole intro to Van Halen’s cover of “You Really Got Me” is fucking awesome.
  • Don’t be alarmed when you enter Florida and are greeted by the Shoot First, Ask Questions Later signs. Or the “Repent Sinners!” signs. Or when you are cast in shadow by the frighteningly large Confederate battle flag by the highway. The people are so nice, despite the fact that they try to scare you with their flags and guns and bibles and gators.

Okay, so we get to the hotel (Doubletree Orlando, across the street from Universal.) We go in, get a bellhop/valet guy to help me with the bags while Todd secures van and Ronnie. I start talking to the guy – turns out it has been a wild weekend. There is a TNA wrestling event going on tonight and tomorrow night. I didn’t know anything about this, but according to my awesome bartender Tony, they do it once a month at Universal, and everyone is totally cool, and a lot of the women are really skinny and have implants. I am so excited about my people-watching tomorrow.

That being said, the people-watching tonight wasn’t too bad. I didn’t see R2D2, as we missed him by about five minutes at the hotel bar, but I did get to see LeatherFace from the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and also the artist who did all of the KISS album covers. Awesome. Oh, and some gray-haired old guy who is in a Geicko commercial – Peter Graves, maybe? Other people who were at this nerd orgy:

More to come from the Starbucks downstairs in the morning. Will have camera and laptop in hand. Come on, hot guy from Eureka! Or The Greatest American Hero!

Americans Really Are Dumb

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

The New York Times is reporting this morning that, “The New York City Board of Health voted yesterday to adopt the nation’s first major municipal ban on the use of all but tiny amounts of artificial trans fats in restaurant cooking, a move that would radically transform the way food is prepared in thousands of restaurants, from McDonald’s to fashionable bistros to Chinese take-outs. Some experts said the measure, which is widely opposed by the restaurant industry, would be a model for other cities.”

Boy, I sure am glad that city governments are stepping up to the plate to protect their citizens from trans fats. We should probably just go ahead and make it a federal mandate that all American cities adopt. That is surely what our founding fathers had in mind when they were creating our government. Saving us from the fried turkeys of the world.

Americans really are dumb.