Sous vide wings, bad drivers, peanut farts and snow days!

Well spank my ass and call me Charlie. We got a light dusting of snow down here in south Georgia. That means there isn’t a loaf of bread or gallon of milk within a 400 mile radius. I heard on the news that there were 1,000 automobile accidents in the Atlanta area. Wow. I don’t get it. You couldn’t get me behind the wheel even if you told me Harry Connick, Jr. was waiting with open arms at the end of my driveway. I am the sole reason women drivers get a bad rap. Just call me Mrs. Magoo. For those of you who don’t know who Mr. Magoo is click here:

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It also means no school for me today so let’s play with food! I’ve got several projects in the works: Sous vide confit chicken wings; Stuffed croissant baguette; Pulled pork; Ribbage on the Primo XL; and boiled peanuts. I smoked 6 pork butts, nearly 60 lbs. worth, of yummy pulled pork. I used banana leaves and they are really awesome. The flavor is very subtle, but very nice indeed. I’ve had several sandwiches already and it just never gets old.

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I also boiled a big pot of peanuts. It’s a southern thing I suppose. Either you love them or hate them. The irony here is that these peanuts did not come from Georgia. They came from New Mexico. I’m not a fan of Georgia peanuts for boiling because they are too big and get mushy. I prefer a little crunch so I scouted around for the best peanuts for boiling and found out Valencia peanuts are the best. I ordered 50 pounds from a place clean across the country just so I could have yummy boiled peanuts. I’ve even heard of folks making something called redneck hummus. Can’t say I’ve ever had it, but might give it a try someday.

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The only thing I don’t like about boiled peanuts is the fart factor. Holy mother of monkey butt. It’s a love/hate thing for me. To be able to hit notes that would make any opera singer proud is the goal, but there’s a price to pay. Sharts are painful, plain and simple. I may as well be shitting out fiberglass insulation. Then there’s the stench. Do me a favor. Take in a deep breath. Notice how that breath goes up the nostrils then in to your mouth? So every time you smell a fart you are eating dookie vapors.

Then there’s the problem of moisture. It’s kind of like whistling. You can’t get that high pitched whistle without licking your lips and you can’t lay down a good wind loaf without a little gravy. It’s a high price to pay especially if you’re not close to a bathroom. Swamp ass is not a pleasantry my friends. Okay. Nuff about that. Feelin’ a bit woozy.

Let’s talk about wings. Is there anything better than a good batch of hot wings and a cold beer? So there’s that place that shall remain nameless, where the waitresses wear skimpy clothes. You know the place I speak of. I decided a few years ago that I wanted to work there. Not really, but I wanted to apply for a job so I could make the person who was interviewing me squirm. I was in my mid forties at the time. Technically, they cannot discriminate so they had to interview me. Oh how much fun it was!!!! Have you ever seen a middle age woman who dresses like she’s in her 20′s??? Insert eye roll here, but I went to Goodwill and purchased some hoochy mama clothes and high heels. I wish I could have taped this interview. The interviewer was exactly what I was expecting. Middle aged man with a beer gut and a comb over that would make Donald Trump jealous. He was very uncomfortable during this interview. I told him I was a hooker, but wasn’t getting much action so I thought I would try to clean up my act and work there. It lasted about 20 minutes when of course, he said he would be in touch. He kept his word and called a few days later to tell me they decided to go with someone else but would keep my application on file. Sure he did. I love practical jokes like that. Anywhoozie, I sous vide some wings in duck fat then cooked them on the grill. The glaze/sauce was very simple: Honey, Tiger Sauce, Dijon mustard and apple juice. Fantastic on wings!! Here’s some pics.

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I’ll post about the rest of the stuff tomorrow since I DON’T HAVE SCHOOL AGAIN!!! Woohoo! I’m so excited that I am tingling in my girl part areas and I feel the need to fry bacon topless. Hugs!!! Oh and I wanted to add this:

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It’s about time you lazy girl!

I can’t believe I have neglected my poor little blog for so long. For the shame. Between work, school and the drinking binges, I’ve not had a free moment to spare.

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This is not a picture of me, but one I found on the internet. I hope these gals never see this pic. Wowza.

 

Well now, let’s see. I bought a new computer. It’s the HP Pavilion TouchSmart 23. It’s a touch screen and I love it. Why? Because I’m lazy and it’s easy to just point and touch. I’m waiting on the model that just reads my mind so I can remain in a comatose (drunken) state.

I got my hair cut really short. Like boy short. I just got tired of pulling it back in a pony tail and the constant fear of hair in my food thing. That makes me weak just to think about it. I got a hair in my food once and it was a long hair too. I mean a really long hair and by the time I realized it, I had swallowed about 8 feet of it and had to pull it out of my throat. I have to go lie down now.

The one thing I miss about having long hair is that when I would get up in the mornings and it was all messed up, it was sexy. What I like to call f*** me hair.

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Now, well, it’s more like I should just start drooling and rocking back and forth.

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I was watching an old episode of Unique Eats the other day. It featured Jose Andres and his restaurant Bazaar. One of the items they showed was an egg cooked sous vide. It had these itty bitty fried potatoes and a potato foam. I decided I would give that a try, but instead of potato foam I wanted cheese foam. I cooked the egg to 143F and used my handy dandy egg topper, which I love by the way. I’m obsessed with it though. Every egg I come close to I whip it out and start hammering away. No egg left untopped!

It came out okay. I was happy with everything except the foam. It needs a thickening agent so next time I will try agar agar or lecithin. Here’s a few pics:

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Speaking of lecithin, I used some to make a lemon foam to go with a piece of fish that I made for a final exam. It was wonderful!!! Here’s where I got the idea:

http://www.molecularrecipes.com/emulsification/airs-emulsification/seared-scallops-lemon-air-bell-pepper-coulis/

Actually, they call it lemon air. That is just plain silly so I call it foam. Honestly, lemon jizz sounds best, but heaven forbid one shall offend a piece of citrus.

Over the holidays I got in to some serious candy making. I bought a couple of magnetic molds so I could use the cocoa butter transfer sheets. Here’s a pic of the very first ones I did. Man, I had chocolate all over me. How does one tackle chocolate making without getting it everywhere? Jeez, in my ear, eyebrows, butt crack. Wait.

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Anyway, that’s about it. Oh yea, I did go on a date. Not really expecting a call back though. I think we’ve already established that I’m not the most graceful person in the world. I don’t do so well in heels, but for whatever reason I thought it was a good idea to wear a really hot dress with 38 inch heels. Turns out that wasn’t the wisest decision I’ve ever made. Actually, slamming my tongue in a car door would have gone much smoother. Heavy sigh. I won’t go in to a whole lot of detail but just for the record, I totally meant to dive in to that shrubbery and come up with a tree stump in my hair.

Until next time. Eat well, drink often and don’t wet the bed.

Been MIA…

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have been MIA because I recently lost my sweet Mother. Things will never be the same without her. She was the most precious person I have ever known. She also dug my weird sense of humor and encouraged me to be who I am. Rest in Peace sweetest lady, your memory will live on through my cooking and writing. I will always love you. Hugs, your baby girl.

 

P.S. I’m sorry about the time I killed the goldfish with peroxide. Also the time I told you there was a raccoon on the back porch only so I could jump out and scare the crap out of you. And the time… 

Marshmallows, Mo Betta Butta, Waffles and Wedgies

Ugggggg………… What a week. I don’t even know where to begin. I can say that if I am not an alcoholic by now, I never will be. Thank goodness for that. If you’ve read any of my other posts you’ve probably figured out that I am not the most graceful person in the world. Honestly, I wonder how I have made it this far in life sometimes.

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I have a knack for starting 1,348,734 projects at once. I like to think of myself as having this amazing Super Womanesque ability to multi-task. Sadly, I do not and sometimes the wake up call comes in the most unusual and painful way. Let me start with my trip to the DMV. I needed to change some information on my driver’s license. Nothing major, had all the necessary documents, wore a cute outfit, showed some cleavage, got my hair did. The woman I dealt with was the spawn of Satan. It took forever and for whatever reason she wasn’t convinced I was, in fact, who I said I was. WTF? Ummm, match up the signatures or something dip shit.

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Anyway, she had to get her supervisor involved and by the time I got to the point of getting my new photo taken it looked something like this:

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Let’s move on. Quickly…

I love to make homemade marshmallows. They are surprisingly easy to make and quite delicious. Not to mention it’s shockingly ridiculous how impressed people are. “Whuut? OMG! You made these? Shut up!!!” my friend exclaimed as she kept punching me in the arm. I really wanted to stab her, but being she’s pregnant and all I decided that not telling her she had broccoli in her teeth would have to suffice.

I made the first batch, gave them a taste. Well, spank my ass and call me Charlie. I forgot to add in the salt. One. Quarter. Teaspoon. I went in to a full-bore temper tantrum. Yep. Going straight to hell for that censor worthy spewing. After calming down a wee bit I walked to the back door, yelled “Gardyloo!!” and tossed the pan right out. I started another batch only to realize I did not have enough light corn syrup to make them. As you can probably figure, by this point in my day, I was color blinding livid. I grabbed my keys and wallet and headed to the store. I was wearing a pair of sweats that were a little loose fitting and as I exited my car I gave them a not so gentle tug up and power walked right in to the store. I grabbed the bottle of syrup off the shelf and stormed to the check out line.

There were a few people ahead of me so I stood there, squirming around only to realize I had given myself the ultimate wedgie. I looked around, preparing to yank the pants from my nether portal, but the chatty lady behind me struck up a conversation. All I could do is shake my head. I was in agony. I noticed she was wearing scrubs and I considered asking her if she knew a doctor that could perform a sphincterotomy but I refrained. It was taking way too long and the elderly man in front of me was trying to use a credit card for his purchase. He entered his pin number, but the clerk said his card was declined. He entered it again, then again, then again. By this point the junk in my trunk had migrated to my esophagus. The taste of nylon/spandex blend lingered on my tongue. I asked the clerk how much the gentleman’s order was. $7.45 she replied and I handed her a $20. I think he assumed his card finally went through as he took his receipt and shuffled out the door. I paid for my syrup and slowly walked to my car, moaning and humming Swing Low Sweet Chariot the whole way. Once inside, well, I’ll just leave that up to your imagination. I headed home and started another batch of marshmallows.

I use a recipe from Alton Brown and I have made this at least a hundred times. I’ve made coconut, blueberry, chocolate, lemon, lime, vanilla bean, Meyer lemon, peach, cherry, but my all time favorite is orange. They remind me of those creamsicle push-up things, you know, like my bra but way better. Wait.Image

I pretty much follow the recipe with the exception of the pan size. I use a 8″x8″ square pan that gets sprayed with non-stick spray followed by a dusting of equal parts powdered sugar and corn starch. I make up a batch of that in a quart jar so it’s ready whenever I want to make marshmallows. Or when I want to scare the neighbor’s kid, I put it all over my face and jump out in front of her while she’s PEAKING IN MY BACK DOOR. Punk.

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I just keep dipping my knife in the mixture to keep it from sticking. Then I cut them in to smaller squares. If I am making these for a special occasion I will sometimes cut them in to certain shapes, maybe dip them partially in chocolate and put them on a popsicle stick. I did some for a bridal shower a while back, but I best be keeping that little tidbit to myself.

I also made homemade butter. I use pasteurized, but not homogenized heavy cream I get from a local dairy. I also like to culture my butter as it gives it the most wonderful, creamy taste. I use a mesophilic culture I get from http://www.cheesemaking.com/. I sprinkle the culture over the cream, cover with a paper towel and let it sit out overnight, then in to the fridge for 24 hours. Then I put the mixture in to the Kitchen Aid and whip it past whipped cream and the butter forms. Save that buttermilk!

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It keeps longer if you culture it. It also keeps longer if you wash it. By that I mean massage it tenderly in cool water, kinda like what I want to do to Harry Conick, Jr. Have I mentioned how much I adore him? I get that I’m probably old enough to be his mother, but hey, get with the times people.

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Can I tell you how insane delish homemade butter is in and on my homemade croissants? I also made clarified butter. I never really made this before culinary school, but it was one of the first things I learned to do and it is so easy I could kick myself for not doing it sooner. Slowly warm the butter, do not stir or agitate while it’s melting. Then skim off the solids on the top, then gently, ever so gently ladle the clarified butter in to a container. There will be more solids and water on the bottom.

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And finally, I made Liege waffles. They look pretty, but they were like eating old gym socks. Please, do not ask. Here’s a couple of pictures. The first is the sugar I way overpaid for. If anyone has a grand recipe for Liege waffles I would surely like to hear about it. I need a nap. A shot and a beer and a nap. Breakfast of champions.

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Drunk Cooking…Never a Good Idea.

Unless of course you are channeling Keith Floyd (RIP good sir). I like to cook with a little wine buzz. It’s fun to do on occasion, but sometimes I just do stupid things. In my own defense it must be a hereditary thing. My father would get hammered and start cooking. Oh how we hated it because we HAD to eat whatever he made. He made this stuff he called goulash and if you could imagine what a combination of burnt death and ass might taste like, well there ya go.

I remember it having canned tomatoes, fish guts, potatoes that were peeled, but the peelings were also added. Tons of spices, corn, okra, gawd, I have to stop and go curl up in a fetal position. We sat at the table and we knew if we waited there long enough he’d pass out in the recliner and we could run for the hills. He meant well, sure, but that doesn’t account for the scars left on my memory or taste buds.

I was feeling a little perky the other night (by which I mean I had two glasses of wine already) and decided I would whip up a concoction using up what I had lying around. I buy whole beef tenderloins and I had a small chunk of one left. I also had potatoes, tomatoes, onions, apples, garlic and clarified butter among other things. I started by cooking the steak to medium rare in clarified butter. To that I added in some chunks of apples. I love burnt apples, weird, but good. I took out the meat to rest, chugged another glass of Robert Mondavi Cab and began to feel my girl parts getting all tingly….

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I had already decided I wanted potatoes so I cut them up and parboiled them before adding to the concoction. I looked in the fridge and there was about a half cup of Cannellini beans so in they went along with the potatoes and onions. Yea, I was craving massive amounts of starch. Maybe alcohol does that. By the way, am I the only person who gets that “flush” look on my face when drinking? Dang. It has NOTHING to do with the “lady parts problem”. Not. At. All. Gotta love Kitty from That 70′s Show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MQkFZKz9t8

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I added in the tomatoes and since the pan was getting a little dry I added in this wonderful balsamic vinegar I bought recently and it is Blood Orange Balsamic Vinegar. Yummy stuff. I wonder what the alcohol content is. Hmmmm…. No, wait, I’m really okay. I then sliced up the steak and placed the bloody pieces on top of my new masterpiece. But wait, there’s more. I added some chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, a dash of Hungarian paprika and then…. guess what…. oh gawd, I think I’m gonna have a seizure… I added 7,564,898 pounds of provolone cheese. Yessirreeeee….. then under the broiler to brown up the top of the cheese.

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I wish I would have had a couple of mushrooms. That would’ve been really good with this pile ‘O mess. I toasted a piece of really stale bread, now that I think about it I may (I said MAY) have pulled off some mold, but then again I was kinda buzzed so it could have easily been something else like alien poo. It was good. Not throw myself nekkid at Harry Connick, Jr.’s feet good, but more like I would consider letting him cop a feel kinda good.

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I would like to thank the Academy….

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Big fat thanks to Andie for nominating me for the “Oh So Fabulous Award”. You can find her blog here. She is one funny lady and I look forward to reading her posts. As part of the “Award” I have to post the rules, answer 5 questions that Andie came up with and choose 4 subscribers with less than 1,000 followers, so here goes:

Rules for participating:

  1. Post the ‘Oh So Fabulous’ graphic on your blog and link back to the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 5 questions given to you by your nominator.
  3. Pick bloggers with under 1,000 subscribers to nominate for the award.
  4. Come up with 5 questions for YOUR nominees to answer.
  5. Go to their blog and notify them of the award nomination.

Here are the 5 questions from Andie:

1. What’s your VISA number? (Hmm, that probably won’t fly…) Ok, what age would you like to repeat and why?

I don’t have a VISA. I only pay cash for everything because I’m afraid Giorgio Tsoukalos will steal my identity and my soul. As far as the age thing, I want to go back to the womb. Hangin’ out in a hot tub 24/7 and always being fed without actually having to go to the trouble of eating which means you don’t have to floss. Can life be any better than that?

2. If you had twin turtles, what would you name them?

Baba Ganoush and Ohhhh Henry.

3. What did you have for lunch yesterday?

Vodka.

4. ‘Eh?’ or ‘Huh’?

Wha?

5. What would you like to say to your grade 12 English teacher now?

‘Sup milkbone? Hangin’ on the down low. Still ain’t kilt no mockingbirds. Peace out bitches.

As per the rules, I have to nominate bloggers with less than 1,000 subscribers. I’ve scouted around and so far managed to find three but will add the final one later:

http://pastaprincessandmore.wordpress.com/

http://thecookingchook.wordpress.com

http://thesheepareout.wordpress.com/

Here are the questions for the winners I chose:

1. What was the last crazy dream you had?

2. If you had only $20 in your pocket what would you buy?

3. What is the one food you find most disgusting?

4. What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?

5. If you could go back to school to learn one more thing what would it be?

I Hope There is Comfort Food in Hell

There are two things that are certain for anyone who grew up in the deep South in the 70′s: Comfort food and hell. I ate comfort food every day of my life and never once thought about it being “comforting” it was just good food. While I don’t eat everything deep fried, I do like to indulge in those things that will surely go straight to my thighs. Unfortunately my ham hocks would eventually start rubbing together and a full blown forest fire would soon engulf everything this side of the Mason Dixon. Another thing about being a bona fide redneck country girl was if you did anything bad, I mean ANYTHING you were told you were going straight to hell. If I had a dime for every time I had amazing “comfort food” and a penny for every time I was ensured my plummet in to the underworld was inevitable, I’d be richer than a pig’s got squeals. I want to share with you some of my own “comfort food” creations as well as a bizarre tale of my youthful shenanigans in the deep South.

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Smoked chicken salad on a bed of mixed greens with spicy mango salsa on top of a bacon weave, fresh fruit filled with sweetened cream cheese and a homemade croissant.

My slow decent in to Hades started when I was in the first grade. My teacher was old and scary. Her name was Ms. English and she had a wrinkled face with bright red lips that were always pursed in a way that made one think the woman hadn’t taken a good crap in 25 years.

I’m left handed so when I was given that brand new, freshly sharpened no. 2 pencil I was determined to learn how to properly write my name, and maybe even some day write in cursive like my older sisters. That was brought to an abrupt halt as a wooden ruler slapped my tiny little hand. That old hag smacked me! The sound of that ruler popping my sweet young flesh scared me more than it hurt. I was shocked and gazed up at her squinty eyes, my own full of fear. She told me only the devil’s children wrote with their left hand.

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Southern fried chicken.

I couldn’t help myself, it just felt natural to hold that pencil in my left hand. Unfortunately, that one pop of the ruler was obviously not enough to convince me that I was the offspring of the Prince of Darkness. It took at least 10 good licks with that ruler to break me. It’s a sad shame too because I do everything left handed except write. My handwriting is hideous and barely legible. Stupid old bag. So if any teacher out there forces a lefty to write with their right hand I shall fart in your general direction.

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Ravioli stuffed with Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese and spinach served in a red sauce.

I was beginning to wonder if I had inherited some demonic spirit by proxy. In fact I had an aunt that everyone thought was possessed by demons and I must say she was my favorite aunt. She used to hide in the shrubbery at her own house just so she could see who was pulling in the drive. I tried that once and got eaten up by fire ants. She was a little crazy, but a fun person to hang out with. She told me a witch had put a spell on her when she was younger and that was good enough for me. She let me drink a beer when I was 7 and I weighed all of 30 lbs. so I was hammered. My mom nearly killed her and I was no longer allowed at her house without adult supervision. The woman could make a mean chocolate and banana cake though, possessed or otherwise.

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Six layer banana cake with fudge frosting.

There was another time I was certain I would be bunking with Beelzebub and it all started with an innocent fishing trip. When I was a kid we went fishing a lot. My parents would go out in the aluminum boat while me and my sisters fished off the dock. We used worms as bait and by the end of the day all the worm guts and fish blood and probably a booger or two were nothing short of malodorous. We would wash our hands in the pond water but that had fish dookie in it and somehow that grossed me out more than the worm guts and boogers.

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Sunday morning breakfast bowl with fried eggs, potatoes fried in duck fat, spicy breakfast sausage, grits, cheese, green onions, buttermilk biscuit and gravy.

We went in the pickup truck because that was the only vehicle with a trailer hitch. That meant all the kids had to ride in the back of the truck. We loved that part actually. We always stopped at Abraham’s Gas Station. This place was reminiscent of the old 1950′s gas station with the rubber hose that when you drive over it does a double ding so old man Abraham would wake up from his perpetual nap. As a kid it seemed to me old Abraham was at least 800 years old. Dad would go inside and get us each a Pepsi and a bag of Lance salted peanuts. How heavenly it was to pour your peanuts in to the Pepsi bottle. Salty, sweet goodness. While he was gone I would always go to the women’s bathroom and wash my hands and then use a quarter from my allowance to get the most awesome smelling pack of towelettes from one of those wall vending machines. Sadly, there was a big “out of order” sign on the women’s restroom so I decided to go in to the men’s. Oh joyous day! They did indeed have one of the wall vending machines! I got my package and ran back to the truck. After we pulled out I was eager to rid myself of the pond poo stench. Odd, I thought, this doesn’t look like a moist towelette. It looks like a balloon with a weird looking smaller balloon on the tip of it. It was black and kinda slimy. Odd looking balloon that’s for sure.

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Deviled duck egg with faux caviar.

My sister’s jaw dropped and once she regained her composure she told me I was in big trouble and I was definitely going straight to hell. Great, just what I wanted to hear. I’m going to hell with dookie pond hands. She informed me that what I had was for adults only and that she was going to tell Daddy on me and he would spank me good. I begged her not to tell and if she didn’t I would do the dishes every time it was her turn for a whole month. She agreed and I threw the black slimy balloon out the back of the truck. I’m still not sure if my soul was granted an annulment from a nose dive in to the eternal flames for that fiasco.

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Thick crust pizza cooked over apple wood topped with triple cheese, sausage and asparagus tips.

I was told I was going straight to hell by my best friend in the sixth grade because I accepted two “I love you, do you love me yes or no?” notes from two different boys and checked “yes” on both of them. Evidently it is frowned upon to be a playa in middle school. That same year we were playing spin the bottle and I got to kiss David Sanders. With eyes wide open we locked lips and OH DEAR HOLY MOTHER he stuck his tongue in my mouth. That’s a one way ticket to purgatory my friends. EVERYBODY knew that. Not looking good people.

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Chocolate pecan pie with homemade butter pecan ice cream.

As an adult I’ve been told to “go to hell” but as far as I’m concerned that statement comes with the option of actually going there or not. So, it’s still up in the air where my very soul will spend eternity. I guess it’s a good thing I enjoy cooking over an open fire. Just in case.

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