Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recipe for My Famous Chuck Roast

I have had so many requests for this recipe (I had remarked about it on "Twitter" last weekend) that I decided to put it here. It's my recipe for chuck roast in a crockpot---and start early in the day:


A two-to-four lb chuck roast (and it can be a fatty one)

flour to cover both sides of roast before browning

One package of Lipton Soup Mix, "Mushroom Onion" flavor

beef bouillon cubes, 4 or 5

salt & pepper

potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

carrots, peeled, cut into chunks

a large onion cut into large pieces


First (after you flour both sides of the roast), brown & sizzle your roast in oil until both sides are a deep brown and it smells delicious. Put it in the crockpot. Dump in all of the above ingredients into the crockpot around the sides of the roast. Then pour in water until the water rises to about 2/3 high (or higher if you want more gravy) on your roast. Then simmer it all day. I have a crockpot which gives me low-med-high. So I start out with an hour on low, 3-4 hours on med, then 4 hours on high. It just depends on what your crockpot has. But you want it simmered for practically all day until the roast is so fork-tender that it falls off your fork when you check it for doneness.

Gravy: Then, finally, thicken the juice with either flour or corn starch.

Hope you like it.



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Once Upon a Time, in a Suburb Far, Far Away, There Lived a Dragonslayer...


Listen children to a story,

That was written long ago,

'Bout a kingdom on a mountain,

And the valley folk below...

("One Tin Soldier", Coven")


A Suburban Fairie Tale:

A long time ago, in a suburb far, far away....

* * *
Once upon a time, there I was, sitting innocently on the couch, minding my own business while watching TV and knitting--- crutches nearby. It was really all I could do since severely injuring my stupid right foot earlier in the week.

Blaine had just returned from grocery shopping and was now in the kitchen making some of his famous banana bread.

I had finished one pair of "normal" Tiger Socks earlier in the week and now I was working on my "weird pair" of Tiger Socks.

And Little Baby was, as usual, sleeping among wiring. She usually sleeps near electrical cords but this day she was sleeping with the computer's USB cable wrapped around her idgity little head. (Maybe she had hacked into my iTunes, who knows?)

Then Blaine realized he had forgotten one sack of groceries in the car, so he ran out the front door to get it from the back of the car, leaving the front door wide open.

I hate it when he leaves the door open because the stupid cats are always trying to escape out the front door, not realizing that Blaine and I have deemed them "House Cats".

(There's House Cats and there's Outside Cats---and never the twain shall meet.)

Then all of sudden, to my utter mortification, a giant hornet flew into the house through the open front door.

And, as a lot of females I know do, I began screaming in terror. I screamed so loud I'm sure the whole cul-de-sac heard---but I knew they would be sympathetic since I was screaming things like:





And Blaine walked back into the living room, somewhat cautiously, and surveyed the ceiling. Sure enough, a giant hornet (okay it was "giant" to me, ok?) was hovering to and fro on the ceiling.


"How am I supposed to get him?" Blaine asked plaintively.

"You're asking me?" I replied incredulously. "What do you mean "how"? First of all, I can't do it myself because I'm stuck on this damn couch with my damn foot in a damn immobilizer. Secondly, don't all men know how to kill bugs that frighten us females?"

"Um...." he murmured.
And then, the truth gradually dawned inside my pea brain.... and I realized Blaine's secret shame.

He's a man who doesn't like to kill bugs!

I never knew such creatures existed but I had no time to ponder on it because the situation was gradually worsening. And I was getting desperate since the stupid giant hornet who, heretofore, had been well out of reach up on the highest level of our ceiling-- was now headed downwards towards us! But he was coming down to a level I knew would be within Blaine's reach.

So, since Blaine was still standing there mute, his baby blue eyes bugged out like those of a gigged frog, I began yelling out instructions....

"Hurry up before he goes too high again! Get a broom!" I yelled, thinking that this would nudge Blaine towards the time honored method for eliminating giant hornets and other flying marauders, the so-called "Broom Attack Method".

Obediently, Blaine turned and ran to the kitchen to get a broom.

And soon he returned with ..... a Swiffer.

Yes, friends, it grieves me to say that Blaine really did come back with a damn Swiffer--- which had been standing next to the bristles type broom I had requested.

"Oh my God, I see him behind the living room blinds!" I screamed, my voice getting hoarse from all the screaming.

"Well then I can't reach him behind those, can I?!" Blaine replied stubbornly.

I knew I couldn't get off the couch without a great deal of pain in my injured foot so I continued talking Blaine through every step.

"Raise the blinds and, when you see him, secure the blinds and then you stab that Swiffer in his general direction, over and over and over until the horrible thing is dead!" I yelled.

But Blaine wasn't about to raise the blinds.
"I don't want to make it angry!" Blaine exclaimed.

And then I realized.....my family's safety was on the line here, with a giant hornet threatening all of us, both human and feline. And I simply could not allow it to fly free in our house because I just knew it would fly up into our bedroom and I'd be so nervous I'd never sleep until it was dead. Dead I tell you.....

Damn dead.

Stunningly dead.

(Is that a word? Stunningly?)

And so, summoning all my bravery (and gritting my teeth for the foot pain which would follow), I got down off the couch and hobbled over to the blinds behind the TV.
"I'm going to raise the blinds slowly..." I said to Blaine, who was still standing there holding the stupid Swiffer.

"Don't you do it!" Blaine yelled. "Don't you get it mad! Bo, you don't know these things. If we make it mad then he'll come after us in an attack!"

"I don't give a SHIT IN AN OUTHOUSE if I make the damn thing mad!" I replied, securing the blinds at the level I had spied the intruder...

He was flying up at the top of the window.

And so, with Blaine's piteous bleatings echoing in my ears, I grabbed the Swiffer out of his grasp and took to slamming that Swiffer with all my might on the giant hornet.

And I was gratified to see the hornet, wounded, fall down to the floor.....but when he hit the floor I saw him raise up his wings.

He wasn't dead!

So I began raining Swiffer blows down on the hideous monster with all my might, yelling maniacally "KILL! KILL! KILL! until I was sure that I had rendered him into virtual hornet powder and I knew for certain that he was deader'n a doornail. Damn dead. Stunningly dead....

And then I turned to Blaine and said something my late Mamo used to say to us youngsters whenever she had just swatted the hell out of a fly....

"Fixed his little red wagon," I declared triumphantly, laying aside my weapon---I mean, the Swiffer.

And as time went by and the story of Blaine's cowardice was regaled throughout the suburb, and as even more eons passed until the story of Bo's bravery had practically become a legend....and mothers would tell their children bedtime fairie tales--- I'm sure they always ended the story of Bo vs. the Giant Hornet by lowering their voices to say in a secret whisper:

"Boys and girls, listen closely. Everybody always thought it was Bo who slew the Giant Hornet. But that is not quite the truth.....

T'was Swiffer killed the Beast..."


It was the end of that fabled day of the battle of Bo and Blaine versus the Giant Hornet. And Bo said sarcastically to Blaine: "I can't believe you can't kill a damn hornet. Do you know how difficult it is to jump off a couch and kill a hornet with a Swiffer-- with my bad back AND bad foot?"

Blaine: "Excuse me, but you have a bad back, a bad foot.... AND a bad brain."



Sunday, October 10, 2010

Entering The Football-Widow Season....


Blaine? Blaine...uh...hello?

Alas, it's Football Season. I could walk through the living room stark nekkid and do a pole dance but Blaine wouldn't even notice me. He's busy cursing our team's failed attempt at a first down.

Little Baby is unconcerned. Isn't she worried about electromagnetic fields (EMF)????

I was bored so I took the opportunity to knit. I finished some Tiger Socks. Unfortunately, they came out too small for my mother, who I was knitting them for. Which is totally negligent of me because I can usually get my socks to custom-fit the person they're for---but these came out my size for some reason. (No, I didn't do it on purpose.)

Little Baby? Hey....Little Baby? Can you hear me? I want to show you my Tiger Socks!
(Idgity cat will sleep anywhere.)

I guess I bothered her so much that she got up and went to sleep behind the philodendrom, thinking the long branch with leaves would keep me away from her...

I do love the Tiger Socks. I love them so much I'm going to cast on for another pair, only using some black yarn instead of the orange---and maybe a lace pattern....don't know yet....

Good Lord, this cat is a sleep champion!

And then, to my amazement, she automatically woke up at Tuna-Time and came to wait by her saucers....



Wednesday, October 06, 2010

An Ill Wind Blows Through Kansas....

Things are not good for me right now.

First of all, the heater is broken and I'm cold. The landlord is out of the country, on a Reserves mission in which he is a pilot, and so he's not in a very good position to help us right now. (His roommate texted him about our plight so we'll see what happens.)

I finally found my camouflage house socks, knitted with thick worsted yarn for warmth. They're a little tattered but still usable.

And, as you know, I'm in a complete donnybrook with my mother about Blaine's and my visit with her prior to my sister's wedding parties in Dallas. Basically, I told her that I didn't appreciate her breaking out the blender and having a marguerita party with Blaine while we were there....which I told her totally "triggered" a desire for alcohol in me that was ultimately in play when I relapsed and drank alcohol in Dallas during the two wedding party days. I had asked her not to do that prior to Blaine's arrival. I told her that I didn't mind them drinking their usual evening drinks but that a marguerita party with hard liquor flowing would sorely test my sobriety. (Yes, I know it's my own responsibility to stay sober---and I know that the whole world doesn't have to stop drinking because I can't drink. But I did make the mistake of thinking that my own mother would help me out in the matter by not serving tequila and triple sec in my face. ) But my request to her went in one ear and out the other---because the minute Blaine arrived, she began serving marguerita after marguerita to him, even going so far as to yell out: "Do you want salt on your glass, hon?" while making them.

So, after the whole weekend was over and Blaine and I came home, I emailed her of my confusion and frustration with what she had done. But my mother is incapable of accepting any blame. It's a trait she's had since birth. She also defiantly refuses to apologize for anything she's ever done. NO MATTER WHAT......my mother is incapable of seeing something she might have done wrong and subsequently apologizing for it.

So basically we're not speaking. I did send her emails asking "where the women went" who was so supportive of me not drinking. I reminded her of all the heartbreaking things she went through over the years when I was drinking my most heavily---and how she helped me through every step and was my biggest supporter in getting and staying sober. And that's the operative phrase....."had been my biggest supporter".....

But she saw nothing wrong with throwing Blaine a marguarita bash, blender whirring and all, when he came down for the couple of days prior to he and I traveling to Dallas---which I thought was especially heinous considering that I'd told my mother umpteen times that I dreaded going to the wedding event because of all the liquor that I knew would be consumed there.

She arrogantly emailed me back that (1) I am just trying to "control people"; and (2) that she can do as she pleases in her house; and (3) that she would not "bow down" to my "controlling" behavior.