Sunday, July 29, 2012

Spicing Things Up

It's really easy to surf Pinterest and get caught up admiring and repinning pretty pictures of do-it-yourself projects. It takes more than a little bit of effort to actually take on a task - or to go off in search of one of your own (especially if you're not crafty and consider dabbling in the kitchen enough to call yourself a decent cook). Since I successfully made pickles with a recipe I pinned, I thought I could take on jalapenos.

I mentioned this to a friendly co-worker (who happens to be a home gardener) and he volunteered to pluck peppers from his backyard if I'd give him a few jars. I accepted the challenge.
When I saw a nearly full bag of jalapenos I thought I might have bitten off more than I could chew. Literally. Because I said I would pickle them, I had already committed to it. There was no backing out. I gathered all the things I could need for the task.
Those pink things are life savers: gloves. If you've never cut a few peppers, then rubbed your eyes and thought you might be permanently blind, take my advice - WEAR GLOVES WHEN YOU'RE HANDLING PEPPERS. Even if you don't think they're spicy, peppers will kill you. Well, maybe not kill you but they could make you wish for death.
I decided to slice them so I could use them to pile on my food. I don't have a hole lot of use for whole peppers.
Then, I put them in a jar that had a few sliced carrots, onion and garlic.
Then, I made small batches of pickling juice (probably not the right term, but it's what I'm going with) based on a recipe I found online. I can't remember the site, but here's the mix:
One teaspoon of salt with each cup of vinegar. Heat to a simmer, pour over peppers, then close the jar and store in the refrigerator.
I let them sit for one week to soften up the peppers, then I put a few slices on some nachos.
They tasted really good! The peppers were hotter than I thought they'd be, so I only managed to eat four before I picked them off so I could enjoy the rest of my snack.

This may be the easiest thing ever! I'm putting whole peppers from my backyard in the jar I finished to see if I can pickle those. If you do whole peppers, you're supposed to slice into them so the entire pepper can be pickled. Do that carefully!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

While some of you are enjoying freshly-grilled foods, I'm spending July 4th at work. I also worked REALLY hard to find the perfect holiday card for you. So, have a hot dog and beer for me! It's the least you could do!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Losing My Amazing Race

Every month, I have a little challenge to myself. Here it is:
That is my current stack of magazines to be read. The top two are June magazines. Here we are on this third day of July and I'm still reading June magazines (which, by the way, you can't find on newsstands - or whatever you call the place you find magazines). Oh, I should probably confess two things.

  1. This stack doesn't include the three weekly magazines I get (People, US, Entertainment Weekly). I get through those right away.
  2. This stack is also shorter than it used to be. I don't know how that Fitness magazine found its way to my mailbox. I think they must play the same game as OK! magazine - just send it and hope some sucker will fall in love with it and need it. Well, I won't. It has so little content that I flip through it in no time. I'm not falling for that OR a banana in my tailpipe.
So, here is my big excuse.
I'm reading this ginormous book (official book term - look it up, people). I didn't stop to think when I bought it that this book covered ALL eight years of Reagan's presidency. It does. And it does it in pretty good detail. I feel a lot of pressure to get this done because I got all cocky on Goodreads and decided to set a pretty lofty goal of books to read this year. I'm failing.
I'M THREE BOOKS BEHIND MY PACE! It's like I get absolutely no credit for reading one 1,000 page book and this 700 pager! I am reading something - a book or a magazine - every day (and I'm not counting all the reading I do for work because that's almost never fun). And when you see the size of the book compared to my stack of magazines, I mean, it's actually kind of impressive how many words I see each month.
See? If you take out the many pages of ads and perfume samples in the magazines, I'm actually reading some good words and stories - and they're mostly true (even those product tests - consumer tips, people). 

And if that doesn't make me feel bad enough, I look at my poor little blog. It's been horribly neglected over these last few weeks. As soon as I finish this Reagan book (NO ONE TELL ME HOW IT ENDS), I hope to have more time to return to blogging silly things. That is, unless Goodreads keeps telling me I'm a loser. Because I am totally not. Mostly.