Cheese and Hilarity

Super cheesy.

For about three weeks the talk chez nous has been about the existence of this particular item. So, naturally, the Princess picked some up at work before meeting me to finish grocery shopping. We arrived home and immediately put a pot of water on the stove.

The entire household gathered to put away groceries (the kids), actually cook the damn thing (me), and to get entirely underfoot while wriggling with excitement (Boxnoggin). Things were very crowded and I’m not entirely sure where the bacon went, but that’s a problem for another day.

Anyway, we shared out our lunchtime portions of very, very orange glop. Child-me would have been delighted; adult me was nonplussed.

“It’s the aftertaste,” my son said solemnly, after we’d tasted it. “Yep, definitely the aftertaste.”

“Something that smells like this should be crunchy,” my daughter added.

Naturally I focused not on the mild observation but on fixing a perceived problem. “I guess if we scattered real Cheetos atop it? And…” I paused thoughtfully to take another bite. “…I dunno, I guess if we got really high, then this would be great.”

“It’s definitely weed food,” the Princess agreed.

The Prince is a straight-edge, but he nodded in agreement. “The problem is there’s just not enough in the package.”

In short, we agreed that it would take two or three boxes to make a decent lunch or dinner, that it needed some crunch, and that regular ol’ Kraft with actual Cheetos scattered on top would be just as good when it came to weed food but we are absolutely not under any circumstances allowing the Flamin’ Hot variety into the house. I advanced the idea that adding frozen peas at the end of the pasta-cooking step might be in order to add at least something healthy, and both kids groaned even though that was a childhood favorite. Boxnoggin got a few cheesy pasta curls in his bowl, promptly swallowed them whole, and looked at us with such an expression of patent surprise. The hilarity was total, especially when the conversation turned to the street value of Cheeto-dust flavor packets. (The phrase “Good gods, I’m not snorting that,” was tossed about with abandon.)

All in all, it was $2 well spent–not bad, for almost an hour’s worth of laughter. I wish you a pleasant weekend, my beloveds, and hope you get a chance to share something funny with your loved ones.

Sun, Sesame, Luck

Summer isn’t official until…

Mandoline-sliced cucumbers, rice vinegar, sea salt, a dab of sesame oil. We usually have this with somen–I like my cucumbers in with the Memmi-drenched noodles; the kids like it in a dish to the side. when it’s too hot to really cook. When I start buying cucumbers and getting out the mandoline, the kids know it’s summer.

This time, the Princess brought cukes home. She and the Prince were both excited. “It’s that time of year again, Mum.”

The sun on the dining room table turns the glass into jewels. I know it’s a dreadful season in many respects, but there are still good things. Some of them are even simple.

Have a lovely weekend, my dears. May we all have a little peace, and something tasty.

Cinnamon, Heat, Salt

The three food groups.

I love cinnamon candy. I like spicy things. I am a salt fiend. So when I glanced at the table after unloading groceries this past week it made me laugh, and I had to arrange this little shot. The wee sriracha did not come from the grocer’s; it’s from the pho we had to celebrate a birthday here at the Chez. It amuses me deeply, especially the fact that there’s a factory somewhere making the packets.

Happy Friday! I’ll be working all the way through the weekend (as usual) but sometimes, that’s how I’m happiest. I wish you peace, amusement, and many wee packets of fun.

See you next week.

Consumable Affection

Oh, fudge.

The Princess has made her first batch of fudge for the season. This year she’s experimenting with darker chocolate–the current batch is made with 70%, and I think we could stand to go a little further–and she will also, because she loves her mother, attempt part of a batch with walnuts.

Well, she knows she’s technically capable, but she’s a purist, and considers my yen for walnuts in fudge to be just short of unholy. Kind of like raisins in challah, which I am in total agreement with her about.

She does several challah loaves with raisins each year around the holidays for her bestie, though, who adores such things. We call it “the Loaf of Sin”, because it makes us all laugh like loons. Of such things are affections made and expressed.

Have a lovely weekend, dear ones.

Marshmallow, Sun Storm, Tuesday

It’s a grey Tuesday morning and there is not enough coffee in the world. A solar storm is expected to hit the earth today, and frankly I’m not bloody surprised, the way things have been going.

At least the cicadas are quiet, since the temperature drops overnight. They’re probably waking up the same as I am, lethargic and blinking, staggering towards their version of coffee, preparing for an entire afternoon of screaming in the treetops.

Lucky bastards.

Even the dogs are a bit beside themselves this morning. They won’t eat their breakfast and Boxnoggin is in a fractious-toddler mood. I’d say “you need a nap, dog,” but we literally just rolled out of bed. It could be he’s sensing my crankiness.

There are bright prospects, though. The other day I made an offhand comment about using Cocoa Pebbles and Rice Krispies to make treats–you know, butter, marshmallow creme, all that. The Princess got That Look, and when she came home yesterday she was loaded with Cocoa Krispies, tiny chocolate chips, marshmallows, and a plan.

I pointed out there were Cocoa Krispies but no Cocoa Pebbles (her very favorite cereal) in her supplies and my eldest child fixed me with an arch look of amusement. “The recipe I found was for Krispies, so I’m doing it that way first before I alter it.”

I could only nod sagely and mumble, “That means more marshmallow treats for us all, so I can’t complain.”

To which my child replied, just as her mother would, “Damn right.”

She even divided the pan into quarters. One was plain, one was studded with sea salt flakes, the third had tiny chocolate chips, and the last was drenched with homemade salted caramel sauce. Needless to say, that last bit was my favorite, though everyone else in the house is split between the plain and salted quarters.

So, there’s a crispy-crunchy experiment at some time in my future, possibly with caramel. That’s not a bad prospect; it’ll get me through a day of internal wires sparking through worn-off insulation, a both-hands deathgrip on my temper, and my fingertips aching from keeping my claws sheathed.

In any case, I should probably get some breakfast to balance out the caffeine once my stomach settles, the it’ll be time to walk the furry brats. I’m sure there will be hijinks; Carl the Crow has taken to accompanying us on walks around the block. She flits from tree to tree, eyeing me sideways and occasionally letting out raucous yells. I’m not sure if she’s adopted us or is waiting for me to look away so she can torment Boxnoggin–I believe she has not forgiven him for the Jerry Incident.

Speaking of Jerry the Crow, his tail feathers appear to be healing, and he’s having a lot more luck with flying. He’s still apparently only capable of short hops, and he tends to hang around our yard all day because I’m leaving sunflower seeds and the like in easy-to-reach places for him. Sandra and Carl are okay with this too; they keep bringing peanuts and cracking them in the birdbath, filling the damn thing with peanut shells. I think someone in the neighborhood thinks they’re feeding squirrels, though why anyone would do such a thing is beyond me.

We also have a ring-tailed squirrel (christened Einstein) who is up to No Good and seems positively bent on tormenting my daughter. Maybe it’s a family inheritance thing.

I do have a Backyard Tale to tell you concerning Norbert (long-time Readers will remember Norbert the Shattered Gargoyle) but I need more time and energy to write it than I possess today, so it’ll have to wait.

And with that, my beloveds, I shall bid you a fond adieu. Getting out the door before the marine layer breaks and the temperature rises is the name of the game, and since I’ve finished my coffee, breakfast is next. I can only dread what sort of hijinks will occur once I strap the dogs into their harnesses and leave the house.

Wish me luck…

Hope Eternal, Dog


I know I keep posting pics of Boxnoggin. I can’t help it. He’s just so photogenic, truly a handsome boi.

This is our favorite square-headed canine attempting to drill a hole through me with his gaze, all in service of gaining a bite of my fiery chicken curry. Despite me telling him he would absolutely not like the result, he is bound and determined, because hope springs eternal in the soul (and the stomach) of Dog.

He did not get any fiery chicken curry, but he did get to split a treat biscuit with Miss B after I was finished with lunch.

What can I say? I’m a sucker.

I’m exhausted, coughing, and fatigued. Can’t tell if it’s allergies, plague, flu, or just the last year and a half finally coming home to roost in my poor corpus, but whatever it is, I spent most of yesterday in bed and am about to repeat the trick today. Wish me luck, and remember: Mask up, wash your hands, and hydrate. We’re not out of the woods yet. Far from.

Gaga Dad Joke


The Princess: “I… I had to buy them.”
Me: “You’re GODDAMN RIGHT you did.”
Also Me: “…what do they taste like?”
Princess: “Food coloring? I dunno. Try one.”
Me: “I’m good. I don’t need paparazzi.”
Princess: “But you have such a good poker face!”
Me: “I was born this way.”
Princess: “It wasn’t the product of a bad romance?”
Me: “I’m your mother. I can’t answer that.”
Princess: “…that’s fair.”
Me: “I gotta go.”
Princess: “Why, is something wro–“
Me: “I don’t want to talk anymore.”
Princess: “What hap–“
Me: “I lost my head and my heart on the dance floor.”
Princess: *groans*

That’s right. I did a Gaga-flavored dad joke. And I regret NOTHING.

Anyway, there was also a discussion of “they’re not chocolate Oreos, the dogs could technically–” followed by “do you really want either of those beasts on a sugar high?” and ending in a “…that’s fair, too.”

In conclusion, while I will never be too old to try new things, I am also old enough to look at certain things and say, “Nah, I’m good, you go ahead and enjoy.” I have informed the kids this is a perk of adulthood in general and motherhood in particular.

Then I went and ordered some Girl Scout cookies. Because I’m a gat-damn adult.

Have a good weekend, beloveds. Stay warm, hydrate, wash your hands, and wear your masks.