Category Archives: The easy way

In defense of the Noble Drunk

An oldie, but a goodie. Just to put you in the proper frame of mind for the upcoming season of joy.

Kitchen Slattern

Yesterday, while toughing out 20 minutes of enforced motionlessness as I iced my elbow, I ran across an old favorite from movieland, and it got me to thinking. Now, how I developed golfer’s elbow remains a mystery as I don’t play. You may be thinking it could be due to the repetitive strain of lifting glasses of wine, bottles of beer or cases of what have you; however, it has afflicted my left elbow, which is not my drinking lifiting elbow, but that’s a story for another day.

As I said, I was sitting with the elbow swaddled in an ice pack with some time to kill, so I snapped on the tube and was thrilled to stumble upon one of my all time favorite movies featuring one of my all time favorite actors. And since I’m slinging the term around, it was My Favorite Year with none other than…

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Virtuous vegetables the slattern’s way

Recipe: One-pan roasted veg (per “The Plan”)

Veg 2As I may have mentioned, I’m not one for complex, time-consuming, fiddly cooking. In fact, if I had my way, I’d never make another meal again. The bank balance being what it is, however, neither permanent-guest status nor live-in domestic help appear to be in my future, and as such the evening meal must be slapped on the table one way or another. Night after night after night.

Regular readers will recall that my dieting struggles are legendary, even in Hell, as they say. So what I try to do is leverage my aversion to all tasks culinary as a useful weight-loss strategy. Most days, Mr. Slattern arrives home to an exciting supper of grilled fish or chicken accompanied by a large salad, which, through the miracle of ready-washed greens, is as easy to prepare as it is to clean up. Fine. Of course when followed by half a cherry chocolate cheesecake and washed down with a bottle or two of white wine, even the most blameless of meals tends to lose its slimming properties. Still, labor has been saved and vegetables consumed, which counts for something.

veg manicure 2

Manicure intact. Family fed. Is anybody else thirsty?

Now, where was I? Oh yes, healthy meals, easy to fix. So the salad meal is great for summer; however, often, as the warm weather wanes, the body yearns for more substantial fare, and a cooked veg can be just the thing. Now I hate screwing around with vegetable prep, I won’t lie. The washing, peeling and chopping wreak havoc with my manicure, and you really do have to be careful when working with knives, which puts an unwelcome damper on the mid-afternoon cocktail hour. I have, however, partially solved this little dilemma by buying  butternut squash and broccoli already cut up. These I mix with a chopped onion, a red pepper and some garlic (all of which have to be prepped, but really it’s not that bad). Just drizzle the whole mess with olive oil, salt and pepper and a couple of pinches of dried oregano, fresh basil or herbes de Provence, pop the pan in a 400 degree oven for half an hour or so, et voila, Lyn Genet’s Italian vegetables as detailed in The Plan, the latest diet I have failed to follow, but which I am certain would have wondrously transformed both my life and my figure had I but been able to choke down flaxseed granola rather than Boston cream donuts at breakfast for more than a week.

Roasted and ready. All week long.

Roasted and ready. All week long.

So anywho, what I do is make enough of this stuff for about forty people and just reheat it in the ‘wave all week or throw it into rice or pasta. If you have higher culinary standards than me — and really, except for Sandra Lee, who doesn’t? — this may not work for you; however, for the sufficiently slatternly this system can really take the sting out of being a hausfrau and put the zing back into sundown…speaking of which, I believe the portable bar is calling my name.

The Zumba saga continues: “I thought we were dating.”

ALFRED, Maine (AP) — The first man to go trial on charges that he patronized a prostitute who worked out of her Zumba dance studio contends he thought he was engaged in a romance.

Alexis Wright, the fitness instructor who pleaded guilty to running a prostitution business, doesn’t have to answer questions from prosecutors at the trial of the alleged client, a judge said Thursday.

Prosecutors had wanted the 30-year-old Wright to testify in next week’s trial of Donald Hill, a former Kennebunk High School hockey coach. Under oath Thursday, Wright declined to answer questions about him, other than to point him out.

“He thought he had a relationship with her,” said his lawyer, Gary Prolman.

Where, oh where, to begin?

Those of you who follow my ramblings may recall a post I wrote in the not-too-distant past concerning the Zumba dance/tax evasion/sex trade/stupidity scandal in my home state. For everyone else, here it is.

So here I am, vacationing my head off in the land of a thousand dances, Downeast Maine, when I encounter the above coda to the original story in the local broadsheet. In it, we learn that one of Miss Wright’s 68 clients is fighting his charge of patronizing a prostitute because he claims he thought they were DATING.

Meet the Missus!

Meet the Missus!

Now, I can see why you might think that some denizens of this little corner of paradise, like  residents of similarly far-flung and/or remote locales, would be less sophisticated in the ways of the world than their urban cousins. It’s a fair assumption, though I must point out that naiveté and stupidité are not the same things.

Because really, what kind of moron do you have to be to think that a woman who demands money for having sex with you is your girlfriend? Does that make the waitress who serves you pancakes your wife? Is the nice lady at the dry cleaner who irons your shirts your mommy? Perhaps, if you tend toward the metrosexual, you believe your manicurist is actually your concubine.

Or maybe you’ve just spent one too many Saturday nights on the sofa indulging in heavy petting with a blow-up doll while watching Vision Quest for the three-hundredth time. I don’t fucking know, but I am certain that when the woman you’re doing the horizontal mambo with once a week has a revolving door on her vagina, and you have to take a number for a “date,” it should be apparent to even the meanest intelligence that she’s not doing it because she’s really really into you.

Any more questions?


Saturday night is bean night!

Well folks, it’s vacation time, which means that instead of spending most of my time lolling around the portable bar, sipping one concoction or another, I plan on spending all my time in this pursuit, at least for the next few weeks. As such, my output will likely be even thinner than usual. Luckily, like the sturdy ant in the parable about the grasshopper and the violin and some other equally edifying, thoroughly boring stuff, I have squirreled away a large supply of posts over the past couple of years, and since virtually no one but my mother read my blog for the first year or so, they will no doubt seem fresh and new to most of you. If they don’t, I suggest skipping the reread and joining me in a Bloody Mary or three. Remember, it’s the drink that eats like a meal, my friends.

Kitchen Slattern

In Maine, back in the Bronze Age when I grew up, it was traditional to have Boston baked beans on Saturday night, and by this I mean every Saturday night. Now, there were families that just heated up a can of B&M, dumped some coleslaw from Shaw’s into a bowl, steamed up the brown bread and called it a night. Not mine. For us, baked beans represent serious tradition. Grammie Sue baked her own, as do my parents, and so do I. In the past, I have even made my own brown bread, but I cannot in good conscience urge you to do so; just buy the can. Making brown bread is a pain in the bean shoot.

Why Saturday night?, I’ll bet you’re wondering. Well, I can only guess, but my hunch is that it has something to do with the Puritan mania for mortification of the flesh. Let…

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Sunday Morning Pancakes: Of buttermilk and hangovers

Kitchen Slattern

Has this ever happened to you? It’s Sunday morning and you wake up with a yen for pancakes. Perhaps you overindulged the night before and need a little bulk to face the day. Or maybe you overindulged then picked a fight with your husband and are feeling just a tad guilty. It may even be that your in-laws are visiting and you’d rather cook than discuss the Sunday papers, your “drinking problem” or how you can be such a bitch to their golden boy who is also the perfect husband. Maybe it’s all three, not that I’d know much about that. Anyhoo, whatever the reason, it is safe to say that when we crave pancakes (or white cake, or biscuits, or whatever) it’s best that the monkey be fed. For everyone.

So as I was saying, there you are on Sunday morning, all ready to whip up a batch of the…

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