Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Battle to Conquer the Kitchen

I love raspberry jam.  It's SO good.  Growing up, my mother would make it.  MMMM  Yeah, it really is that good.  I don't mind freezer jam, but the real "I was cooked" kind of jam totally rocks my knee-highs.  About 2 years ago, I made jam for the first time with Mom.  She has skills.  It was SO much easier than I ever thought it would be.

Well... Saturday, I'm going up to spend Christmas-ish time with Scuttle and his family.  I'm meeting his parents for the first time.  Ok, we Skype'd once, but that doesn't really count to me.  I was trying to figure out if I should get something for Scuttle's parents and siblings, and I just wasn't sure.  Then the thought came to me: Jam.  I can make jam.  That's something you make for your neighbors, so it's nothing too big.  Just something nice to say, "Hey, I thought of you, but this is non-committal so if you didn't think of me, you don't have to feel bad at all, but if you did think of me, now I don't have to feel bad".  (Who knew one jar of jam could say so much?)

I got my supplies, and decided today was the day.  I'm making jam.  I called Laree, got a little bit of advice, (Mom didn't answer her phone.) and started!  So, here's the deal.  I have issues.  I filched the raspberries from my parent's house.  As they thawed, all of the juice came out.  Really, almost all of it.  But, I figured that out.  I just added a lot of the juice back in when I put the berries in the blender... We don't have a blender.  But L7 said something about a blender... OH!  Smoothie maker.  That should do.  Whew.  One problem averted.  I measured out the sugar, and then measured out the berries... and I had too many.  Good news, I bought two boxes of Pectin, so I could do extra.  Let's one and a half the recipe.  But how do I know how much pectin to use?  Oh, I got it.  I measured how much pectin was in one box.  Then just halved that.  I'm brilliant!

Because I know raspberry juice stains, I put on a grubby shirt, pulled all of my pre-measured bowls close (it was like I was on a cooking show) turned up the tunes and got to cooking!  Oh, and pulled out all of my freshly washed and sanitized jars.  I was SO ready!

I turned on the burner, and started stirring.  And stirring.  And stirring.  My arms were aching, but I persisted. And then it started to boil.  And splatter.  But the directions said you had to wait for a "rolling boil".  I don't really know what that means, but I kept going.  A lot of dancing ensued as I tried to dodge all of the splatters.  Luckily, I was home alone, because anyone here would have heard me.  "Oh no!  That's a big one!  OH MAN THAT ONE HURT!  OW! OW! OH DEAR!  This is no fun.  BLAST! There's another one!  Get it off, it hurts, it hurts!"  You know, little things like that.  All I can think at this point is how in the world does Mom do this so gracefully?

I quickly added the sugar, the jam turned the right color (that's a good sign) and I stirred some more.  Let me give all of you some advice.  Don't one and a half a batch of jam, cause you will be stirring for ETERNITY!  After the "rolling boil" came back I had to stir it for exactly 4 minutes.  Once again, I started the splatter dance.  Good gravy!  No good.  And no matter where I went, my arms weren't long enough to avoid it.

OK, 4 minutes up.  Now to pour the jam into the bottles.  OH BLAST! I don't have a funnel.  Ok, bust out my mad pouring skills... where's the ladle... I don't have a ladle!  Alright, this half cup measuring cup will have to do.  Mad scooping, trying to put on the lids that I had in boiling hot water, more yelping of the burning pains cause I'm dealing with more hot stuff, flipping the jars upside down, more burning.... and DONE!

OHHH no!  Too much jam.  I don't have any more bottles.... uh... uh... well, there's a Pyrex baking dish... i guess I could put it all in there.... NO, no, that's a bad idea... uh... OH, there we go!  The remains went into the can that held the sugar.  I now have about 1/3 of a large can full of jam... that's going to take up a lot of room in the fridge... sorry roomies!

Now, lets look at my kitchen... I totally should have taken a picture.  I have a dirty blender, 2 massive dirty pots, and splatters.... ALL over the stove, all over the bread that is next to the stove, all over the cupboards around the stove, all over the floor, and my socks.  That jam has some mad splatter skills.  I think that one made it at least 4 ft!  I should enter this stuff in an Olympic event!  Do you think if I lobby enough I can get them to add in a Jam Splattering competition?  It's close to the trampoline... right?

I'm not too worse for the wear.  I probably have about 10 new burns on my hands.  But the good news is, I totally did it.  The jam is setting up.  And it tastes good.  Look out Martha Stewart.  I am SO coming for you.  And I think my show would be more fun.  You don't do the splatter dance nearly enough.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

She's Mute m'Lord. It Comes and It Goes

Name that movie!  Do you remember?  It's a totally ludicrous line.  And pretty darn funny if you ask me.  Did you guess it yet?  It's from Ever After.

Why am I calling my post this?  Because apparently you can say that about me.  Atleast, it appears that way to all of the great customers that I see at work.  For example, this is a real conversation I had with a customer the other day.  Names have been changed because I have to idea what his name was.  The sad thing is, this is a perfectly normal conversation.

Fredrickson Johanson III: Do you still have those $5 footlong subs?
Paily:  Yes, Yes we do.  They are on this sign here.  *and I point at the sign* 
Fredrickson Johanson III:  Great, where are they listed?
Paily: On this sign here *and I point again*
Fredrickson Johanson III: Oh, good, good.  So... What's on the Meatball sub?
Paily: Well, it has these meatballs *I then open up the meatball container and show them to him* Your choice of Cheese, and any of the veggies that you want.
Fredrickson Johanson III: Any of the veggies?
Paily: Yes, any of them.  It's compeletly up to you.  We'll do it just as you ask
Fredrickson Johanson III:  Oh, I'll take one of those.  WAIT does it come with cheese?
Paily: (Wondering why I ever told him what was on the meatball anway cause I've now repeated almost all of it) Yes, Sir.  It comes with cheese.  You get four pieces of any cheese that we have.
Fredrickson Johanson III: Ok.  I want Swiss
Paily:  I'm sorry, Sir.  We don't carry Swiss cheese.
Fredrickson Johanson III: Are you sure?  Cause I really want Swiss.
Paily:  I am sure that we don't carry Swiss, sir.
Fredrickson Johanson III: Ok, I guess I'll just go with that white kind.
Paily: (sighing internally, because all of our cheese is at least partly white)  Did you want the circle white cheese, the triangle white cheese, the speckled white cheese, or the shredded chedder?
Fredrickson Johanson III: Well.... Do you have Provolone? (Pronounced Pro-va-lone-ee)
Paily:  Yes, sir.  We have Provolone.  (Properly pronounced Pro-va-lone.  Nothing complicated)
Fredrickson Johanson III: Alright.  I want that kind.  Now, what are the meatballs like that you have?  Can I see them?

At this point, every single cell in my body had the desire to jump over the glass, and throttle the customer, but I refrain.  I would like to keep my job, and I'm way too short to jump over the glass.

The thing that surprises me the most, is they are the one who started asking me questions.  They hear me sometimes, but only sometimes.  See?  I'm mute.  But it comes and it goes.

As I type this, I'm wearing a stocking cap that my fabulous Dad knitted for me.  I can't even tell you how much joy that brings me.  You see, my Mom has crocheted for quite some time.  She's all sorts of crafty and works with fabrics, and warm fuzzy.  She's amazing.  But this crafty with fabrics side of my Dad is totally new.  This has been quite the year for him.  He went from a rough, tough, building, grunting man (Ok, not really grunting, but you know the type, construction worker) to this kind, softer, singing, dancing, knitting man.  I mean, he's always been nice, but it's totally different to see him singing, dancing, acting and now knitting.  I've always heard that missions change young men... :)  It makes me happy.  I love you Mom and Dad!  I'm missing you this Christmas, but I'm so proud of your service.  Thank you for giving of yourself so we and others can be blessed.  You are such an example to me!  I love you!

PS. For some reason, I can't seem to get my spell check to work.  So please, forgive my spelling errors.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

No These Things Aren't Related

So, those of you who actually read my blog with speakers working on your computer will notice a change in my play list. I've added most of my favorite songs from Glee! It's a fun show. Well, at least I love the music! So here you go.

Secondly, I want to welcome Scuttle. Yep, I believe he is finding my blog very soon. He said he wanted to anyway. So, potentially Welcome, dear Scuttle of mine. I know, that's super lame and sappy. Sorry friends! This also makes me super nervous. I mean, the rest of you... well at least most of you, already love me. And you won't stop just because I'm a lame blogger. As for the rest of you, I don't know you, so who cares. But Scuttle... Well, he's not the type to stop dating me cause I'm a lame blogger, but still... it makes me nervous. I'll get over it.

And now on to some serious things.... I know, it's rare that I get serious, but here we go.

Today in Relief Society, we had a lesson on Christ and Joseph Smith. Focusing on the Atonement and the Martyrdom. It was a good lesson. I'm pretty passionate about both topics. Some days I just want to stand up and shout from the rooftops about my knowledge of these great men. Yes, Joseph Smith wouldn't have really done anything cool if it was for Christ. I am very aware of that. And the Martyrdom wouldn't have meant anything if it wasn't for the First Vision (Shout out to Palmyra!!) This is not at all what I wanted to tell you about, but it's cool too.

The coolest part for me though, was the closing hymn. We sang A Poor Wayfaring Man Of Grief. (I believe you can listen to it here) I've sung, and or listened to this song for a very long time. It's good. I usually sing the 1st, 6th and 7th verse. Today we sang 1-3. Something about the last line of the 3rd verse really touched me. Just the fact that the singer says that they drank and never thirsted more. What a beautiful picture this painted in my mind. I think it was Heavenly Father watching out for me a little. You see, I had apostate tendencies today. After sacrament meeting I was SO ready to be done. I don't leave after only one hour of church though. That's like paying 33% tithing. Not cool. So I stayed. Sunday School was fine. The lesson in Relief Society was good, but it felt SO long! And then we sang. And I felt the spirit. And I wanted that. I want to drink from this cup that Christ is offering me. I don't want to be thirsty anymore. I'm not just talking about being lazy, and not wanting to go to the kitchen... although I'd take that as well. I just realized that it is so true. I can drink from the cup that Christ is offering me. I don't have to thirst anymore. I can be filled. Yes, there will still be hard times. Yes, I will still struggle, but I don't have to have doubts. I can know of the truthfulness of all of this. I find it important to point out that the lyric says nothing about being tackled to the ground while this water was forced down your throat. It's a choice. How often am I offered a drink but I don't take it, cause I'm stubborn. That's stupid! And yet, when I am stubborn, as soon as I reach for the cup, I get it. It's not pulled away from me. I'm not told, too bad. In fact, I think he smiles at me. There may be a bit of a "it's about time" look in that smile, but that's ok. It's still there. He loves me. I don't have to thirst. Sometimes I don't feel deserving, but I'm working on deserving it. I just need to figure out how to stop messing up. I'll get there eventually. (I'm not being proud, I'm using the language of faith. It's very important to do.)

Yeah, life's pretty great!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mystery Guest

I like to people watch. And I like to make up stories about said people. Boy did I find a great story the other day!

So, I'm sitting at work, and in walks a group of three people. Two men, and a woman. This woman was wearing a pink hat, like so:
Actually, it looked nothing like this hat, but I can't find a picture of the real thing.

She was also wearing a big black coat like this one:

AND she was wearing stylish large sunglasses like these:
She wore them indoors. She never took them off. And she had a blue tooth thing in her ear. All of this is a little strange, but not the strangest thing.

On closer inspection, I found that the two men she was with were both wearing matching red ties. Seen here:

I noticed that both men were kind of catering to this woman, doing whatever she wanted so she was happy. They were always surrounding her, and they were wearing poofy coats. The kind of coat that one could hide a gun under. That way you are prepared if anyone tries to do anything to the lady. She thought the spinach was some sort of fancy vegetable that I've never heard of. I think she's rich. AND she has body guards. So this is my question... Who do you think I served? Cause she's famous and I need bragging rights!