Thursday, May 22, 2014

J'can Girl in the Rockaways: Mis-adventure in the Kitchen!

J'can Girl in the Rockaways: Mis-adventure in the Kitchen!



Scampi sauce Puckered Tangy

Mis-adventure in the Kitchen!

I haven't cooked since Monday of this week. I try to cook on the weekend (even though I work weekends endlessly) so my family can have a home cooked meal, a decent meal on Sunday. Sometimes I  make two or three meat dishes and freeze one or two and during the week I make the side dishes to go with it, pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, vegetables or whatever. Where I fail in doing this as I do sometimes because I go to bed late, sometimes very late and i'm not a morning person. I'm not up with the birds. Let them do eight hours on the job, come home and do some cleaning and straightening up, check homework etc., try to have a decent and intelligent conversation with a teenager who only answers you monosyllables in an annoying tone as if he has to pay rent, utilities and the IRS see how early they rise. I'm not bashing birds though i'm just saying i'm not a morning person therefore even though I work afternoons until nine at nights, you'd think I'd be up being industrious because to be honest I do have the time if i'm willing but no, I need sleep. But I digressed, where I fail to do this my husband will cook us up something. He's no chef but he tries. One Sunday I came home and he made stew chicken with rice and broccoli, except I didn't recognize the chicken it was so black!! He had used too much browning but I was hungry and grateful to come home to a hot meal so I told him thank you but go easy on the browning next time.  On my days off which are Thursdays and Fridays I usually try to make a fairly decent meal, well on Thursdays anyway because I usually don't cook on Fridays. It's a Caribbean thing we eat like 'light fare' sandwiches, fast food etc. Does this post has a point? Yes, yes it does and i'm getting there...

Today being Thursday I decided to curry some chicken wings, cook some white rice, mashed potatoes some bok choy (pock chow as we say in Jamaica) and I found a package of crab legs in the freezer. I started cooking up a storm. You might be wondering why I cooked two different types of carbohydrates, rice and mashed potatoes. Well my husband does not eat rice but my son and I do and my son does not eat mashed potatoes ( even tho he loves french fries which is still basically a potato) but my husband and I do. They only thing they eat in common is macaroni and cheese and if I bake it, my son won't eat it. Makes cooking in my household a joy...Not! Anyway I decided to make some scampi sauce to dip the crab legs in., everything else was easy. I did not know how to make scampi sauce so googled it (Thank God for Google).
Google told me I needed oil...check, garlic chopped or press, chopped it is...check, white wine...check, a little salt...check, lemon juice...check and parsley...uumm no, no parsley but that's not so important because I know my son would ask "why do you have green things on it mom".
Anyway I gathered my ingredients and began to chop my garlic, I love garlic...  I chopped the garlic and started sauteing it in the butter (by the way I use "I Can't Believe It's not Butter" a little salty, just a bit but i love the flavor) it smelled so good. When  it was  sauteed enough I followed the instructions I read on Google and poured in the half cup of wine and then I added salt to the mixture and stirred waiting for the wine to cook out. I felt so proud watching the creamy pale yellow mixture boiling to the consistency I wanted it. All I needed now was the pre-measured lemon juice waiting. I tasted it. What the hell!! Oh My God!! It was tangy! Sour!!! Immediately my mouth puckered in the formation of when children suck in their  cheeks to make a "fish mouth" and their lips pouted out. I swear I did everything Google told me except I was cooking for three people and not five or seven so that half cup of white wine is what did me in. I should've used less, way less.
So I threw it out and started again. I had only one whole peg of garlic remaining so I began to chop and added the butter and while it sauteed I got the wine and poured about a tablespoon and a half in a cup and added it, stirred and waited for it to reach the consistency I wanted. I tried it again. It was delicious. Just to make sure I took a teaspoon of the sauce, broke a crab leg, dipped it and ate it. It was delicious! It was amazing!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Woman Down!!

So everyone or almost everyone I know has been making resolutions for the new year, big whoop! good for them. I wasn't about to do it but an occurrence has changed my mind. I have only one and that is to keep my two feet solid on the ground in a vertical position! You would think this should be relatively easy right being that i'm not a drunk and i don't walk and stumble around, apparently it's not.

Friday morning I got up early, showered and got dressed to go run errands before Mother Nature changed her mind...again!! You see this should have been a clue that this was not going to be an ordinary day. I am not a morning person especially on my off day from work! But here I was trying to be responsible and do the right thing. Mother Nature has been behaving like a tempermental woman going through menopausal syndrome blowing hot and cold lately, literally! One day it was seven degrees and freezing, couple days later it was forty plus degrees, then it rained real hard one day and the next we had freezing rain (sleet), then as if that wasn't confusing enough we went up to near fifty degrees the next day! Seriously!! So on this Friday morning up and dressed, it had rained a bit and stopped and my hubby was downstairs getting ready to leave. I yelled from upstairs and asked him to wait for me. He did, thank God! I came downstairs and was surprised how mild it was, wet but mild. I locked the door behind me and stepped down on the first of three steps which looked wet but apparently was thin sheets of ice, next thing I knew I was sliding and going down, down, down I yelled out "holy sh**" as I landed moaning and groaning and becoming increasingly frightened when I saw the position of my left leg and ankle. I heard my husband saying "boo, be careful"...when? I was already down!!

I couldn't moved as hot excruciating pains shoot up my leg, my femur felt extremely painful I truly thought the bone had dislocated meanwhile my ankle began to hurt as it got bigger and bigger. I couldn't move! I didn't want to because I knew the pain was going to be unbearable. My husband kept saying "boo you gotta get up" I kept saying "I can't move." He half lifted me up while I struggled to pull myself up and quickly crawled inside where I had like thirteen steps to climb before I reached the couch. To this day I don't know how I made it up the stairs, I know my husband was behind me supporting me in case I lost my balance again, other than that the mechanics of it I can't recall. I sat on the couch while he took my boots off and I immediately requested Tylenols and water and took them. He made a cold compress and I kept massaging from my femur to my ankle with it. He kept asking if i wanted to go the ER. I told him "no, maybe later"... He kept saying we should go and find out if anything is broken. I told him I didn't think anything was broken or I wouldn't have been able to just climbed thirteen steps. Unfortunately he had to leave and I was alone. Common sense kicked in and I knew I had to go to the emergency room for x-rays to find out if anything was fractured or broken.

I looked down the length of passage I had to walk to get to my bedroom, didn't seemed that long before. I moaned, groaned, and grunted my way down the passage to my bedroom and tried to find a skirt (had discarded my pants when I got upstairs) or a dress because I knew whatever I wore had to be accessible for the x-rays. I found a very comfortable sweat pants big enough to hold me and half another person but very comfortable and could be easily taken on and off. I found a size twelve pair of sandals belonging to my husband and put them on because I couldn't get my ankle in any kind of enclosed shoe/sneaker/boot. I looked down at the thirteen steps, gritted my teeth, moaned, groaned and grunted my way down the stairs. I called a cab and was on my way.

The emergency room was full to capacity and I groaned as I made my way to the window to be registered. Looking around seventy percent of the people were dragging one leg or another, hopping and moaning like I was. We all fell! Kindred spirits! I was x-rayed after an eternity. I had a sprained ankle and contusions on my thigh and my knee was swollen as well. I had gotten my papers and prescription and met my husband and son who came to get me. I was relieved to be out of the hospital. They were working really hard and long and i knew it would continue throughout the night. I was very grateful for their service.

I'm home enjoying being catered to and taking meds and icing my swollen ankle and femur and now suddenly my knee on the same left foot is acting up. I am off work for a some days which I need to recuperate and you'd better believe i'm following doctor's order to a tee...All the while trying to stay upright, vertical, stand tall...if you please.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Moving!
I have to move out of my apartment no ifs ands or buts. I have to move! I hate moving. We are a family of three, my husband, son and I. How? Why? When did we accumulate this much stuff?  I'm throwing away old washed-out articles of clothing, knick-knacks that looked so 'cute' at one point. I threw out four or five coffee cups all without handles. After repeatedly putting them in the microwave to get hot water for my coffee the handles finally gave way. I was heartbroken when I had to throw them out. I love my coffee cups. I found a plastic container with three pairs of shoes. They were old, stiff with age and quite dusty, really dusty...gone! I'm sitting in my living room surrounded by black garbage bags, lots of them full of stuff and grey plastic tubs filled with plates, pots and pan from the kitchen. Where the heck did I get so many plastic containers? I filled one garbage plastic bag with DVD movies. I had no idea we had so many movies. I still have two bookshelves with books to carefully pack as soon as I can secure more containers. My son looks a bit confused and regretful that we are leaving. I assured him that change is sometimes a good thing. Although I hate moving and all the work that is associated with it, I love that it gives me a chance to get rid of stuff that was weighing us down. I have a dining chair that has three legs, three!!It's pushed under the table looking as good as ever, why? The last time I saw the other leg my husband had it saying he was going to fix it. Imagine my surprise when I tried pulling it out and realized it was only on the same three legs. I looked at my husband and asked what had happened to the other leg, he looked at me as if I was accusing him of larceny then asked me, " what you mean what happen to the other leg?" What? Am I suddenly speaking French or something? I threw my hands up and walked away. Every Thursday night my son takes the garbage out and three weeks now and I'm still looking at the chair under the dining table. While I was packing up some miscellaneous items I saw the "wanted" chair leg in a corner leaning against the bookshelf looking very much out of place...seriously? I will certainly be very happy to get rid of that chair. My curio cabinet that stood so tall and regal at one point showcasing my angel figurines, dolls, miniature cups and saucers and souvenirs now leaning against the wall as if its too tired to stand. Water damage completely eroded the base of it... Yeah I will be happy to throw that out too. My empty fish tank which stands there with the colorful gravels and huge seashell where Goldie used to hide, I'm not sure if I should keep it. Ever since Goldie and Whitey went to fish heaven via the toilet bowl I am afraid to purchase more fishes. I was surprised at how much it hurts when they passed but it did. I know you couldn't pet them like you do a dog or cat but I clean their tank and fed them and talk to them and was alarmed when whitey became that pale color. I remember running to the pet shop and telling the guy " OMG my goldfish is sick, it's white!! All the gold scales are white, what do I do?" He looked at me quite calmly and told me " Your fish is not sick, some goldfishes do become white when they' re getting old."  I was greatly relieved. I may keep the tank after all. My shower caddy has got to go, it's time. The stand one places over the toilet to keep assorted toiletries...yeah, gone! I definitely will have a lighter load going forward and that is a good thing. My son came home from school, " Mom you did a lot today so do you need anymore help? "
"Yes that would be great, can you empty that shelf and pack them in bag but double the bag please...wait where're you going."
"I'm gonna watch tv in your room."
"I thought you were gonna help me."
"Yeah, yeah later" and with that he watched television and fell asleep three hours now, even snoring.
Guess who had to empty the shelf and pack that bag? The lazy little bugger!!
Later people!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sandy!

Sandy!
November 1, 2012

Sandy came ashore to visit us after a long and exhausting whirl around the Caribbean. Her voracious appetite not waning she wreaked havoc, major devastation and even took some lives along the way. Her behavior was most vulgar and disgraceful in manner. She blew gale force winds exposing our human frailties. She tore aluminum sidings off houses and businesses. She tore down walls scattering brick facades on deserted sidewalks. She blew expensive doors off their hinges and made unwelcome visits inside places she has no right to be invading. She exposed the inner sanctum of humble abodes as well as privileged ones. She made homes became doll houses. Suddenly everyone was equal in her wake as well as the misery she was creating.
She blew vehicles out of her way as if they were pesky insects. Cars upturned on their backs, minivans and shiny SUV’s were on top of each other as if they were leapfrogging.

She became a dragon and blew beautiful orange red flames in the sky lighting up houses like tinder boxes as she set them alight in domino effect along the backdrop of the inky beach front seascape. Sandy became a raging bull barring even seasoned first responders from entering her zones, that is, any zone she deemed hers. She surged icy cold water chest high while blowing her orange red flames alluringly in their faces daring them to step closer. Her dares were ignored while they tried valiantly to save the remaining houses a Herculean task at the time.
She became infuriated and again blew her gale force winds snapping tree limbs like toothpicks and ripping up decades old trees from concreted sidewalk throwing them, tossing them carelessly on roofs and cars causing extensive damages and mayhem even killing innocent children as she beat her chest saying “I am woman hear me roar.”
So as not to leave any doubt as to whom we were dealing with her careless and cavalier attitude towards lives, liberty and comfort she aimed a couple of those age-old trees onto the power lines plunging us in total darkness and utterly eerie silence.  Sandy is not anything if not efficient. She went to Far rockaway, Jersey shore and Long Beach Island and was highly enraged and disappointed that boardwalks, businesses along same boardwalk, lighthouses, even the benches were still intact, in essence, ignoring her. Such insolence was not going to be tolerated. She took a deep breath and blew them all up and down their various shores. “Ignore me now!!” she seemed to be saying. The Ferris wheel was broken and bent out of shape as if a giant took it and wrung it in his great big hands. The boardwalk flooring went flying like kites in the spring time and the light house ended up leaning against the boardwalk rails. Still not finished she proceeded to move motorized boats on to land and even had the strength to move an oil tanker! The grandfather-like tanker was looking around all puzzled and confused because he was being pushed against his will unto dry land. He resisted, well he tried but he was no match against Sandy. The tanker painted black looked around his unfamiliar surroundings grunted his disapproval and sighed. He gave up.
Sandy continued along threatening and bullying beachfront properties as well as homes and anything else that was unlucky enough to be in her way. Her heart was touched tenderly when she let a seasoned New Jersey police chief choked up on camera when he had witnessed the devastation she left behind. He could not continue the interview.
After all the destruction she created she left us on Tuesday very satisfied that her work was done!  Citizens are still bailing water from their homes, places of business and worship. Some are in the process of coming to terms with their loss of home and valuable sentimental possessions. Some are mourning for the loss of family members, friends, neighbors as well as pets. Most of all we are trying to survive this wreckage, the evil presence of Sandy who came and saw BUT did not conquer! With all the devastating ruins and damages she has left behind she was not brave, tough, or smart enough to even try and wrestle away our sense of resiliency, our humanity in helping each other in the aftermath. I wish she had stuck around just long enough to see the outpouring of love and unselfishness in the way the people have responded in a positive way towards helping each other. The donations in the form of clothing, hot meals and supplies keeps pouring in and we are truly grateful! Home grown heroes and those from afar have emerged and just saying “thank you all” seems inadequate but we mean every single word from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you all! And oh yeah…Take that Sandy!! The joke is on you!
Lata!