Monday, October 31, 2011

I want it now ...

There is no way that the children of West Duluth could ever appreciate the consideration I put into buying Halloween candy this year. This was serious business. I got:

1. York Peppermint Patties
2. Mini Candy Bars, including Snickers, Three Musketeers, Milky Way
3. Nerds
4. Peanut Butter Cups, Almond Joy and Reese's Pieces
5. Lick Em Aid

There is even some left after this past weekend, though I've been acting like Veruca Salt for the past three days with peanut butter-stained fingers and peppermint in my hair.

I'm told we will get 250-300 customers today. Last year I slept through the candy hours, woke at about 9 p.m. and it was over. I sat on the front steps with a bowl of sour licorice and waited for someone, anyone to come along. Finally I stopped some teenagers who were walking past and said: "YOU GUYS WANT CANDY?!" It was pretty pathetic.

In other news, here is what I've been making, watching and reading.


Peruvian Black Olive Sun-Dried Tomato Quinoa: This is a good, uncomplicated mix of one of our bulk favorites: Quinoa. Quinoa is magic. You buy it and it never runs out. It probably would have been better if I hadn't burned it, but even burnt it was good. How's that for a testimonial? I made it with just some sauteed spinach and little chunks of Soy Chorizo because Soy Chorizo is my favorite food.

Pea Tikki: Of all the crimes against food, this was one of my greatest. I found this recipe (AND ALMOST EVERY OTHER RECIPE I MAKE) on Finding Vegan. It comes with a nice back story about teaching kids about relatives who are gone by introducing them to the gone relative's signature dish. So what do I do? Create a version that looks nothing like the recipe-maker's version and in fact looks like a crudely drawn portrait of her pretty dish. Ah well. Still tasted good. It's a pea puree with some spice, ginger and seasonings that is then encased in potato. Ideally, it is like a gnocchi Twinkie. Mine, not so much.

Black Bean, Zucchini and Olive Tacos: I've certainly mastered the art of alternate forms of Tacos. This one has a mix of Zucchini, hot peppers, garlic, kalamata olives, and salsa verde. It can also be jazzed up with a mix of plain yogurt mixed with lemon juice, lemon zest, agave and garlic.

Chickpea Picatta: The word "picatta" has come to be a punchline here ever since the time I was making dinner, Chuck asked what we were having and I said "Oh, just a picatta." The word didn't mean anything to either of us. "Oh, a picatta, huh?" he asked. Since that time I've made plenty of versions of picatta and it has come to mean "something something capers."

I love capers. I remember my mom feeding me one when I was really little and being disgusted by this little nugget packed with olive-style flavor. Thirty years later, they are one of my favorite foods.

Night of the Comet: For what this is, it is great. A 1980s horror movie mostly set in the aftermath of a comet hitting earth, turning civilians to a red dust or -- inexplicably -- into zombies. Of course, our hero has shacked up with her boyfriend in a movie theater, which becomes a sort of bomb shelter and saves them both. (Well, briefly).

Two things: A) The star of the show is a very familiar looking woman, who I quickly learned was Kayla from "Days of Our Lives," which immediately brought back Kayla and Steve memories from yesteryear. How come some of my best memories are just plotlines from soap operas? And B) Chuck said in the middle of the movie "They need a montage right here." I agreed and suggested the song "Walking on Sunshine." True story: The next scene was a montage to the song "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" which is basically "Walking on Sunshine." Win-win.

Insidious: What a weird mix of when-it's-good-it's-good, when-it-sucks-it-sucks. The premise is great: Family moves into a house that can't possibly be affordable considering the husband is a school teacher and the wife fucks around on a piano all day. Their son goes into something like a coma after taking a spill in the attic. Weird stuff starts happening in the house, they move to get away from this haunted place, and then the medium tells them: IT'S NOT THE HOUSE IT'S YOUR KINDA COMA SON! Then it delves into something super hokey and stupid and vaguely comic.

This marked my first experience renting from Red Box. Now I'm all caught up on modern conveniences.

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin: This is a so-so biography of Steve Martin's life as a stand up comic. Mostly I leaned that my dad pinched some of his greatest comedic moments from Steve Martin.

The Marriage Plot: A Novelby Jeffrey Eugenides: I totally, totally recommend this novel about a love triangle set at Brown University, and then beyond, in the early part of the 1980s. This is now my favorite book of 2011.

Sophie's Choice  by William Styron: I got interested in this book when I read an essay by Styron's daughter about what it was like to read this book -- starting it as a child, then actually reading it when she was in her 30s. This is a great, great, great book that I totally loved.

When God Was a Rabbit: A Novel by Sarah Winman: Good. Another new writer with a terrific debut. This one is a coming of age story about siblings with a powerful connection and a best friend and all these events. It's plot light, incident heavy and written in this really spare an interesting way. I love how this was written.

Full reviews on all of these will be on Minnesota Reads.


Nick said...

Peppermint patties? Yikes. Did you forget the Necco Wafers grandma??

Christa said...

Dude. These are York Peppermint Patties. (Do kids hate those? Uh oh. I've been giving them to my favorite kids).

Nick said...

Lol. I don't know I guess. I'm sure some kid out there is gonna love em. Your post made Scott go out and buy some.. The rest of your list is grade A!

Christa said...

The big hit tonight is the Lick-M-Aid. Which is unfortunate, because that is what I was planning on eating for lunch for the next week.