Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NaBloPoMo Day 18: Six Things I Am Currently Enjoying

Gee whiz, Day 18 and I'm already hitting a wall. That didn't take much time. It's hard to find something to talk about every day, much less something interesting. Some days I think of two things, and I write a post ahead of time, which makes me feel virtuous and also like I manage time very well. The second thing is true, the first one, not so much. It's hard to like soft, ripe cheeses as much as I do and still refer to yourself as virtuous.

I've often said I don't really have guilty pleasures. I am not plagued by guilt when it comes to pleasure, mostly because I'm pretty comfortable with myself and I am basically a sensible person who doesn't do a lot of things that I should feel guilty about. That means that I freely admit my enjoyment of microwaved frozen bean and cheese burritos, secluded beaches, rainy Sundays, prosecco, moderately terrible television, chips and really great hot homemade salsa, unabashedly making out with my husband on the couch like teenagers, pedicures, high thread count sheets, fabric softener, the smell of bacon, luxury yarn, my late grandmother's ugly but extremely comfortable old recliner, listening to my son sing the songs he's learning in preschool, playing Scrabble online, and a number of other things that I feel certain most people would find unpleasant at best, and thoroughly annoying at worst.

Here are a list of some of my current favorite things, in no particular order.

1. Nathan's Kosher Half Sour pickles. Holy cheebs, I have never had a pickle this good in my life. My paternal grandfather used to make homemade pickles with cucumbers and dill and garlic and other spices that he grew in his garden. When I was little, I would eat whole jars of them at a time. But even my memory of these pickles can't measure up to Nathan's Kosher Half Sours. I bought a jar this weekend at the grocery store--we are a family of pickle lovers and I didn't have high hopes for getting more than one or two of them. But last night when I got home from work, Dan said, "Have you tasted one of the new pickles yet?"

I said, "No, are they great?"

To my great surprise, he said, "No, they're awful."

I had to try them. Dan does a thing sometimes--he tells me something is terrible so he can eat all of it. I took the jar out of the fridge, I opened it, and sliced a pickle lengthwise into quarters. The whole time, Max was jumping up and down, begging for a pickle. I immediately gave him the first bite, which he chewed--and then his face soured, his eyes teared up, and he immediately turned to his father, who held out his hand. Max spit the chewed up pickle into Dan's hand, and declared, "That's disgusting!"

I've never seen Max turn down a pickle. Never.

I bit into the pickle, and was immediately pleasantly surprised. This pickle was crisp, without being the slightest bit tough or rubbery. It was perfectly balanced, with just enough salt, garlic, tang, and just a hint of pepper and mustard seed. It was quite simply the perfect pickle. I honestly haven't enjoyed a pickle that much since I was pregnant. The best part: I get the whole jar!!!

Nathan's Kosher Half-Sour pickles are available in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Go to your grocery store right now, and buy several of them.

2. West Wing Reruns. My very favorite show, ever, rerun in two hour blocks, at least, every morning on Bravo. Typically on days that I work, I work from home for a couple of hours in the morning just so I can watch, despite the fact that I own the series on DVD.

3. KitchenAid Stand Mixer. My mother-in-law bought it for me for Christmas last year, and I am crazy about it. It makes amazing bread, perfect cookies, and for the first time in my life, I am having success with cake--real cakes, not Betty Crocker. I am thinking about which attachments to ask for for Christmas: I'm thinking of the ice cream maker and the meat grinder. Because what goes better with homemade sausage than ice cream?

4. Twitter. Everyone knows about Twitter now. I have this blog, of course, and I am on Facebook, like every other person on earth, but Twitter is simply blogging in 140 characters at a time or less. I like that. It forces me to be concise, pithy, and self-editorializing.

5. Thanksgiving Plans. Dan and I have friends who, inexplicably to me, not only love to eat, they hate to cook. They love to buy groceries, invite us over, and have us cook--possibly the best deal ever for us, because they have a great kitchen. Remember last year, when I admitted that I don't really care that much about Thanksgiving food except for mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing? I still don't, and better yet, our friends don't either. So we're planning on another Thanksgiving like last year--sausage balls (which I still can't say out loud without giggling myself half to death), shrimp, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts in teriyaki, dill dip with veggies, hot spinach artichoke dip with French bread toasts, meatballs and kielbasa. Maybe bacon-clam dip and potato chips. Maybe chips and homemade pico de gallo. And dessert! There has to be dessert. There, now I'm thankful.

6. Gas Prices. I never thought I'd be excited to see gas for $1.89 a gallon, but I am. Right down the street from here, too. What I don't get, though, is why gas is so cheap here and 20 minutes away, where Dan works, it's typically $.30 to $.50 a gallon more. Someone explain that to me.

One short order of business: my most heartfelt and deepest condolences go out to my best friend Kimberly and her family, whose loyal, adorable, and deeply loved retired guide dog, Garnet, had to be put to sleep last week; and whose stepmother Debbie died yesterday. If ever there was a public service announcement for thorough regular checkups, this is it. Kimberly and I met in college, and her family has sort of become mine over the last 14 years. Kimberly, Michael, Ian, Perry, Annie, Jana, and Carter: we love you and we're thinking about you all.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Thanks. Very sweet of you. Your Kentucky family appreciates it and we love you. Yesterday was very hard.