Pappa al Pomodoro and The Golden Girls Monday, Aug 23 2010 

I have various and sundry interests, among them, enjoying red wine, growing things in my yard, reading, and cooking. Oh, and watching The Golden Girls. Tonight, cooking prevailed.

Today was definitely a Monday in my job. I had to produce a handful of mind-numbingly detailed reports for a range of supervisors, which is never my favorite part of my job. What I like is people, being with people, talking to people, making a difference in people’s lives, teaching people to make a difference in their own lives, and spending time with all sorts of people. That? Did not happen today.

So I came home and planned to immediately disappear in my bedroom and not come out until after a few good episodes of The Golden Girls. Instead, I went outside with my dog and began immediately and aggressively removing weeds from my disappointment of a salsa garden. When there were, sadly, no more weeds to rip from the soil, I flipped on an episode and flopped down to pursue my planned lethargy.

Ah, heaven!

But they were cooking. Sophia is ALWAYS making something delicious and Italian, and my mind started wandering. To that one golden tomato I had left from my mother’s recent bounty. And to that stale loaf of Companion Bread I had been saving. I just searched their website to tell you specifically what bread it was, but I can’t find it on there. Someone who works at Companion brought in a bunch for us one day at work (along with some delicious pretzel bread). Suffice it to say, this bread had the perfect amount of both olive oil and crustiness and was seasoned lightly with some herb combination that made me think Italian, though I won’t swear by it publicly, so you can’t tell me I’m wrong.

I digress.

My mind wandered and I ended up in my (hot) kitchen, throwing together an easy pappa al pomodoro or, in English, bread with tomatoes. From what I hear, it’s Tuscan but since I’ve never been to Italy, I won’t swear by that publicly so you can’t tell me I’m wrong about that, either.

And it was an amazing dinner. What with it being tomato harvest around the US and all, I thought I’d share this so you, too, can enjoy a simple and delicious dinner that makes good use of the approximately 2,000 tomatoes you have right now (unless you’re like me, with a tomato garden on strike).

  • Throw some olive oil in the bottom of a pot.
  • When it’s hot, add in onions. Tonight I diced them finely, though I have made it before with big chunks. I think I prefer the chunks, but you’re cooking for you, not me.
  • When they’re sizzling nicely, add in 3-5 cloves of chopped garlic. Three gives you a nice garlicky taste. Five will keep the vampires away.
  • Add crushed red pepper to your liking. I like mine hot. If you actually have a thriving salsa garden, you can skip the flakes and use a fresh jalapeno. That was so delicious last year, when I had fresh jalapenos that actually grew.
  • Now it’s time for the tomatoes. If you’re doing fresh, you need to either get out your immersion blender or your big old counter-space-stealing blender. Now blend those tomatoes until they’re mush. If I’m using fresh, I usually save one or two (this time the golden one) to add texture (and, tonight, color) to the final product.
  • If you’re not going the fresh route with tomatoes, throw in a large can (mine was 28 oz) of chopped/crushed tomatoes.
  • Add 1.5-2 cups of water.
  • Toss in your stale bread, chopped into bite-size chunks.
  • If it looks too bready, add some more water. I usually don’t add more than another .5 cup, though. The final product should be very much a mush of tomatoes and bread.
  • Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Eat.
  • Rave about what a fabulous cook you are. Or, preferably, let others do this while you sit back with a modest smile on your face.

Because I was using cooking as therapy tonight, I didn’t even think to get my camera out to document this all for you (which is good because I still haven’t located that stupid USB cord for it). Instead, I leave you with another picture of Sophia, creating an Italian concoction that I’m sure rivals mine.

Sophia makes something yummy

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In Which I Jump in Some Water Sunday, Aug 22 2010 

This weekend I took a trip away from the big city. The girls and I usually take this trip twice a year, once when we expect the weather to be bad and once when we expect to be able to enjoy some lake time. Except what usually happens is it rains. A lot. And then we just end up drinking and playing Apples to Apples.

This trip did not bode well from the beginning. We decided to stop for a sit down dinner on the way out of town because I was starving and whiny. Our waitress was SLOW. As in, after 15 minutes of waiting for her to bring us our check, I was about to lead us all out of there in one big refusal to pay when her supervisor came over and took our payments. That was unfortunate because I’ve always wanted to walk out of somewhere without paying, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

With the delay, we were on just the right schedule to drive through the apocalypse, one of those Midwestern-almost-tornado-can’t-see-anything downpours. You know, like we were used to having when we wanted to get out to the lake. A trip that generally takes three hours took damn near six and let’s just say none of us were a pleasure to be around by the time we finally pulled up at the house. A check of the next day’s forecast did not put us in a better mood.

The next morning, though, the weather gods changed their minds and I was able to actually GET IN THE LAKE for the first time since we’ve been going down there. And we were 16 the first time we went down there. So it’s been a while. A marvelous time was had by all, even the one of us who believes she will need an amputation if her feet are submerged in the lake water. It take all kinds, though, and her kind is good for sitting on the dock and throwing new beers out to the floaters. And for taking pictures. Here I am with my BFF. You can tell we are no longer two whiny asses. Tomorrow I should be able to add a picture of my crazy self going down the water slide because, yes, I did clear the cobwebs off that slide. I’m badass like that.

Are You Ready to be Jealous? Thursday, May 6 2010 

Because I have a volleyball injury (probably why old ladies shouldn’t play sports), I will let you know how jealous you should be in picture form. Please meet my weekend plans:

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on Monday, which is not what I prefer to focus on yet.

Expect pictures from a weekend of sister debauchery sometime in the next few days.

Boobquake??? Monday, Apr 26 2010 

I totally fucking forgot about dressing for the occasion today. That would be because when I woke up I remembered all of us bigwigs were cleaning the attic at work today. And it’s just hard to carry all that trash up and down three inch wide stairs…without having to worry about your boobs slipping out and exposing themselves (ala Beyonce) to every single human you work with.

So…good job to all those boobs who proved cleavage does not cause an earthquake.

Although, I am almost kind of sad. It would be kind of neat to be all angry and tell all of the female internets to show all their boobs which would then result in an earthquake…which would TOTALLY show my boss that I AM a force to be reckoned with and he should think twice before making me get up in the attic again and miss the next Boobquake.

Boobquake 2010 Sunday, Apr 25 2010 

If I’m going to show cleavage at work, I may as well have a great reason to do so. This, I dare say, is one hell of a reason.

Boobquake | Facebook.

To be updated tomorrow…if the earthquake aftermath allows.