Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tales from a Coal Miner's Daughter

Captain's Log, Tumbler Ridge, Day Five.

Christmas has come and gone and another turkey has bit the dust. Not too much to report from TR other than I'm really happy to spend time with the family and really bored out of my tree. Prezzies did me well with gift certificates to stores I like, body butters, and enough Starbucks cards to last me a month.

While bored I've watched more movies than ever before, which is always nice to catch up on. I love visiitng Ma and Pa, the only thing is that since they move roughly every two years I've never been able to make friends in places they live before moving onto the next spot (boohoo, I have tons of friends at home and am not complaining, just observing). But it's still worth the visit to get a chance to spend time with them, eat real food and have mom do my laundry (yes I'm spoiled).

A few odd points to mention of TR-there's more traffic on the side roads for snowmobiles than on the actual roads. When going into the general store, people knew who I was even when I didn't know who they were. I've heard "you must be Ivan or Linda's daughter" by more than one random stranger. I debated picking up an economy pack of condoms and rollies to get the town talking about what Ivan's daughter is upto. The highspeed internet is as slow as dial up internet, but it's still a welcome portal to the outside world.

Moose and wolf tracks are akin to footprints up here and not having cell reception is not all bad, though I havespent a large portion of the time on the phone with friends. All in all, TR is not that bad and is even an upgrade from Stewart, having one stoplight AND a golfcourse. But seriously, next year Mom and Dad can come down for Christmas. I'll even make the turkey.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Emo Christmas

First off I want to start the post just by saying that everything in life although busy and frantic and a bit overwhelming is great.

The staff party went off without a hitch, Jess's birthday was awesome and in general activities have been good times. At work they are even painting the office that Josh and I share from a hideous pee yellow to a nice taupe with chocolate trim. Sooo much nicer to work in.

The late night shoppers make me wanna jab a candycane up someone's ass sideways but really that's no different from any other shopper on any given year. People have been nicer during this season, goodies have been abound and cheer is in the air.

That being said I'm not sure if it has anything to do with Christmas at all, or maybe the stress-busy-travelling etc factor....but I wanna bawl. And it made me think. Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel overwhelmed and like crying, but you don't have good or even logical reason to cry. So you hold it in. You can feel it in the back of your throat when you hear a sad song or a friend says the wrong thing.

And I'm not a big crier. I can probably count on one hand the times that I cry in a calender year. I will wipe away a tear when watching a sad movie or when angry and feeling like I'm not being taken seriously. But those are few and spotty. But when there's no specific reason? It just seems very emo. cAnd yet I would gladly welcome the tears tonight if they were able to come. Have a big ol' hiccuping sobfest, but logic won't make it possible as I realize that I do not have enough reason to shed tears. B eing overwhelmed with a million things during the season is normal. Does anyone else ever have a similar sentiment?

On a lighter note...worse gift; fruitcake, cheap ol candle or chlamydia?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Don't Hate the Chef, Hate the Recipe

So last week in the staff room when asked if wanting to volunteer as a part of the staff bake swap, my answer should have been a resounding "Faaaack no!" as baking is an art I have never mastered. In fact it's something I'm downright awful at. But I found my prelobotomized mind thinking 'This could be a fun chance to learn!' so I signed up with gusto.

What was I thinking?

The first attempt was Friday. Chocolate chip cookies are easy, right? Not when you put baking soda in them, in lieu of baking powder to ensure they won't rise. Then you use whole wheat flour instead of white flour to try to make them healthy. And then you eyeball the vanilla rather than using a measuring spoon to make them mmm,mmmm good. Those are mistakes I can take credit for.

The part of the recipe that gets me is the 'preheat the oven' part. Now, not once does it give you an exact timeframe to start preheating. Twenty minutes? Two hours? Who knows. I decided that more preheating would be better to ensure that they were cooked through and it would make the apartment warm and cozy for guests. Also, spraying the pan with pam to ensure non sticking is easy as can be. Nopers! I doused, feeling quite pleased there would be no sticky cookies. They did not stick to the pan, as they were too busy swimming in oil. The cookies that came out of the pan were one large melted cookie with blackened edges and no resemblance to anything cookie like.

With a cheerleading squad of friends drinking the vino at the kitchen table I took on the cookies and failed miserably. The kitchen and myself were coated in floor. There were at least 2 eggs dropped on the floor and one on the counter. The smoke billowed and the apartment was a million degrees. The cookies were not going to make it to the bake swap amongst the delicate truffles and layered bars of the baking friendly staff.

Attempt number two. Also not my fault. The recipe calls for oil to go into the cake mix for, well I don't honestly know what for but I'm sure that it has some purpose to be there. But the recipe did not ensure what sort of oil to use. Canola? Sunflower? Motor? Who knows. The only oil I have in the house is olive oils so I figured that would do. WRONG. Apparently olive oil is a heavier oil than say canola so rather than having nice fluffy cupcakes to serve to the staff I have lead bricks in cupcake liners. Not bad, but more brownie-esque than cupcakey.

So now I am onto attempt three. The cupcakes smell good in the oven, but I already know that it could be a trick. They have the right sort of ingredients, the right measurements, the right oven temperature. All the stars are lined up for the cupcakes to be awesome, and so with crossed finger I am off to check on them.

If this doesn't work I'm off to the store to buy something that would have a recipe to go with it to try to pawn off as my own. Nothing too complex or people will know I didn't do it. Do they sell Rice Krispie squares in bulk?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Leanne's Chrissy Pressy

Don't anyone else think of getting Leanne the John Deere cookie jar set. I'm calling it now. Best. Present. Ever,