Brad & Heather's Journal

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Second Breakfasts

Okay… I’m really trying to think if there is anything better than Saturday mornings. I mean it…. Sleeping in a bit, second breakfast (more about that later), cartoons… Now I know that not everyone has Saturday morning on Saturday. I used to work every Saturday, but then I made Monday my Saturday, but at this point I am confusing myself, so let’s just consider Saturday a concept. Maybe I could make up a new way of using that word. When someone is really relaxed, you could say, “He’s totally Saturday.” Or when something is just mellow and delicious, you could say, “I love the Saturdayness of these cookies.” (I know – always about the cookies…

Okay, second breakfasts. Usually on Saturday there are two breakfasts at my house – the one you have right when you get up because you are STARVING. This is usually an apple, a piece of toast, etc… The second one is the important one – this one can be eaten at home – homemade biscuits, waffles, coffee cake and bacon, omelets. Or you can go out – Cracker Barrel, local diners…. Man, it just doesn’t get any better.

I need to get the cinnamon rolls out of the oven… Have a Saturday day – even if it’s Monday.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I'll admit it....

Okay, I'll admit. I've been remiss. I also need to admit something else. I just ate a bowl of Count Chocula while standing at the kitchen sink. I have two things to say in my defense... maybe three if I can think of another. One, my kitchen is completely wrapped in plastic. I am having the awful-buzzing-makes-you-think-you're-going-crazy lights taken out and nice-soothing-makes-you-feel-all-warm-and-fuzzy lights put in. Hence -- the cereal at the sink. Two, the whole time I was eating it, I was practicing tree pose... it's something I do in the kitchen when I'm at the counter. Paying bills -- tree pose. Chopping vegetables -- tree pose. Flipping pancakes -- yep, you guessed it. Okay, I don't have a third thing to say. So, you might be wondering why I have Count Chocula at my house. And to be honest I am too. Everything else is all natural/no preservatives/whole grains. Mighty Bites, Envirokids, etc. But, we were at the grocery store and my son points to the box of CC on the shelf and I say “Man, that was my favorite cereal when I was a kid.” So as much as I would have liked to stuff those words back into my mouth and buy some Koala Crunch, CC went into the cart. The bad thing is that they aren’t the same. And not just because I am way older, but because they changed them. The cereal part used to just be kinda chocolaty, but now it is glazed with this sugar coating. I mean, did they just need more sugar in there? Sigh. I think I had better go brush my teeth. I can almost feel them decaying as I type….


Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Last night I dreamt (dreamed or dreamt? lit a match or lighted a match?) that my kids and I were walking through the middle of this busy, bright, neon downtown of some major city, and there was a sidewalk game where you put in a dollar and this giant checkerboard unfolded from the wall, then giant checkers shot up into the air so that you could catch them and play a game. I thought it was the greatest. The thing is, I probably would think it was the greatest. I love boardwalks full of tourist shops that sell seashell refrigerator magnets and goofy t-shirts and those birds that tip over into a glass of water. I love the fair, love hidden pockets of large cities and out-of-the-way diners and junk shops. Don't get me wrong...I grew up playing in the woods, in the creek in the woods, and going fishing, rowing a boat across the lake, camping by myself. I still love to hike, to be outdoors, still love the water. But I think I love the other stuff more. This is hard to admit. Recently, Heather and I started a novel that was set in western British Columbia, in the rainforest there, about a search for the Spirit Bear. The novel was to be ecologically aware, full of stirring passages and Deep Meaning about the majestic wilderness and Man's place in it. We bailed after two chapters. And here was the hard thing to admit....We're just not that noble. So now we are working on a book that features corn dogs and the county fair. But I don't think it's a bad thing, really. I think we find our meaning not in the grand forests full of 1000 year old trees, not in the sweeping vistas of nature, but in regular people, being their regular selves. Meaning is in the everyday, in the ways people try to connect, try to live inside their own vulnerable hearts with a little distraction thrown in. And nowhere do you find people being more themselves than when they are playing Whack-A-Mole and eating a funnel cake. Or maybe that's just me.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

So, I'm feeding our animals ... gave water to the cat, sprinkled fish food in the Beta's bowl, sliced up a grape for the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and then the tadpole. Okay, I know it shouldn't have come as a surprise. I mean, something was clearly wrong with him. The booklet said that he was supposed to turn into a frog within three to four weeks and he had been with us since Christmas and still only had tiny legs and a huge tail. But to see him lying on the floor of his tank belly up was more than I could handle. I mean here I was getting emotional and I still had to break the news to my five-year-old, who has become very attached to Swimmy. Fast forward an hour later -- lots of tears and talk of Frog Heaven -- which must exist. And burial practices of most Judeo-Christian cultures. And materials that we might use to contruct a memorial (Two popsicle sticks, a rubber band, a magic marker, and a bit of ribbon.) We buried him in the garden under the hydrangeas. We said a few words and talked about how much Swimmy meant to all of us. Okay, so here's the thing. This was a tadpole we had for three and a half months. I have had my cat for thirteen years....I am not even close to ready to think about that one. Must sleep.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Well, first of all, if there is going to be something called the pan sandwich, you could really just call it the "panwich." And seventeen isn't so old for a cat anymore, not with today's scientifically advanced cat foods and cat workout routines....seventeen is the new thirteen. for quesadillas, I believe the definition is just two tortillas with cheese in between, along with anything else (chicken, salsa, etc.). "Queso," of course, means cheese. I mean, I took high school spanish, and I remember how to say "cheese" and "shoe," so I know this. I am all set if I go to Mexico and need to ask for a cheese shoe. Anyway, there is no caveat about the kind of cheese, so who's to say I can't use dill cheese? I could use string cheese if I want to, though I think I would draw the line at cottage cheese and cream cheese. But maybe not. In fact, this brings up the larger point....I think Heather should really be encouraging--in fact, applauding-- this kind of culinary experimentation. Without that pioneering spirit among chefs such as myself, we might never have had, say, the corndog. Someone--some genius, I mean--first thought of putting a hotdog on a stick and deep frying it in batter. Do I even have to mention the deep fried pickle or the deep fried Oreo cookie? Really, everyone should be thanking me. So, to that're welcome.

And yes, there are deep fried Oreos, and since I know Heather wants to try one, I will post the recipe here. Good day.....


Deep Fried Oreos
1 cup buttermilk pancake mix
3/4 cup ice water
1 quart vegetable oil
14 Oreo cookies
Powdered sugar

Freeze cookies for three hours. In a heavy-gauge 3-quart saucepan heat oil to 350 degrees. While oil is heating, set up a cookie sheet with paper towels for draining. In a medium-sized mixing bowl stir water into buttermilk pancake mix until thoroughly combined. As soon as the batter is smooth, dip each cookie, one at a time, into batter and smooth batter, making a thin coat completely around the cookie. Place coated cookie carefully into hot oil. Repeat for each cookie. Fry on both sides, turning over once until golden brown. Remove fried cookie from hot oil with metal tongs and drain on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool slightly (about two minutes) before serving. Note: Success depends on the batter, which insulates the Oreo from direct contact with the oil. If the battering of the cookie is done right, it will become a delicious, edible shell and protect the melted cookie.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Okay, Brad and I just had our first argument. He said that he made a quesadilla with cheese with dill. (Yes, I had to look up how to spell quesadilla). So, here's my thought. Quesadillas are of a specific national origin or type of cuisine -- Mexican, Spanish, S. American, etc. In no recipe that I have ever seen is there call for dill. (Now, I may be wrong -- and have been many times as Brad likes to point out), but if it has dill in it, it isn't a quesadilla, but something else. I am now on a quest to find out what that something else is. If I can't find anything, I may have to make up something. Pan sandwich? Okay, I'll keep thinking.

I'll have to post more later. I think I hear my cat throwing up in the next room. Probably all this talk of dill is making him sick. Actually he is pushing 17 and deaf and and and, so the puking pretty much is a daily event now. Other than a weak constitution, he's still pretty great.... giant though. He's a Maine Coon Cat -- and is I think despite all the puking still around 16 pounds.

Off to get some paper towels and the carpet cleaner....