Jun 102017
 

I started off the day learning the hard way that you musn’t spray canola oil on a hot pan. If I hadn’t already lost most of my eyebrows during the Great Overplucking of the 90s, today would have been their funeral fo sho. 

I was running around screaming about the injustice of it all, like who is supposed to know that would happen?? when Henry calmly said, “Well, everyone. It says it on the directions.”

“The PAN has directions?!” I cried. 

“No! The can of cooking spray!”

“Srsly? Why does a can of cooking spray need directions? Like, who would read that?” I said indignantly. 

“People like YOU are the reason those directions are there,” Henry sighed. 

(I know you guys: how does Henry “tolerate” me? He must be a “Saint.” “Job is going to shake his hand when he gets to Heaven.” Because our relationship is something he “tolerates” or “puts up with.”)

Honestly though, that flame went up SO HIGH. This is what happens when Henry takes too long waking up and I take breakfast matters into my own hands. :/

It’s all his fault. Just like it was his fault for failing to buy me a bag of coffee for work, creating a MAJOR CRISIS last Friday which culminated in Catherine and I colluding in a dangerous k-cup robbery from Lori’s office which I tried to reason was ok because one time she told me I was welcome to the candy she keeps in the one drawer and her k-cups were one drawer beneath that one, so…And then Catherine was so fraught with guilt that she left a dollar on Lori’s desk. The much anticipated conclusion to this is that Lori returned to work on Wednesday amd Catherine FLEW into her office before Lori even set her purse down, blurting out her confession and waiting to receive penance. There was a tense moment when we weren’t sure if Lori was going to throw a stapler and yelled, “Cash me ousside!” but turns out she had used up all her fucks on games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup finals and had little left in the tank to use on a stolen k-cup. She even gave Catherine her dollar back (had I known, I would have stolen that too!) Then when Todd got to work later that day, he said, “Oh yeah, I’m telling Lori you stole from her” and I was like OMG SHE ALREADY KNOWS! EVERYONE KNOWS! I’M A DIRTY THIEF!

I mean…

Ahem. 

SUBJECT CHANGE. 

Here are some pictures from this day, Saturday, June 10, 2017. 

We moved Chooch’s keyboard out of his bedroom and onto the backporch. Well, let me rephrase that: Henry and I kept saying that’s what we were going to but Chooch is the one who finally did it on his own accord because he was tired of waiting for his parents to finish watching Running Man and take care of him. 

Last night, I walked past him and saw that he had found the music for BigBang’s “Haru Haru” and decided to try and learn it! The coolest part is that he realized one of the notes was off and FIXED IT. He’s really good at playing by ear, which is something he definitely didn’t get from either one of us. 

He played it for Henry and made him guess what it was. Henry knew it was Bigbang right away but not what song because Henry never knows song names except for Ted Nugent ones. 

Early afternoon, we went to Kohl’s so I could buy new jeans and for the first time in years I didn’t have an emotional breakdown in the fitting room, 고맙습니다, Korea!!!!

Anyway, the whole point of mentioning Kohl’s is that there were these two middle-aged women loudly airing their dirty laundry RIGHT NEXT TO THE LAUREN CONRAD SECTION so I had to stand practically butted up against them, enduring their not-even-interesting drama. They were there every time I came back around and at one point I said loudly to Henry that they should take their lame bitch fest out to the parking lot instead of polluting our ears with it, because that’s how I handle conflict with strangers: passive aggressively, with loud immaturity. 

It was honestly the only time I was mad all day though so that’s pretty huge. I’m usually mad MANY times. 


I imprinted on this red leaf banana thing at some nursery we went to today. 

“Who imprints on a banana leaf plant?!” Henry cried. 

Um, me — I literally just said that?!

Henry wouldn’t buy it because it was $80 and that’s like a lot for a plant I guess? I literally do not know the value of a dollar. 


Chooch chose a plant for himself and mused, “I’ll name him A-ha, because I want to take him on.” OK, 80s kid?


Pet cemetery visit:( Chooch and I got really emotional and Henry didn’t know what to do so he just walked away because he doesn’t love animals. 


Obligatory ice cream from Yough Twist down the street from the pet cem. “Ugh I forgot this place has the inferior sprinkles!” I cried with my head back, dramatic damsel I am. 

“What’s wrong with them?” Henry and Chooch asked in tandem. 

“Well in addition to not being properly rainbow, they have a chalky taste,” I snapped because duh, just look at them. 

Beneath the inadequate sprinkled shell sat a perfect black raspberry & vanilla twist though, so once I hate-ate the sprinkles, I was good to go. 

Henry and Chooch also had ice cream, blah blah blah. 

Drew is like, “No really, you can trust me. I’m just gonna sit on them and help them grow.” 🙄


But seriously, these little propagations are coming along swimmingly in spite of PENELOPE digging them up once a week. 


Henry made me a snack plate with pineapple, kimchi, and pickled daikon – it was so refreshing. So refreshing that I went back for more pineapple which I then left out on the kitchen counter.  

“You left the pineapple out,” Henry said when he was visiting the kitchen later on. He sighed and put it away. 

Which is the exact outcome I expected, so why bother putting it away myself?

*******

In other news, G-Dragon’s new music is the most wonderful thing I’ve heard in so long and it made it to #1 on iTunes in 39 countries including the US which is crazy to me because most Americans I know are incredibly narrow-minded & ignorant when it comes to anything that’s not in English. Omg so weird and inferior. 

I still can’t believe I’m going to see him next month! I was thinking about it on the trolley yesterday, trying to imagine how I will react when I first see him, and I started to cry openly in front of people which sadly isn’t the first time that’s happened on the trolley. Dat bi-polar life, y’all.

******

It’s 8’oclock now and Chooch has stains all over my treasured Howard Jones shirt. Should I cry, laugh, or burn down the kitchen for real this time? I JUST DONT KNOW. GOODBYE. 

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Jun 072017
 

I can’t believe how good this oatmeal tastes,” I said enthusiastically yesterday at work. 

“Ooh, what did you put in it?” Lauren asked. 

“Nothing,” I shrugged. “I just followed the directions on the box for the first time.”

****

OK, let’s back up.

Typically I eat cream of wheat or oatmeal everyday for lunch at work because it’s instant gratification and I can barely handle much else, other than slopping some fruit salad (pre-made by Henry) into a tupperware thing and praying that it doesn’t leak in my bag on the way to work.

If I’m feeling particularly whimsical, I will add some sprinkles to it. If Gayle has honey at work, I might add that too. Usually I have a bruised banana that will find its way into the hot slop, too.

I always tell Henry when it’s time to buy me more instant cereal for work, but sometimes — this is going to be hard to fathom for some so make sure you swallow first if you’re eating or drinking — I will go to CVS during my lunch break and buy it myself.

I KNOW.

ME!

I CAN DO THAT!

Recently, something crazy was going on with me and I tagged along with Henry to the boring grocery store (as opposed to the magical Asian markets, which I happily visit every weekend). I knew that I needed to restock on my work lunch stash, so I bought kids oatmeal (complete with dinosaur eggs, thank you) and some healthy oatmeal thing that had flax seed and whatever in it.

Turns out, that healthy oatmeal is a kind that I’ve bought before and I HATE IT! It turns out so watery, basically just warm cloudy water with grain things floating in it. Disgusting! Two days in a row I suffered through this sad-sack lunch, complaining about it at length to Glenn who had the Don’t Care glaze over his eyes, until something occurred to me yesterday.

“Maybe I should try to make it the way the box says to make it,” I said mostly to myself, reading the directions at my desk.

“Well, how have you been making it?” Glenn asked hesitantly, probably wishing he could recall his question.

NO TAKE-BACKS.

“Well, I dump it into my mug and then fill it up with the hot water from the spout on the coffee maker,” I said. “But then it just stays watery! Nothing happens!”

“Oh my god,” Glenn mumbled, and I couldn’t tell if that meant he was shocked my method didn’t work, or if he had just looked at a really great picture of G-Dragon.

So in the kitchen, I followed directions. I dumped the oatmeal into my cup. I filled the now-empty paper oatmeal pouch up to the line with water (not from the hot water thingie though – I’m not that dumb, you guys! Plus there is a warning sticker on it). Then I poured it over top the oatmeal and baked it in the microwave for two minutes.

And it exploded like a fucking 5th grader’s volcano science project. I had to take the glass thingie out of the microwave and clean it, ugh! Aaron walked by when this was happening and I sheepishly said, “I made a mess…”

“Is that your banana tea?” he asked, because one time he saw me cutting up a banana in the kitchen (with a plastic knife, don’t worry) and putting it in my coffee cup and then for the next year, he secretly thought I was literally adding bananas to my tea and expressed his concern (and disgust, probably) to Jeannie, who later told me about it and we had a great laugh.

Ugh, yes it’s my banana tea.

After I cleaned up the mess (burning my hand in the process), I took the remnants back to my desk and was amazed at how wonderful it tasted!

Glenn said I should have taken it out of the microwave every 30 seconds to stir it.

“Well, how would I know to do that if it doesn’t say on the box?” I cried, and he went back to trolling comment sections on fake news sites.

Later, I struggled to get the burnt oatmeal off my Goonies mug and considered just throwing it out and getting a new one, but then Gayle was like, “Just soak it….?” and hello, I know about that dish-washing secret, but the oatmeal was caked to the OUTSIDE of the cup too. I ended up just scrubbing it really hard and now my wrist hurts and I need to blame someone for this but I haven’t decided who yet. Probably Henry for not training me to be a grown-up, which by the way, he threatened to do over the weekend “in case something happens.” Something happens? Like he grows a pair and leaves?! Monica said she always just assumed Chooch and I would just move into Chez Chronica if that happens, kind of like she and Chris are our godparents.

I still should just get a new mug though. A G-Dragon one!

****

Today, I remembered Glenn’s sage cooking advice and stalked the microwave, stopping it every thirty seconds and giving the oatmeal a good stir.

With 45 seconds to go, I had a bad feeling. I could sense something wasn’t right, so I stopped it before the timer got to 30 and IT HAD OVERFLOWN AGAIN!!!!

Another day of cleaning the microwave! UGH. Where is Barb when I need her?!

Still though, it’s amazing how wonderful food tastes when you follow directions.

“Did the instructions give you options based on the microwave wattage?” Henry asked me on the way home from work, as we sat in traffic for an hour and he tried to resign from being my chauffeur.

“Huh?” I asked, scrolling through my Spotify kpop playlist.

“Never mind,” Henry sighed.  But then he had the audacity to ask me if I was trying to microwave the oatmeal IN THE POUCH, like I’m so dumb that I didn’t know to dump everything into a cup or bowl first, I AM SO INSULTED.

“It was so weird, it looked like it expanded somehow!” I gushed, as though I was telling the Story of Oatmeal for the very first time, to a bunch of pioneer people sitting on logs around a cauldron.

“That’s because it literally did expand. It absorbed the water, you idiot,” Henry sighed.

WOW. No need for name-calling!

“Anyway, who knew oatmeal needed to be baked. I guess I’m a baker now.”

“You’re not a baker. You cooked it in a microwave.

I’m going to try and bake other things in the microwave this weekend. Baked beans, probably.

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Mar 212016
 

As opposed to Sunday, when we ate each others’ bitter words and empty threats because welcome to the cuckoo house!

I mean, anyway.

Pictures of ice cream cones from Millie’s kept popping up in my Instagram feed last week, because they were having a grand opening. I decided that it was imperative we go and get some on Saturday because we’re whores for ice cream and god forbid we’re left in the dust. It turns out that Millie’s is in the old space Oh Yeah! used to be, which is kind of funny since it was only a few weeks ago when Chooch and I did a drive-by and saw that something new was moving in there.

The menu is not very extensive, but it’s all homemade and I heard one of the ladies there telling a customer that they only thing that’s not locally sourced is the almond extract that they use to make their waffle cones. So if you’re into that type of thing, Millie’s is the place for you.

I think that’s great, I guess, but all I really care about is one thing: UNUSUAL FLAVORS. And they definitely had a few. I went with one scoop of fig because figs are my spirit fruit; and also a scoop of the sweet ricotta, which was littered with pistachios and cherries. You guys, it was so dreamy.

Chooch really lived large and got one scoop of vanilla and a scoop of chocolate. Slow down, Chooch. Your palate’s getting a little too mature there.

And Henry got a scoop of the spiced rum banana in a bowl even though I tried to coax him into the orange marmalade poppy seed. NO ONE LISTENS TO ME ANYMORE.

Henry forced me into letting him taste the ricotta and he liked it so much that he had to go up and get a scoop for himself. I was unreasonably irritated about that. I guess because my #FOREVERFAT stigma would never allow me to go up for seconds at an ice cream shop!

UGHHHH!!!!!

Meanwhile, Chooch and I had a huge argument on the way home because I casually mentioned that I thought the little dab of marshmallow at the bottom of the waffle cone was a nice touch, and Chooch spat, “There wasn’t any marshmallow in that cone!” And then Henry was all, “It was probably just ice cream” and I said, “OH OK, DRY AND STICKY ICE CREAM?!” and then it was a big fight by this point.

Later that evening, I found THIS:

I WIN, MOTHERFUCKERS.

I’ll definitely go back to Millie’s (sooner rather than later) but I won’t pretend like I don’t miss the weird vibes and one-way window on the bathroom door of Oh Yeah. It’s going to be hard for any ice cream shop to usurp the empty spot they left in my heart. Ugh, that place may have been sorely mismanaged, but their add-ins were ON POINT. And their interior had way more personality than Millie’s, which is your typical, unoriginal bright-lights and candy-colored stripes.

Click that Weekend Picturepalooza thing down there for some Oh Yeah memories….(BONUS: there are also pictures of Marcy on this old blog post!)

Weekend Picturepalooza

To counteract the afternoon ice cream splurge, Henry made me this delightful plate of color for dinner, featuring his SEXUAL SALAD DRESSING!

Usually Henry ladles me plates of browns and beiges so this was a nice change.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Chooch got some kind of rare baking bug up his ass and hounded Henry all day to let him bake something. Henry found a recipe for sopapilla cheesecake squares that seemed safe enough for a nine-year-old to follow, and if you didn’t already know this about my child, he LOVES sopapillas. Like, I could probably slide a sopapilla under his door on his birthday and do nothing else, and he would probably be happy.

LOL, OK let’s not  get carried away.
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It was actually quite delightful. Henry said that Chooch very competently did most of the baking, and that Henry really only handled the oven part. I’m impressed! I would have quit before Henry had all the ingredients all lined up. One of my friends commented on Facebook about how at least now they know I won’t starve when I’m old and this is a really good part. Stay in the kitchen, son.

In other news, I just did some hip hop tabata workout that I found on YouTube and for the last three minutes I thought there was an alarm going off somewhere in the house but it turns out that’s just the ringing in my ears.

That might be the ice cream alarm.

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Nov 252013
 

As Thanksgiving gets closer, I’ve been feeling a little less depressed and MAYBE even slightly excited. We spent most of the week getting some things together for our version of Thanksgiving (Hanksgiving) and keeping busy has been extremely helpful. We’ve only ever hosted one holiday dinner at our house (with the exception of the Xmas Eve soiree we did last year) and that was all the way back in 2008! I can’t believe we waited so long to try it again. I couldn’t remember if it was a success or not, so I went searching through my blog archives the other night and after reading it, I still can’t tell if it was a success. But Henry apparently burnt himself, so I’ll take that as a win.

It’s not Throwback Thursday or anything, but we can just pretend that Memory Monday is a thing so that I can repost this 2008 Thanksgiving tale. The format of the original post is all wonky and I can’t fix it. So sorry. Mayeb after you read it, you can leave a comment and tell me what your favorite Thanksgiving side dish is, because we haven’t finalized our menu yet and that’s just what Henry needs is MORE OPTIONS.

******

The night before Thanksgiving, Henry stayed up until 2:00am, rifling through his grandma’s recipes like a normal man rifles through porn. I don’t know what he was looking for, considering that I procured an entire feast worth of gourmet recipes from this little thing I just heard about recently called the Internet. Of course Henry found something wrong with every selection: Too-expensive-ingredients (“That will cost more than the turkey!”). Lack of industrial kitchen. Not enough education completed to comprehend recipe wording.


In the end, he settled on:

Smashed rutabaga with gingered pears

Turnips gratin (hello new edible husband)

Scalloped corn

Meatless stuffing

Mustard mashed potatoes (“OMG Tyler from the Food Network made them!”)

Sweet potato pie

Oh, and that over-hyped turkey bullshit that everyone is always buzzing about.

My contribution to the day was taking Chooch to my dad’s house so that Henry could cook in the highest, most divine level of tranquility. Now, you should know that I only see my dad on holidays. Shame on me, sure, I know. But it’s awkward because our relationship was once more strained than the ab muscles of a man attempting to suck his own dick. Technically my step-dad, he legally adopted me when I was in the fourth grade. We engaged in non-stop battles of wits and psychological warfare for the entire duration of my teenaged years. Then he and my mom divorced and ironically, we now get along famously; and in an incredible twist, he was the only family member who talked to me while I was pregnant.

Corey, who was staying there while home from college, failed to tell him that Chooch and I were coming over, so my dad was genuinely shocked when he saw us on his doorstep. It was probably 75% of an act, but he seemed happy to see us and proceeded to dole out peanuts, JuJu Bees and cans of pop. He even gave me some Bagelfuls to take home, complete with single-serving packets of cream cheese. A trip to his house is always like a mini-grocery trip.

While he cooked, I made sure Chooch didn’t fall down the basement steps, eat paint chips, or break any of my dad’s classic car memorabilia, while Corey acted disinterested in our presence and my other brother Ryan napped on the couch. I got roped into sitting down for dinner with them, wherein my dad immediately picked a fight with Ryan, who evidently didn’t load his plate with enough food. “I told you not to eat all day!” my dad steamed, to which Ryan grunted, “Jesus Christ, Dad, I only ate some cashews!” My dad countered with a surly, “I saw the cheese you opened up in the fridge!” at which point Ryan hunkered down lower over his plate which seemed plenty decorated to me.

In an effort to break the ice, I chirped, “These mashed potatoes are really good, daddy!” He muttered that they were too runny, but really, anything tastes delicious when the butter ratio is 50/50.

Corey and Ryan didn’t speak at all throughout the painful meal, and I’m sure they were just thrilled at how kind our dad was being to me. He even noticed my hair and enthused about its aesthetic merits for just a note longer than natural.

 I love my dad, but I was glad that I had a legitimate reason to shirk my way out the front door. Tension, it just doesn’t sit well with me.

Dinner at my house was supposed to be at 7, so that those who had other dinners to attend (Janna, Corey and Blake) would be newly starved by the time they came over for seconds. However, Henry’s tardy ass didn’t serve shit up until EIGHT O’CLOCK and everyone was bored, angry, hungry. Look at those mugs on Janna and Corey. You’d think they were watching a slide presentation of Henry’s mom dusting her ceramic kitten collection, that’s how glazed with ennui they are.

Sensing that a revolt was on the rise, Henry served up deviled eggs for us to stuff our mouths with while he frantically finished cooking.

For some reason, Henry was really impressed with himself. He kept boasting that the eggs were deviled with STONE GROUND MUSTARD. I’m not even sure what that means. They tasted regular to me, like he could have squirted in a quick fart of French’s for all I know. Something weird clearly went on in my house while Chooch and I were at my dad’s, because no one gets THAT excited over deviled eggs.

thanks2008-1

Finally, the moment for feasting was upon us, and we all loaded our fancy paper plates with mounds of seasonal slop. Blake pretty much questioned everything aside from the turkey, which was easily recognizable (good job, Henry). I explained to him that I wanted to eschew the expected and serve new twists on tradition. “You mean, you wanted my dad to make things that even YOU can eat,” Blake corrected. And oh how we laughed. (As I silently wished for Blake to choke on a turkey bone.) (Just kidding, Blake.) (No really.)

As I tore into my plate, I realized Corey didn’t have a fork. “It’s OK,” he promised. “I don’t mind waiting. I’ll just have a roll.” He paused, considering that statement, before holding up his broken hand and adding with the slight hint of chagrin, “Though, even THAT is a challenge.” He should have been giving less lip and more thanks for the fact that he has a hand AT ALL.

thanks2008

It would sppear that Henry is in the middle of saying an intense delivery of grace, but really he’s just acclimating to his newfound seated position after standing in the kitchen all day long.

Later, he momentarily lost his appetite when he mistook the really expensive paper napkins to say “Joyous Fetus” instead of the much less interesting “Joyous Fetes.” We all laughed, but I don’t think Henry understood what was going on because he probably doesn’t even know what “fetes” means.

We’re so classy that we used our best plastic serving bowls. Not even TUPPERWEAR. Just generic, microwave-ravaged plastic. And there’s the gravy that burnt Henry’s hand and thank God it did because I really enjoyed hearing him cry about it all night long. I thought his mom was going to rush him to the Veteran’s hospital. I could almost see Henry’s mind churning: “Remember what they taught you in the SERVICE, big guy. You will pull through this! YOU WERE IN THE AIR FORCE, GODDAMMIT.”

And then Henry’s mom called Janna a myriad of other J-names (Janet, Janice, Joanne) but never Janna, and swore she hated sweet potato pie before admitting that she had never had it. Now she’s had it and likes it, though I maintain that Henry’s version (apparently it was EMERIL’S RECIPE, what a fucking carving knife to my heart) tasted unlike any sweet potato pie I’ve ever had. Ever. Like, no semblance at all.

Overall, I thought it was pretty good for our first time hosting a holiday in my ridiculously small dining room. I know I had fun, and Blake and Henry’s mom seemed content. Janna basically looked like she had just finished watching a double feature of “Benji” and “Old Yeller,” and Corey just looked bored as usual. The shit Henry made was good, and even the gravy was vegetarian. I learned later that my mother translated Corey’s spot at my table into meaning that –oh my god — he’s on MY SIDE. And this is exactly why I was happy to do my own thing this Thanksgiving.

Last night, I yelled, “I can’t wait to have Christmas here too!” but Henry remained curiously silent.

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Sep 242013
 

Hey, Blog. Remember how two weekends ago I wrote on your skin about how I was going to do a pie pop-baking practice run? And you didn’t tell me I was being ridiculous? Well, fuck you.

In my head, it seemed like such a great idea! So smart and sensible. Henry will take on the regular-sized pies for the upcoming pie party, and I will undertake the legion of tiny pies on sticks that, also in my head, seemed like they would be so darling to bake. I even looked at a lot of pictures on various food blogs and every single one of them screamed ERIN PROOF! One blogger even said, “Hi, my 8-year-old niece made these, they are THAT EASY.”

And that’s what I needed to know. That idiot children could accomplish this feat and wind up with an edible disc on a tiny pie-rod. So two weekends ago, I mentally prepared myself for lots of flour inhalation and…other baking stuff.

But first, I needed to go to the asian market to see if they had persimmon, because I have been deadset on Henry baking me the most sumptuous pie out of that shit for months now. Persimmon is my jam. I’m sorry to all of the apples out there, but I have to say that persimmon is my favorite fruit of all time. Too bad it’s so elusive.

If anyplace would have it, it would be the asian market though. And of course, they didn’t. (They did have the best goddamn kiwis I’ve ever masticated this side of Fruit Mastication Street, though. I think they were Golden Kiwi? What a joy for my tongue.

I decided when we were checking out that Henry and I should inquire about persimmons, which turned out to be a huge mistake because the young Asian girl in her lens-less black frames and Abercrombie hoodie started laughing. I mean, this bitch had her head thrown back in laughter. This was legit laughter. This was the laughter reserved for stupid crackers, that’s exactly what kind of fucking laughter this was.

“Oh no, hahaha, no no no! There no persimmon in September! Hahahaha! That winter fruit! Hahahahaha!” And other shoppers were craning their necks to see what was going on up at check out (I’m sure they figured it involved a fat caucasion fruit-retard) and I pretty much wanted to fork my fingers and spear her eyeballs Labryinth-style through her stupid hipster glasses that she doesn’t even need!

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Friends, don’t make the same mistake I made. There are no persimmon in September. Don’t even bother asking, unless you enjoy being laughed out of the Alamo, OK?

So, I guess no persimmon pie at the pie party, my persimmony pie party peeps.

Totally defeated, we went and got ice cream, I got totally sick from spray paint fumes, and then finally I decided I better try that baking thing before the weekend was officially over. Except that there was a Penguins pre-season game on that evening.

“I’ll just do it during intermission,” I said to Henry. “Get everything ready for me.”

Henry had already gone to the regular people grocery store earlier that evening and bought all of the pie supplies, plus cookie cutters and lollipop sticks. Henry then cleared off the dining room table, rolled out the flour, washed the cookie cutters, prepared various pie fillings in some bowls, and made the egg wash. Then it was the first intermission and I had to actually do foody things which turned out to be so terrible, I can’t even find the words, it’s like my brain is literally sending death threats to my fingers to prevent them from typing out the brutal memory of last Sunday evening.

“Are you kidding me?” Henry sighed during one of his supervisional trips to the dining room table.

“This is so hard!” I wailed. “And booooring!”

“Did you actually read the recipe, or did you just look at the pictures?” And when I didn’t answer right away, he spat, “That’s what I thought.”

And then I tried to get all fancy, which is not something a baking invalid like myself should EVER TRY TO DO, by doing one of those crisscross crust thingies that disgusting grandmas do to their cherry pies so hobos will want to stick their dicks inside once they see how moist and pus-like the innards are. A little bit of a sultry, seductive pie peepshow never killed anyone. (Just maybe stained some already dirty weeners.)

Give me Sculptey and I will crosshatch the shit out of it. Construction paper? Sure, I got this. I was even pretty diligent back in the day at making potholders by criss-crossing stretchy things on a small metal loom.

But give me pie crust and I am all thumbs. And not just normal people thumbs, but medical malady thumbs. Maybe even some monkey thumbs are up in there, too, and everything I try to hold just collapses into me. I also apparently forget what “criss-cross” looks like and this is what happens:

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And then something happened, a lightbulb went off, a burning pie pop sent smoke signals to my brain, something happened: I realized that I just really, truly, absolutely dislike baking. Like with my entire being. I hate it. It makes me feel tired, angry and pretty much like my whole world is ending. So why keep trying? Discovering I’m actually a baking phenom is pretty likely never to happen. I just honestly do not enjoy it! It’s actual mental pain for me and I get bored immediately after I start. And it wasn’t very fun (or tasty) eating uncooked pie crust, but I kept doing it just because Henry kept telling me to stop. It was just a real bad time, you guys, like taking a tour of Snooki’s gynecological history. Like being trapped in a car with someone you can’t stand, except the car is a table and the person you can’t stand is Henry amidst a pile of crappy ingredients.

(Looks like Henry’s To Do list for the pie party has just grown exponentially!)

Finally, after hearing enough of my bitching and moaning and general dramatics (so out of character), Henry released me from the confines of baking and things went back to normal: me leaning forward on the couch screaming at the TV while Henry calls out from the kitchen for the score of the hockey game.

Ah, normalcy.

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Mar 272013
 

“Mommy told me to put the icing on first,” I overheard Chooch telling Henry.

“Wait, what did I tell you?” I said overtop of Henry groaning, “That’s just great.”

“To put icing on the toaster streudel first,” Chooch answered.

“Oh shit, is THAT what you were asking me yesterday while I was exercising?” (Seriously, he waits until I’m in the middle of Bodies in Motion* to expect me to start parenting him.)

“Wonderful,” Henry sighed. “Did you do it?” he asked Chooch.

“No! I didn’t think I should, so I put the icing on after,” Chooch said, sounding appalled that Henry even had to ask.

“Thank god,” Henry said. “That would have been a nice toaster fire. Chooch, if you ever have questions about cooking, please call me. Don’t ask your mother.”

*I enjoy working out to exercise programs where people are wearing LA Gears.

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Feb 162012
 

I don’t know what came over me, but two weeks ago I was sitting at my desk at work when the most ridiculously out-of-character idea cloud settled upon my head, and it told me to bake Henry a cake for Valentine’s Day.

There are several things wrong with this:

  1. I have never baked without supervision.
  2. I have never baked a cake, nor have I ever wanted to. (I do like decorating cakes that other people have made though, usually in a mean-spirited fashion.)
  3. I do not like baking. Or cooking. Or being in the kitchen at all.
  4. Since when do I ever willingly want to do nice things for Henry?

Natalie happened to stop by to talk to me right after my plan was devised and I eagerly filled her in. She gave me a horrified look and then walked away.

See? Everyone knows this is not an Erin thing to do! And more importantly, HENRY knows this goes against everything I’m all about which means he would never expect it. Ever. Never ever.

I posted about it on Facebook (I blocked him from that particular status update) and the reactions were mixed, everything from shock and trepidation from the people who know that the only recipe I’m capable of following is one for disaster, suspicion from some who are not used to seeing my sweet side, and then there were all the “You Should”s with their unsolicited suggestions of what I should make instead.

But my mind was made up: red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting. No cake pops or cupcakes or chocolate-covered strawberries. No bakery-bought cake. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it big and do it my way.

A week before Valentine’s Day, I did some subtle recon.

“Why don’t you ever bake cakes?” I asked Henry out of the blue one night, because that’s how I do subtle. “Is it because it’s too HARD?” If it’s too difficult for Henry, then it’s impossible for me.

“Because we don’t have any cake pans,” he mumbled, not seeming to think it was a weird question at all.

The next day at work, I was freaking out about cake pans, which is how I learned that there are many options in acquiring one. For instance, Target sells cake pans! I never would have known. I learn so much about life at work.

But then Natalie said I could borrow hers! So then I had two 8in cake pans in my purse when I left work on Friday and Henry looked at me weirdly when he heard them clanging together.

And then he looked at me even more weirdly, now with a dash of fear, when I told him that I needed something for his Valentine’s gift but Natalie let me borrow hers, like it was her diaphragm and this was 1996.

“I don’t want to know,” he said.

After I took Chooch to school Monday morning, I looked at the frosting and cake mix recipe 45752 times to see what I would need, then I collected all the courage I could muster and set off to the grocery store. A solo trip to the grocery store. Whoever would’ve thought? When I t old Chooch what I was doing that day, he stopped everything and said, “Are you sure you shouldn’t just buy the cake?”

Nice to know my son has so much faith in me.

I was so nervous and apprehensive that I acted like I was on Supermarket Sweep, grabbed what I needed (I even got coffee creamer because I knew I was almost out; I’m suddenly responsible!), checked my heart rate and got the FUCK out. I really hate grocery stores. Unless it’s one of the fancy ones. Then I like to tag along with Henry and increase our bill by $150. Henry really enjoys that too.

The actual cake-baking wasn’t too bad, you guys! I even found the hand-mixer thingie and the whisk-y thingies which were in the second drawer I looked in! Clearly all of these things meant that baking was in my destiny. And you know, in between heaping mouthfuls of cake batter, I smiled to myself and thought about how surprised Henry was going to be that I was doing something selfless for him, because when do I ever do anything for him, aside from making pretty faces for him, filling his days with my warm and sunny disposition, and BEARING HIS CHILD?

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Yep, everything was fine until the cake was done and I tried to remove it by flipping the pan upside down and shaking. A huge chunk flopped out, but another huge chunk remained adhered to the bottom of the pan. (Yes, I greased the pan! Why does everyone keep asking me that!?) Thank god for Facebook; I posted this picture with a caption begging for help, and my guardian angels asured me that this wasn’t fatal and that there were ways to piece it back together. And then Kaitlin texted me and said that happens to her all the time and I was like, “YES, I’M ON THE SAME PAGE AS KAITLIN!” Whatever that means!

Parts of the cake appeared burnt while other portions were definitely undercooked. I shrugged it off because let’s be real – this cake was mostly just a symbol at this point. If pieces of it turned out edible, well then that’s a bonus.

Once I dumped out the second cake, I stowed them away in the attic (yes, they were covered! I’m not that stupid!) and spent the rest of my day watching MTV like a person like me should be doing.

The next morning, Chooch was brushing his teeth and admitted to me that he peeked at the cake.

“It looks weird,” he said, his voice full of toothpaste and concern.

“BECAUSE IT’S NOT DONE YET! God!” I was feeling pretty defensive at that point.

After I took Chooch to school, it was time to make the frosting. I waited a whole day to do this because all of my Google research told me that it is best to frost a cake the next day. Plus, I didn’t feel like being in the kitchen any longer on Monday. But I realized I didn’t have enough butter and had to go BACK TO THE STORE which caused me great anxiety. Henry called while I was doing this and all I would tell him was that I was working on the second thing I needed to do but a wrench was thrown into the plan and I had to go back to the store.

Goddamn does it take butter a lot of time to thaw! Jessy texted me some ways to speed up the process but they all involved copious opportunies for me to fuck up. So I just sat on it for awhile instead.

The cats went apeshit when I was using the mixer. They have never, in 14 years, seen me do that before. I started to pretend like I was going to go after Marcy with it but then batter started flying around like arterial spray so I shoved it back in the bowl. God, baking is messy. I still don’t know where the frosting landed. And you know what, that shouldn’t be my concern. I already did enough, Henry can clean up. Right?

Aside from when I dropped the bowl and caught it by slamming it against the cabinets with my crotch (I did all the preparations on the 2 inch slat of counterspace in front of the sink, even though we have an entire table I could have used), frosting proved to be pretty easy to make! I did have to ask Google if confectioners powder is the same as powered sugar, though. (It is, in case you didn’t know.)

OK, I lied. I wanted to see how it felt to be cheery and positive for once. No, it wasn’t easy! It wasn’t easy at all! It took forever to mix, and my arms were hurting so bad, and it was jerking me around and not in a pleasurable way either. And then when it was time to slather it on the cake, my spatula thing kept pulling up parts of the cake and then it was mixing in with the frosting and I was getting so angry that I found myself crying for the eight time since the nigthmare started the day before, and if that shit didn’t taste so fucking good, it was about to get set on fire and chucked at the nearest Katy Perry fan.

And then I was like, “Fuck it. Once he sees I baked him a cake, of course he’s not going to deduct points for it being a hot mess.” Because the whole point is that, hello, this bitch baked him a cake for the first (and last) time ever!

When I first had the idea, I thought it would be cute to decorate it with all the things we share a mutual love for, but then I realized that’s only one thing (aside from our kid, obviously).

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So it’s only slightly a wreck! I was pretty proud of myself, to be honest. But the sense of accomplishment was not enough to make me forget the electricutionary feeling of frazzled nerves, so no, I will not be making this a hobby.

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Henry was nervous. “This is only the second time in 11 years you’ve done something for me on Valentine’s Day,” he said. It’s true. The last time I gave him an empty ring box which was supposed to hold a key to my house, but I left it in the paper bag from the hardware store.

He said, “I’m going to guess whatever you were doing was something you don’t normally do….which could be just about anything.”

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Oh my god, he’s almost smiling! But then he looked at it again and said, “What are all the lumps in the frosting?”

“It’s cake!” I wailed. Ugh!

The more he looked at the cake, the less his lips held the smile-curve. It looked like apprehension was setting in, like he was going to make me taste it first. But he apparently ate a piece while I was at work and lived to tell about it. (I have no evidence that he didn’t force our son to eat it on his behalf, though.)

I only half-considered adding the zest of Hemlock to the frosting, I swear.

That night, after Chooch went to bed, Henry slipped into the kitchen, shutting the door behind him. I kept waiting for him to come out with a ring* or at least some vintage porn hidden in a souffle, but apparently my big Vday gift was dinner.

(*You know I would have been displeased if he had proposed on a day as obvious as February 14th. I’M NEVER HAPPY!)

“You ALWAYS cook dinner,” I whined. “I baked you a CAKE!”

He spent the rest of the night kissing my ass and then I let him scratch my back, so all was not lost.

(Wait, this sounds like a regular night at our house.)

I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life smearing this in his face.

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Oct 272011
 

Or: How Barb Found Another Way To Ruin My Life

Or: That Fucking Tomato, The Sequel

Before Barb left work on Monday, she had to go and fuck up my whole world by offering me an apple. I just smiled and said thanks, but what was really happening at that moment was that a vignette of cumulative  botched apple-cutting situations began whirring around in my head,  my inner-wrists started tingling at even the suggestion of wielding a paring knife, and my teeth were curling back inside my gums at the thought of biting into a whole apple.

Meanwhile the ghost of Johnny Appleseed openly mocked me from above my desk.

It just sat there all night, to the left of me, this glowing red/yellow orb of temptation. If I had been the original Eve, the Bible as we know it (and I don’t really know it) would be drastically altered, because I have a feeling Adam would have been too busy exploring holes with his dick to cut a fucking apple.

We might all be walking around nude right now.

Eventually, I tossed it into my purse, thinking I would just find some way to eat it at home. And by that I of course mean Henry would put a Gerber bib on me and slice the apple into Erin-appropriate wedges.

That night at work, I ate peanuts and Halloween candy instead. Fucking apple.

***

I forgot the apple was in my purse until the next morning and Henry had the audacity to not drop everything and come home from work wearing his produce armor to cut my fucking apple.

“Where did you get an apple?!” he asked, probably thinking I was trying to eat random growths from neighborhood trees again.

Gee, I don’t know, Henry. An old fucking lady brought it up to my cottage window while goddamn bluebirds sang Disney songs behind her.

“Barb gave it to me last night and I put it in my purse! Don’t act like you don’t go through my purse!” I answered defensively, like I was trying to deny an affair with a bait shop owner.

(This all happened via Facebook; look at me, making it appear that Henry and I have real life conversations that don’t take place via the Internet, text, and Post-It Notes!)

Seriously, when will apples shake their stigma? WE NEARLY BROKE UP OVER THIS.

I had people on twitter sending me tutorials but the first I watched said I needed a melon baller and I started to break a sweat because I was pretty sure we don’t have a melon baller and also because I think I used a melon baller as a torture device in a short story I wrote a long time ago.

I decided to just wait for Henry to come home from work.

***

Henry hadn’t yet had a chance to get both feet through the door before I was blocking his path and shoving an apple-fist in his face.

He looked tired and disgruntled.

“Give me the fucking thing,” he said, snatching the apple from my hand. As he disappeared into the kitchen, I heard him grumble, “You’re pathetic.”

Nice to know he worries about my safety and the possibility of apple-induced arterial spray.

He practically frisbee’d a plate of shoddily-cut apple wedges at me before storming out the door to pick up our son, who will have to learn how to cut his own apples if he ever so much as dreams of eating one when Henry is away from the house.

This was definitely the product of a pissed off man with a knife. I call it Henry Sliced the Apple: the shocking conclusion to How Will Erin Eat Her Apple?

***

When I got to work later that day, I regaled Barb with the horrors of what had come to be known as Applegate. I did a lot of hand-wringing to further illustrate the distress her stupid apple had put me under.

“Oh, honey,” she said in her Babying Erin Voice,  which you might have figured gets a ton of use. “You should have just used the apple corer we keep here.”

WHAT APPLE CORER.

I took a picture of Barb demonstrating, so I could look back on it for reference.

That night, Barb left me another apple, the apple corer thing, and an assignment: to try it by myself.

I waited until everybody but the late shift people had gone for the day, just in case I wound up causing a scene. You never can be too safe. My first attempt propelled the apple with great force against the kitchen wall, knocking over the paper towel holder. (Speaking of the paper towel holder: The roll was empty the other night and I put a new one on all by myself. So now no one can say I haven’t helped out around there.) I think I didn’t have it properly centered because I might not have been paying attention.

My second attempt sent me lurching into the kitchen counter, but I did reach some low level of success. I couldn’t get the blades to split the apple the whole way through and wound up having to break it off the corer thing, but this was a win as far as Things Erin Tries To Do In The Kitchen goes.

Then I happily ate my apple, while  saying, “I did this myself!” to everyone who walked by. (And by everyone, I mean just Carey.)

And that is how I learned to cut an apple at work.

(You should see me with an orange.)

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Oct 132011
 

Why do I keep having parties? All they do is stress me the fuck out. And you know, this time, I was trying to be more lackadaisical about it but all that did was make me wake up Saturday morning to a constricted chest and a build-up of pre-party heart palpitations. And it wasn’t like there was a ton to do — Henry just had to make two pies while I roamed around the house, looking at my imaginary Swatch watch and calling him a motherfucker.

“I don’t know why you get so stressed out when I’m the one who has to do everything,” Henry called out from the kitchen, elbow-deep in butterscotch, while I zoned out to Chiodos and buffed my fingernails. Finally, he finished his pistachio pie and deemed the butterscotch pie as “getting there,” so we packed it all up and split for the pavilion; upon arrival, Henry had already written a list of a hundred things he forgot, which meant Chooch and I got to hang out alone in the pavilion while he “ran real quick” to the store.

I. False Hope

While I was chastising my son for being 5 and incapable of using a swingset on his own, a car pulled up the dirt part alongside the pavilion. Chooch and I ran a Special Olympics practice lap toward it just as a man was emerging from the driver’s side. It wasn’t anyone I recognized, but I am never one to turn away a pie aficionado.

“Do you mind if I take some pictures of my wife?” he asked. That’s when I noticed that in place  of a checkered bib fastened around his neck and a pie fork in each hand, he came equipped with his camera, his very pregnant wife, and a young kid.

Oh.

Hopes crushed, I gave them the green light and Chooch and I moped back to the playground with our heads down. Maybe that was just me. It was already past the start of the party and no one had arrived, so what did I care if some weirdos were taking lovey-dovey family portraits over by the porta john.

Then another car pulled down and around the pavilion, so Chooch and I jumped up and cheered just in time for the two strangers in the car to leer at us as they drove back up the road.

“What the fuck?!” I yelled to the party gods, who were clearly angry with me for some reason. Not sending thank you cards fast enough after my birthday party? God, fuck off.

Finally, Henry came back at the same time my brother Corey and his girlfriend Danielle arrived, so they were here for the next fake out, when a pick up truck pulled into the lot across the street but then it turned out to be some assholes bringing their dog to the park for a walk. It was nearly 2 at this point and I started to cry a little.

II. The Horse

The incredibly affectionate family/pie party crashers had taken a break in their photo session long enough to plop down for a picnic in the grass. We were sitting at a table under the pavilion, openly mocking them, when Corey noticed a horse coming out of the woods. Atop the horse sat a poised older woman in some kind of fucking safari hat and chambray shirt. Corey could not stop talking about how poised she was, like she was expecting to be photographed or draped with a champion’s sash.  Everyone (but me) took turns telling her how beautiful her horse was as she clomped off toward the playground.

Chooch decided that he HAD TO GO TO THE SWINGSET at this moment and he would have to RUN AS FAST AND AS LOUDLY as he possibly could because it might not be there much longer. Off he ran like a madman, ignoring Henry’s warnings of “Don’t run near the horse——aw, shit.”

Too late.

The horse got spooked and started to buck. The bitch on his back was suddenly less than poised as she tried to get him to calm down. We all just sat there and stared, and then I had to turn away because I was laughing so hard. We’re all so incredibly irresponsible when it comes to that kid.

At least she wasn’t thrown off the horse, I guess.

III. This Is My Brother, Corey; He’s Color Blind

Since there still wasn’t a party happening, Corey, Danielle and Chooch sat down and colored some Star Wars pictures. Thank god for crayons and coloring books.

“You know I’m color-blind, right?” Corey asked me.

“What? No!” I replied.

“Yeah, I found out when I was like, 7 and got my first pair of glasses. The doctor was basically like, ‘You’re color-blind as fuck.’ I can’t believe you’ve known me for 21 years and didn’t know this!” Corey said, mock-offended.

Meanwhile, Chooch was chastising Corey for coloring Luke Skywalker totally wrong and I was like, “Dude doesn’t know his colors, Chooch. He can’t help it.” I tried to give Corey a sympathetic smile but I couldn’t stop laughing long enough.

Anyway, the point of Corey’s story is that his color-retardedness is affecting his ability to excel in one of his classes, so his adviser intervened and told the professor about Corey’s “condition,” at which point he was sent to the disability office and had to sit among suicidal students and a guy with one leg.

This was so ridiculously funny to me that I could not stop laughing and talking about it. All day long, whenever someone new would arrive (and yes, people did eventually arrive), I would introduce Corey as “my brother; he’s color-blind.” Show me your weakness and I will mock you relentlessly.

 IV. The Butterscotch Blunder

People were finally beginning to arrive and Henry let me set out the pistachio pie (which was like spooning a cloud from Heaven into your mouth; I bet angels get breast implants made from this sweet fluff) but said that the butterscotch pie still wasn’t ready.

“Don’t touch it!” he barked preemptively when I made to open the weird helium-balloon looking cooler stowing the runny pie. “I just checked it and it still hasn’t jelled.” He tugged on his coller a little and then took another swig of his iced tea jug.

This pretty much went on all day, this dance around the reverse pie-incubator, until finally it was 6:30 and everyone had left with nary a slice of butterscotch pie (which is one of my all-time favorite pies and I haven’t had it in years because my mom doesn’t care enough about me to bake me one, but she’ll still bake them FOR HER EX-HUSBAND WTF). I was devastated. Yes, I had shoveled multiple varities of fruit- and cream-filled desserts between my oscillating lips, but there was a void that couldn’t be filled by any berry or Nutella. I needed that fucking butterscotch.

(Two pies came close though: Kaitlin made a black forest pie and then told Henry to suck it; and Laura’s fiance Mike baked one of the best apple pies with a crust soaked in some sort of sex nectar, I don’t even know but I think I may have broken a few laws with it in my mouth.)

V. The Park

Everyone is always bitching about how hard it is to find park pavilions, no matter what park we’re at, so fuck that: the next pie party will be at a strip club. Maybe then people will actually show up.

And then there won’t be any stink bugs to freak people out. Just crabs.

VI. Where’s the Avocado Pie?

Henry didn’t make the avocado pie this year and of course everyone was like, “Did Henry make the avocado pie?” No, Henry didn’t make the avocado pie because he was too busy fucking up the butterscotch pie.

VII. Pictures of People Eating Pie

Pie Eaters:

  • Me me me me
  • Henry and Chooch
  • Laura
  • Corey and Danielle
  • Robbie and Karen
  • Ron
  • John, Jennifer, Abby and Gavin
  • Nancy and her baby, Joey
  • Jamie and her baby, Crosby
  • Barb
  • Kaitlin
  • Sandy and Elena
  • Sean and Kylie
  • Joy and John
  • Kristen and her dog, Joey
  • Blake and Shannon
  • Henry’s mom Judy
  • Henry’s sister Kelly
  • Zac
  • Janna

 Henry bought some sort of pie shower caps, except I thought he said they were for vaginas. I was so confused, but figured it was something he saw his ex using one time, so I didn’t question it.

I don’t think these kids stopped moving long enough to eat even a bite of pie.

WHAT WERE THEY TALKING ABOUT? It seems so intense.

Since it was an open house-type of party, people came and went all day. Henry kept trying to make everyone take pie home with them, because the pie:person ratio was totally ridiculous this year. There were some pies that hadn’t even been cut into by the end of the day. Was everyone on a diet this year?

We even considered handing off some pie to the picnicking pregnant family down by the porta john.

Joy’s fiance John asked me what started the whole pie party thing. When I told him that it was basically because I wanted pie and wondered how I could trick people into bringing me some, I think he believed me but I’m not sure. It’s kind of cool how much people enjoy pillaging a spread of pies in a park pavilion on a beautiful autumn day, though.

Probably frowning at Kaitlin’s black forest pie.

Laura actually likes having her photo taken, so she doesn’t care when I sneak up on her.

Overall, it was a great day, great weather, great pies, and great people. But by 6:00, I was writhing around and yelling WHY DID YOU LET ME EAT SO MUCH PIE!? because everything is Henry’s fault.

The next morning, Henry finally admitted that he fucked up the butterscotch pie, which had never jelled, not even after a full 24 hours. There goes your spot on the Food Network, Henry, you fuck-up.

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Sep 152011
 

One of my co-workers called out to me from her office, “Do you like tomatoes?”

That’s a loaded question. I suppose I do like tomatoes, but only on certain occasions, in certain foods and sliced in certain ways.

But this was coming from a co-worker with whom I’m not very close; not wanting to engage her any further by revealing intimate details about my dietary habits, I settled for a simple, “Sure.”

And then there she was, standing before me with a carton of cherub tomatoes.

“Here, take one!” she said eagerly, arms extended like she was handing me a birthday gift. “It’s like an explosion of flavor in your mouth!”

Stunned, I stuck one tentative hand beyond the plastic covering of the carton and right smack into the warzone of small red torture devices.

Never do I just EAT A TOMATO. Oh, I know all about you fools who shake some salt on those motherfuckers and eat ’em like a goddamn apple. But that’s not for me. Put it on a grilled cheese, for sure, but someone gives me a whole entire tomato and it’s getting chucked for fun.

What a Normal Person Might Do:

  • Politely decline.
  • Pretend to have gum in their mouth.
  • Puncture their breast implant and run.

What Erin Does:

  • Accept the challenge.

I felt backed into a wall by then, anyway. My hand was already instinctively in the carton (actually, by this point, it was stuck in the carton; have you seen the gargantuan rings I wear?) so this was definitely the point of no return; and she was standing there all excited and wide-eyed, waiting to become Tomato Bros with me. I was willing to tell her what she wanted to hear just to make her go away.

It was the size of a fig, the one I withdrew. Instead of biting it, I sighed heavily and popped the whole thing into my fake-smiling mouth.

My molars squished into it and sent guts of the tomato gushing through my mouth; the wet, gelatinous texture made my sad tongue curl back in terror. This was definitely not a good time for my taste buds, or my gag reflex for that matter. I’ve had an easier time getting through reluctant, obligated blow jobs.

That’s about when the tang of bile began to slowly crawl up my throat like a geriatric geyser. I was still chewing and smiling while she stood there expectedly, praying that she doesn’t notice I’m dry heaving with zipped lips. And then of course, a veritable reel of disgusting images played out inside my mind, because why wouldn’t I want to think about:

  • snakes engulfing writhing rodents,
  • Snooki’s kooka engulfing writhing rodents,
  • Sarah Palin as President, and
  • Grandma Cleavage modeling her new Irish Snuggie,

while I’m hosting what I can only describe as Satan’s sour semen on the bed of my tongue.

The short version: It was yucky, you guys. :(

My body was trying to reject it into my cupped palms but she just wouldn’t walk away.

Someone else walked by and she turned to offer them their own cherub (who tossed it into his mouth like he’s some Huck Finn motherfucker, I might add; I might also add that his name is MITCH, the worst Facebook friend in the whole world, and you know why I can add that? Because HE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW THIS EXISTS BECAUSE HE NEVER CHECKS IN WITH HIS STUPID FACEBOOK FRIENDS.), affording me a few seconds to openly cringe and emulate the No Bueno! grimace a baby makes when being force-fed organic mashed peas. I definitely didn’t want to swallow, so I tucked it behind my teeth, under my tongue, if I could have dripped it down into my bra, I would have; and then I choked out a strained, “It’s really good, thanks!” Like it would have killed her if I told her the truth, as if she grew this bitch in her own goddamn garden from seeds extracted from her loins. And then I couldn’t hold on to it any longer—I swallowed. I mean, it might as well have been a load of ejaculate so why the hell not?

“An explosion of flavor, right?!”

Yes, something like that.

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Jun 272011
 

If you see me at the grocery store, rubbing elbows with Domesticates and Elderlies sporting open wounds, then you know I have to be there for a very good reason. This girl don’t shop for food otherwise.

On this particular Saturday, the reason was: popsicles. REAL popsicles to be made using the Zoku Quick Pop maker that my aunt Susie got Chooch for his birthday. She said she wanted us to have it because she knew how much fun we had making chocolate lollipops together as one big happy 1950’s TV family and figured we’d also take great delight in preparing our own frozen treats as well.

I’m sure she also probably knew that no way was I going to settle for popsicles made solely of Everfresh juices. I wanted the gourmet shit that I saw on the Zoku website. Henry let me choose two recipes and then we went to the grocery store where I complained the whole time and had panic attacks every time I got too close to meats and people.

Grocery stores are gross, you guys.

Even though the recipes I chose only called for lemons and cantaloupe, I decided we needed many more varieties than just those two pedestrian fruits. I’m a sucker for melons and there was a pile of like, 6 different species. (Brands?) I couldn’t remember which I liked the best. Thank god Henry keeps track of these things (only because he knows better than to ever buy for a second time something I hate) and loaded a Santa Claus melon into the cart.

God those things are like pure, unadulterated candy.

We also needed exotic things, like AGAVE NECTAR, and I complained that the aisle housing these sweetening novelties smelled weird, like a Mexican abortion clinic, which triggered Henry’s official look of STFU Spoiled Bitch. Turns out AGAVE NECTAR is like honey for cooking snobs. (But what the fuck do I know about things that people buy as ingredients. I’m an eater not a cooker.)

(I may or may not have spelled out the word “AGAVE” every time I needed to say it because I don’t know how to pronounce it.)

Henry’s favorite part of having me tag along is when I hold up food products and ask, “Do I like this?”

“Not for $8.99 a pound, you don’t!” he spat when the item my delicate hands clutched was a bag of rainier cherries. This is how I learned that fruit is expensive. I have no basis of comparison when it comes to these things, especially since I was raised on fine food fare, so I will take Henry’s word for it. Especially after I said, “Wow, that was cheaper than I expected!” when the grand total came to $70-something and he nearly sliced out my tongue with his travel toenail clippers.

“This was all shit for popsicles and like, two frozen meals for YOU. Chooch and I got NOTHING,” Henry argued. Oh wah wah, go order a fucking pizza then. (He did, too.)

The popsicle maker comes with a fun face-maker kit, so I cut some bananas (the only fruit I sort of know how to slice) and started using the shapes to make eyes when Chooch pushed me out of the way and yelled, “I WANT TO DO IT TOO!” which made me yell back, “NO YOU’RE RUINING IT! HENRY, HE’S RUINING IT!” which made Henry yell, “OMG BOTH OF YOU GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN!” Henry was apparently doing the “important” part, which was actually mixing all the ingredients together so we could have something to even put the fruit slices in.

Henry is so smart like that.

I guess our sibling-like bickering was impeding Henry’s ability to properly mix up a batch of girly lemon cream, in which he added LAVENDER because he knows that’s my favorite flavor (not really, but close) and he’s been kissing up to me so I don’t pack a bag and GTFO, which is what I’ve been threatening to do lately. Oh go on, laugh. We’ll see if you’re still laughing when me and my hobo sack show up on your front stoop, asking to pitch a tent in your living room.

OMG I’LL NEVER BUY POPSICLES AGAIN

This Zoku thing is genius. You would think, since I had a hand in preparations, that at least the first few batches would come out looking like molten shit on a stick; maybe some would break off inside the machine; maybe at least one would have hemlock in it, making all of Henry’s wishes come true. But no, the inaugural batch and each one after turned out perfect. (Although Henry will argue that I jacked shit up when I tossed in a handful of Froot Loops to the cantaloupe mint mixture.)

Did I mentioned that after Henry diced it, I pureed that all by myself (after Henry showed me exactly which button to press and then hovered over me to make sure nothing fell in, like my face or a brick of cocaine)? Anything that is Erin-proof is a dream contraption. Go get one.

We had so much fun that I demanded we go to Williams-Sonoma that very same night to buy more sticks for the damn thing. Ours came with four and after making two of the lemon popsicles, it quickly became clear that we would need as many  more as we could possibly get (though Henry said one box of 6 would be fine). I have never been inside of a Williams-Sonoma (what reason would I have?) but luckily, before I could break out into fear-of-cooking hives, Chooch led us straight to the Zoku display. At least he’s good for something.

We didn’t have the ingredients on-hand to make fudgesicles and Henry started bitching about not wanting to leave the house again, so instead he improvised and concocted something akin to frozen Mexican hot chocolate. I approved.

Chooch and I made striped ones today, ALL BY OURSELVES! Literally anyone can use this thing without fucking it up!

But seriously, the grocery store, Willams-Sonoma and then a trip to Home Depot on Sunday? No wonder I feel so suicidally disoriented today. At least my freezer is stuffed full of frozen wonders! (The popsicles, not sperm and phalanges.) The cantaloupe mint is my favorite. I’m going to go fellate one right now.

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Apr 262011
 

Get fucked.

All the pre-school kids get to bring in treats on their birthday. Since there was no school on Monday, Chooch is bringing shit in tomorrow. I thought perhaps Henry could bake some cupcakes; Chooch suggested cookies.

But Henry went off on his own and decided to make chocolate lollipops. He bought three different sets of molds: pirates, dinosaurs and monkeys. Also procured were bags of white chocolate molding things, food coloring and paint brushes to help aid in a potential murder-suicide situation.

Because solid chocolate is too easy.

Before sitting down to “help,” I considered relisting* myself as “in a relationship with Henry Robbins” on Facebook so that I could re-breakup with him after fifteen minutes, because the two of us working side-by-side on anything involving food and arts and crafts is surely going to end with our home criss-crossed in yellow crime scene tape.

(*Technically, according to Facebook, I’m still single after Henry failed to take me roller skating Saturday night.)

Henry wasn’t even done setting up yet when Chooch spilled a jar of orange food coloring on himself THREE TIMES. This was partly because I was too busy perfecting my Negligent Teen Mom act and partly because no one ever listens when Henry says not to touch something, which would explain why I’ve found myself in so many philandering situations over the years.

So now my child looks like he was sired by Pauly D after a reckless night of beatin’ the beat in Snooki’s kuka with his spray-tanned guido venereal-rod. Have fun selling booty shorts on the boardwalk this summer, son.

Meanwhile, I managed to paint the miniscule crannies of a pirate skull, a pirate ship and two dinosaurs before completely flipping my shit.

“IT WON’T STAY MELTED!” I kept screaming at Henry, who would calmly tell me to “work faster.”

%&*%*^$*^%

Listen here, Wonka. Unless you want to see how fast I work when equipped with a sausage grinder and your dick in my hands, best BACK UP OFF ME.

Fifteen minutes — pretty lofty expectations on my behalf. I only made it ten before rage and a quickly diminishing temper had me demonstrating full-body palsy shakes before launching my paint brush into a death-spiral to Hell and stomping off to pout on the couch.

“I didn’t ask for your help,” Henry murmured, hard at work filling his molds with plain milk chocolate and not even bothering to PAINT THE FUCKERS LIKE HE WAS MAKING ME DO, while I yelled a bunch of vulgarity-drenched death threats to the entire institution of chocolate candy and made promises to insert leftover lollipop sticks into Henry’s asshole while he sleeps tonight.

He’s currently in the kitchen, making exaggerated motions of extreme harriedness while I sit here listening to Emarosa, loudly and with my feet up, because I have no obligations to fulfill. Life is good.

Enjoy yourself, bro. This was all your idea, remember? If it were my choice, I would gladly just jam a stick of Juicy Fruit in each of those little fucker’s mouths and be done with it.

God, I hate doing things.

Nothing says Happy Birthday like half-assed chocolate shit on sticks born from rage, dysfunction and pure, unadulterated hate for life. Eat ’em up, kids.

Nov 022010
 

I had given Henry explicit instructions on what to get for the cupcakes while I was at work Thursday night. The plan was that he was going to bake them and then I would attempt to not look like an honorary member of The Dream Team while recreating what I saw in the last issue of Better Homes & Gardens (which somehow is delivered with my name on it, but Henry is always quick to whisk it from the mail slot before I throw it away).

When I came home from work, it was after 9pm and I quickly saw that Henry had not yet made the cupcakes.

“I’ll get to it,” he kept muttering.

I distracted myself by stuffing the treat bags with lame little Halloween party favors and candy. Then I panicked because I wasn’t sure if the game we had in mind was good enough, so I printed out Halloween mazes and stuffed those in the treat bags too. Goddamn children.

This took about fifteen minutes, start to finish. One could imagine how exhausted I was, having single-handedly carried this entire party on my back while Henry pranced around in his underwear.

Somewhere around 10:30pm, I found out that Henry had purchased red decorating gel instead of black. RED! I cornered him in the kitchen as he mixed the cupcake batter and laid into him for being so worthless, so stupid, so irresponsible, so UNRELIABLE.

We broke up for the second time that night, but he still put his big boy pants on and went back to the store in search of black decorating gel.

By the time he came back, I noticed that he also forgot the pretzel sticks/Frankenstein neck bolts.

“I just came back! I am not going to the store again!” Henry shouted.

I raised a knife.

We broke up again.

I know, I know: Erin, why didn’t you just go to the store yourself? And let that motherfucker win?! Never. Let me remind you that the fact I haven’t eaten meat since 1996 was born from my impenetrable stubbornness. My head, it is that of a bull. (And not just because I’m that ugly.)

“Just forget it!” I screamed. “Fuck the cupcakes! I just won’t take them!”

“Fine,” Henry mumbled, pushing past me and going to sit down on the couch.

“NO I’M JUST KIDDING WE NEED THE CUPCAKES OMG GET BACK IN THERE!” I yelled, heart rate up, left arm tingling. Ew I fucking hate parties. As Henry walked by to go back in the kitchen, I muttered, “But the cupcakes are going to look pathetic since you forgot the pretzels, good job.” I saw him tense up for a second, like he maybe was contemplating pushing me into the hot stove, but then he adjusted his Susie Homemaker ruffled apron and went back to ladling batter into the cupcake tray thing.

“Did you start cooking the spaghetti yet?” I asked. We needed a lot of spaghetti noodles for the stupid game that the other moms so thoughtfully left for me to come up with.

“Can I get through the cupcakes first?” he snipped, and we broke up again.

Around 11:30, the cupcakes were cooled off and it was time to start icing them. Henry mixed up a bowl of purple frosting while I struggled with the orange. I didn’t mix it well enough, so all the cupcakes I frosted had dark orange striations throughout them, and that’s on top of the sides I smashed in from gripping too hard.

“Look,” Henry instructed. “Turn the cupcake with your other hand so the frosting goes on easier.” But as usual, I ignored his tip and continued glooping on mounds of frosting before moving on to the frustrating task of smoothing that shit out.

I started to cry. Then I screamed, slammed down the cupcake I was working on, and marched out of the kitchen.

But not before breaking up again, followed by a death threat.

“You’re a fucking retard,” I heard Henry say as he examined the three cupcakes I managed to frost before having a full-blown temper seizure. I really believe that it takes a special kind of person to be able to work with sprinkles and frosting without winding with brain matter Pollacked across the kitchen wall.

I started to watch the Jersey Shore reunion show, mouth still molded into a scowl, until I realized that I couldn’t let Henry take all the credit for the cupcakes. And he would, too. I knew it. So I went back in the kitchen and pushed Henry out of the way. He had a plateful of large marshmallows which he had previously rolled through green glittery sprinkles. I picked one up and decided to start working on the Frankenstein heads, that maybe if I concentrated real hard on that, I could block out the fact that Henry was two feet away from me, making me hate life.

By then, it was midnight.

I did that high-pitched shriek that happens when something isn’t going my way.

“What?” Henry yelled.

“THIS BLACK GEL IS TOO THICK! THIS FRANKENSTEIN IS RUINED!” I hurled it into the garbage.

“Great,” Henry said sardonically. “Now we’re going to be short one marshmallow.” Turns out there was just enough green sprinkles for fourteen marshmallows, the exact number of kids in Chooch’s class. “If you weren’t being such a BITCH, I probably could have fixed that one,” Henry sneered and I wanted to skin him alive.

“Oh you think you’re so fucking perfect!” I spat. And we broke up so badly that I created a profile on Match.com.

Whoever lives in this house after us is going to be haunted by all the ire left clinging to the walls from our mutual belligerence. And that’s assuming we both make it out alive. Otherwise, someone might want to consider taking a wrecking ball to 3021 My Street.

Being short a marshmallow, I made the executive decision to only use half and do spiderwebs on the other cupcakes. Oh great idea, Erin Rachelle. Next time, maybe try to remember that you have an unsteady hand and SUCK at decorating.

How do you bitches make this look so easy?

I was standing over the oven, dragging a toothpick over these bastards, and GRUNTING. It was excruciating! You need precision for this shit. And precision and me? We’re not friends. We’re not even frenemies. In fact, if precision turned into a zombie, I’d push everyone out of the way so I could be the one to shoot it in the motherfucking head. Precision makes me cry, you guys. And I think I have arthritis now. I fucking hate you, too, spider webs.

I hate anything to do with baking! I hate frosting! I hate food coloring! I hate the kitchen! I hate Henry!

I do like licking the batter off that mixing contraption though.

The worst part is that I kept catching Henry trying not to laugh when my sanity was very clearly slipping through my fingers like sand through an hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

Of course, they looked nothing like Frankenstein and I had a failure-induced panic attack. Then I realized that maybe it wasn’t the best idea to have a variety.

“What if the kids start fighting because they all want one with a marshmallow head?” I freaked out.

“It’ll be a good lesson for them. You don’t always get what you want in life,” Henry said matter-of-factly. That’s great, but I didn’t want to be there when parts of Mr. Potato Head began flying as the kids fought each other with tinker toys and glue sticks and teachers staggered away with pencils jutting out from their femoral artery. You might be wondering what sort of impression I have in my mind of preschool classes. Obviously a very Mad Max, post-apocalyptic one.

It was nearly 1:00am by the time we finished decorating the fuckcakes. Henry and I slept in separate rooms.

FUCKERS!!!!

[Ed.Note: Henry can attest this is not an accurate account. It has been toned down. A lot.]

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Sep 222009
 

It was 11:30 PM. I knew it was a bad idea. Henry REALLY knew it was a bad idea. But there was a box of corn bread mix in the kitchen and I really wanted corn bread. Of course Henry was all, “Pendants or muffins, I can’t do both.” So I had the bright idea of baking that shit on my own while Henry toiled over resin at the dining room table.

The thing with Henry is that he acts like he’s whatever. Like, “Yeah go ahead, you do that; see if I care” but I KNOW that it KILLS him to hear me smashing shit around in the kitchen when there’s not a damn thing he can do about it. And then I had to ask him if vegetable oil and canola were the same and I could tell he wanted to march in, reclaim his kitchen, and whip up his own batch of delicate muffins from one of the yellowed index cards he keeps in a prized recipe box. But instead, he maintained a calm facade and continued making pendants while I raped and foraged the kitchen cabinets, scraped the top of my hand on a blender blade, and tried with little success to defend my eyeballs from imminent recipe-induced crossing. Recipes are only word problems in disguise, those fuckers.

After a lot of groaning, grunting, and “motherfuck”ing, I finally had all of my shitty batter (which unlike cake batter, does NOT taste good raw) doled out in what I hoped to be even allotments.

I was wrong.

fuckingmuffins

Oh but don’t worry, the nasty taste of the muffins completely overrode the size discrepancies. Not even the hearty fistfuls of sugar I dumped on top, pre-baking, could mask the bland dryness of these assholes. Henry even slid his plate away with more than half a muffin remaining. And he opted for the runt of the batch to begin with.

This morning, I decided to mix up some honey butter to help combat the dryness and add some sweetness. I mean, I fucking DRENCHED these bastards in the shit and they were still nothing more than glorified Southern saliva-suckers. Chooch, bless his heart, he tried to eat half of one, but in the end he decided to be honest and said, “I can’t like these. They’re not delicious.”

Fuck baking. Though I am still determined to bake a pie this weekend. And I think I have just the recipe.

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Jul 282009
 

Last week, I opened my front door to find a gigantic box from Williams-Sonoma perched at my step. First I panicked, because I knew I hadn’t consciously ordered anything from there and my grandma went through this phase where she was ordering shit from QVC in her sleep and what if that was happening to me now too? All of my family’s best idiosyncrasies, consistently delivered to me on the conveyor belt of heritage.

After hauling it inside, I was overjoyed to find, swimming near the top of the inflatable padding, a card that learned me it was an early birthday present from my friend Alyson. Two boxes were beneath all that, wrapped in pretty pineapple paper. THIS IS THE PART WHERE I LEARNED ALYSON BOUGHT ME TWO CANISTERS OF SPRINKLES CUPCAKE MIX WTF OMG!

sprinkles2

(My tutu was still downstairs from the Blogathon bullshit, so I put it to work. It needs to earn its keep somehow.)

Seriously, what a fabulous gift for a cupcake snob the likes of myself. In the enclosed card, she specified that perhaps Henry could bake those fine ass bitches up during Blogathon and I thought, “Why, what a swell idea! Something delicious to feast upon while beating myself stupid in the name of charity, and also – fodder to blog about!”

Henry was gone most of the day last Saturday, partially under the guise of “doing me a favor” by keeping Chooch out of my hair, but I’m sure it was mostly because Henry is scared to be around me during Blogathon. And also because I had a ton of pictures I needed him to pose for and he wanted to prolong the inevitable for as long as possible.

When he WAS home, I hounded him. “What about the cupcakes? How about those cupcakes? It’s cupcake o’clock, you motherfucker, let’s go before I blow up your asshole with a stick of dynamite.” And each time, he would say those words that every child and Erin HATE: “In a little while.”

And then it was midnight and he was standing before me giving me some lame ass excuse about not having any butter in the house and Blake was all, “I’ll go down the street to the gas station—” at which point Henry made a threatening throat-slicing motion.

Perhaps he felt bad that I only slept for 4 hours after being up for 24, and I even weed-wacked that afternoon (can you IMAGINE), because the next day he actually made the vanilla batch without any whining and begging from me.

Of Sprinkles, I will say this:

  • The cake part was very MOIST (why do people hate that word? I love it. In fact, I’ve often considered it tattooed inside my lip) and sweet. I think Henry might have baked it too long because he is not as delightful with baked goods as he’d like The Internet to believe (he’s a really great cook though, I can’t deny that), and the edges were a bit crisp.
  • Henry does, however, make a bitchin’ frosting. But he wanted to try the recipe that Sprinkles provided, which was very delicious but entirely too sweet for more than a few finger-sweeps while it was still in the mixing bowl. It ended up, in my opinion, being too much once it was sexin’ the cupcake and my teeth screamed a little.
  • The signature candy bulls eye toppers they supply have no taste and I really wanted them to spark in my mouth like Necco wafers are supposed to but never did when I tried. I learned that when I was in elementary school, from one of the issues of Weekly Reader. I also learned that if one is unable to brush their teeth, eating a piece of cheese before bed is an adequate substitute. That’s why I always guiltlessly devour cheese before bed, even though I know I’ll be brushing my teeth. That is also why I’m 569 pounds. That is also why sometimes a cube of Monterrey jack dislodges itself from my chin rolls the next day and I think, “Shucks, where’d that come from?”
  • My opinion will not be cemented until I try the red velvet canister (because that shit is the best ever, I mean who came up with red velvet? Some poor bitch, that’s who. Some poor serf-bitch who entered a fief-wide contest, vassals ineligible, to win an opportunity to bake the Queen’s pre-beheading cake and THAT is what she came up with over top her kettle with all the rats scurrying around and nipping at her gangrened toes, and immediately she named it after the fabric from which she pretended her burlap nightdress was made, and seeing as it was the only entry that didn’t cause a palace-wide botulism outbreak, she won) and then also visit one of the bakeries in person and even then, my ultimate opinion will be based on whether or not I see Katie Holmes gormandizing one with my own two eyes. I think I will also ask to shadow the bakers because I’m still not entirely convinced that Tom Cruise isn’t using Sprinkles as a front to contaminate the world with batter-planted religious Rufies. 
  • I will also need to try every flavor they make available to me. And that better be a wide selection, because don’t they know I’ll be slandering the shit out of them if I’m unhappy?
  • Please come  to Pittsburgh. I have a feeling I might really want to have sex with you if we meet in person.

sprinkles

Henry went to bed before the cupcakes cooled, so I was in charge of the frosting station. Of course, I didn’t wait long enough and then bitched when all the frosting shifted around the head of the cake and then began to run down the sides like a souvenir from sloppy sex. What? I didn’t bash in the left side of it from groping it with my heavy beast-hands! It came like that.

THANK YOU, ALYSON! For remembering my birthday, and being such an awesome friend. <3

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