Tradition

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3:00 AM and mrpeenee is tucking into some seriously tasty Boston cream pie, made by his own two loving hands.  Those of us familiar with his passion for sweets will not be surprised by the menu, but the hour might seem unlikely.

I have been on a new regime of pain meds for my back which seem to be helping a lot.  Yay. A drawback is I take them 4 times a day and cannot eat 2 hours before or after knocking them back.  That means I can only eat, I don’t know, you do the math. I can’t count that high.  But 3:00 AM is in the safe zone and I take advantage of it.

I had made New Years Eve dinner for our friends and had centered the menu around dishes their families had insisted on as Ne Years traditions.  There are lots of them to choose from.

My American Southern family demands black eyed peas for good luck and cabbage as a symbol of money.  Super Agent Fred’s late husband Paolo was Italian and they go for lentils to suggest abundance and grapes as wealth.  Our friend Jen is Hungarian and the only tradition she brings is to place coins on a window sill to keep money coming in all year.   Seems contradictory since you start with money going out, but what the hell, I have a stack of quarters now hanging around the sill of the door onto the patio.

Since no one not raised in the South will willingly eat black eyed peas, I snuck them into the menu by making a hummus with them instead of chickpeas (which I don’t really like anyway, so no great loss) and lime juice and tahini.  I was concerened everyone would be equally unenthused about cabbage, but a dynamite recipe for stirfry with star anise in it was a big hit.

And then Boston cream pie.  It’s a simple two layer yellow cake with a custard in the middle and then glazed with chcolate ganache.  Ganache is one of those wonder recipes that can be the basis for plenty of greater things.

Ganache is just chocolate melted in cream with a little butter to make it shiny.   You change the proportion of cream to chocolate for what you want to use it for.  Equal amounts of each gives you a thin glaze like I used on the cake.  More chocolate and less cream and you have the basis for truffles.  More cream and less chocolate is chilled and whipped to make mousse.

I was perhaps a tiny bit distracted while I was pouring the glaze over the cake and wound up with it not only pooling in the bottom of the cake dish, but making a big puddle on the counter beneath.  I decided it was Bacchanalian, a glorious excess.  Certainly not just a fucking mess.

I might also have considered the results of a dinner with peas, lentils and cabbage, which result in an aftermath that could move a freight train.  I was going to hang a sign out front saying “For god’s sake, don’t light a match,” but the neighbors are already nosy enough.

And so we’re off to a gassy, but no doubt prosperous New Year, blasting 2016 off into the unlamented past.

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You’re gong to make fart jokes, you need a classy nude to balance things out, and this guy certainly appears balanced.

Flights of Angels and Naked Muscley Boys

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I think the best thing about Christmas is its end.  It doesn’t trail off, or go out with a whimper; Boxing Day and that’s that.  Pack up all the ersatz sentimentality and the go go boys in elf hats and move on.  Safe for one more year from Bing Crosby and David Bowie sneering at each other over Little Drummer Boy.

Of course, one still needs to deal with  the snow drift of bad news that always shows up just in time for the New York Times’ teddibly, teddibly tasteful obituary extravaganza.  Every year, some loss just seems more bitter than others, or just too much cumulatively.  David Bowie AND Prince?

And some bad news that just adds to the sum of woe.  I don’t know how I missed the bulletin that Terry Jones of Monty Python has dementia, but I just stumbled on it this evening and then the very next page I opened was MJ’s Infomaniac to find out the charmingly insane Kabuki had died.

Several of us bloggers sort of started out as commenters on other more established sites and none of us was funnier or more droll and bizarre than Kabuki.  His comments were always less to do with the topic than they were news reports from deep left field.  They weren’t simply written, they were crafted.  Of course, tin foil hats that block the alien beams are crafted too.

Also, he was always very appreciative of not only the lurid photos I use as illustration here, but he always, ALWAYS, enthused the most over the very ones which I liked the best.  We were sympatico in the ways of feelthy pictures.  So, to wish farewell to a star, a gigastar unlike any other, here

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The Goose is Getting Fat

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So apparently I am now blogging on demand.  I had assumed when I threw off the oppressive shackles of employment, I would be passed this sordid sort of thing, but no.

Because that was without considering our perennial favorite Chaturbate.  You know of Chaturbate, right?  All sorts of people (and I do mean ALL sorts of people) get on there and broacast themselves doing ALL sorts of things.

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just working on a little yoga.

Mikey is one of our favorite.  I don’t understand how someone embellished with humpy muscles can be so sweet and unaffected, but he is.

I was on there this evening watching him flog the hog.  Eventually we started talking amongst ourselves about our respective cats, because that’s just something homosexualists do.  I’m aware of the whimsicality of watching a beautiful naked youth getting all freaky and meanwhile the fans are talking about kitties, and what’s the weather like, and “What time is it there,” a conversation that comes up in almost every session I’ve ever attended.

Mikey asked me if I had gotten his email with the pictures in them because Mikey is fully involved in the nattering conversations wandering along in the comments sections even if he is naked and spreading his butt cheeks at the time.

Indeed, I had received Mikey’s message and thanked him for it and the photos.  Although they’re not the sort of thing that would probably turn up in the Hallmark card section, they do have a certain charm.

That was when Mikey was struck by the brilliance of me writing about getting a christmas card from him.  It might be a little flimsy, but I’ve milked blog post topics out of less.  What the hell?  Plus, I’m fairly sure my readers will not object to a little Mikey objectification.

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From all of us at mrpeenee Gobal World Headquarters, to all of you, whoever the fuck you are,  Happy Capitalist Consumerism Fetish fourth quarter earnings projections.

Weep a Little Weep with Me

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I know it may hard to grasp this from reading these posts, but I am by nature, a blythe spirit.  I may hide it behind a scrim of brittle bitterness, but deep inside am of Pollyanna, butterflies and lollipops and adorable kittens.  And muscular naked men right around the next corner.

 

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I was surprised these last few days, then, that I was suddenly in the grips of a real depression.  I’m old.  I have more dead friends than live ones.  My eyebrows are falling out.  Even here in California, it’s winter.  Trump.  And R Man is still dead.

Of course, I miss R Man every hour of every day, but it is a pain I’ve become resigned to.  This, however was a sadness more pronounced than usual.  So cold and dark.

After a fitful sleep I felt much better and I now realize it was the new pain medicine I’d been prescribed and had auditioned for three days.  Once the trial was over and I  went back to vicodin until I could get a regular prescription of the new one, whammo the black dog of depression was waiting for me.

The drug (Nucynta: it’s hip, it’s fresh, it’s fun, it’s funky.  It’s today) came with a set of warnings of drug interactions and “don’t drive bulldozers while taking this” and all the usual crap, but in much greater detail (it went on for two pages) and with way too many BOLD FACE CAPS.  The one side effect they mentioned that really caught my eye was hallucinations.  All right!  All hopped up on some strange drug and trippin like a million screaming monkeys.  Didn’t happen.

Instead, I got the depression, which is decidedly second place in my book.

Still, the pain reliever part worked fine and this contains neither ibuprofen nor acetaminophen  both of which are in Vicodin and both of which were quietly chewing my liver to pieces.

So now it’s off vicodin and on to Nucynta.  I miss the vicodin like an old friend.  Vicodin carries with it a charming little cloud of euphoria and even after all these years knocking it back, I still felt some of that.  Nevertheless, the Nucynta keeps my back from hurting, I’m no longer depressed and I’m back to keeping an eye out for feral pron stars.

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It’s a wonderful life.

Turkey. Of Course

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Over the last several years I have come to be the host of Thanksgiving dinners for a regular group of my friends whom I think of as “The Children.”  As in “The Children are coming to dinner.”  Mostly because they are all young enough to actually be my offspring, were I wacky enough to spring off, but also because, as in the case of providing the traditional Thanksgiving, I have somehow morphed into a mother figure. To be more accurate, a grandmother figure.

Four of the Children are out of town this holiday and I was remarking to Super Agent Fred (the only one who would be around) how I was looking forward to taking drugs and sleeping all day instead of cooking.  Fred looked absolutely stricken and protested that he was looking forward to turkey.  And gravy.  And mashed potatoes.  And dressing.

Of course I relented and thus wound up slinging a menu that exactly reproduced what my grannies would have knocked out 80 years ago.  And it was delicious, thank you very much, so I guess I’m glad I did, but the dinner did leave behind a refrigerator full of left overs because it turns out scaling down a celebratory dinner for 10 to one for 2 does not work.  I just don’t know how to make my granny’s cornbread dressing  in a size smaller than what could be described as a vat.  We will be dining on that fucking turkey all week.  Turkey salad, Turkey Tetrazini, turkey sammiches.  OK by me.

Also in other domestic news, the garden always looks sort of shaggy around this time of year.  Most thing suddenly green from the rain finally starting, but also quietly revving up for the burst of flowers spring will have.  The most appealing contradictions are the Australian Tea Trees, brilliant rose and pink and crimson right now.  The two in the picture are about 20 years old and have taken that long to really get established and turn out such show off blooming.  I see them from my bathroom window every time I go pee.  That is not what the average garden planning book would consider, but I’m glad I planted them where I did.

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The view from the toilet.

Pancakes and Rain and Smacking Fred in the Head

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I know I’m always yammering about how balmy (and fucking expensive) life in San Francisco is, but even here, winter visits occasionally.  Like today, gray, drizzling, the kind of dank cold that settles into your every nook as soon as you set foot out the door.  Of course, when I feel the urge to whine about our winter, I remember Mistress Infomaniac trapped up in the tundra of Canadia, battling caribou just to get a goddam coffee, eking a living as a professional seal blubber gatherer, and I have to count my blessings.

Like going out for delicious pancakes and sausage for breakfast in a cozy cafe with humpy waiters.  Since I tend to go to sleep at dawn, breakfast is a rare treat for me, but today I couldn’t get to sleep so I battled my way through the clammy chill and wound up with my favorite, lemon pancakes with marion berry sauce.  Because it’s San Francisco and we’re all fancy and stuff.  originally, the waiter appeared with French toast and when I demurred, he corrected his mistake by reaching over to the table behind me to pick up my pancakes from them and give them their French toast.  Which leads one to wonder, why hadn’t they said something when a large plate of pancakes appeared before them?  Do they not know what French toast looks like?  Were they simply blinded by the waiter’s massive chest muscles? The waiter (and his big round titties) assured me they had not spit on the pancakes, so I tucked in.

Anyway, tasty.

I came home, made a pot of stew, puttered around, never could get to sleep until about 9:00 this evening, almost exactly one hour before a thoroughly drunken Super Agent Fred decided to rock out downstairs with the worst music ever recorded.  Dylan.  The Association.  Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.   God knows why, his tastes are eclectic to the point of random.  I went downstairs, threatened to hit him in the head with gong mallet (it’s padded, OK?) and then did because he turned the volumeback up.  Sometmes beating your child is the only answer.

Speaking of abusive realtionships, have you seen Good Behaviour?  It’s fabulous.  It stars Michele Dockery, late of Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary, as a white trash crackhead grifter who hooks up with the astonishingly hot Juan Diego Botto who is by turn both sexy and menacing.  The banter is very tight and amusing, but not brittle and Dockery is great.  Thumbs up.  Go watch it.

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Botta.  Mmmmmm.  Botta

Always, Always, Listen to Cher

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via GIPHY

Allright bitches. It’s been a week. Unless you are planning a coup (and if you are, I ask, please don’t) it’s time to move on. We’ve all been through the stages of grief now: anger, denial, bargaining. whatever the other one is, and now it’s time for acceptance.

Unless of course, you are Secret Agent Fred, in which case the stages are Valium, cheap beer, Vicodin, cheap beer, and cheap beer. Also, Fred has used his art as therapy to “work through his issues.” Personally, I don’t think Fred could get through all his issues with a GPS and a machete, but, you go, girl.

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President Trump.  Snap out of it.  But also, here, just to make us all feel a little better on this cold gray day

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In Which We Explore Not Much

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Having just bragged about my culinary expertise, I am here to report that for dinner tonight, I am having a bowl Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.  You know why?  Because I am a motherfucking adult and I want to.

Did my previous post about the glorious San Francisco weather seem a tad sketchy, even by the admittedly low standards we maintain here at mrpeenee World Headquarters? Mmmmmmmmmaybe.   I had spent quite  a while hammering out what could only be described as a diatribe about an argument I had been involved in with a some Neanderthal. It was cathartic, explaining how brilliantly I defended my position and how stupid his hair was, but once I finished it and read it over, I realized it was dreadful.  Mostly “And then he said….  And then I said….  And then he said….”  I know you guys get on my nerves but even so, you deserve better than that.

And so I deleted it and dashed off the little bulletin about how nice nice weather is.  Also, this just in, lollipops.   I suppose I could have included something on kittens, but living with the terror that is Saki leaves me sort of tepid to that whole idea.

Super Agent Fred continues to steam along with his art.  My favorite current series, Nekkid Guys in Gold Leaf, is particularly fine.  He’s planning on participating in Open Studios, so if you find yourself in the Bay Area November 4 or 5, come on by to see the master himself and buy some fucking art.  He’s listed in the catalogue both as Tim Gately and Super Agent Fred.

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Nekkid Guys in Gold Leaf

Lastly, we’re planning a Yahtzee tournament Friday evening with a group of friends collectively know as the children, solely because they are all young enough to be my offspring were I given to spawning and not because of their IQs.  I swear.

Weather Gurls

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One consistency about San Francisco is the absolute lack of rain during our dry season, April through October.  So the big storm this weekend was a thrilling Big Event.  Over the dry season, dust and grime settles in a beige layer all over everything and when the first rains wash all of that off, we’re universally delighted to see the crisp clean colors.  Especially since the sunshine out here is unusually brilliant.  Sun so bright the shadows look like they’re cut with an xacto blade.

Super Agent Fred and I spent this dazzling afternoon in the most aimless way possible, coffee and manicures; absolutely the best way to celebrate such spectacular weather.

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Open the curtains and revel in the sunshine.

 

Misadventures in the Kitchen

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I am an accomplished cook.  Not bragging, merely stating a truth.  I make excellent osso buco, chicken and sausage gumbo, banana pudding, potatoes daupehnois; I cover the motehrfucking waterfront.

I learned, early on in my so-called adulthood, that if one wants to eat well, one needs to cook well.  And so, I taught myself.  After R Man died, though, I stopped cooking.  I drifted into surviving on cold cereal and cookies and sandwiches from the deli and, every lazy man’s fall back, pizza.

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Last week, though, I suddenly stepped back into the kitchen and starting slinging hash,  It wasn’t something I deliberated over.  One afternoon, I just decided I wanted to make a chicken pot pie and you know what?  It was delicious.  I have since cooked almost every night.  A lot of the things are simple, but simple doesn’t always mean easy.  Red beans (one of my absolute favorite things to eat) are simple, but it seems to be easy to make bad ones, god knows I have choked down my share of them.  Mine, on the other hand, could compete against any old New Orleans grannie’s and I would hold my own.

Also, that favorite of Ladies’ Clubs everywhere, chicken salad.  I have to make two versions because Super Agent Fred, who’s staying here a lot these days while painting, hates all forms of pickles and mustards, a bias I view as bizarre.  So I make a poached chicken/celery/mayo base, split it in two, put his away and then finish mine with relish and capers and tarragon mustard.  It would make strong men weep.

 

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I’ve also taken to baking, never a strong suit of mine.  I think cooking, which you can usually tinker with as you go along and correct is an art and baking, where you combine elements, add heat and hope for the best is science.  Still, in the last few days I’ve put out a carrot cake (from R Man’s dear, sweet little aunt’s recipe, in her own dainty, old lady handwriting) that was nothing short of dynamite and a sherry cake, luscious and full of a very potent kick of sherry, it was teatime with someone’s Victorian auntie.

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And then, of course, a fall.  Nothing will flatten your hubris like a cooking disaster, except, possibly a sexual disaster.  But we’re talking cooking here.

I just wanted a spice cake.  They’re easy, I just take a boxed mix and add nutmeg and cinnamon and pepper (and instant pudding, another Ladies’ Club trick that results in a lovely moist and rich cake.)  I thought I would finish it with a brown sugar frosting and that’s where it all went so terribly, terribly wrong.

Most brown sugar recipes call for boiling the sugar in butter to melt the crystals, but boiling sugar makes me nervous.  Any splash or dribble on your skin burns like a particularly torturous hell, plus the liquified sugar is glue that sticks to your skin while you’re cursing and squealing and trying to get it off.

I found, instead, a brown sugar buttercream frosting.  I love buttercreams, their taste, their texture and their foolproof easiness.  In fact, I have the recipe for the basic one memorized.  No great feat since it’s “1, 2, 3.”  One stick of butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of milk.  Cream the butter and sugar and then add the milk a little at a time until you get the right consistency.

As usual, this mnemonic is actually just a rule of thumb.  You need about a half teaspoon of vanilla as well, but that doesn’t go with in with the 1, 2, 3 thingy.  You can adjust the amount of sugar however you want and I don’t think I’ve ever actually measured the milk; you just dribble it in SLOWLY.  The change in the consistency is so quick and so drastic it will make you believe in alchemy.

So I came to this new recipe pretested,so to speak.  The problem was I was also making a quiche at the same time and was paying most of my attention to it.  That’s my excuse anyway.  In reality there is no reason why I would read a direction calling for FOUR cups of powdered sugar and not have some serious pause.  Sometimes you just trust in the recipe.  Sometimes you get fucked in the ass.

I got ready to add the milk and realized the mixing bowl looked like I had simply dumped a bag of sugar in it.  Which is pretty much just what I had done.  I got the consistency down to something spreadable, put it on the cake and had my first bite.

As Diane von Austinburg will attest, I have quite sweet tooth, but even I cannot choke this bitch down.  It is remarkably similar to what eating the contents of a sugar bowl with a spoon must be like.  The frosting was so overwhelming, I’m not sure how the cake was, but I plan to try to save it by scraping off the sugar festival and replacing it with another , more restrained buttercream.

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I was so amazed how bad the result was, I went back to re-read the whole, in case I had had some kind of Alzheimer’s moment.  That’s when I noticed the site’s name was “Two Sisters Crafting.”  Could there have been a more obvious warning sign?