Guaranteed Leftovers

In the endless quest to create memorable from the mundane, we changed up our breakfast routine since the school day was on a 90-minute delay. Because it was something like -87 degrees outside.

We would go to the grocery store, everybody could pick out their own breakfast item from the bakery, and then we would have varieties of steamed liquid chocolate at the Starbucks inside the store.

Plus, I had nothing for lunches and I was out of all kids’ meds, so you know… that whole two birds with one stone thing. Lunchables anyone? Children’s Motrin? And oh, look! Donuts!

While Tyler and I went to the pharmacy department, Tuck went to the bakery. He wanted to surprise us with a fun variety. I reminded him to use the tissue papers, don’t touch any donuts with his fingers, and ask for help if he needed it. When I met him at the bakery, he was packing donuts into his second box.

Second box.

“Tuck! Woah! What’s happening here?”

“I wanted to surprise you.”

“How many donuts did you get?”


“Lovey, how many of us are there?”

“There are three of us, but I wanted us to have leftovers.”

(God, please give us all the self discipline to guarantee leftovers with a ratio of 8 donuts per person.)

“It’s too much, buddy. It’s too many.” And yet, what can I do? Tissue paper or not, these dozens of donuts had been man-handled.  I would now be buying them.

“I’m sorry, Mommy. I just really wanted to surprise you.”

“Well, thank you, Tuck. I am for sure surprised.”

My instructions weren’t literal enough. Not enough details. Perameters. Limitations. An amateur mistake.

And so, as a surprise to us all, we treated the elementary faculty and staff to a treasury of donuts this morning.

Surprise. (!!)

Feminine Wiles of the Girl Scouts

Here we are, swept away once again by the feminine wiles of the Girl Scouts.

Oh, sweet little business women, with the twinkle in your eyes and the cash in your box, your patched vest and your bouncing ponytail. I cannot resist you. Certainly, the men on your market will have no hope; they will have only cookies.

“You can buy four boxes,” I said to my son. “And bring back the change.”

He came back with five boxes and no change.

“Five? What happened here?”

“She told me I forgot to buy one more.”


I’m sorry to tell you: This is Delicious.

Crockpot Christmas Crack

1 16-oz jar salted peanuts

1 16-oz jar unsalted peanuts

1 12-oz bag semisweet chocolate chips

1 12-oz bag milk chocolate chips

2 10-oz bags peanut butter chips

2 1-lb packages of white almond bark or vanilla candy coating

Starting with the peanuts, layer all ingredients in a large crockpot. Turn the pot on low, cover with lid, and leave sitting for 2 hours.

It’s okay if you need to combine multiple bags of opened, partially eaten peanut butter chips.  Just, you know, in case you know someone who might need to do that.  Also, try not to cut the almond bark with an ice cream scoop.  It’s maybe not the best way.

Invite a friend over to play with your kids, because a good kid in the mix shakes up the dynamics in just the right way.  Let play for 2 hours.

Then, remove lid and stir to combine.  You’ll want to taste some right now: this is advisable.

Replace lid and leave sitting for another 30 minutes. Stir again, and then spoon mixture onto wax paper or non-stick aluminum foil. 20131220-100248.jpgAllow to harden for at least 1 hour.

Or eat it right out of the crock.20131220-100303.jpg

I’m sorry to tell you: it’s amazing.


The Thing About Meringue

“Two- to three-day-old eggs make the best meringue. No yolk at all, and use a very clean bowl,” says the guest chef on the news this morning, who is teaching us how to make nontraditional pies.

All five of us are piled into this hotel room, in a most charming, thankful way. And we’re all watching “The Best Thanksgiving Ever” special that precludes the Parade, which is the magic we’re all waiting for.

“Use a clean bowl. Very clean bowl. She really emphasized that,” I said.

“I’ve always heard that,” says Mom. “I’ve always heard, ‘use a very clean bowl to make meringue.’ And when I’ve started to make meringue, I’ve thought, Is this bowl really clean enough? I mean, how clean are we talking? And when do I not use a reasonably clean bowl to prepare meals? ‘Gee, Polly. I see you made mashed potatoes. It’d be better if you’d started with a clean bowl, though.'”

(She makes me laugh.)

Pizza Chicken MultiTasking.

So, I had two hungry kids, and we were on our way to the hotel.
In a stroke of brilliance, I decided to call ahead and have a pizza delivered to the hotel pool.  I called while we were in the drive thru lane at Chick-fil-A.  Yes, I was going through a drive thru and ordering from another restaurant, simultaneously.  And that’s where it all went wrong.

Picture me, driving a rental car, talking on the phone and into the drive thru microphone.

“Welcome to ChickFilA, what can I get for you today?”
“Thank you for calling Pizza Hut. May I help you?”
“Yes, do you deliver to the Hilton Garden Inn? I’m sorry – not you. We would like a number five.”
“What’s the address, ma’am?”
“I don’t know the address.”
“What would you like to drink?”
“Lemonade. And sprite.”
“Ma’am, I need the address.”
“Okay… hold on, please.” I switch to speaker phone so I can alternate screens and search for the hotel home page and thereby give her the address. And the children started wrestling in the backseat, and I pulled the always classic parental move of waving my hand wildly and blindly in the backseat, looking for any target that will submit to my authority.
“Ma’am, do you want the 8 piece or the 12?”
“Um, what? Oh. Eight.”
“Please pull forward.”
“Ma’am, do you have the address?”
I pull forward. I try to open my wallet even as I am alternating screens between hotel address and Pizza Hut.
There is screaming in the backseat. Screaming and loud iPod sounds.
“Yes. Here’s the address. Sugarloaf.”
(Isn’t that the best street name?)
“I need the phone number.”
Back to the hotel site. “Here it is.”
“And your address?”
“Didn’t I just tell you that?”
The ChickFilA window opens, and a drink is coming my way. And another drink. And another drink.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, go on.” That’s what I thought.
“Is this for pickup or delivery?”
“Ma’am, do you need any sauces?”
“Yes. Honey. No, not you, honey. Just honey. And it’s delivery, please.”
I am receiving a bag through the window and paying for the meal, all while I can hardly understand Miss Pizza Hut.
ChickFilA girl finally handed me my receipt, smiled and waved, and I’m pretty sure she cursed my vehicle as I drove away.
I pulled forward, now one task complete.
“I need a large cheese pizza, please.”
“Will that be all?”
The car behind me is honking.
“Um, do you have drinks? Desserts?”
Honking. Fighting. Smacking.
“Okay, I’d like Sprite.”
“Ma’am, we don’t have Sprite.”
For real? “What do you have?”
“Pepsi Products.”
“Then diet Pepsi.”
“Anything else, ma’am?”

(By the way, I actually could not understand anything she was saying. I had to ask her to repeat everything, and I stopped being kind and tactful about it. “Say that again. I didn’t understand you. What? I can’t understand you.” I think she had the same problem, since my card was denied the first time she tried to run it. Nope. This card is good. Let’s start over, sister. It’s a Visa.)

I am sure a million other things happened. It just seems like at least a dozen must have.

Pizza. Chicken. Pool. Now. Enough. Of. This.