The White Trash Gourmet is one of the funniest blogs I’ve ever read, and to put a cherry on the blog sundae, it is spilling over with delicious recipes. Recently, TWTG wrote a stupendously funny dating profile post. In homage to her (of course, knowing mine could never be as funny) I have written my own dating profile. Yes, I’m married.
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I like the word "Broad" and its connotations. One Tough Broad, to me, is one of the highest compliments a woman can receive. Joan Rivers, Suzanne Pleshette and one of my all time faves, Elizabeth Taylor... all Broads. I remember when Joan Rivers' husband killed himself and she hit the road working. My mother always admired her for that; her husband bailed and left her with a little girl and an assload of debt and she shook it off and went to work.
Thanks to my good friend Le Clown, I was just made aware of this lovely little tribute to yours truly.
Thought I’d give the people that understand what I do a chance to respond, send bags of flaming dog shit and the like.
I’m very busy at my job, working to support my kids and not being taken care of by any fucking man. I will take a time out and respond properly later but in the meantime have fun.
I’m not sure how many of you are aware but TWTG is single again and on the prowl. I had been using a lovely little internet dating site called OKCupid. Now, I’m a big girl, and I can handle some bullshit but I’ve already taken my profile down. See, being the Queen of Everything has its advantages, one of which is having men flock to you by virtues of your, um, God given attributes. (Thank you parents and sweet baby Jesus for the boobies!) It didn’t take long to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of responses, which led me to consider a different approach:
I’m taking applications.
Now Hiring at TWTG Incorporated!
Position to be filled: Boyfriend
Position vacated: August 13, 2012
Day job (not as boyfriend, husband or gigolo)
Car (2009 or newer)
House (no roommates, kids don’t count)
Children OK but no psycho ex-wives
Adventure seeking, vodka drinking, affable and outgoing
Handsome (in my opinion)
Brains (mmmm, yummy, brains)
A sense of humor (if you can’t laugh at life, I have no use for you)
Please submit resume to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a photo and drink invitation (you are buying, buddy), to apply for a face to face interview. VEGANS NEED NOT APPLY! Anyone under the age of 33, I do not need to hear how age is just a number and you are so mature and don’t get along with women your age. I know damn well why you are cougar hunting and I just have to say, if I’m the cougar, I get to choose my prey.
Fig Seeks Bacon
- Fresh figs
- Chèvre (goat cheese)
I didn’t include ingredient amounts because you can make as few or as many as you want.
Preheat oven to 400˚. Wash figs and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice each fig in half just below the stem (keeping the stem intact). Place about a teaspoon of chèvre between the two fig halves. Cut bacon slices in half. Wrap each fig with a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place on baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Voila! Perfect small bite to impress dates.
Those loyal Subjects that have been reading the blog for a while know that I’ve had my share of internet stalkers. No big deal when you have a man in the house to deal with such threats. I could depend on my 18 yr old being home but that occasion is too rare to rely on. This is why no one gets an invitation to my house until I’ve first met them in a crowded, public place and sent a picture of their ID to my bite sized friend Autumn. Maybe I’ll acquire a hand gun, some mace and a large dog, just in case… not that I’m threatening you. I swear, I’m a sweetheart. Promise…
TWTG says, “I’ve had it with you people and your fuckery!”
I’m sheepishly, squeamishly, certainly sharing
I’ve had just about enough of your caring
My subjects, I’m sorry
Abruptly I fled, my head, oh my head
Slowly I’m dipping
My toe in the blog pool
Happily single – this girl ain’t no fool
Losing a lover, a friend and a partner
It hasn’t been easy
My art, my heart suffer
I’ll claw my way back
I’ll conquer the kitchen
Because we all know it’s me you’ve been missing
In trying to come up with Something To Talk About today, I got into a conversation with the boyfriend that was funnier and more interesting than anything I wanted to rant about. Rather than forcing myself to write when I wasn’t feeling it, I decided to transcribe our behind-the-scenes shenanigans into the only format that made sense:
Spicy Thai Popcorn
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 1 cup chili lemon peanuts
- 1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp chili oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp thai spice mix
- 1 tsp Spicy Chili Lime Popcorn Seasoning
- 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
Heat oils in large frying pan. Add popcorn and cover. When popcorn starts to pop, shake pan constantly until popping slows. Remove from heat and continue shaking until popping stops. Mix peanuts, coconut and spices in a separate bowl. Pour over popcorn and toss.
Once again, thanks must go to my not-nearly-better half for putting together a strip. I told him he wouldn’t ever have to do another, since the last one was made solely as a tribute to Comic-Con. But I say a lot of things—I’m almost biblical in that sense. I suppose a confession is in order, as well: I don’t actually own a laptop. We made that part up. Somebody buy me one.
TWTG says, “I have risotto on my shirt and what looks like a booger.”
I’m talking about my period today, men, so either click here for some masculine relief, or get ready to Purell your eyes. You can’t unread it. I’m giving you ample warning about this. Don’t come crying to me about any lost boyhood innocence—it’s not my fault you ditched the family living class in fifth grade. I’ll wait while you pack up your penis and skedaddle. No, really.
Hold on, let me smell if they’re still here. Nope. I don’t detect any beef, cheese or feet. I think we’re good.
Now that we have this post to ourselves, girls, relax. The discussion of my monthly visitor will not be directed by Dario Argento (which is an amazing reference—just ask the four people that got it), but I didn’t want to give those recently-departed assholes the smug satisfaction of being somewhat right. Whenever a woman is standoffish, men always retreat to the tired “it must be that time of the month.” Even though my eyes roll at that, it’s sadly true of me. I pride myself on being a reasonable woman. I try not to run on, react with or feed into emotion. Yet, every month (like clockwork, go figure), I succumb to what I’ve coined my Blackness. This is when all my ovulatory hormones decide to punish me for going unused, and twist me into a bloated ball of stabby goodness. It lasts for a single, don’t-fuck-with-me day, and serves as the precursor to the main event—I’d call it the red carpet ceremony, but that is the main event.
Here’s a story. Shortly after leaving my ex, I took the clown spawn to Pat & Oscar’s (now O’s American Kitchen) for some comfort food; as I sure as hell wasn’t cooking on this particularly Black evening. All the elements were against me—the stress of being newly single, the fragility of kids adjusting, etc.—and the slightest annoyance was going to switch my factory presets to kill. Alas, the restaurant had changed its menu. My favorite whole-roasted chicken meal was no longer there. But it was there last time. And every time before. And was the reason for going. That poor GED hopeful I took it out on. The things I screamed, the places I said he could shove that new menu. I don’t even remember all the details, I just remember waking up. Several years and some soul-searching later… yeah, I can safely say it was my finest moment.
And, shit, now I just want some Pat & Oscar’s.
Spinach Risotto & Italian Sausage
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth (more or less)
- 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 tsp dried basil
- salt & pepper
- 5 Italian sausages
Melt butter with olive oil in medium sauce pan. Add shallot, onion and garlic, cooking until just starting to soften. Stir in rice and saute for 1–2 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed. Add liquid 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until absorbed after each addition. The entire cooking process should take 20–30 minutes. When rice is almost cooked through, add spinach, parmesan, basil and salt and pepper (to taste). While rice is cooking, place sausages in a frying pan, top with 1 cup water, cover and simmer until all the water has evaporated. Continue browning for a few minutes stirring occasionally. Serve risotto topped with sliced sausage.
What prompted such a crass topic? My nine-year-old is developing early, and while The Talk is still a few years away, her hormones are starting to communicate with mine. As such, she gets to share momma’s Blackness and become every bit the rainbow of kitten-giggling sunshine I do. The boys in this house better play nice, lest we clip them at the tip with a broken ashtray. True fact.
TWTG says, “I’m a well-educated drunk.”
I don’t write much about my job. Half the reason is decorous—it would be in bad taste to criticize my coworkers when they aren’t around to defend themselves. (Why I don’t think this rule applies to the friends and family I throw under the bus on a triweekly basis… well, you’ll just have to figure that shit out for yourself.) The other half is accidental. Considering how I revel in the pointing of fingers, for tease-centric purposes, I must be pretty damn content with my career if it doesn’t come up even casually. There’s bullshit, sure, but what is work if not a necessity grown from the mitigation of bullshit?
I’m super deep today.
For those not in the know (i.e. most of you), I’m a property manager. Wikipedia says my duties include “finding/evicting and generally dealing with tenants, home repair, home improvement, cleaning, garden maintenance, landscaping, and snow removal, to be coordinated with the owner’s wishes.” True enough, but, primarily, my job is to translate Plain English for tenants and vendors that only skim my written solutions. (When I finally succumb to dementia, “it’s in the e-mail I sent” will likely be the only six words I can remember.) I also have to correct a great deal of math, as most companies seem to train their employees on an abacus.
But my job’s biggest bugaboo—as well as its greatest perk—is the food. Between snack days and potlucks, luncheons and networking dinners, random shindigs and holiday bashes, annual bake-offs and REITery (our company’s fancy, monthly brunch), I could never spend money on food again and stay pleasantly plump on what they feed us. (The kids would suffer, but I don’t remember anyone accusing me of being a good mom.) Factor in a food blog… I’m eating seven meals a day like a fucking Hobbit. And I hate Hobbits. Does that make me a heightist? Probably. And I’m fine with that, as long as you think I’m thin.
I’m super deep today.
Pear & Bacon French Toast Casserole
- 1 large loaf artisan bread
- 1 large pear
- 1 lb bacon, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 8–10 oz shredded gruyere or gouda (I used a goats milk gouda)
- 2 dozen eggs
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
Tear loaf into pieces and place in the bottom of a large roasting pan (this recipe feeds a crowd). Top with peeled and diced pear, cooked bacon and shredded cheese. Whisk eggs with maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Pour over other ingredients. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350˚ for 50–60 minutes or until the center is set. This can be served with additional maple syrup on top, but it’s not necessary. I made this to go with my savory cheesecake to wow the breakfast crowd at work. I succeeded.
I know, poor little me. What a blessing it is to be employed at all in these trying times, let alone have a gig so cushy it actually fattens its workers with decadence. If it’s any consolation, at least I have an awesome window office, and everybody there loves me.
TWTG says, “It was my pooping phone.”
Guess what I’m doing with my own horn? Tooting it. Shamelessly. I mean, just look at what you could be drinking from for the low, low price of your soul’s salvation! E-mail me (TheWhiteTrashGourmet@gmail.com) if you want to be the coolest kid on your block. And, hell, if you give me enough of your money, I might just sell you the one pictured. You could use the salivary residue to make more of me. It won’t violate any cloning laws—I’d have to be human first.
TWTG says, “Well, mine’s just a bag of no goodness.”
It wouldn’t matter if I were sitting in the leprosy section of a one-star deli in Qatar, and a gentle sand breeze rolls my falafel off the table, into the jowls of an ill-tempered rhesus monkey armed with a rusty knife… I will fight that macaque to recover my chickpea ball, brush it gently on my hijab and then eat it. I don’t even care if I fail to do this within the five-second rule, either: The monkey and I can go tooth and shiv all day, while our deep-fried prize bakes in the Arab sun. I will still be the victor, and to me will go the still-edible spoils.
The point of this random fiction? I’m not a germaphobe. Having said that… holy shit, gymnasiums give me the bacterial willies. Let me back up a bit: This week, my Dentyne-sized friend, Autumn, has started working full time again (after some medical shenanigans), and is now dragging my rotund ass to the gym on our lunch break. After our first workout, she teased me about how much of a prissy diva I was—how nothing was clean enough for my fragile psyche. Whereas I would normally turn a non-confrontational cheek at such playful criticism, I must stand by my objection. Let’s break it down into components:
First, there’s getting changed. If you’re a man reading this, and have ever wondered about the naked pillow fights that clandestinely break out in women’s locker rooms, let me assuage your curiosity: it’s all true. Problem is, the only immodest contenders are old enough to have done alterations with Betsy Ross—and, oh, do they love to socialize. Look, I adore old folks, and hope to be one myself someday, but towel-up, ladies. I don’t need your dilapidated naughty bits to accidentally graze me. Again.
Then there’s the gym portion of the gym, where meatheads in wife beaters two sizes too small, with necks two sizes too thick, grunt and scream as if recording the audio book for Stoney and the Great Passage of Urethra. But ignoring all that is as simple as using ear buds. What is less forgivable is the pool of jock filth they leave in their wake and waft. How a towel was deemed to be an adequate absorber for such fungal man-leavings is anybody’s guess. More to the point, how have gym-employed bus boys not been invented yet? If restaurants see it necessary to chemically purge a table after every meal—even though food is already served on sanitized plating—how could a light brushing of drenched upholstery be compliant with health codes, at either a state or common sense level? Even the butcher paper a doctor rolls out for you would be progress.
I already feel like I need a shower—which brings us to the closing act of the workout experience. Women, I know how fun it is to make hair art in the shower at home. I know the delights of gathering all the loose strands that have clung to the tile, rotary phoning them into clumps and giving each one a name and backstory. But… do you really need to share your masterpieces publicly? Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just an artless rube. Maybe I should just be grateful for the free toe rings. Shudder.
Of course, I wouldn’t have to endure any of this if I didn’t make such deliciously fattening shit like this:
Savory Ricotta Cheesecake
- 6 oz Italian truffle cheese (this is available at Trader Joe’s)
- 3/4 cup flour
- 4 tbsp cold, unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
The inspiration for this crust came after I made homemade Cheez-Its. Preheat oven to 350˚. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until they form a ball. Press into the bottom of a springform pan and prick several times with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and cool slightly before filling.
- 30 oz ricotta cheese
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp truffle oil
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
Combine ricotta and eggs until blended. Saute shallots, garlic and thyme in truffle and olive oils until just cooked. Fold into ricotta mixture along with salt and pepper. Pour over crust and bake for 50–60 minutes, until a knife stuck in the center comes out clean.
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
Drain tomatoes of most of the oil they are packed in. Place in a mini-food processor and chop until finely minced. Spread over the top of still warm cheesecake. Place on cooling rack. Once cooled, run a sharp knife around the edge of pan and then flip the springform latch. It can be served immediately or chilled overnight. I made this for the gang at work and it was a big hit.
Whaddya know? I’m once again using the space down here to apologize for everything above. This time, I want it understood that I’m writing from a place of catharsis, not superiority. What the hell do I have to be superior about when it comes to the gym? I’m forty and grotesquely out of shape (although I submit oval is most definitely a shape), so avoiding the gym is no longer an option for combating my sagging sogginess. Someone remind me why I gave up the metabolic goodness of smoking?
TWTG says, “I just want to be filled with a bathroom to pee in.”