Life Lesson from My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Never pick up a jar of pickles by the lid. There is always a chance that the last person who stuck their hand in the pickle jar didn’t screw the lid back on. Especially if you – the only person who eats pickles – always forgets to screw the lid back on.

Guess what just happened.

A moment after impact, I scooped the pickles back into the jar and screwed on the lid. Then the smell of brine hit me.

That’s when I panicked.

The roommates do not appreciate an avoidable mess. Especially one that smells. So I ran to the kitchen, grabbed the first bottle of cleaning fluid I saw, and starting spraying as I ran back to the still-spreading pickle juice. The resultant smell was…squeaky clean. I’d picked up a bottle of windex.

With the smell masked, I used paper towels on the worst of the mess – including the wall. I mopped half of the room. Then I sprayed a little more windex, sniffed, and was satisfied.

A minute later, a roommate walked past. I warned her to be careful on the newly mopped floor. She thanked me for the warning, and turned around. “Smells good,” she called as she walked back down the hall.

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Ellen’s Cauliflower

There are many things which can always be found in cyberspace, that you’d never be able to find on your own. The movie with a penguin searching for a pebble? Check IMDB. That NPR testosterone story you can never forget? Thank you, This American Life archives. But then there are other things that just can’t be found so easily. That’s when search terms rule the day.

One of the most popular search terms in my browser history – for my archived emails – is “Ellen recipe.”

Ellen has provided me with an plethera of excellent recipes over the years. This is my favorite:

Pepcorn Cauliflower

Ingredients

8 ounces cauliflower [I used a head, chopped into small pieces]
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
spray oil; cover pan before and after throwing on the cut cauliflower

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss cauliflower with oil and spice mixture.
  3. Bake 30-35 minutes uncovered.

Though Ellen insists that this recipe is everywhere and always the same, I beg to differ. To me, she is the first and last word in the field.

Happy Half-Birthday Special Correspondent Ellen!

Peasch Rolls

By Special Correspondent Ellen request:

As with so many Peasch utensils – vegetable peelers, can openers, paring knives – Peasch recipes, once misplaced, may never be seen again. This is why, when I ask my mom for Bubby’s recipe for Peasch rolls, she balks. I must first promise to keep the folder safe, and put it back exactly where I found it, before she’ll hand it over. Because once it’s out of her sight, she’s positive it’ll disappear forever – like her last folder of Peasch recipes. Or it might be found next year, buried under the Peasch cookie jar that we could swear hasn’t left the basement for 3 years.

Once I get my hands on the folder, I find three copies of the recipe in it. Because an ounce of prevention is worth its weight in Peasch rolls.

Pesach Rolls, by Bubby
2/3 c water
1/3 c oil
1 c matzah meal
2 Tbsp sugar
3 eggs

Boil water and oil in a pot. In a bowl, combined matzah meal and sugar, add in boil water&oil and mix. Add eggs one at a time, mixing all the while. Let sit 30 minutes, then ball and bake at 350F for 1 hour.

Ellen asked me for this recipe a week ago and I’ve been looking for it ever since. I finally found it – and now you must excuse me while I go and write it out in triplicate. Because really, it’s much too good to lose.

Mary Kay on Financial Independence

“I’ve read that women in the executive suite have a higher-than-average divorce rate. Some people believe that a successful businesswoman must neglect her family for her career. I don’t believe this. rather, I suspect that many ‘underemployed’ women remain in unhappy marriages because of financial constraints. Once they obtain higher-paying jobs, a sense of financial independence gives them options.” – Mary Kay Ash