Monthly Archives: August 2013

~ Cat’s In The Bag~

What is WITH this cat?  Remember when I told you about Moose, and his fetish with Grandma Jane’s black leather satchel?  Well yesterday I found him in a basket I’d put by the basement stairs, and

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…while yes, it was cute….I mean heck, how many Hallmark Calendars are made with ONLY cats in basket pictures?  A lot, that’s how many.

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….and yes, you just want to stop and scratch his furry, fat little head…

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…it’s begun to go beyond all that.  We’ve entered the world of weirdness.  First it was Grandma’s Satchel.  Then my Baskets.  And now….

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Buried deep beneath the life jackets we wore sailing with Cupcake, is the fat furball.  This cat very nearly ended up in the car en route to Annapolis.  He nearly ended up in a sailboat.  He would NOT have enjoyed that; though the rest of us might have gotten a snicker or two out of it.

Look carefully, you’ll see him.   Ninja stealth kitty.  He was completely camouflaged.

It’s not right.  It’s a little creepy.  I’m starting to check things for cat.

Like this hammock, for instance.


The rest of the world gets cute little kitties.   Me?  I get one with a compromised body fat ratio, and weird fetishes.

It’s about par for the course, I suppose.

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~Sugar-Coated Grim Reaper~

One of the medics on My Captain’s Shift had a birthday recently, and his honey, Jenn had a special cake made for him.  She does this often, because she’s got connections in the baking world, because she likes a good time and because she’s conscientious about important dates like that.  Me, I forget My Captain’s birthday altogether (but it is September 3rd, if any of you want to know).


Fitz and Jenn started a company called GotCPR, LLC.  It’s pretty awesome.  Here’s their facebook link:

Poor Fitz takes a ribbing for being one of the most mature guys on My Captain’s shift.


Not in a mean way.  Believe me, if they pick on you in the fire service, it means they LIKE you.    So ribbing is a good thing.  Some guys get picked on for being young.  Some for being hairy.  Some for being bald.  Some for being chunky.  Some for being skinny.  You can’t win.   For Fitz, they pick on his maturity.

And it appears his sweet Jenn has jumped in on this.

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Look at that cake.  Very clever.  Stethoscope.  Trauma Shears.  EMS blue star on it.  Syringe.    Very apropos for a Medic.   Very well done by the artist in that it is detail oriented.

But if you look closely on the decorative icing on the side….

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The EKG tracing looks a little off.

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Or does it?

Grim reapers.  His cake had a Cardiac tracing with the Grim Reaper.

Hilarious!  They zinged him again.  And it’s a two-fer, since he’s a medic!

Poor Fitz!

Firehouse Ribbing….  It means they love ya!

Hope your birthday was a good one, Fitz!

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~ Gargantuan Zucchini Boats~

2013-08-13 17.11.58I told you about our friend Sam’s evil plot to drown us in Zucchini, and I asked you to give me ideas for what to do with them.  You came through!  So many of you gave me fantastic ideas for zucchini pizza, zucchini boats, zucchini bread, zucchini strata, and zucchini hash…all of them were great ideas.  I decided to try the boat idea.   I didn’t have a recipe…didn’t even look one up on the internet because I figured, ‘How hard could it be?’

Impulsively, I simply grabbed my unbelievably sharp knife,


being very, very careful so as not to…..




Just kidding!

Where was I?  I picked up my Cutco knife-from-hell and cut that behemoth of a zucchini in half lengthwise.


Like SO!

Then I picked up my Melon Baller.

Melon Baller?

Yes, Melon Baller.  Just go with me, I’m on a roll…..


And proceeded to


take a really blurry picture.  Look, give me a break here, I’m taking pictures, I’m disemboweling large vegetables, I’m doing the hokey pokey all at the same time here.


Until I had scooped them out.  A note…scoop them out more than I did.  It was WAY too much pulp.  Hopefully, though, you aren’t a friend of Sam’s, and are dealing with normally sized zucs.

100_0375Add some salt to the cut edges,


be amazed at how gross your hand looks in close-up photographs,

100_0381and then put both halves face down in a colander.  This is a large colander, if that gives you any sense of proportion to what I was dealing with here….

100_0382Grab your meat sauce, or marinara sauce, whatever you have on hand.  But don’t, for all that is good and holy, grab an unmarked bag, from the freezer, of sloppy joe sauce that you mistake for regular meat sauce.  DON’T do it.  (ahem.)

But if you do, forgive yourself, and move on with life.  It will be okay.

Then violently grab a tomato that you stole from Grandma Jane’s garden,


And chop that bad boy up.


Do the same with a boatload of garlic, which you then sautee.


Forget to photograph the garlic once you’ve sautéed it.

Unceremoniously dump that entire bowl of chopped, sautéed garlic into your meat sauce.  Why?  Because it NEEDS IT, man!

Then pull the 2 pounds of bacon you have cooking for tomorrow’s BLT’s, out of the oven, smell its heavenly aroma, and move the meat to your towels…drain most…but not all…of that golden grease.  And do something crazy.  I mean CRAZY.



That’s right.  Put those beautiful zucchini shells on the bacon grease, face down.  You’re going to sear the tops in BACON grease, friends.

Go back to the bacon on the plate, and caress it and murmur sweet loving words to it.


Then get your cheeses ready while the zucchini bakes in the hot oven.


I’m using mozzarella, and Parmesan.  But you could use anything.  Goat cheese, cheddar, whatever floats your boat.

Grate them, but NOT your knuckles.  Don’t ask me why I say this.




Then let your strapping husband who just got home from work at the firehouse, pull the 60-pound zucchinis out of the oven.  He’ll love the smell right about now, because it smells of bacon grease.  He’ll want to take a pastry brush and brush more on the Zucs.  You’ll let him because he is your beloved, and you can’t refuse him anything.


Look at those muscles!  LOOK AT THEM!!!


You won’t even say a word when he gets excessive with the bacon grease.  Why?  See part about beloved above.

Ok Vern!  We’re ready to assemble!  (Is it okay if I call you Vern?)

Put the meat sauce, that would never be sloppy joe sauce because you’re an airhead, into the boats.


Fill ’em both up!


A little bit of zee pepper would be niiiiice….


And some mozzarella!


Don’t be stingy!  Cheese is meant to be gorged on!


And add the Parmesan, because if some is good, more is better!


And if you are feeling sassy, add some pepperoni on top of that 2 pounds of cheese.  And by all means, make it TURKEY pepperoni, because you’re into making healthy choices….

And then add your chopped, stolen tomato…


Then bake those beautiful boats for nearly an hour, depending on the size of your Zucchini.  MmmMMmm.  Hot, cheesy, and saucy.  Just like My Captain!


Gargantuan Zucchini Boats, brought to you by Sam, and made by me, with love!

Slice them up, and make 300 of your closest friends happy; it’s a LOT of food, people!

But they sure are tasty!

Make them today!!!

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~ Wham, Bam, Thank You, Sam! ~

We have this amazing friend named Sam.  Sam is the quintessential gentle giant.


I love this picture of him.

Sam is a musician, a brainiac I.T. guy, a devoted father and husband, and one hell of a cook.

Sam is also the father of one of Varmint’s best-est friends in the whole world, and the husband of one of My Captain’s old childhood friends.  This is the guy at any party who cracks all the jokes quietly, powerfully, when they are least expected.  His wit is stellar.

We love Sam.

Sam and his wife, Shirley, are heavily involved in 4-H, with gardening and animals galore.  This is a good thing for US, because when their bounty exceeds their stomachs, we are near enough to catch any collateral veggies!

Enter, “The Squash from Hell.”

Sam brought this beauty (along with tomatoes and cucumbers) over a couple of nights ago.    Actually, he brought three.  This is the only one that is left.

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Look at this behemoth.  What on God’s green earth was Sam FEEDING his vegetables?  And, more importantly, is whatever he used going to do the same thing to us?

I’ve already made zucchini fritters, baked breaded zucchini chips, Eggs Benedict on fried zucchini, and Zucchini Parmesan.  And I STILL have this enormous squash sitting on my counter!

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I have no idea what to do with it, but I’m enjoying my creative mode.   What would YOU do with it?  I’m up for suggestions!

I wonder if Sam knew I would run into this quandary when he gave them to me.  Knowing his sense of humor, I bet he was chuckling and snickering the whole way home.

All right, Sam….Game on, my friend.

Game ON.

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~ Fair Warning ~

If you want to eat a fun and affection-filled breakfast with your loving family at a local diner,

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but you like to eat scrapple, that disgusting conglomeration of every scrap of the pig that hits the floor at the trim table,

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be prepared to finish your meal like this:

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Fair warning.

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