Sunday, January 30, 2011

big winner tonight!

Served with jasmine rice (seasoned with rice wine vinegar) and edamame, this was a hit with everyone, including Blake, the I-take-30-minutes-to-eat-2-bites-of-meat kid.

I remember being a slow eater too, but I remember hating vegetables (especially cooked carrots) more than meat. Both my son and I are/were really motivated by a timer and the promise of dessert and/or the threat of losing dessert. As I type this, he has 8 minutes left to finish his last 3 bites. He just shoved all 3 in his mouth.

Atta boy. Ice cream tonight!

Anyway, it was easy, chicken thighs stand up better than breast meat to high-heat grilling and are REALLY tender, and everything was super tasty! We'll be making this again, even though bamboo skewers scare me - I invariably give myself at least 1 splinter.

Japanese Chicken Yakitori
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 T soy sauce (I use reduced sodium stuff)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 T mirin (in the Asian food aisle)
  • 4 T sake OR substitute rice wine vinegar (I substituted)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch scallions (apparently different than green onions, which is what I used, to everyone's satisfaction), sliced into 1-inch lengths, using both white and green parts
  • 12 9-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Whisk 2 T each of the soy sauce, mirin, and sake/rice wine vinegar in a large dish. Add the chicken, toss gently to coat, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1/4 cup each of the soy sauce and mirin, and 2 T each of the sake/rice wine vinegar and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer until the glaze is slightly thickened and glossy, about 15 minutes. (I did this too far ahead, let the glaze cool... and it solidified. Better do it when your hour of marinating is almost up!)

Prepare your grill or heat a grill pan to medium-high. Lightly oil the grates or pan.

Thread 4 chunks of chicken and 3 pieces of scallion onto each skewer, alternating the meat and the vegetable. Discard the marinade.

Grill the skewers until seared on both sides and just cooked through, about 10 minutes, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, brush the skewers with the glaze on both sides, turning them often so the glaze doesn't burn (move the skewers to a cooler part of the grill if necessary). Brush the skewers with the glaze a second time in the final minute of cooking. When finished, the chicken and scallions should be deeply glazed. Serves 4.

(side note: using numerals rather than typing out the numbers for this whole post was really hard for me!)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

thanks for the good time, girls!

S: So you think she had butt implants?

S: But you have to suck on it for a while, then you can chew it.

S: And Ricky Martin... just thinking about him makes me hot. WOO!

S: I gotta cross my legs!

He just does it SO GOOD!

A: Oops, sorry. I groped you.
S: There's a lot to grope.

S: I can have sex whenever I want.

S: Not SEX, six!

S: The girl just does not want any! The boys always did.
A: Sounds about right.

S: Both A (her husband) and G (her brother-in-law) like PBR. They have bad taste.
A: But not in wives, right?!

L: It's like antibacterial spit.
C: It's like a dog licking its butt.

C: I hate the ones where I have to scoot because I pee a little bit.

A: We're both a dummy.
L: YOU'RE a dummy!

A: It's just like that, but without the armpit sniffing.

K: We're not the crowd that cares about presentation!

S: A little bit of Addie rubbed off on me!

A: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

C: Can I leave Rob A ROW?!

A: I got one.
J: You got one Brazilian wax?
A: No, no, one POINT!

A: It's been warming up my thigh.

A: That was a man burp.

S: I have a blister on the roof of my mouth, but it popped.

K: Was it you, or me?
A: I'm confident it was me because it was my hand.

Friday, January 28, 2011

i'm on the ragged edge

After over a week of a nasty head cold and weird sleeplessness issues, I find that my judgment is seriously impaired and accompanied by large quantities of used Kleenex for snot and tears... so I'll keep this short.

I got both of these comics (click to enlarge) on the same day, and both made me laugh uproariously for very different reasons.

My job has changed a lot in the last two years, and we're moving me back toward what it was intended to be: managing editor. But it comes with a lot of change, more hours, and I'm finding it hard to get my feet back under me. I have more meetings with my boss, and they often end with him instructing me to brainstorm solutions to the problems/puzzles we've uncovered or started. But the ten-day forecast is not good.

This is for everyone else who is friends with me. The context is about a secret, but it's particularly applicable to me, the girl who simply cannot keep her mouth shut about anything. Ever. I don't WANT to be the friend everyone else has to warn "Please don't put this on the internet," but I'm afraid I'm sliding down that slippery slope. It might even be too late.

Friday, January 21, 2011

in which i overshare again, by putting it on my blog

Once upon a time, Rob and I found ourselves at home one afternoon while Blake was at school. We had fun. I posted a three-word status update to Facebook, carefully blocking the status to all but a close few friends who can handle me, closed my laptop, and went to pick up Blake. I ran a few errands, got home, made and ate dinner, and eventually put Blake to bed, at which point I reopened my laptop.

Somehow, the filter I had so carefully set had not worked. Instead of posting to a handful of women who would shake their head and laugh, THIS was shown to anyone and everyone on my friend list:

"Afternoon delight indeed."

My subsequent comment made it clear that I thought I had kept the display to a precious few people. As I looked at the TWENTY COMMENTS and saw people commenting who should NOT have even seen that post, I turned a lovely shade of red, then grey.

A girlfriend: "If this is what you post to the limited list, maybe I should request to be on your PG-13 list!"
A very close friend: "You know how I feel about TMI - no such thing - way to go!"
That close friend's father: "Why save all the fun for the dark, cold winter nights?"
A not-very-close male friend: "Awesome."
Another-not-very-close and recently divorced male friend: "This made my day, mostly because I am so glad to hear of the fruit of second chances - beautiful expression of marriage!"
My mother's friend: "Now I know why your mom's not on FB, Addie! Don't worry: I'll fill her in!"

I about died. I sputtered. I asked Rob's forgiveness for being so foolish. He took one quick read through everything and burst out laughing. I was confused, convinced he'd be mortified by his wife's idiocy.

"Why would I care that everyone knows I got a little nooky? I think it serves you right FOR PUTTING IT ON FACEBOOK! Oh, that's funny."

A friend from church approached me the following Sunday and confessed that she'd had no idea what it meant until she had read the comments. When I expressed my horrified initial response, she chuckled:

"From anyone else, it would have been shocking, but from you, it's hilarious!"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

mice tails

I really really hate rodents. Mice especially, but voles, gophers, prairie dogs, and ground squirrels are all pretty disgusting and low on my list. They are just so DESTRUCTIVE. I have been known to kill them while gardening, in actions that can only look like a partial seizure to those observing from afar.

One night this summer, I went outside and lay on the sidewalk to watch a meteor shower. Rob joined me, and after seeing about a half a dozen, we went back inside. I reached the back door first and saw that Rob had left it open a few inches, and I thought, "That's not ideal," but thought no further.

No further until the next morning, however, when it was clear that something had eaten 'round the perimeter of all the mini-cakes I had set out on the counter. Looking closer, it appeared that same something had dive bombed itself into one of the cakes and dug hard through the frosting, looking for cake treasure. I about lost my mind as I began frantically pulling open drawers and cupboards, looking for (and finding!) more sign that we had a small, furry intruder. My spice drawer was seriously compromised, as was my thickest oven mitt and a lovely apron given me by my sisters as a wedding gift. Everything had to be washed/tossed/sanitized, as it had either chewed through things or crapped a ridiculous quantity thanks to the cake cruising through its system. Oh, and did I mention the condo was still on the market at the time? Super.

As a friend noted, even after trapping the small field mouse in our pantry, "Keep looking. There's never just one." I have no idea how the second died - Rob found its body next to our wastebasket in the master bedroom. It had nested in one of our towels, doing a surprisingly small amount of damage, though I fully expect to find more whenever we pack up and move out.

During Christmas time, I began noticing tiny tracks in the snow, leading from beneath the corner of our porch. And this guy got bolder, running back and forth across the porch to access the birdfeeder round the corner. I was transfixed and torn: "Way to go, little buddy! Way to survive in a tough, long Bozeman winter! Except... I hate you and kind of want to kill you. No rodent close to our home survives long."

I hoped that one of the many many cats around here would catch wind of the little turd and take care of it for me, but no dice. Early this week, I finally set out a few snap traps and one I had borrowed from my father: battery-operated, it actually zaps the mouse. Then it started to snow, heavily enough that by midnight, I had pulled the electric trap inside (didn't want it to short!) and moved two of the snaps so that they didn't get lost in the snow, only to be discovered by a careless hand or foot in the spring.

Upon coming home with Blake after school on Wednesday, I was startled then, to see a dead body near the middle of our back porch. No trap. No sign that it had been a cat-er-mauling. Just a dead vole (a little bigger than a mouse, shorter tail) lying there. I guess the very presence of the traps scared him to death?

It does beg the question: what sort of strange powers do I possess that kills nearby rodents without the use of traps?

Could be this tough guy...

Friday, January 14, 2011

that's what he said

A: How old are you again? No, wait! How old will you be?
B: Um, six. How old are you?
A: Thirty.
B: Oh my word, I'll NEVER catch up!

(We had friends over for dinner, which took a l-o-n-g time to be ready. While we waited, P played Star Wars Legos on the Wii with Blake, thereby making him Blake's favorite person ever that night.)
B: Thank you for saving me, Yoda.
P: Welcome you are.

B: (telling Rob something that neither Rob nor I can remember now)
R: That's crazy!
B: Your FACE is crazy! HAHAHA! I gotcha Dad! I gotcher back! I gotcher back!

A: I think we should get your skis on tomorrow and practice going down a little hill.
B: (gasps) And... is there jumps?!
A: No, you have to get used to the feel of skiing first.

B: Mom, I heard about something called a splitboard when my alarm went off this morning. It's a snowboard that splits and turns into skis! Isn't that awesome?
A: My friend Sam is going to want to talk to you. He's a splitboarder.

A: You know you get to go be with Peter, Kale, and Joel tomorrow.
B: And Mayomi.
A: Nope, Naomi's coming with me.
B: (jumping up and down behind me) YAY! ALL BOYS! ALL BOYS! (walking over and quietly putting one hand on my arm) But don't worry, I still love you and I like being with you too.

A: (thinking he's been brushing his teeth for a very long time) B, are you done yet? Are you ready for bed?
B: A'course not, I'm pooping!

Friday, January 7, 2011


For the very few of you who know me from Backpacking Light, I wanted to drop you a hint: good stuff coming up this week in cooking, clothing, packing, and fishing. There will be special pricing. There will be extended sizes. Spread the word!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

the perks of living in bozeman

While checking out at Costco today, I heard a familiar voice say, "Look who it is!" and two familiar voices jubilantly holler "ADDIE & BLAKE, MOM! ADDIE & BLAKE!"

I turned around to see my favorite twin monkeys jumping up and down with excitement. Not over me, no no. Over the cinnamon twist they were about to be bribed with in order to navigate the wilds of Costco with their momma. And Sawyer was there too, sporting a giant green bruise on his forehead (he tests the hardness of most floor surfaces with the same spot on his forehead, brave kid). He smiled when he saw me, at first, then quickly remembered that he is very very suspicious of me and my clear ill-intent towards him and all that he holds dear. He scrunches his forehead and looks worried and a little crabby.

So I tickled him.

Reese portioned out cinnamon twist to all the boys, I volunteered to eat ours with the monkeys over in the food court if she promised to run her little ass off (seriously, it's tiny - barely any left to be run off!) getting what she needed. We'd nibble, then call her or come find her.

We nibbled, Blake spun the umbrella in the center of the table (side note: Costco, why are there umbrellas on some - not all! - of your tables that are inside your giant concrete building? Is it to protect some - not all! - of your customers' food from the bird poo that must occasionally fall from the tweeters that roost in your rafters?), I heard all about gymnastics. I told them we'd take my groceries to my car, then go find their mom, and Smith stood right up on his bench, bent over the side of my cart, and hoisted the nearest thing in his arms: "I'm ready."

Once I had convinced him that we were, in fact, taking the WHOLE CART with us, every boy grabbed a hold of the metal grid and we pushed and pulled through the slush to my car. And then we went back inside and I was quickly made very aware that I was outnumbered. My hands were outnumbered. I had to think fast or it would all come crashing down when they realized this same thing and decided to run in three different directions. Screaming. While on fire.

We made our way quickly to one of the aisles along the wall. It was empty. "You guys better run to the end of this aisle while we look for your mom. One... two... threeGO!"

And run they did. While making "sching! sching!" noises to give life to their pretend ninja swords. And pretending to be on fire. I'm not sure - it was hard to tell with all the yelling. They all asked very politely for a sample of Activia yogurt, and while I'm sure each of them is plenty regular, I said yes. We ran down a few more aisles when my phone rang. Reese was wondering where we were.

"Frozen foods! We are looking for you. Where are you?"
"At my car."
"We will probably not find you in here then!"

I helped them get loaded up, was told by Reese that I must have been sent by an angel of the Lord - and really, who doesn't want to hear that? - and we went our separate ways.

Until I pulled up alongside them on 19th street and made crazy faces while waving like a huge nerd until the twins alerted her to my car's presence right next to hers.

We didn't even crash!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

that's what he said

B: (matter-of-factly) The robot is no match for my skills.

B: (to one of the twins) Which one are you again? What's your name?
S: I'm Smitty.
B: Oh, cool! I LOVE that you call yourself Smitty.

A: Grammie sent this up (indicating a present) and said he can oh-pee-eee-enn it now.
A: Crap. There goes that trick. Stupid kindergarten, teaching you to spell!
B: Bad word.
R: Es la hora de practicar nuestro espanol. (or, roughly: "It's time to practice our Spanish.")

B: (reading a card I had just made for a bridal shower) Ess... eee... ex. "Seeks?" What's "seeks," Mom?
A: Uh... actually, it's "sex," and it's something Dad and I aren't quite ready to discuss with you yet, but I promise we will. Or for now, your sex is your gender. Your sex is "male." My sex is "female." That's good enough for today. Go play with your LEGOs.

B: Let's play bazombies!

B: Mom, can I please play Jasmine's Agendo DS?

B: Those minions sure love fruit!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

meant to post this yesterday, but i wasn't amazing enough

Borrowing a page from the marvelous Moore's, here's our year in numbers:

1 - home sold
3 - inches Blake's grown since last Christmas
3 - different prescriptions for Blake's rapidly changing (improving) eyesight and wandering eye
55 - Rob's average weekly hours BEFORE the retail season hit
267 - Rob's average weekly hours DURING the retail season
2 - months it took for our espresso machine to pay for itself
1 - pregnancy test taken this year (negative as was desired at the time)
10 - pounds I've gained since working out regularly
100 - times a day I remind myself ^^^ that it's all muscle
several hundred - iPads Rob's sold for Vann's
0 - iPads we own, much to Rob's chagrin
5 - cameras Rob's sold for us
45 - games on my iTouch, also known as the one-eyed babysitter
20,000 - miles we've put on the CR-V
20+ - showings on the condo
0 - offers on the condo
30 - laps Blake ran at his school's Fun Run
5 - days a week Blake's in school
7 - days a week he'd like to be there
10 - pieces in our favorite sushi roll (the Jawdropper) that we divvy up with surgical precision
1 - dogs Blake wants
1 - cats Blake wants
1 - dogs Rob wants
0 - cats Rob wants
0 - dogs I want
1 - cats I want
1 - dogs Rob has brought home with hope in his eyes
0 - dogs we own
30 - temporary tattoos applied
1 - deer Rob shot while hunting
2 - deer Addie shot while hunting
1 - deer Rob tagged and brought home
0 - deer Addie tagged and brought home
0 - Justin Bieber songs we know
many - Metallica songs we know
1 - new nephew added this year (a total of 8 nephews, 2 nieces)
2 - power outages lasting long enough to make us wish for a wood-burning stove
2 - mice we've caught INSIDE our condo
3 - mice we've caught outside our condo
1 - loose tooth so far
2 - public health hazards
~30 - books I've read
1 - fireball emanating from the grill requiring me to use our fire extinguisher for the very first time
0 - incidents of tetanus in the family

Happy new year! And for those wondering, I've been doing just fine today. Probably because of your prayers.