Friday, April 30, 2004

Dinner for 9 = Table for 2

So pops called and cancelled. Baby sis is sick.

This doesn't phase me.

It could explain why I wasn't going crazy coordinating and planning this shindig. (My rants the last few days on the meal, ain't nothing.)

I guess I knew he'd cancel.


It's been a trend whenever we invite them to dinners, family functions or anything that deals with family.

My husband acts like it doesn't phase him.

And I guess it doesn't. Well, it did for a while. Then he went off on his pop's one day about his feelings of abandonment and how he's watching his sister
lose valuable family ties. After that, these cancellations just roll right over him.

In fact, I think I get more upset than he does. Hubby has said that. He asked me once why I have such a grudge on his pops. It's not so much of a grudge but
an anger. But that has sort of passed as well. I was angry that his pops has hurt him as a child and how he comes in now and continues to treat him like a
child. That has passed though. Now, I guess I've realized that 1) I can't be angry for something that happened to my husband that according to him, "I'm over
it.". And b) You can't live in the past. You can only hope for the future.

So here I am hoping that the future (baby sis) gets to learn the value of family and the love of your extended family. Every Christmas, every Graduation,
I find myself wishing and hoping they'll appear. I grew up in a family where once a year, all cousins, aunts, uncles, so called aunts and uncles, came
together once a year. It wasn't always fun and games. You always have those "drunk uncles" and "gossiping aunts" but we knew that we were family. For better
or for worse, these are the people that will love you and help you if needed. (Sure, they'll bitch or gossip about you but you're bound by blood.)

Back to pops.

So my husband told me they aren't coming because she was up all night with a cold or some allergies of some sort. I tried hard but I made a face. You know
that tilt and eyebrow that says "Are they for real?" But imagine it soaking wet. (I had just washed my face.) He immediately retorted, "No, I think they are for
real." So now he has to call his aunt and uncle to cancel and it's been over an hour and he still hasn't called. I guess he's preparing himself.

Now, that I can't make my strawberry shortcakes [hubby doesn't eat any desserts that are not pudding (chocolate) or ice cream (chocolate)], I'm off to
figure out what my new dish for the week will be.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Lunch Specials include soup and an egg roll

Today is a bit hectic.

My colleague called in sick.

And since my other colleague quit a two weeks ago and another is out on vaca, I'm the only person in my division right now.

It's the end of the month and everyone is going nuts entering data in before tomorrow's close. Our night processes halted and no one was paged. And a department decides to send over 6 data files for processing before month end.
But I'm calm. I'm in control.Then I'm asked to order lunch. Do I have a stamp on my head that says "office asst?"

Now, since I haven't ordered lunch in over a week and a half, I guess the guilty part of me takes over and I agree to take the orders but will not be collecting the moola. Last time, I was bilked out of $20.00 and I still don't know who the culprit was.

Today's lunch menu: Chinese. Now, our local takeout isn't like standard takeouts. The prices change exponentially depending on your order. Chicken with Broccoli and white sauce is $4.95 but the same with brown sauce is $8.95. Sure enough, the one day I order, everyone and their mother decides chinese is a good idea.
I call in the order.

Chinese Takeout: "First order."

pantrygirl: "Chicken with String Beans. White Rice. Wonton Soup. Seltzer."

Chinese Takeout: "Garlic Chicken with String Beans?"

pantrygirl: "No Chicken with String Beans."

Chinese Takeout: "$10.95."

pantrygirl: "What?"

Chinese Takeout: "Not special. $10.95."

pantrygirl: "I'll call you back."
After much deliberating, I call back.

Chinese Takeout: "Hello."

pantrygirl: "It's me, again."

Chinese Takeout: "Ok. Order 1."

pantrygirl: "Chicken with Garlic. White Rice. Wonton Soup. Seltzer."

Chinese Takeout: "Ok."

pantrygirl: "Second Order. Chicken with Broccoli. White Sauce. White Rice. Egg Roll."

Chinese Takeout: "White Sauce?"

pantrygirl: "Yes."

Chinese Takeout: "Not Brown? Brown Sauce $8.95."

pantrygirl: "No. White Sauce. White Rice."

Chinese Takeout: "Soup?"

pantrygirl: "No Soup."

Chinese Takeout: "Soup come with special."

pantrygirl: "She wants two egg rolls." (Bad move on my part. I know.)

Chinese Takeout: "One Egg Roll come with special. Soup?"

pantrygirl: "No soup." (Resign myself to give my co-worker my egg roll which I didn't want anyway and move on.) "Order #3. Oh Man. I'll call you back."
The next order on the list is another Chicken with String Beans. Yes, the $10.95 deal. So I wait for another deliberation from my co-worker and call back.

Chinese Takeout: "Hello."

pantrygirl: "Yes. It's me again."

To sum up, the rest of the conversation was me fighting about brown rice vs. white rice and describing boneless ribs.

Meanwhile, back at what I get paid to do, my phone does not stop ringing and my im's are blowing up. I've got a department sending me 3 files in diskettes because
they can't figure out how to send a file as an attachment. When I open the diskettes, one is blank and the 3 files expected are actually 6. And I still
need to figure out why the nightly processes halted.

Guess my shrimp and broccoli are going to be my dinner tonight.................................


Weekly Dinner menu has remained the same.

Mainly because I've decided not to sweat over it. I'll make my grocery list tonight and finalize the menu.

I'm wondering if I should get the dogs washed to avoid any issues with baby sis' allergies and what not. Personally, I'm allergic to dogs and cats but I
surround myself with them. Took me years but now I'm itchy free and my eyes don't swell anymore.

I think all this protecting the child and use of anti-bacterial products is causing weak immune systems in children. Heck, when I was a kid, I was rolling
around in dirt and playing on pesticide sprayed grass. I'd get a cut and iodine was used and I was sent back out to play on the concrete floored playground.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

When finicky eaters converge for dinner, make sure you have a lot of liquor for the hostess.

So my father-in-law called me last night. He called on his handsfree car phone to tell me he's allergic to soy. At least it sounded like soy. Could have been poi or koi. He was a bit muffled and quite low. BTW, if it's soy, does soy sauce count?

Anyway, if that's a weird call, you should hear some of the calls from my mother-in-law. But I'm digressing.

My husband also said his sister is allowed dairy on special occasions only. Dairy for special occasions? First, what's a special occasion? It's your birthday! Have a glass of milk. Secondly, dairy for special occasions? I am so tempted to introduce this 8 year girl to strawberry ice cream with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Hubby wants to introduce her to a hamburger or ham for that matter.

The girl has never tasted ham. I came from a family where we ate and tried everything. Hot, Spicy, Cooked, Raw. We tried it. If we turned our nose on food that was served to us without even trying, we were scolded. I've eaten snake, eel, pigeon, kangaroo. About the only thing I won't eat is cat, dog and bug (ie. worms: which were offered to me once.). So the thought that a child has not tasted basic staples in American cuisine, blows me away.

On a side note: In a "isn't this life kicking me in the ass" move, I fell in love and married the pickiest eater known to mankind.

"Cucumbers are pickles waiting to happen."
"Broccoli tops are good." [Broccoli spears, not so much.]
pantrygirl:"Pick a veggie."
Mrpantrygirl:"corn." [I swear, corn, is the answer to any question referencing 'veggie'.]
"Mushrooms are a fungus. A FUNGUS!" [I know. Fungi.]
"Ill. Slimy peppers." (Flicks the peppers onto my plate.)
[BTW, I've been known to puree the veggies in order to mask them in my meatloaf.]

Not to say he has not tried for me. I credit him for taking me to ceviche and eating everything served to him during our wedding week. [We got married in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. So yes, I'm counting the amounts of liquor consumed as a source of nutrients.]

I will tell you I am worried about the prospect of having kids with him and dealing with another set of finicky eaters. But fate may be kind and deal me a nice hand. :-) I can only hope.

Second draft for Dinner:
Crudite (organic) w/Garlic Dip [Aunt Maria's garlic]

Fresh Rolls [Pops' crusty bread]
Penne tossed with garlic and broccolini [Baby Sis' carbs]

Main Dish
Salmon, Flounder, Scallops Broiled with Compound Dill/Parsley Butter

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes with Sabayon Espresso

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Wedding Gown Wednesdays

Today I came across a man selling his ex-wife's wedding gown. Ebay Ex-wife's Gown

I nearly spit up my tuna salad reading his description and comments. Then it made me think of my wedding gown. I love my wedding gown. I mean I absolutely love my gown. If I was told to choose five things to take with me if my house was on fire, I'd take my hard drive, insurance/identity documents, lotion, car keys and my gown. [My obsession with lotion is so bad, I have a bottle of lotion in every room along with a bottle of chapstick.] NOTE: Honey, if you are reading this, I figured you and the kids have legs and can make your way out of the burning fire. If you were somehow incapacitated, I'd place you on top of my gown's protective box and drag you out. I promise. :-D

The only problem is you only get to wear it once. Which absolutely blows to high hell. I pulled out my old crinoline yesterday and thought about putting on my gown in the house just for shits and giggles. Then I pictured my husband coming home and looking at me like I'm a complete idiot and decided not to.

As women (and yes, I'm generalizing) we aspire for alot of things. The wedding gown is one of those aspirations. ok, marriage but ask any woman what's the first thing they want to do when they get engaged. The answer will always be, gown shopping. (Please don't go on a feminist rant. I don't want to disclaimer everything I say.) Now that I've attained the gown, with husband as the bonus, what do I do with it? (The gown, not the husband.)

Now some people I know have donated their gowns to charity. I'm not about to let go of 'my precious'. I hope to someday pass it on as an heirloom but until then, the little girl in me so desperately wants to put on my gown again and traipse around.

BTW, I've also thought about wearing it again at an anniversary party, but the idea of me wearing my gown on our 10th anniversary (I'll be 38) seems corny and cheesy. But if I can still fit into my gown, in the acclaimed words of Mel Brooks, "If ya got it, flaunt it!"

Monday, April 26, 2004

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

Ok. A little background.

In a show that we're not hermits that prefer the comforts of the bed, pajamas, tivo and takeout, my hubby and I have begun to invite friends and family over for dinner. Nothing major. Usually 2-3 people at a time.

This week my husband has decided to invite his father, his stepsis, his stepmom, his aunt, his uncle and his cousin and wife. Last I counted, that does not total 2-3. But I'm up for the challenge.

Then it dawns on me just who I'm entertaining.

An 8 yr old who loves plain pasta, no salt fries and an occasional scrambled egg.

A woman who doesn't eat meat and possibly fish. She prefers organic and pesticide free foods.

A man who has had a quadruple bypass. I guess fried mozarella as an appetizer is out.

A man who likes comfort foods and little else.

A vegetarian.

A woman who loves garlic on everything.

Did I mention that we just moved and have not purchased a dining room set?

Oh, and my hubby's close friend from grammar school is having his 3x birthday party later that evening.

Piece of cake.

Martha wouldn't flinch at this. Then again, Martha doesn't live in a one bedroom in Manhattan and has an entourage of people at her disposal to plan her meal, cook it and serve it. (Mind you, I read yesterday that Martha's brother is hawking her stuff on ebay. I guess if she had an occasional Friday meal with her family, this would have never happened.)

Now I know this means alot to my hubby. His father rarely visits us. Something always comes up. Allergies to our dogs, unplanned trips, etc always pop up out of nowhere. For my hubby's father's wife to say yes to an invite is a big deal.

It's a sign of promise. Promise that his baby sis (she's 8) may get the chance to meet the rest of the kooky cousin clan. (She has yet to attend a family gathering. To date, I believe she has only met my hubby and an aunt and uncle.) So by no means, am I planning to burst my husband's bubble. But I do tell him, I'm going to need his help on this shindig.

On our ride to CompUSA [CompUSA:Hubby::ContainerStore:Me], I begin asking him preferences for each invited guest. Now I see him trying. I see the squirrels running on that wheel but and in all honesty, I knew that lightbulb wasn't going to pop up. But I give him 'A' for effort. The discussion ends with hubby asking me why a hunk of steak for his uncle who had a quadruple bypass would not be a good idea. Our discussion wasn't fruitless.

We've determined a crudite of organic veggies served with my world famous garlic dip would be a hit with all invited.

So far on the menu:

Crudite (organic) w/Garlic Dip [Aunt Maria loves garlic]

Fresh Rolls [Pops loves the crusty outside of bread. (In a move that always causes a scooby doo, Huh?, he scoops out the yummy warm soft centers and eats the crust only.)]

Pasta Penne [Baby Sis loves those bland carbs.]

Now all I need is the main dishes (one veggie, one meat), a decision on the pasta, a veggie side and dessert.

NOTE: Last night, while watching Iron Chef America, my brain decided a dessert of saboyan and maybe a strawberry roll would be nice. Is my mind working for me or against me?

On the subject of me...

Welcome to my world.

A world constantly filled with the need to organize, prioritize and analyze.
I guess.

I wouldn't be truly defined as a person with OCD. Maybe, mild OCD. However, my constant need to reach a state of enlightenment, which somehow always
contains a trip to The Container Store, has lead me to be described as Anal Retentive, A-Type Personality, Crazy and in some circles 'The Girl with Issues'.

Some say it's the Libra in me. I say it's from years watching my mother search frantically for a pair of glasses which were set upon her head.

Feel free to laugh, cry, get bored, or just plain sympathize with my plight. Just be glad you don't live with me. I'd probably drive you insane with my
labels and shelf paper.