Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Its pet peeve day here...and a flashback

In the Wonderful World of Workman, the sky is overcast, my parsley is dying on the back deck, and Loki has eaten an entire roll of toilet paper. Again.

*cue music*

*Pet Peeves, as performed by Me, your friendly neighborhood busybody*

People who take up 2 parking spaces. If your car is that precious, park wayyyy in the back where no one else parks. And the funny thing is, the car I am referring to was, oh I would say 1995 Ford Escape. Now sure it wasn't banged up or rusty, but seriously, you were taking up 2 spaces in the front at TGI Fridays. By that fact alone, you have just told me a few facts about yourself; a) you're a douche b) you're a cheap bastard and c) you're lazy.

People who are convinced everything is a conspiracy. My S.O. knows a guy like this and as much as I hate to say it, it is contagious and now HE is trying to convince ME everyone is out to dupe the public. While the government is corrupt, and inefficient, and manipulative, and sure perhaps historically there was some shady business, but everyone??? Every company, organization, political affiliation, union, all the way down to the pack of rabid little children riding their bikes through my neighborhood like the march of the penguins does not have another agenda. Between hearing all the theories on how 9-11 was purposely initiated by the US Government, Miss USA is being conspired against and now the US can't win a beauty contest and Barack Obama is a terrorist, I've had enough.
Just stop. There is plenty of other things out there to worry about. Next thing you know the Girl Scouts of America are out to poison everyone with their cookies and Wal-Mart greeters are actually aliens doing recon work for the government.

People who constantly complain they are broke. I get it. I am too. But you don't hear me whine about it and if I do, its not to the whole group. And its not constant. There is a person I work with that CONSTANTLY complains they have no money. Every day this broad manages to find someone to buy her lunch, or get her a soda, or cover her part of a pitched in pizza. It seriously makes me sick. This same broad has personalized plates on her car, has 3 pampered dogs, and make a comment that she should win a contest based simply on the fact that she would appreciate it more than someone else. We all are in a state of profound broke-titude your highness, so leave your pity party at home and pick up some overtime. Ho.

That's all the complaining for now. HAHAHAHAH.

The flashback that I am referring is from... 1984. I was at a Mother-Daughter banquet at my church (yes I went once upon a time) and it was a pot luck type brunch. After all the prayers, and devotion, and reaffirmation, and general mommy-daughter bonding, we ate. And you know church ladies can cook up some shit right?

I remember the smell of ham coming out of the church's basement kitchen (a meals on wheels program was ran from it), the best punch on the planet, salads, sandwiches, and desserts as far as the eye could see. Oh it was a fat girls wet dream. I had a pastel dress on, baby's breath in my hair, mom was dressed classy in a pantsuit and smelled of Imari from Avon (now I think that shit reeks, but to an 12 year old, it was exotic).

We had a raffle, well more like a drawing, the winner had a dot on the underside of their chair. I had the winning chair GO VICKIE and won a toilet paper cover thingy ... the dress was crocheted beautifully, the dress part covering the roll with the doll just from the waist up... am I painting an accurate picture or just random rambling?? It was the only one we ever went to, and in some kind of weird needy way, I wish I would have gone to more. My whole mother-daughter bonding memory is literally this one Sunday.

After eating all the ham and pasta salad I could possibly hold I got a plate and hit the dessert table. I honestly had no intention of eating it right then, but to take it home and snack on it while reading. I had my plate in hand, going down the table, taking a bit of this and a taste of that.

And then I saw it.

It was beautiful. The head church lady must have just set it out right before I got there. There wasn't a single piece out of it. It was shining, glistening with a red jeweled glow, like a ruby twinkling in the heavenly afternoon light. I saw that it was layered, it looked like a creamy middle, light and fluffy with a textured bottom layer for structure. My mouth started to water... "Damn" I said, in my mind of course because I would never cuss in a church basement.

I picked up the miniature spatula and took the corner out. I was working the tool delicately, like a surgeon cutting around your spinal cord, I did not want to mar the absolutely perfect, absolutely even top.

I got back to my table next to my mom, her sipping tea and nibbling on what looked like a dainty bowl of mush (it was actually bread pudding). She looked at my plate, and I could tell she was looking to see what treasures I had. I pointed out the green jello molded stuff, various cookies and brownies... tactfully drawing her away from my red layered pile of yummyness.

I waited patiently for some random church lady to engage my mom in a meaningless repartee. At the precise moment I knew she was not looking, I took the plastic spoon mom used to stir her tea and took a bite.


So much so my next bite was the rest of the piece. I shoved that whole thing in my mouth, it oozed out the corners, down my chin and smack dab in the middle of my pastel dress. I didn't care. It was the best dessert I had ever had. I think I had my first orgasm right there in the middle of my church basement. I knew at that exact second, I was on a mission. An all consuming quest that would be on my mind for the next 24 years. I would find out how to make that layered dessert if it took the rest of my life.

I tried to find out who made it. Alas, no one confessed. Or perhaps that knowledge couldn't be trusted to a mere child? That power was too great and I was too inexperienced. Perhaps.

Dramatic you say?

I laugh at your drama.

I completed my quest. Tonight. What on this planet could cause me such mental anguish? What dessert could have made such an impact on me that I have had it several times and no one could make it like I had that day?

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Out of sheer desperation and a craving for something sweet, I found a recipe that sounded close to what I remember. I made it today, and while I should have waited until morning to taste it, I couldn't wait.

I put that first bite into my mouth and immediately the sounds, smells, feelings from that day came rushing back. Kinda gay I know, but as I sit here and try not to cry, I hope I am building the same kind of memories for my own daughter.


2 1/2 c pretzels, crushed

3/4 c butter, melted

3 Tbsp sugar

1 package cream cheese softened

1 c sugar

1 big container Cool Whip

1 3-oz packages strawberry jello

2 bags frozen sliced strawberries

Mix pretzels, butter and sugar together and press into the bottom of a 13x9x2 pan. Back at 375 for 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Beat cream cheese and 1 c sugar together until light and fluffy. Slowly mix in Cool Whip. Spread over cooled pretzel crust.

Dissolve jello with 2 cups warm water, and then mix in strawberries and stir until almost set, about 4 or 5 minutes. Pour over cheese mixture and chill for at least 2 hours.

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