Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Fabulously Good Kale Chip Non-Recipe, Or, Why I Will Never Be Asked To Write A Cookbook, by Allison

So, in honor of St. Patrick's Day,
I have figured out my non-recipe for kale chips-
 (They are festively green! ) that are magically delicious.

When I say non-recipe,
I mean:
Not an actual recipe,
 because I hate recipes.
They are very bossy, and lists are involved.
 And they are not open for discussion.
So? Nonstarter, right there.

I totally did figure out how to make kale chips,
 that are totally good and taste nothing like kale,
but are totally, shockingly not decadent.
I know that to be true, I made them!.

And I kind of should write it down before I forget.

Fabulously Good Kale Chip Non-Recipe, Or, Why I Will Never Be Asked To Write A Cookbook, by Allison:

1. Acquire kale.

2. Make sure it is all kale.
I have had a Very Unfortunate Incident Involving Fire Alarm,
when using what I thought was kale,
 but was in fact kale mix.
And spring mix and spinach hiding in there?
 Do not want to turn into kale chips, or anything good.

3. Get a pan or baking tray or whatever,
and put the amount of olive oil one of my small spoons holds,
smearing it on the whatever tray.

I don't use measuring cups or spoons, because?
I can't find them,
and I don't like how they all have to be washed,
 when you just need a little bit of olive oil,
and that is tedious.
Also, I am inherently lazy.

So, like a small amount. Not a regular spoon amount.

4. Tear up the kale.
Into whatever sized things,
chip sized things.
You can pull off the leaves (?) and not use the stems,
if you are extremely "this tastes like kale, no thank you"  type.

I leave stems in,
because ripping leaves off would take too much time,
and I am inherently lazy.

5. Put the kale pieces on the tray.
See, easy!!

6. Throw whatever seasoning stuff you have, that you like,
on the kale tray.
I use sea salt and crushed red pepper,
because I put that on everything.
And therefore, know where it is in our house.
But this is a non-recipe, you do whatever you want.

7. Put a little bit more olive oil in a small spoon the size of the small spoon I used.

8. Fling it at the kale.
You can add entertainment by saying "En Guarde!"
Or "Voila!"
Or "Wonder Twins Power, Activate!"
Flinging is fun.

9. Put tray in the oven.
Don't worry about pre-heating, unless you want to.
I never ever do,
because if I pre-heat it,
when I open the oven,
it is all hot.
Way more likely to injure myself or mess up my makeup.

10. Temperature for oven?
I'm not totally sure.
I kind of spin the dial,
I like the roulette type of game of chance.
But probably 425 or something around that.

11. Leave the kale in the oven for however long it takes for them to be done.

This is a non-recipe,
so I don't feel guilty about the fact that I have no linear idea of how long I cook stuff.
I hate the timer.
It is a pain to set - and I am inherently lazy.

Sometimes it is wrong, that timer.
The thing isn't done yet, or is burnt.
Stupid timer doesn't know.

I certainly don't.
My best guess for the kale chips?
 Time frame:

-how long it takes for me to semi-dry my hair,
until I think the phone is ringing,
 or someone is saying my name.

-how long it takes for me to check email,
if there is nothing I want to actually deal with,
 and I am ignoring siren call shopping.

-dealing with laundry until I get extremely grumpy.

So, I think ten minutes?

I don't know.
This is a non-recipe.
They should be turning crunchy.

12. My time-honored gauge of "Poke at it" works.
When it's crunchy,
but still green, it's done.
Not the same color green that went in the oven.
But not black and scorched.

Go for like,
 that dark Charleston green, used to paint porches and window shutters?
 About that color green.

13. Take them out of the oven.
If you can't find any oven mitts?

I am not judging here.
This is a non-recipe.
If you have no oven mitts,
and have used all other things that could serve as impromptu oven mitt?

Open the oven, and use a spatula or similar,
and scrape them onto a plate.

14. Then put whatever seasoning -
 I used more crushed red pepper,
because I like crushed red pepper flakes.

You use whatever you like, that is a seasoning type thing.
This is a Choose Your Own Adventure Non Recipe.

15. And then you have really very excellent kale chips!!
You have the reason why no one will ever,
ever ask me to write a cookbook.

It would be 10000 pages long, and a lot of it won't be about food.

Reason Number 8,379,308 - why I really, really want an intern.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Just Because We Have A Wigs, Festive Hats, And Costumes Closet Does NOT Mean I Am A Neon Ancient Camel, by Allison

So, by now,
being the person who knows where stuff is in our house?
(Note: Except for keys, or my wallet.
Proof!  http://www.iwantanintern.com/2014/01/oops-i-did-it-again-has-anyone-seen-my.html)

I am used to getting weird,
or urgent - or urgently weird - or weirdly urgent -
requests for some random thing to be found.

Sometimes for no reason I can understand.
Always on a timetable of "Now."

Lost blankets,
dance bags,
the other shoe?
Practice makes perfect, I suppose.

Because after one million times hunting for those things?
I am good the fine art of:
 it is too right by your desk,
 even if you said it isn't,
 it is, told you so,
I am always right."

I should probably teach myself how to find my own belongings,
but I am too busy looking for everyone else's stuff.

I am saint-like, really.

But I am not a magician.
At all.
I am really and truly creeped out by magicians.

They are in the same general category of "Run away!!"
as mimes,
and people needing directions.

Plus, I only approve of top hats when used in Bob Fosse-style dance numbers,
no rabbits appearing,

And since I am not a magician?
(Which?  Good thing, because I don't like magicians anyway)

I cannot magically locate things that DON"T EXIST IN MY HOUSE.

Such as?

Camel Costume.

Not kidding,
V asked one day, right before leaving for school:
"Um, Mom?
Do you happen to have a camel costume I can borrow?"

I was like, "Are you insane? No!
Have you ever seen a camel costume in our Wigs,
Festive Hats, and Costume closet???"


I Totally Have A Wigs, Festive Hats, And Costume Closet! Organization, by Allison

 Our house is full of mysteries.:

1.There is a calendar from 1872 in our attic, and we just noticed it last year.

2. That attic also has a secret, weird closet.
Proof! (http://www.iwantanintern.com/2013/12/procrastination-secret-weird-closet.html)

3. There are hieroglyphics or something on the door to the English basement.
 Is fancy term for, dirt under the front porch basement space,
 where we keep paint cans,
 strollers I thought we gave away,
 until I saw them when I had to go in the English basement dirt area for paint the other day,
 and Matt has hung an Elmo beach towel in it, as well.
 For ambiance?)

4. We have a coal chute!

5. That leads to a coal room!

6. We don't use coal for any purpose,
and that coal room is full of Christmas dishes and other kitchen stuff I never use,
or forget I own,
because I don't go in the coal room.

7. We also have lots of closet space,
which was very thoughtful of the guys who built this house in Ye Olden Days.

8. One of those closets has been appropriated by me for housing:
Festive Hats, and Costumes.
Dance Costumes separated from Regular Costumes.

It may be the most organized thing in our house,
this closet.

I can find the bird wig from Cinderella two years ago, in thirty seconds!
(I know this,
 because recently E urgently needed the bird wig from Cinderella,
like NOW.
And I went to the wig section in the Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes closet,
and found it in thirty seconds.

And then I was really offended -
she was not impressed at the speed in which I found the wig,
in our organized Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes closet.
I was like, "E, you know?
I don't think most people would be able to find a bird wig that fast. "

And she was like, "Where are your keys and your purse?"

I had no idea, but that was not my point.

Want a hyena skullcap? 
(I'm never wearing it, it scares me.
It is from The Lion King dance production a few years ago.
That show has a whole section in the costumes department of our closet:
Safari Animal Unitards.)

Viking Helmet with horns and braids?
(From Disney Norway.)

At least ten garish St. Patrick's Day Green Spangly Leprechaun Pimp Hats?
(Blame Dublin for those.)

Calico prairie dress for fourth grade Olden Days day?

Betsy Ross costume? (?????)

Mardi Gras garb? Wolf ears?

Mouse ears, both Mickey and Dance Costume options?

It's full of the most random, yet organized Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes!
(The floor of the closet is covered by All Of The Backpacks The Girls Made Me Buy And Don't Use Anymore,
Otherwise Known As Exhibit A In Why I Am Not Buying Any More Backpacks.)

And the reason I went off on this tangent?
Everybody in this house knows we have a Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes closet.
And in it, are our wigs, festive hats, and costumes.

Accessible to all.
If there is a camel costume, it would be in that closet.

I am glad there isn't one - the hyena and water buffalo are weird enough.

But V should totally know if we do or don't have a camel costume -
(Note: Again, for the record: we do not have a camel costume)

Because if we did (we don't),
it would be in the Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costume closet.

Tangent Kind Of Over!

Only kind of, though.
Because in the span of a week?

M wakes me up one morning with:
 "Can I borrow your frumpy, old lady clothes?"

And I am all,  "Excuse me?
What? I don't have anything frumpy in my closet!
Go get the prairie dress thing or Betsy Ross from the Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes closet.
I am totally insulted, by the way."

Her attempt to dig out of the sartorial insult hole she had dug was:
"It's the 100th day of school, and I have to dress like I am 100 years old."

I was like, "Yes, what does that have to do with my closet?"

And she's like, "Is there anything really frumpy and grandma looking I can borrow?"

And I was like, "No! Go get the prairie thing.
I had to order that dumb dress from Vermont when V was in fourth grade for the Ye Olden Days day, use that."

And she was like, "No, that is really unflattering."

And I was like, "Yes, I know, that is why it is in the Costume Department."

And she was like, "Hmmm. Ok!
Old ladies have lots of diamonds and pearls.
Can I borrow your jewelry?"

And I was like, "Nice try."

And maybe two days later?

E wakes me up ?
(I do not want this to become a thing.
Am not a morning person, on a good day.)
Asking to borrow a "tacky neon shirt and acid wash jeans" -

I thought I was having a nightmare,
because we don't use those words in our house.

After I realize I am awake,
and my daughter thinks I have neon clothes and bad jeans in my closet?

I am all, "NO, I don't have any of that, are you kidding?
Also, why?
Neon? Shh, it's too early to be so bright. "

And E is like, "It's for Throwback Thursday."

And I am like, "Throwback to what?
When did you ever wear neon or acid wash jeans?
Throwback for you is like, a smocked dress and a hairbow in your hair."

And E is all, "Everyone knows Throwback Thursday is ugly 1980's clothes."

And I am all (internally) :
Those devious FB overlords are hitting two generations with this?

I am all (out loud):
"Stop being ridiculous. I don't have anything neon or acid wash. "

And then I remember:
"Wait , E -  you were 1980's girl for Halloween two years ago.
You have that mess,
in the Costume portion of the Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costume closet.
Use yours.
Throwback to fourth grade Halloween."

Apparently that doesn't count.

I do not know why I am curating the Wigs, Festive Hats, and Costumes closet so carefully.

I do know that "Do you have a camel costume?"
has become a standing "I can't find the thing I am looking for, where is it?" in-house joke in this house.

It is meant to diffuse my righteous indignation at having to locate a perfectly locatable thing.
It sometimes works.

But mostly reminds me - I really, really, really could use an intern.