photo friday: don’t forget the spice

5 Feb

 

Wall of spice

I went to Morocco and saw a lot of spices. And Life was good. 

Sometimes I forget that I’ve done things that are really damn neat, because I get so caught up in the day-t0-day and then one day I’m looking through photos and I’m all, “Oh yeah, that’s right, I went to Morocco that one time and saw All The Spices In All The Land at the souk and I should really do more fun things like that.”

And then I get re-caught up in the day-to-day, which is not my best habit, but at least there’s a seed of adventure planted, so I’m pretty sure not all hope is lost that I’ll someday have foreign adventures again.

Plus, I’m running out of Moroccan spice mix, so really now would be a great time to go back.

from the file pit: beer bread

3 Feb

It’s February, which means, yup, still winter. Still going to be for awhile now. Which is awesome, because February is full of days that end in Y, and days that end in Y are perfect for eating bread.

Unless you’re gluten intolerant. And then every day that ends in Y is a horrible day for eating bread, but because I am a nice person I will eat your bread for you. You’re welcome.

I’ve long been interested in making bread, but on my few attempts it has turned out less-than-stellar. Usually super dense and not well-risen. Edible, yes, but not boulangerie-worthy.

Then again, sometimes life is not about perfection, but rather about getting shit done. And if that shit is getting bread into my mouth, then I have achieved success.

ANYWAY, I have some very exciting news for you: I have found a bread recipe that even I can’t screw up. It has three ingredients.*

 

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As per usual, my incredibly thorough directions, if they can even be determined through the chicken scratch. God only knows where I copied this recipe from. For all I know it’s off the side of a metro car. 

THREE.

3.

Trois.

That’s it.

Granted, one of the ingredients is quite specific,** but if you can manage that, you’ll find success. I promise you. Perhaps you’ve heard of Tastefully Simple, and their beer bread that I think you just mix together the dry mix and some beer? Sure, that’s only two ingredients, but this three-ingredient beer bread is just as easy. I like to call it Stupidly Simple.

I made two of these loaves in one day, in the span of about two hours, actually. THAT is how simple this recipe is to throw together. One for Swede and me, and one to give to his sister who had just had surgery. Because nothing says recovery like warm beer bread and narcotic-strength pain meds.

I should be a doctor.

This may be one of the greatest File Pit findings yet, you guys. Seriously. Easy peasy and delicious. Would I make this again? Do I even need to answer that? No. No I do not. Instead I will answer you by saying you should drop whatever you’re doing and go home and make this.

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More butter, please. 

(And if you also choose to pick up Kerrygold salted butter to slather on it fresh from the oven, no one will judge you. Nay, they will applaud you.)

*Four, if you count the egg for the egg wash. Five, really, if you count the melted butter you’re supposed to brush on top when it’s done. But now you’re just being nit-picky.

**Self-rising flour is the key here. I think you could pretty much use any light-colored or amber ale you so choose, but I can’t guarantee success if you try and use a different kind of flour. I could go into the science behind the self-rising flour in this recipe, but I won’t. Because I don’t really know it. I just know it’s different and clutch in this bread.

photo friday: twister

29 Jan

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I managed the finish the scarf I started two (yes, TWO) years ago. It’s not perfect, and I like to call it the tornado scarf, as it somewhat resembles a funnel cloud. Proof that I am not lying to you about my finishing it or its shape:

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For a very first knitting effort ever, I’m going to call this a win. 

You can see, toward the bottom, where it’s nice and rectangular and even-ish. And then somewhere along the two years it took me to do this, and as I got closer to the end, I apparently lost all sense of….counting? knitting? life in general?…and it’s like the battle of the g-d bulge that ate Dorothy at the other end.

But it’s done. The scarf is done. I FINISHED SOMETHING. Two points for that plus an extra five for the vibrant hot pink color to me.

on spin-outs and lies

27 Jan

A few weeks ago, I was on my way to a party when I spun out on the Interstate.

Yes, it had been snowing. But no, the salt trucks hadn’t gotten out yet. And yes, it took me thirty minutes to go two miles.* And no, thankfully, I wasn’t going faster than 25 miles per hour. And yes, it is quite startling to find yourself perpendicularly straddling three lanes of a four-lane highway.

Thankfully neither I nor anyone else was injured when my car shimmied its way across multiple lanes. And double-thankfully I didn’t even think to panic about spinning out, though I did exhibit some confusion about taking my foot off the pedal and steering into the skid when I felt the car start to slide.

I’m not perfect.

It wasn’t until I came to a complete stop on the Tri-State—again, perpendicular to traffic—and saw headlights approaching (slowly, but approaching nonetheless) that a pearl of panic lodged in my stomach and in that moment of stress I uttered the ever-eloquent, “Oh, shit.”

I very slooooowly righted myself and continued on my way to the party without further incidence, the danger of the situation sank in the more I distanced myself, literally, from the expressway. And as often happens in moments of potential danger, it makes you think about your life, about the things that are important. You think about the things you’ve said, or haven’t said; if you’ve really been living the life you want; you know…the things that really matter.

And Interwebers, I realized I had to come clean to you. I try and be as honest as possible in my little corner of the Internets, and as I navigated the slick, snowy roads and thought about the peril I’d just endured, I realized that I must tell you the truth:

I don’t actually hate that Justin Bieber song “Sorry.”

I do, in fact, kind of enjoy it, and find it catchy.

I don’t understand the video, and I don’t think I will ever understand Justin Bieber’s hair or how a kid who looks like he should still be on the Disney Channel gets his own roast on Comedy Central, but these need not be my worry. My concern is always being myself with you, Interwebers, and not rolling my eyes and lambasting the Beebs every time my friend HO mentions how much she likes some song by him, and then blatantly sing along with “Sorry” when it comes on the car radio and no one else is around.

I’m not sorry I like “Sorry” but I am sorry I lied.

And I hope you’ll forgive me.

 

 

 

 

photo friday: into the black hole that is his brain

22 Jan

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Things he is not thinking:

  1. Sitting on this laptop–while very warming to my bum–is not conducive to the tall lady getting work done. I should move.
  2. My entire body spreads out much like Jabba the Hut’s when I lay down. Maybe the fact that these tall humans don’t give me ham every day is a good thing.
  3. I would like to create world peace.

Things he is thinking:

  1. Sucka.

2016: yeah, okay, use it

20 Jan

Something you should know about me: I’m not really a “yes” person.

Which is kind of confusing, I know, because I often have a hard time saying no to things.

But hear me out. Better yet, ask Swede, he’ll tell you—87 percent of the time when he’s all, “We should get pizza for dinner!” or “We should buy a farm in Michigan!” or “Let’s get another cat!” I’m immediately all, “NO.”

In essence, I can be a bit of a fun-sponge.

But often, about ten minutes later (sometimes more, sometimes less), after an idea is proposed, I come around to it.

YES! Let’s DO get pizza for dinner! Screw healthy eating for a night!

YES! Let’s BUY that farmland in Michigan because that actually sounds quite peaceful and bucolic and lovely!

YES! Let’s….wait, no. Still no. F no, we are not getting another g-d cat. And you know what? That’s something the current cats and I actually agree upon.

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Agrees that there is no more room in this home for another cat. More booze, yes. More cats, no. 

So I guess I’m not a total fun-sponge, just an initial one, might be a better way of putting it. It’s not a part of me that I really like about myself, but it’s also a part of me that I know probably won’t change, or at least won’t change easily. (Mainly because it stems from my dislike of change. Even though change is inevitable. And once I get used to it, I do tend to enjoy it. Mostly. I guess it depends.) (It’s really weird being in my head, you guys.)

ANYWAY, I was thinking about this characteristic of mine as I was thinking about the year ahead, and what did I want my word to be? Taking all of this into consideration, I concluded that a mantra function better than a word. And for 2016, my mantra is going to be:

Yeah, Okay.

Gripping!

While I may never be a yes-woman, I find that I can get cozy with hesitant agreement. I like it because it buys me time and space to think about whatever idea has been presented, and determine if it’s really the right thing for me before I write it off.

So 2016? Will be the year of Yeah, Okay. It’s stronger and more change-confronting than a “maybe” but not quite as scary as “HELLS YEAH, MOTHERF*&KERS!” And more important, it fits me just right at this point in my life, and still allows me to grow.

But Wait, There’s More

I wouldn’t be a McPolish if I only took on one mantra for the year, now would I?

(Can you have more than one mantra? Does having multiple mantras defeat the purpose of mantras?)

Inspired by this post I also decided to adopt “Use It!” to fuel my way through this year. This is also inspired by the fact that in the very recent past Swede and I lost out on a couple hundred bucks in gift cards, and are still pretty pissed about it. Why did we lose out? Because we’re (I am) dumb. And also because we (I) were (was) all, “Let’s save them for something special!”

And then we never used them because WTF even constitutes “special”?

Gaaaaahhhhh.

So all that shit I’ve been saving because it’s “special”? F–k it. I’m using the fancy lotion. On the daily. I’m spending that Amazon gift card. On shelf dividers for towels. And so help me, Mary Mother of God, Interwebers if you come over to my house we will use the f-ing Waterford crystal goblets we got for our wedding because they are beautiful and I don’t care if it’s a “just” a Tuesday and you want to drink a milk out of them.

Because you know what? This is life and it’s the only one you’ve got. And if that’s not special enough for you, then I don’t know what is.

Now That That’s All Settled

Do you have a word or a phrase you’d like to help shape your 2016? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

 

 

 

 

photo friday: things i love, maybe i’ll share. or not.

15 Jan

Part of holiday fun is getting unexpected gift from friends, like this one I received from my friend Jen. (She also sent wine, proving that A) she knows me well, and 2) I may have given myself a reputation  when it comes to wine, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but for now we’re just going to go with good. Because I said so.)

ANYWAY, this box of treats has become one of my favorite things to play with in the kitchen, and I highly recommend you getting yourself one. Or get yourself a Jen and have her send you one. (With or without the wine, up to you.) I will forewarn you about the Chip & Dip seasoning though, that you should probably get yourself more than one bag of chips or pretzels or whatever it is you want to dip. And you probably won’t want to share. And that, my friends, is just fine. We are grown-ass people and if we want to huddle in our bedrooms with one arm stretched protectively around a bowl of dip and the other deep in the recesses of a bag of ruffled potato chips while our beloved is completely unawares in the living room, well, we’ve earned that right, my friends. We’ve earned it.

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Nosy Parker, this dog. 

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