Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.
Monday, December 5, 2011
I remember hosting my very first sleepover – I was 8 years old and my best friend, Christy who lived around the corner. We’d sneak flashlights under the sleeping bags and talk all night about Barbie dolls and roller skating.
In jr. high, my girlfriends and I would lip sync and dance to Lucky Star, She-bop and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun……all night long.
In high school, I didn’t have many sleepovers, it was all about my boyfriend George and driving up into the mountains behind our house to make out in his mustard yellow station wagon with wood paneling…..all night long.
So when I invited Julie of The Little Kitchen, Jessica from Novice Chef and Bev of Bev Cooks for a sleepover, I was envisioning hanging out by the bonfire in sleeping bags, throwin’ around gossip, gigglin’ about burnt cookies and hanging out all night long. I wasn’t planning on sleeping and also bought 25 bottles of wine to keep the groove goin’.
I certainly didn’t take into consideration that:
1) I’m almost 40. My body and mind simply do not operate past 11pm.
2) There are wild animals in my backyard. Uh, I live right next door to a community with the name “Panther” in it.
3) Unlike in college, alcohol makes me tired and sleepy.
At 10:30pm, I started yawning…and we all turned in.
Gosh, I feel old.
Despite the early bedtime, the glas and I had a blast – I taught them how to make my Mom’s Famous Egg Rolls….
Andrew taught Bev how to hold a chicken correctly so that they don’t poop on your arm….
Of course, Coco’s crazy spazz-fest freaked out all the chickens…..
….so they were a bit jittery….
The gals spent time with Andrew and Nathan doing gardening stuff, fishing and playing (a.k.a. free babysitting for me! wheee!)
Meaning of friendship: When Coco attacks Jessica with her wet tongue and paws go down her shirt exposing boobage (photo censored), what do we do? Take pictures.
Julie baked a potato and artichoke casserole for brunch….in her Batman shirt because you HAVE to be a superhero to bake anything edible in that wobbly, crooked, tempermental oven we inherited with the house (no, my kitchen remodel has not started, please don’t remind me).
But the best part really had to be the bonfire. Which, by the way, my friend Shawn keeps correcting me and saying that it’s a CAMPFIRE, not a bonfire. The fire is too organized to be labeled as a bonfire.
Okay, so he’s right. Technically, it’s fire in a carefully dug out pit adorned with three layers of Italian stone with evenly sized firewood logs that was delivered on a pallet and stacked architecturally to maximize flammability.
I guess when the firewood stacking resembles a game of Jenga, it’s really not a bonfire.
But since we can’t camp in our backyard (panthers! cougars! strange animals with large teeth!) I’ll just stick with bonfire.
A lovely relaxing, invigorating weekend….the best part? being able to hang with each other while texting, tweeting, instagramming, iPhoneing and wordpressing without feeling like a complete weirdo.
The only drama that happened all weekend was the dog.
Well let me back up a bit. So we live outside of the city, in an area that’s country-ish, lots of land, neighbors all have goats, cows ‘n horsies, open fields, etc. So that means field mice are a normal part of our landscape. We’ve got a couple of mousetraps set up around the house – the kind with the super duper sticky pads so that the mice get their feet stuck and can’t move. Because I’m a little squeamish about rodents and the traps with the snapping guillotine…..ewugh…I’m going to stop right there because the image I’ve just now stuck in my mind about…..okay, let’s move on.
Anyways, so I’ve been putting pieces of cheese on these traps because we all know that mice love cheese. RIGHT!??? The other day, when the exterminator gal came on our quarterly visit, she laughed at my mouse trap.
“You don’t still believe that mice like to eat cheese, do you?”
“erreeerrrrruhhhhh….okay, well then smart-ass, what do mice like to eat?”
“try using Slim Jim – they love that stuff”
I didn’t think she was joking….I’ve never known an exterminator with a good sense of humor. She’s an expert at killing unwanted pests, so I took her advice and snapped off 1-inch pieces of Slim Jim, one piece for each trap.
The traps went out on the floor in the pantry.
In the middle of the night, I hear noises.
It was like velcro zipping and unzipping. Scott was sound asleep and I was too chicken to go out by myself – what if I found a mice on the sticky pad struggling to escape – as if I was going to pick that rodent up with my hands, and there was NO WAY I was going to ruin a good pair of kitchen tongs to touch that trap.
So, it was going to wait until morning.
The sun came up, the kids let Coco outside to do her business and I find this waiting at the front door:
Oh hell no, you’re not coming into my house with that dirty mouth. So I left her outside.
She came back a few minutes later, this time with mud and grass stuck ALL OVER her paws, her legs, her mouth.
And then I found the traps. With the Slim Jims missing.
Apparently, Coco likes Slim Jim and carried the mouse traps over to the rug and got her paws and mouth stuck with that black sticky tar. That velcro sound I heard the night before? Well that was Coco trying to walk on the shaggy rug, her sticky sticky paws grabbing at the rug fibers.
It looked like someone had dipped Coco’s paws and muzzle in a vat of tar and threw mud and dirt on her. We couldn’t get it off her or the rug (threw the rug away) and off she went to the groomers.
It took them 2 hours of patient cleaning with some kind of spray and a flea comb to comb out the sticky residue.
They even had to cut off all her whiskers.
All for 2 inches of Slim Jim. Was it worth it, Coco, you whisker-less troublemaker?