Slices o’ Sausage

Long story short, my sister-in-law made a (very tame, for the record) dick joke, and for whatever reason it reminded me of this helpful hint:

If you want to slice your sausage before cooking it, put it in the freezer. Any sausage worth its salt has enough fat that the link won’t entirely freeze, even when stored for weeks, which means you can slice evenly without much effort at all. If your freezer is a boss, or you’re in a rush, just stick them in there for 15-20 minutes and you’re good to go.

Having a very sharp knife is the only real way to slice raw sausage without everything squishing out the sides. If you’re like me, with knives that are sharp enough, this is the way to go.

PS: Slicing sausage raw adds a great texture to the meat thanks to more surface area to sear, which translates well to dishes like spaghetti since the sear can withstand the sauce. Onions and peppers cooked together with a nice spicy italian sausage, and just a little bit of crunch to the edges, some roasted tomatoes and diced garlic thrown in – that is heaven.

Happy sautéeing.

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I Needed Color

Jim Carrey is painting!

Not that I read these kinds of things on purpose, but from what I hear the guy’s had a pretty rough run of life lately. I have been a hardcore Carrey fan since childhood, and man, what a delight to see him paint like this. Watching him channel his pain, hearing him work through the dark to produce this much beauty, is just outstanding.

This video made me a very special kind of happy.

Jim Carrey: I Needed Color from SGG on Vimeo.

Staving Off The Inevitable Rot

TJMurphy_copper pot and zucchini
T.J. Murphy

Summer is one of the best months for food, because all my favorite vegetables are in season along with those magical fruits that only come ripe for six seconds on the second Tuesday in June (hi cherries!). Downside is, summer produce tends to have delicate skin and flesh, which leads to speedy rotting and wasted potential due to interesting but incovenient science.

I have no idea where I picked this up, probably some combination of Hints from Heloise, basic science, personal experience and dumb luck. I’ve tried green bags and veggie washes, but washing with water and wrapping with towels works just as well. On one hand, it takes longer upfront, but on the other, makes your produce last for weeks. People I’ve told never seem to know about it, so here you go, world:

How To Make Summer Produce Last a Lot Longer In Your Fridge
Continue reading “Staving Off The Inevitable Rot”

Over three years later, much has changed

I came back to Texas just before New Years Day, 2013. I stepped off the plane and over the next three months, watched my life fall apart. On to the next adventure, indeed.

Everything changed. Everything. I was living that old trope of looking into the mirror and not recognizing the eyes staring back. I felt as if every wonderful sparkling quality that made up my personality starting blinking and fading away. And for over a year, I couldn’t write. My muse, and the voice that came with it, just disappeared. No more husband, no more career. All my goals were gone. No more out of the blue story ideas in the shower, or long weekends reading books in bed. I dropped all my hobbies, and the houseplants slowly died. Even surrounded by all my new friends and suitors, I had nothing much to say. It was the loneliest time of my life.

Things got better, of course. It wasn’t easy, especially at first, but it did end up being full of interesting lessons, and surprisingly fun. And although I recognize that I am better for having been through it, I see a hard edge to my personality that wasn’t there before. The wide-eyed joy has been tempered down to something more realistic and suited to survival. I still drink more than I probably should.

But I’m in love, and I feel more complete now than I ever have, just two short months away from turning 30. And I am happy, even working a job I don’t really like, living in a city I swore I’d never come back to. It’s looking like I will get my happily ever after, after all.

Of course, I can’t properly sing this redemption song without saving a verse for the one grip of sanity that, through it all, kept me from falling completely into some dark and scary place. Can’t stay in bed when there’s mouths to feed and a litter box to freshen up. Her Majesty, the Queen:

Niena

Thank you, baby girl

My voice is slowly returning; a little raspy from disuse, but popping up more frequently. It is my hope that in writing this, more and more words will come. Even if nobody’s reading, this is my therapy.

Shoulders down, heart open to the sky

Not gonna lie: I haven’t been to yoga in almost exactly a month.

That is, I haven’t made it to an actual class, but yoga’s been on my mind every Monday, Wednesday and Sunday since the first time I tried it. What to eat before, what to eat after, class sizees, warming up, water-or-no-water? Is it normal to get so sweaty? Lots to think about. In fact, up until a half hour before class tonight, I was still working on my hairdo. Then, I fretted about what to wear. I actually called my husband at work to ask if I had to wear a bra at yoga. Yes, I did that. Over-thinking everything will be the end of me.

(His answer was, basically, no. Just make sure nobody can scope out the goods, “when you’re in the downward doggy style pose, or whatever.” I also Googled it. No bra, tonight or any other night. Wee!)

I came home from work tired, my upper back aching with stress, and all I wanted to do was sit down and fall asleep. But I’ve been coming home, sitting down and going to sleep every day for almost a month now and I still feel like crap. Instead, I grabbed an orange and went to class.  Good move on my part.

This class was more intense, with a lot more fluid movements and far too many high lunges for my shaky, inexperienced thighs. I almost fell over twice, sweated my ass off, stubbed my toe and accidentally crammed my face into my discarded sandles while executing a rather impressive [the pose where you start in plank, lower down with your arms and push your chest up?] with my eyes closed – but I did every single pose, from start to stop, and only modified once! (Fuck you, side plank!!)

This evening, I learned to love the Tiger:

Good gravy, do I love the Tiger pose. Shoulders down, heart open to the sky.

After a wonderfully calm  savasana, I stood up and felt … high. I’m talking bong rip high. It was intense. Good, but different than last time. Then, I felt a rush of joy and energy, but today was more altering, and way outside my normal range of feeling. It was so intense that I felt no fear or shame in walking up to the instructor and asking for some clarification. Highly unusual for me, especially when I’m sweaty, frizzy and smelling of communal yoga mat.

We walked out together, chatting and laughing – it felt so wild and freeing to be there with her, giggling, body so wobbly I could barely navigate a straight line. I can’t explain it, but I want it again. I swear, I could feel my body sing.

Sex-o-ween

(Hehe, “ween”.)

Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holidays, dating back thousands of years to the time of the ancient Celts. Contrary to popular belief, it is not based on any festivals for the dead, but rather a kind of new year and harvest celebration called Samhain. The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1, marking the end of summer and the beginning of typically dark and deadly winters.

Celts believed the boundary between this world and the next were blurred on Oct 31, allowing the souls of the dead to return to Earth for a brief period of time. These souls not only caused mischief on the crops and villagers, but also allowed the druids – Celtic preists – to make important predictions about the year to come. Huge bonfires were lit, where the people gathered in costume to make sacrifices to their deities and draw protection for the coming winter season.

Freaky stuff, right? And shockingly devoid of sexiness, considering how this once-sacred holiday is celebrated in the modern age.

Quick, what’s the least sexy thing you can think of? Off the top, let’s say a watermelon. Well, apparently not. (I admit the bite mark is cute)

Sexy fruit costumes, including pineapple and banana varieties, are in season this Halloween. Sexy sea turtle (well, of course) is also available, as is sexy name brand chocolate chew candy and pretty much anything else you can think of.

Look, I don’t have any issue with people stepping out looking like a sexy telegram, sexy bowl of Fiber One or whatever pings your kink. I do have a problem with anyone being charged $70 for a cheap yellow dress that has no outside purpose beyond vaugly resembling a banana. There is a better way.Sexy can be awesome, and it definitely does not have to be cliche. This Mileena  costume, for example, is pretty sweet and actually rather tame if you consider the inspiration. (I personally preferred Katana, in game and in life.)

Dr. Girlfriend can be done with only a few minor adjustments, or more crafty costumers can try their hand at Dr. Mrs. The MonarchSatyrs are technically supposed to be male, but get the room drunk enough and nobody will be in any position to criticize; a few well placed fur bits or plastic flowers and you’re ready to roam. Fans of Arrested Development need only a baby tee, glitter paint and a blonde wig to be Linday Funke in her infamous SLUT jailhouse outfit. Instead of the same old Marge Simpson, why not do a spoof of her Playboy pictorial (nsfw)?

Or say fuck it and go as a nudie mag. (nsfw) The way the industry is headed, why not?