after n’at

(Hi Eden!)

After all that stupid fluster over acorn pans and crap customer service, guess what showed up on my door on xmoose eve?
Yup.
I have no idea how they managed that since 1. it was supposed to be shipped to the store so I wouldn’t pay shipping and 2. I told them to cancel the order in my digust-I suppose the order wasn’t truly canceled nor were they actually paying attention.
I left it in its box and glared at it for a few days to let Williams-Sonoma know that I haven’t quite forgiven them for that whole FUBAR transaction (my guess is that they haven’t noticed), then broke it out on the 27th and made little spicy cornbreads for the party.
Yum… and yes, they were adorable…and no, of course I didn’t remember to take pictures of anything.
Some food blogger I am.
Party menu always fluctuates, since, in my haste (and in my teeny tiny nigh to overflowing kitchen) I inevitably forget something. Its not the end of the world, but I think I need to design a print out page for party planning for myself (I’ll post a PDF when it is done).
The menu turned out like this:

Black beans: with a can of Guinness, 1/2 pound of applewood smoked bacon and half an onion, slow cooked for 24 hours.
Wee Acorn shaped cornbreads: made with honey, sweet corn, Zatarain’s, heavy cream and parmesan cheese all on top of the Jiffy cornbread mix
Chicken salad: (based on Costco’s Chicken Sonoma salad which wasn’t in fekkin’ stock) chicken, cranberries, poppy seed dressing, pasta shells
baked brie
deli meats
french bread
chips and spinach dip
a giant cupcake
chocolate chip cookies

The little puff pastry appetizers that I got and baked stuck to the foil on the pan and WOULD NOT release, so i didn’t put them out, though I noticed that they got eaten anyway.
Still, disappointing.

Xmoose meal had to be portable, so i decided to try my hand at a brisket. I called the world’s expert in brisket making (my dad) and he told me the ‘recipe’ over several days (several different calls saying “Did I tell you this? No? Well, do this.”)
Effectively it ended up being this:

  1. get a brisket
  2. stick it in a pan, fat side up (one of those disposable turkey pans is fine)
  3. cover it in pepper (who does he think he’s talking to? I skipped that step)
  4. cover it in garlic powder (now we’re talking)
  5. cover the pan in foil
  6. cook it at 225 for 8-10 hours (or till it falls apart when you poke it)

I think I got a substantially larger brisket than he does usually because mine took 12 hours.
I popped it in before I went to bed around 11:30pm, poked at it when I got up to feed Bunny then went back to bed for a few hours while it finished up, then let it cool and packed it up to go to Mikey’s.
It was yummy. So very tender (and fatty, but I have ordered a gravy separator to combat this…and considering I like my moo cow well marbled, this is saying something. I also bought a real roasting pan as this will start being a regular food in the house. Just have to plan the timing around overnight cooking. I wonder if I could do this in the crock pot…?) and it seemed to go over well at the dinner.
…and Tex keeps asking for more.
So, as it is cheap, easy and even *I* didn’t screw it up, I will do another…especially as I got that nifty roasting pan on sale and with a coupon. ;) Its not an especially heavy pan, but I just didn’t want to start buying and going through those disposable ones unless I really needed to (like traveling with the food); it just seemed a waste. But I think it will be ok if I am nice to it.
Last night I stood in the kitchen (doing a post mortem on my party) and looked at my current configuration of the dining area. I can’t do much to the kitchen itself (but if I ever bought this apartment – do you do that? mentally list the structural changes you would do if you owned the place you live in now and money wasn’t an issue? (provided you don’t own the place you live in already and are richer than Croesus?) as it is a mess o’ built-ins, cheap appliances and not plumbed or wired for much interesting stuff. Not to mention plaster and lathe walls that don’t support anything without crumbling. Plus, there’s that whole earthquake thing that you have to plan for just in case… though I’ve never had anything fall, the minute I put something up precariously, we’d have a big fucker.) Anyhoo… I looked at my options and they involved going up and being freestanding. I wanted that corner maple unit that I tried to order ages ago (with a couple of bookshelves, a corner storage area and closed storage) but it still isn’t orderable. I didn’t find anything else that suited my tastes. So Tex suggested Stolmen.
I like that idea, as it is modular, it can work in another space and he seems to like it. Fine by me.
So over the next few weeks, we’ll build a set that straddles the chest freezer, a clothes rail high enough to open the freezer door (and I’ll hang my veggie baskets on it which can be moved easily out of the way to open the freezer door), a couple of high up shelves for deep storage (like xmoose decorations and other things that aren’t too heavy. I might put a string around the top shelves to keep the magazine boxes from Ikea from sliding off if we have a shaker.).
stolmen
Then I’ll get one more pole and do a short set of shelves where the Mac Mini is now with a clothes rail at the very top for hanging a paper lantern for light.
I got some pieces last night at Ikea… so I’ll bribe Tex with brisket, and we’ll put up the shelves (and snipe at each other while we do this as we always do) on New Year’s Day.
Living room still needs some tidying but I’ll get pics posted eventually along with the progress in the kitchen.
Also, I want a dishwasher. I’m just saying.
Also also, these parties are starting to kick my ass, I feel hungover after them… am I getting old? Arg.

I was trolling around Facebook for apps and found an iTunes gadget, it purports to post what you are listening to on iTunes in your status, however, as I am currently listening to a 3 song playlist *on repeat* for at least 5 hours a day (yeah, I know.) it probably is of limited interest to the Facebookians who watch my status updates with bated breath. But then again , most of my updates aren’t that startlingly interesting.

Last week, as you know, my aunt died and while virtually everyone in my family piled into cars and  airplanes to get to a tiny town in West Texas, I did not.
This doesn’t mean I didn’t love her, but I would have been a mess and would have probably spent the weekend hiding in a closet blubbering incoherently and missing Bunny (as well as getting psychotic over my cat’s well-being) hence, my lack of movement.
I did spend about 50% of each day on mom’s iPhone or the house phone at my grandmother’s talking to anyone there. I got text messages, pictures and wildly incoherent voice-mails documenting late night cookie making processes and the subsequent torment of my grandmother by her older grand children and her daughter (this is not unusual, we do this anyway. And since Meme hasn’t smothered any of us in our sleep, we have to assume she likes it since she has had ample opportunity to put us out of her misery.)
Mom said the funeral and the memorial service was brutal, so while I will always feel guilty about not going, I am glad I made that policy and don’t go to these things anymore.
I did extract a promise from my cousins that we would all go there when someone wasn’t dead (though I phrased it as “during a happier time”).
Lots of good pictures came out of it… and some video I will be squirreling away for blackmail at a later date. ;)

Am back at work now, and its kind of a relief. Sad.
Though I do get to start my new Moleskine 2009 calendar book this week! Hooray!

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2 thoughts on “after n’at

  1. Interesting info came from Vicki’s funeral. I noticed that we (various nieces & nephews & brothers & so on) were glad to be together, in spite of the circumstances, some laughter, etc. So I mentioned to my brother that we needed to be sure to explain to any youngsters that we were not being disrespectful, or happy that she was gone. I noted my reaction at my grandmother’s funeral and my childish, unwarranted anger at some adults. He said, “You, too? I had to leave the house I was so angry.” We all loved Vicki (what was not to love? She was sweetness personified.) I need to make sure everyone with teens speaks to them, explaining the difference.
    Life is uncertain, eat dessert first. mly

  2. Pingback: New Year’s Day and beans. « fredlet

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