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The Blatherings Of A Blitherer

Confessions from a White Woman In Yoga Pants

September9

I’m a white woman, and I wear yoga pants. I don’t actually do yoga, but I wear the pants. Sure, sure, I try to explain it away as a medical need. I have a skin condition and if I wear certain fabrics or things that are tight or rub I form abscesses. I’m not joking, btw, this is a real thing that really happens and the best part about being a Stay At Home Parent is wearing pyjama pants more than I wear “real” pants. Oh, and the whole seeing my child grow up first hand thing. But mainly doing something simple (wear soft, loose, cotton pants) that reduces the amount of searing pain and risk of infection in my life.

Anyway.

I’m a white woman, and I wear yoga pants, and I love a lot of things that white women in yoga pants love. Nutella? I’m down! Salted caramel? Put it in my mouth. Wreaths? Bitch please, I love wreaths. Fall? I could write sestinas to the glory of fall, mainly because it’s a welcome break from summers so hot I pray for death and winters so cold I pray for death. Yay fall! Crisp leaves! A snap to the air! Apples! A reasonable electric/gas bill from not having to cool/heat the air! Decorative gourds! Halloween! Etc.

But do you know what one big white woman in yoga pants thing I don’t love?

Pumpkin spice.

Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin spice bread, pumpkin spice M&Ms, pumpkin spice caramel filled chocolate truffles, pumpkin spice candles and air fresheners and scented oils.

I like pumpkin pie alright and I make a pumpkin cheese cake that’s so good I will fight someone over it.

But regular old pumpkin spice whatevers?

Pretty gross, and make me kind of gag.

I got a pumpkin spice donut and ate it only out of a sense of obligation and a desire to not waste a dollar. It was pretty icky.

I think part of it might be the seasoning mix. Too much allspice, maybe? Cheap ginger? My own pumpkin spice mixture includes fresh grated nutmeg and cardamom.

Or it might be that pumpkin spice things tend to be cloyingly sweet.

And also they just taste gross.

But thanks to PEER PRESSURE I keep trying the FOOD OF MY PEOPLE and it keeps grossing me out, man.

I also don’t like mayonnaise, or cream-cheese-based dips.

I may have to turn in my white-woman-in-yoga-pants card.

Nutella

March24

The first time I had Nutella was in 1993. My mom’s best friend had moved to Australia a few years earlier and super expensive trans-atlantic phone calls once a year and letters written in cramped writing on both sides of onion skin paper and sent airmail just weren’t enough. So she used my graduating from 8th grade as an excuse to fly the both of us out to visit them. Happy graduation, let’s go to Oz! I’m not complaining, mind. It was an incredible trip. I fell in love hard with Melbourne, and it’s the one place in my life I’ve ever felt homesick for, which is weird considering I was only there for about 3 weeks. But man, I loved it so much. We stayed with our family friends and I tried Nutella for the first time. We’d been sending them care packages for years of stuff like graham crackers and Oreos and Captain Crunch and some other stuff they couldn’t get over there (coffee that wasn’t instant? lasagne noodles that you had to boil first? I forget what else.) and they’d send us Vegemite. After our return they sent Nutella as well, something you couldn’t get (or couldn’t get easily?) in the States.

OF COURSE I shared this with my friends.

They thought I was crazy.

Putting CHOCOLATE on BREAD? How ridiculous is that! No wonder you’re such a fat fatty! These FOOLS who enjoyed chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip muffins, chocolate croissants, white and yellow cake with chocolate frosting, pound cake with chocolate ganache, chocolate bread pudding, etc could not FATHOM putting CHOCOLATE (and hazelnut) on BREAD. Ewwww, gross! I made them eat it, because that’s the kind of friend I am, and they all saw how amazing it was and liked it. And for years, Nutella was a staple in my cupboard.

Now it’s super popular and you can pick it up in almost every grocery store and there’s weird ads for it on television and in magazines where it sounds like it’s health food (it’s chocolate, people. chocolate. tasty, not healthy.) and there’s a million recipes and memes about Nutella online. You can find it pretty much everywhere… except my kitchen.

Why?

Because of Nesko.

I married a man who’s allergic to hazelnut. He’s also allergic to chestnuts and brazil nuts.

How allergic is he? I’ll tell you. Years ago, I worked at Fannie May and part of the job requirement was to be familiar with the product. I was sampling the new deluxe truffles (which were INCREDIBLE) and one of them was a hazelnut mousse filling (AMAZING). HOURS after I tried one single truffle with hazelnut Nesko came in to buy some Advent calendars for his cousin’s kids and I gave him a little kiss and his lips started tingling and got a little swollen.

Despite his allergic reactions (swelling, vomiting when he eats chestnuts) he continues to eat stuff with hazelnuts in it unless I remind him not to. His reasoning is that the allergic reaction isn’t THAT bad and hazelnuts taste good. My reasoning is that each exposure ups the chance his allergy will get worse, so stop making bad decisions you fool. So we don’t keep Nutella in the house.

Recently, some peanut butter companies have tried to jump on the Nutella bandwagon and put out their own chocolate spreads. Every time I see them I scrutinize them for hazelnut. Peanuts, after all, are tasty and they are peanut butter companies. Wouldn’t it make sense for them to use peanuts instead of hazelnuts in their java chocolate caramel whatever spreads? But no, they all cram hazelnuts in there.

Then I found these little single-serve packs by Jif. They’re one of the Jif To Go products and they are chocolate and peanut butter and hazelnut free and I ate some with pretzels and I almost died because it tasted so good. I wish they came in a full sized jar, but apparently they don’t. If you want to try out a great tasting nut and chocolate spread but can’t do hazelnut, give this a try because it’s really REALLY good.

This is a totally uncompensated post. Nobody asked me to write it, nobody’s paying me for it, I just wanted to share something super tasty with you because I love you.

posted under CONSUME, eating, life, marriage, Nesko, stuff | Comments Off on Nutella

Weekend in Review, and a Request

September10

My sister-in-law is getting married in October and her wedding shower was on Saturday. Internets, I dressed up. I wore makeup. I wore a skirt. I wore hose. I wore cute shoes. I wore jewelry and perfume. My mother-in-law came to pick me up and I scampered out, and just as I was about to get into her car I realized DUH I’d left the gift in the apartment. So I scampered back. And just as I reached the door, SEARING FUCKING PAIN KNIFED THROUGH MY FOOT OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELLLLLLLLLLL.

I’d stepped on a screw.

The screw punctured my cute shoe, my hose, and the arch of my foot.

I hobbled inside and took stock.

The first thing I realized was that my shoe and hose were no longer wearable because they had holes punched through them and one of them was bloody. So I stripped them off and stood around with my hairy legs thinking what to do next. When I say I have hairy legs, I mean I could pass as a Satyr relatively easily. A female Satyr. Just give me some pan pipes and cute little horns on my head and drop me in a sylvan wilderness and I’m good to go. All methods of hair removal can trigger a skin condition I have where I just HA! HA! sprout abscesses for no discernible reason, so I pretty much go about hairy all the time. I had no other tights that would hide the hairiness of my legs. So! Skirts were out. I pulled it off and tossed it aside. Pants it was. But what pants? Every single pair of slacks I own are clownishly big on me, baggy and awful. I opted for black skinny jeans, black trouser socks, and a different pair of cute black shoes that pinched a little bit and had a slight heel.

I was really under dressed.

In retrospect, I should have put on a fancier shirt.

Or knocked over a bank so I could have bought actual party clothing that actually fit.

You know. One or the other.

About a month ago, a few days before we took Niko to “Day Out With Thomas,” I opened the freezer door and a pound of frozen, cooked ground beef in a hard plastic container came rocketing out and slammed into my big toe with such force that I spent several hours convinced it was broken. The bruise only cleared up a few days ago. I guess it was time for the other foot to be injured in a ridiculous and improbable manner right before a big event involving a lot of standing and walking.

I’m incredibly glad I got a DTaP booster in 2008. That’s something I don’t have to worry about. I’m also glad NIKO didn’t step on that screw, or that it didn’t end up in Nesko’s tire because new tires are really expensive and we already had to get new tires twice in a one month period because he picked up screws somewhere.

Anyway, here’s the request.

My sister-in-law is getting married, as I said, and is expecting about 200 guests at the reception and also about 40 at a pre-wedding event at her home. She will have a wedding cake, and has asked some family members (including me) to also bake desserts. So assuming ~250 eating ~3 servings each, that’s 750 servings.  I’m estimating she’ll have about 5 people baking which works out to about 150 items per person. Assuming that she wants fall-themed single-serving desserts, what would you recommend making?

I have some ideas on pinterest if you’d like to check them out and offer suggestions, advice, feedback, etc. I’ve baked off large batches of things before, mostly cookies and cupcakes, so I’m not overly awed by the scope of the project. Preferably, the things I make will be things I can make ahead (possibly freeze) and most of them won’t require refrigeration (although I might make 50 or so mini-cheesecakes). I could also just do 3 varieties of cupcakes with frosting roses or something. Oh, and I want to do at least one batch of things that is egg free, because at least one person there is allergic to eggs.

I haven’t sat down with my SIL yet to discuss her preferences.

Steak vs Salad

August8

Nesko and I went out to eat yesterday. Our 2.5 year old son was with us, because baby sitters cost the moon and we rarely see him as it is, so we just drag him with us wherever we go no matter who that annoys. People that it annoys include:

  • him
  • us
  • everyone around us

Haha, fun!

One of the places we went was Chili’s, which is air conditioned and has a kid’s menu and salads larger than my head. Sometimes, you see, I want to eat a salad because salads, when made right, taste good. I mean, blah blah healthy whatever1. But I always feel weird about ordering, and eating, a salad in public. You see, I am a woman and women are judged constantly for everything, including what they put in their mouths. Further, I’m a fat woman, so am subject to extra scrutiny (and a salad is pretty much the only approved thing I can put in my mouth other than water) and extra judgement.

Thanks for ruining salads for me, society. See also: yoghurt, cottage cheese, carrots.

So we’re sitting at our table and Niko has his array of trains spread out all around him, ignoring his chicken, while Nesko eats a big juicy steak and I plow through my salad. And my glass of water 2. And how typical is that? The man gets a steak, the woman gets a salad.

And part of me, you know, wanted to be all EFFFFFF THIIIISSSSSSSSSSS and order a slab of meat as well because I enjoy meat, honestly I do, and I enjoy loaded mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. But just as I won’t let society dictate to me that I should order a salad when I want meat, I won’t let raw rebellion dictate that I order meat when I want a leafy salad that has a huge amount of avocado on it3 4.

But I’m tired of navigating a world where everything I do– what I eat, what I wear, what I read, what I play, what I listen to, what I make money doing, what I do with my uterus, etc– is scrutinized and judged and criticized by external forces. I want to eat my salad, whether that be a literal or metaphoric salad, and enjoy it, and not worry about what other people are thinking. I don’t eat salad because I am good, or it is good, or there is any concrete moral value associated with salad. I eat salad because sometimes I want salad. Sometimes a salad is just a salad.

  1. I was startled, once, to read a study claiming that people who ate more salads ate more vegetables. I wasn’t stunned because it didn’t make sense, I was stunned because duh. It’s like saying people who eat vegetables eat more vegetables.
  2. I ordered water instead of coke or something because drinks at a restaurant are expensive, and I was on toddler wrangling duty and didn’t think I’d get to actually enjoy my drink. I was right. I only drank a few sips of water, occupied as I was with picking up trains, crayons, and other things that had been cast to the floor and shoveling salad into my gaping maw.
  3. Seriously, there was like 1 1/2 avocados on that salad. That is a lot of avocado. I’m not complaining, mind.
  4. Also: the salad had bacon on it. Salads with bacon are pretty awesome.
posted under eating, feminism, food, life | Comments Off on Steak vs Salad

What do you want to eat for dinner?

February17

I wanted pizza for dinner. I’ll be frank, here. Pizza is my go-to food. I would have to eat a LOT of pizza for a LONG period of time to get tired of pizza. It does not take much pizza for me to literally get sick of pizza, however. As much as I enjoy pizza, I’m lactose intolerant AND have problems digesting more than a small amount of meat, so pizza with, say, cheese and pepperoni or sausage? Wow, that can potentially cause some problems. Oh, onions and garlic also make me sick if I eat more than X amount, and X varies. So basically my most favorite food in the entire world frequently causes me SEARING AGONY AND PRAYERS FOR DEATH.

Welcome to the State Of My Guts post, I guess.

Anyway, I was slightly concerned for a while that I had a problem with a wheat allergy or sensitivity, or celiac or something, because I frequently get sick when I eat pizza and not being able to eat wheat specifically or gluten generally is like a big nightmare for me. But then I realized that I’d eaten a quantity of (home made) (blueberry) muffins today and was fine. So flour is not the problem.

So I walked around my kitchen a little bit, looked in the freezer (no pizza) (I knew there was no pizza and looked anyway, hope springs eternal, ok?), looked in the cabinets, looked in the sink (for what? I don’t know. I just looked.), looked in the freezer again, and then made a sandwich. I had some chili cheese fritos on the side, and now they are all gone.

I really want some more chili cheese fritos.

I think my body is trying to kill me.

posted under body issues, eating, food, life | Comments Off on What do you want to eat for dinner?