My favorite “F”s

I saw this meme today:

And I thought, “Ah, two of my favorite “F” things: French Bulldogs and Fridays.”

(I used to have a favorite word that started with F, but I was politely asked by my boss to stop saying it at work. She was right — I was saying it WA-A-A-Y too much. The frustration was getting to me. I have implemented a Cuss Jar (actually a pail) to help me curb my wicked tongue — I have to pay every time I cuss. So far, it has helped a lot. Even the cursing at home has abated. The recent vacation might have also helped.)


So, I started to think about other things that I liked that began with the letter “F” and there are a lot!  In no particular order:

1. French Bulldogs

2. Fridays

3. Filet-o-Fish

4. Freedom

5. Family

6. Fables

7. Friends

8. Fernando by Abba

9. Feta cheese

10. Fetal position (when I’m sad)

11. Fiction

12. Fifth Amendment (“I do not have to incriminate myself”)

13.  Finger foods

14.  Forgiveness

15.  France

16. Fireflies

17. Flowers

18. Fleur-de-lis

19. Flip-flops

20. Frosties

Wow, it’s interesting to see how many of my favorite “F”s are food.

Have a “F”-ing Awesome Friday!!

Cooking With Idiots

Matt and I had a great Saturday yesterday. His schedule for the past week had been such that he and I had spent no time together. So, we went out for breakfast, took a nap, watched one of our favorite movies (“The Bourne Identity”) and did a little Christmas shopping (for ourselves). Matt also planned dinner by preparing a stew in the crock pot — it simmered all day, filling the house with great smells.

The stew was really good. We, like most families, especially two-member families, often find it easier to grab a bowl of cereal, a sandwich, etc., then to go to the trouble of cooking a full meal. Thus, when one of us do cook, it is a special treat.

The only small complaint that we both had about the stew was that there was too much garlic in it. Garlic is like a lot of things in life — a little bit is good, a lot of it is deadly. And there is a thin line between “right amount” and “too much”. This is true for M&Ms, vodka, ice cream, and “Beverly Hills 90210” reruns. First-hand experience with garlic is essential when cooking.

I will never forget my first real cooking experience with garlic. Like many people, it was only after graduating from college that I was forced to cook for myself (or others). I discovered recipes — what a great invention — a how-to for creating a dish. Cooking wasn’t that hard — why did people complain?? Get your ingredients, add this, stir in that, bake at this temperature, et voila. Supper.

Thus, I decided to try lasagna. Since I had been so successful with earlier recipes, I wanted to try a complicated lasagna dish, or at least more complicated recipe than what I had grown up with — hamburger, noodles, ricotta cheese, spaghetti sauce. I picked out a recipe that called for Italian sausage, where the sauce wasn’t from a jar but made from scratch, where there were three or four different kinds of cheese. I was ready to turn it on for the lasagna.

Everything seemed to be going well until it came time to add the minced garlic. The recipe called for 3 cloves of minced garlic (I remember the exact amount 15 years later). I had purchased the prepackaged jars of minced garlic instead of mincing my own (I may have wanted to try something more complicated, but I didn’t want to do more work than absolutely necessary). I added the required amount of garlic. Five minutes later, I thought the wallpaper was going to start peeling off the walls.

Through the tears streaming down my eyes, I tried to discover why the fumes were almost visible in the house. Rereading the recipe and then the jars of garlic, I realized my error. One clove of garlic was equal to 1/2 tablespoon of the minced garlic from the jar. I had misread the jar and thought that 1 clove of garlic was equal to 1 jar. So, three jars of minced garlic had gone into my lasagna. I estimate it to be about 167 cloves of garlic.

We did not eat lasagna that night. We could barely live in the house for the next week. I learned to read, reread and often have someone else read the “this amount equals this amount” directions on any jar of ingredients. And I don’t eat anything that makes my eyes water (or repels vampires, zombies, inferior friends).