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Saffron Potato Soup ~ The Feral Inner Child

One would like to think Sister Madly matured as she grew older- much like a fine cheese; but if truth be told, she has only enhanced her vocabulary- again, like a fine cheese.

As of late, Sister Madly has had to find- if not invent- new ways of entertaining herself. Having just spent her birthday in quarantine, Sister Madly found herself waltzing down the back alley of yesteryear, bypassing the Valley of the Dolls only to frolic through the grassy knoll of absolute childhood boredom. Sister Madly will now be incorporating these Adventures of Absolute Childhood Boredom into her daily routine.

T-BONE
This little ditty is about a starry-eyed bull named T-Bone, who entertained dreams of becoming one-half of a World Champion Bullfighting* Team. Mama T-Bone, however, was determined to keep her little Bovine at home to take violin lessons from no maestro in particular. T-Bone, naturally, rebelled against convention and would slip out of the house to meet up with a most flashy Matador in hopes of achieving the All-American Dream.

* In the Madliverse, a ‘bullfight’ was an Olympic-level choreographed dance between Matador, Bull, and a beach towel advertising Carnation Bon Bons. There was no harming of animals- real or imagined- as T-Bone was a sensitive soul and would have no doubt chosen the violin.

OLD PAL & OLIVER
That age-old tale of 2 Horses stampeding into their Owner’s house late at night and insisting on sharing the bed because it was too cold to sleep in the Barn. Sometimes, they would lock Owner said Barn (that is, the Madly Matriarch’s Closet) and snack on Tato Skins in his absence; at others, they would tie Owner’s socks into knots for no reason in particular.

But it was mostly about the Tato Skins.

SHIRT
The odyssey of a Red Shirt who was in love with a pair of Turquoise Pants, who sought the services of a Tailor in the hopes of being dyed a color complimentary to the aforementioned Pants. The Owner of the Shirt- Tallulah- wanted to pair the Shirt with a Mini Skirt from the 70’s, seeking to dye the Shirt a hideous shade of orange. Many a washing, drying, and ironing moment* were had before hanging the Shirt in the closet- after which, in the dead of night, Shirt would disguise itself as a Blinky-Woo-Woo Visor while attempting to make contact with the Tailor.

* Various acrobatics and fanciful pillow fighting upon the Patriarch’s bed.

HAUNTED HOUSE
Not a haunted house but a maze made up of riffraff, chairs, and some rather terrifying dolls such as Baby Alive* through which one crawled by the glow of a Lite-Brite.

To be honest, Sister Madly has no desire to recreate this particular childhood pastime: feeling her way through a booby-trapped obstacle course undercover of darkness is something she does every night between turning off the light and climbing into bed- which is 3 feet away from the light switch.

* Baby Alive didn’t work, by the way. She ate her food, which in turn rotted inside of her; it didn’t take long.
Also, she was called Baby Alive…

As the aforementioned adventures were not designed for social distancing, Sister Madly decided to recruit a particularly toothy live-in companion of whose elegance you are certain to be jealous: Sister Madly’s Inner Child.

However, the only part of these adventures that remotely interested her Inner Child was the bit about the Tato Skins. Upon discovering that all Sister Madly had to snack on was some cans of Spaghetti-O’s from her quake rations, her Inner Child threw an epic tantrum and climbed into the sock drawer to sulk.

Quite the feral soul, her Inner Child…

SAFFRON POTATO SOUP

  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 3-5 Garlic cloves, minced
  • Potatoes, quartered
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Carrots, chopped
  • Celery, chopped
  • Peas
  • 4-6 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Lg pinch saffron, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt/pepper, to taste
  • Heavy cream (opt)

Sauté onion until translucent: 8-10 min
Add garlic; sauté 2-3 min
Add celery and carrots; sauté 2-3 min
Add spices; sauté 30 sec
Deglaze with wine
Add potatoes, mushrooms, and broth; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until veggies are tender; 25-30 min
Add peas and cream (if using); simmer 3-5 min
Remove from heat and serve

THEME SONG: Forever Young, Alphaville


Images:

1) Doll Created by Julien Martinez
2) Pinterest
3) Reddit
4) Tumblr
5) Pinterest

Uncertain Times

Too many faded years and I can’t hold Her
Too many strange times have come Our way
Too many teardrops, yeah, I don’t get it
Life moves on if You want it to

Too many times I’ve felt my heart was broken
Wasting time with Someone I don’t get
But I’ve found Someone who makes Me better
Yeah, I found Someone who makes Me go

I wanna ride with Her in Uncertain Times
I wanna go where my thoughts can take a nap
And if the Atom Bomb should end Us both
I’ll be happy to go to the Stars with You

I wanna ride with you in Uncertain Times
I wanna go where my thoughts can take a nap
And if the Atom Bomb should end Us both
I’ll be happy to go to the Stars with You

I wanna ride with you in Uncertain Times
I wanna go where my thoughts can take a rest
And if the Atom Bomb should end Us both
I’ll be happy to go to the Stars with You

~ The Raveonettes


Images:

1) Tumblr
2) Pinterest
3) Pinterest

Soda Bread ~ Plague it Safe

Not to be a tattletale, but Sister Madly’s neighbors were NOT practicing proper social-distancing last night. Nor again at 3AM. Or again, around 6.

Like most individuals, Sister Madly has been prohibited from engaging in non-essential activities away from home- including the very specific “going out to browse an open hardware store”- with violations in her state carrying a potential Class C Misdemeanor charge.

And now Sister Madly wants nothing more than to browse an open* hardware store.

* Browsing a closed hardware store, however, is a felony. Sister Madly is spoilt for choice on criminal charges when it comes to hardware stores.

But even Quarantine is not without its risks; one can easily tolerate the minor side-effects associated with prolonged bouts of self-isolation, such as making pinatas filled with cutlery or torching one’s eyebrows off. Still, there is one side-effect so devastating that even Sister Madly is sent into fits at the very thought: the overwhelming desire to bake bread.

Why aren’t there more people talking about this? By the lack of flour at the market, it’s clear that Sister Madly isn’t the only one suffering from this condition, but she is the only one abstaining from it due to the lack of supplies and is, as of yet, asymptomatic. But shelves will one day be restocked, and Sister Madly will be left with no other recourse than to Von Trapp it over the mountains to Tallulah’s, despite being personally* banned from the town.

* The actual phrase was ‘all non-residents,’ but Sister Madly has decided to take this personally.

In the meantime, Sister Madly became a most productive Moppet in hopes of warding off the Bread-Baking Plague:

DAY 3: Sister Madly sifted her Sichuan peppercorns.
DAY 4: She gave the Desert-Wandering Horse a Name.
DAY 5: She forgot what she named the Desert-Wandering Horse.
DAY 8,314,699: Made a Plan for World Domination, but ran into a snag figuring out how to fulfill said Plan while observing proper Social-Distancing Guidelines.
DAY 11: Oiled her olive wood bowls
DAY 12: An owl has moved into the neighborhood. Loves to hoot around the midnight hour.
DAY 13: A sack of flour is silently watching her from the kitchen counter.

Clearly Quarantine Productivity is an old wives’ tale- everybody knows that Sacks of Flour is but the first symptom of the Bread-Baking Plague. As desperate times call for desperate measures, Sister Madly resorted to channeling an Old Acquaintance She’d Sooner Forget in the form of a Totem, lest she be rendered terminally domestic, bereft of all social graces and refusing to travel Southeast Asia because she absolutely must stay home and bake a brioche.

She’s made 3 so far.
She’s also made bread.
It’s a lawless time here in the Madliverse…

To all the writers and poets at whose depiction of life during a post-modern pandemic Sister Madly had often scoffed:
Her sincerest apologies.
But you should have mentioned the bit about the Bread.

SODA BREAD

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375*
Grease cast iron skillet or baking sheet
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
Add butter, buttermilk, and egg to flour; mix
Knead dough briefly on floured surface
Shape dough into a ball
Place dough in skillet
Cut an X across top of the loaf
Bake 45-55 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean
Transfer to cooling rack; let rest for 15 min before slicing

THEME SONG: A Horse with No Name, America

Pulled Chicken Provencal ~ Kiss Me Deadly

Since she was a wee little Moppet, Sister Madly never questioned her existence. In fact, she never even considered how she arrived on this planet until one afternoon at the Museum, when she encountered the Exhibit that depicted fetal development from fertilization to full-term.

What the Exhibit (or her parents, for that matter) didn’t explain was how the baby got there- and Sister Madly didn’t wonder. She cheerfully assumed it spontaneously* happened now and then after one got married… marriage being the catalyst, of course.

* Like hair loss, or human combustion- you know, the usual pickles one encounters in adulthood.

In fact, Sister Madly continued to not wonder until the day she watched a TV movie down in the basement with her childhood friend, Serafina.

With the innate knowledge that Hollywood was most accurate in its depiction of reality, Sister Madly was more than willing to accept that it wasn’t marriage that caused pregnancy. Apparently, it was the result of a boy and a girl sharing a bed, which leads to some uncontrollable yet creative gymnastics, which was clearly the process of a baby spontaneously being made- and quite frankly, Sister Madly thought it looked most unpleasant.*

* Although not as unpleasant as, say, a salad.

This confidence lasted until the day Serafina turned up with a book found in her sister’s room, which explained the Science behind creating children- that is to say, the steps that lead up to fertilization, which the Museum Exhibit had omitted. This newfound knowledge, however, was not accompanied by the expected horror that her own parents suffered* through this ordeal when creating Sister Madly; instead, she and Serafina went next door next to pester the neighbor for some jellybeans.

* The wee little Moppet did not read as far as the pleasure aspect of the activity, as she bored quickly in those days.

Since sharing a bed leads to the uncontrollable urge to engage in the Science of Making a Baby, Sister Madly wasn’t too worried about being saddled with a baby at the tender age of 8ish, as she likes the bed to herself and tends to shove out anyone who tries to share it- usually with ice-cold feet. Wearing socks to bed is just weird.

But even this was short-lived, as Sister Madly & Co. happened to overhear Serafina’s mother talking to Serafina’s older sister, who was about to go on her first date. The Mother was giving the Serafina Sibling a pep talk on how to resist engaging in the Science of Making a Baby,* which the Serafina Sibling seemed to “already knooooooooow, Mom…” and please, give her some credit.

* Apparently, it was not sharing a bed that caused this uncontrollable urge, but when a boy and a girl came within close proximity to each other, which undoubtedly would cause many problems during the local Hide-and-Seek Marathon the neighborhood kids play on Saturday afternoons.

But as they listened in on the motherly lecture, it became clear that this impulse would only arise during a date, which was a such a relief; as long as no one called the Hide-and-Seek Marathon a ‘date,’ there would be no sudden urge to create babies. Sister Madly made a note to address this topic ahead of next Saturday afternoon.

It’s frightening, really, the depths of her genius…

PULLED CHICKEN PROVENCAL

  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs, whole
  • 1½ – 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp herbs de Provence
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp chipotle pepper
  • Butter/oil, for sautéing

Heat oil in Dutch oven
Add onions, stirring to coat
Lower heat, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized (30-45 min)
Mix in spices, broth, and chicken; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until chicken is cooked (25 min)
With 2 forks, shred chicken in sauce
Simmer to reduce liquid (if needed)

THEME SONG: Kiss Me Deadly, Lita Ford

Harissa Wings ~ The Lab Coats are Coming!

On her way to Tallulah’s Olde Peculiar- a Marketplace where she is a Vendor– a rather chipper Sister Madly passed by Pompous Name Laboratory, which proudly displayed a banner that not only announced their Grand Opening, but invited the public to ‘Come in and say Hi!’

Do tell, Pompous Name Laboratory: why does Sister Madly have to make the first move? Why don’t you come out and say ‘Hi’ to her? Friends just don’t make themselves, you know.

Now you may think that Sister Madly is being tiresome, but rest assured, her skepticism is warranted. Businesses that invite her in to say ‘Hi’ always seem to have ulterior motives: Car Dealerships hopes the ever-so-seductive dance of the inflatable man-thing will convince her to buy a Pinto, while Credit Unions tempt her with promises of coffee mugs and folding camping chairs in the hopes of opening an account.

So naturally Sister Madly was curious as to why a Laboratory would want her to drop in for a little new-to-the-neighborhood tête-à-tête. Is there a shortage of Lab Rats? Do they need someone to ‘drink this solution’ or ‘press this button?’ Is it National Adopt-a- Pathogen Month? Or do they simply wish to showcase a happy and healthy strain of Free-Range E.coli?

Nevertheless, there is the possibility- however remote- that the Science-y People of Pompous Name Laboratory are simply lonely, as is the norm for those who choose to work in Labs. And while Science-y People are making terrific discoveries for which they should be applauded- such as finding cures for disease and creating new dyes to make red M&M’s edible again- being around smoking beakers and big Latin words all day is bound to render one more and more out of touch with reality.*

* At least with Sister Madly’s reality.

The fact that Sister Madly was even contemplating speaking to a Science-y Stranger- and of her own volition, no less- shows how much she’s progressed in venturing beyond her most excellent anti-social skills. True, she doesn’t speak science,* but this language barrier can be balanced with a good first impression, which includes poise, a toothy smile, and covered in someone else’s blood.

* She also doesn’t speak accounting, Trekkie, or bird.

Unfortunately, Sister Madly’s Travel Companion did not want to pop into the Laboratory and say ‘Hi,’ and most certainly did NOT want to represent ‘someone else’s blood’- which is totally unfair, because why else would Sister Madly have a Travel Companion? Without a good first impression, Sister Madly will have to resort to sign language and smoke signals, which will be misinterpreted as a biological warfare, cause widespread panic, burn down the Lab, and send her fleeing into the streets, shouting, “The lab coats are coming, the lab coats are coming!” before ultimately finding herself strumming her lips in a padded cell.

Perhaps she’ll send them fruit basket instead.

HARISSA CHICKEN WINGS

  • 2-3lbs wings

MARINADE

  • 1 TBSP harissa sauce
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • oil, as needed

SAUCE

  • ½ cup harissa sauce
  • ¼ cup honey, or to taste
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • salt/pepper, to taste

MARINADE
Mix together marinade ingredients
Add chicken; mix to coat
Cover; refrigerate for 30min-24hrs

SAUCE
Add sauce ingredients to pan; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until thickened

BAKE
Preheat oven to 400*
Place chicken on greased baking rack in tray
Bake 30 min
Remove from oven, brush chicken with sauce
Return to oven; bake 10-15 min, or until cooked through
Brush with remaining sauce straight from oven

THEME SONG: The Lunatics, The Specials and Fun Boy Three

My Solitary Valentine

You say you’re going to be Alone
On Valentine’s ~

But you forget about the Insects, Ghosts
And Surveillance Devices in your Home.

• ~   * Happy Valentine’s Day * ≈ ☼ ~ •


 ~ Welcome to Night Vale

Grand Deception

Let Me Never Fall
Into the Vulgar Mistake

Of Dreaming that I am
Persecuted

Whenever I am
Contradicted.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Images:

1) Pinterest
2) Alexey Kljatov
3) Alexey Kljatov
4) Alexey Kljatov

Gnocchi Vegetable Soup ~ Black Market Merchants

A few months ago, Sister Madly became a Vendor at a fabulous Marketplace- she says fabulous, because it does not require her to deal with people directly. Truth be told, if Sister Madly was any good at socializing, she would crash many parties and pretend to know many things…

Like many children in America, Sister Madly discovered capitalism at an early age. While most of her contemporaries embarked upon their entrepreneurial journeys by selling Girl Scout Cookies, a wee Sister Madly forged her way into the Business World through the ultimate black market transaction: the Tooth Fairy.

Now some may say the Tooth Fairy is, like Santa, a myth; but common sense says otherwise. After all, which is more logical: a fat man crawling down the chimney once a year just to leave you some coal in an argyle sock, or a tiny woman approaching you in the dead of night to purchase used body parts for a quarter a piece?

As a most logical Moppet, the answer was obvious.

Of course, she was a bit skeptical at first; but after selling about 75¢ worth of teeth to Tinkerbell, Sister Madly was convinced there was a market for discarded body parts. Clearly there was a corporation dealing exclusively in baby teeth, something Sister Madly had in abundance; perhaps she could sell the Corporation her teeth- as well as those of her classmates- in bulk, and get a lump sum. It should be relatively easy to convince her classmates to eat a handful of rocks- at least the first time…

Besides, it’s not like Sister Madly needed all her teeth at that moment. Sure, she was about to be in her cousin’s wedding, but Sister Madly was practically invisible thus no one would notice that the flower girl was missing all of her pearly whites.

But before she got the chance to discuss this business proposition with Tinkerbell, Sister Madly had a thought: what if there wasn’t an agent between her and the Corporation? Just imagine how much more money she could make if she peddled her own teeth directly- at least 65¢ apiece. That’s more than the price of a candy bar!* And if the teeth were sold in bulk, that would save the Corporation money in the long run- Sister Madly didn’t understand how, but her Father once assured her that one could save money by buying in bulk. Yes, perhaps it was time for Sister Madly to dispose of this Tinkerbell and take her rightful place as the Tooth Fairy.

* Foolish are ye who thought this most angelic Sister Madly was eating kale back in the 80’s. Kale hadn’t been invented yet.

Now, since there was market for baby teeth, what other discarded body parts were in demand? What is the going rate for an inch of Moppet hair? How about fingernails? Sister Madly was aware that she and her classmates would only be a source of baby teeth for so long, thus she had to plan for her future lest she end up on the streets at the ancient age of 8 in a potato sack with a tin cup full of coins.

Not to mention her classmates were an endless source of hair…

Due to parental disapproval, Sister Madly was unable to take her rightful place as the Tooth Fairy, which no doubt would have improved the social skills that would allow her to crash many parties and pretend to know many things.

GNOCCHI VEGETABLE SOUP

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • celery, diced
  • carrots, chopped
  • baby potatoes, cubed
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • 1lb prepared gnocchi
  • 4-6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg, or to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Sauté onion in hot oil until translucent; 5 minutes
Add garlic, carrots, and celery; sauté 2-3 min
Add spices and bay leaves; saute until fragrant 1 min
Deglaze with wine; reduce 2-3 min
Add potatoes and mushrooms; stir to coat
Add stock and coconut milk; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer 25- 30 min
Add gnocchi; simmer until cooked through
Remove bay leaves; adjust salt and pepper to taste

Chana Matar Paneer ~ Possessd by the Holiday Spirit

The Holiday Spirit is an impish, little brat.

On this night, it was lurking around the Christmas Tree Lot, where a particularly witty Sister Madly wandered about with the Professor. Naturally, Sister Madly provided appropriate commentary that added a festive note to the evening, her snark being so on point that she was looking forward to watching the Professor attempt to tie a large tree to the top of a rusty hatchback.

But the Professor had no intention of tying the tree to the top of the car, oh no; a tree of such Yuletide majesty deserved to ride in luxury inside the car.

Sister Madly, too, deserves to ride inside the car, Professor…

Still, the realization that the Tree wouldn’t fit in the back of the hatchback took longer for the Professor to acknowledge than it would for those with fewer letters behind their name. As predicted, Sister Madly’s wit was so on point during this exhibition that it was cheekily suggested that she be tied to the top of the car instead.*

* One might assume that this was the Professor’s attempt at humor, but Sister Madly assures you otherwise.

It was then that Sister Madly was first tempted by the Holiday Spirit, which nearly resulted in her volunteering to take public transportation back to HQ for the sake of the Evergreen. However, the possibility of encountering something far worse than a sentient Pine Tree on a city bus gave her the strength to resist the Holiday Spirit and retain the dignity of her sassy ol’ self.*

* Which is most fortunate- a holly-jolly Sister Madly is an absolute nightmare.

But the witty little Moppet did not escape this magic of this Hallmark Moment. As the Professor acknowledged that that only way that the Tree would fit would be to utilize the passenger’s seat, the Holiday Spirit took possession of Sister Madly and volunteered through her to switch places. As a result, the Tree rode shotgun with the Professor while Sister Madly was packed rather unceremoniously into the back of the hatchback

And that was when the Holiday Spirit made itself at home: not only did it demand to listen to campy Christmas music- something which absolutely delighted the Professor- it suggested they take “back way” of unimproved roads and potholes. Even as Sister Madly watched herself become covered in pine sap, excess needles* and some sort of rash, she could not stop the Holiday Spirit from assuring the PhD that all was just peachy-keen* and to turn up the music- Mele Kalikimaka was simply not going to sing itself!

* The Shake-The-Needles-From-The-Tree contraption at the Lot was no match for Hatchback-Over-Potholes.

But while the Holiday Spirit maintained full-possession of Sister Madly over the river and through several rounds of Feliz Navidad, it was, alas, no match for Do They Know It’s Christmas. This diabolical little ditty not only succeeded in exorcising the Holiday Spirit from our dearest Moppet, it sent said Spirit out into the street, where it was promptly run over by a dairy truck.

As with all Magical Holiday Tales, there is a moral to this story: there is a certain beauty in using artificial trees, which allows the thrifty to reuse said tree again and again without the need of packing thy beloved Moppet into the trunk of your car. Take for instance Sister Madly’s tree, which once belonged to her grandmother- not only has it withstood the years, but remains amazingly lifelike, as you can clearly see:

Well, maybe not a moral so much as a reason to post a picture of the Madly Christmas Tree…

Sister Madly, too, is an impish, little brat.

CHANA MATAR PANEER

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP ginger, minced
  • 1 chili, seeded and diced
  • 15oz tin chickpeas; drained
  • 15oz tin tomatoes, crushed/diced
  • paneer, cubed
  • peas
  • 2 TBSP garam masala
  • 1 TBSP coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • heavy cream, to taste (opt)
  • ghee/oil, for sautéing

Sauté onion until translucent; 8-10 min
Add garlic, ginger, and chili; sauté 3-5 min
Add spices; sauté 30 secs
Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and stock; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes
Add peas; simmer 5-8 minutes
Add paneer; simmer 3-5 minutes
Mix in cream (if using) simmer 2-3 minutes

THEME SONG: Mele Kalikimaka, Bing Crosby

The Goal

I Can’t Leave my House
Or Answer the Phone
I’m Going Down Again
But I’m Not Alone

Settling at Last
Accounts of the Soul
This for the Trash
That Paid in Full

As for the Fall
It Began Long Ago
Can’t Stop the Rain
Can’t Stop the Snow

I Sit in my Chair
I Look at the Street
The Neighbor Returns
My Smile of Defeat

I Move with the Leaves
I Shine with the Chrome
I’m Almost Alive
I’m Almost at Home

No One to Follow
And Nothing to Teach
Except that the Goal
Falls Short of the Reach

~ Leonard Cohen


Images: We Heart It

Marsala Chicken Wings ~ Saucepans and the Single Girl

Once again, it is that magical time of year, when Sister Madly hosts her annual Dumb Supper. The current guest list reads as follows:

  • Leonard Cohen
  • Vincent Price
  • Starfish
  • David Bowie

In the past, Sister Madly had difficulties when it came to her guests- in particular, how to go about inviting them. Tracking down the Dearly-Departed is trickier than one might think, and Sister Madly has been unsuccessful in the past.*

* She assumes she was unsuccessful, but it was a Dumb Supper- her guests might have just been silent the entire time.

However, she hoped to change all that with the help of this handy guide:

“From midnight supper for two, to ‘deadly little dinners’ and smashing soirees for the gang…”

By ‘deadly little dinners,’ one must assume the authors had hosted a Dumb Supper or two during their bachelorette days. Thus it was necessary to follow the recipes verbatim- or as verbatim as possible.

DUMB SUPPER MENU

  • Surly Steak
  • Cheaters Garlic Bread
  • Wild Rice
  • Sculptor’s Salad with Sour Cream
  • Layer Cake

SURLY STEAK

~ “Buy a good piece of meat from your twinkly-eyed butcher and treat it with tender loving care.”

Already, Sister Madly was off to a bad start: the twinkle had gone out of the butcher’s eye a long time ago. He did have a tooth that caught the light rather fetchingly, but the book said nothing about his teeth.*

* Unfortunately, her Dumb Supper was served without the Surly Steak, as she was unable to find a twinkly-eyed butcher in her hometown.

CHEATERS GARLIC BREAD

~ “You’re really missing something if you don’t know how to make garlic bread.”

Now, there may be some truth to this: Sister Madly does not know how to make garlic bread, and her favorite rock has been missing since childhood. There is no denying the correlation here; she must master the art of garlic bread, or be rock-less for life.

~ “Buy a good packaged garlic spread at the market. Follow the directions on the jar. Magnifique!”

Just as her market did not have a twinkly-eyed butcher, they did not have garlic spread. They did, however, have ready-to-bake garlic bread, so Sister Madly scraped off the garlic spread, then spread it back on the bread- which, admittedly, was not very magnifique. Also, she burnt the bread, so… no garlic bread either.

WILD RICE

~ “Open a can, drain off excess juice, and toss with lots of butter.

Clearly this is why Sister Madly is single: she has been cooking her wild rice before consumption. And now she has a random can of corn from which the excess juice has been drained, and she’s not exactly sure what to do with it.

Also, please note the most excellent presentation.

SCULPTOR’S SALAD WITH SOUR CREAM

~ “Tear up whatever greens you have on hand.”

Sister Madly does not keep leafy things on hand as she is not a rabbit. Her neighbors, however, seem to have some greenery, but they are currently smoking it and are disinclined to serve it up for her Dumb Supper.

So she settled on a serrano pepper, a green glow-stick, and some frozen chives… again, note the excellent presentation.

~ “Add sliced tomato, or what you will.”

Like the leafy things, Sister Madly does not have any tomatoes- as she is not a rabbit, neither is she a barbarian. So she added ‘what she willed’- which was old watch parts.

~ “Sprinkle generously with salt and cracked black pepper.”

As you can see, Sister Madly is the soul of generosity; and for a bit of exotic flair, she substituted Sichuan Peppercorn for black.

~ “When ready to serve, toss with sour cream.”

The salad had been tossed; Sister Madly just didn’t capture the moment.

That looks like something David Bowie would eat, doesn’t it?

LAYER CAKE

~ “That towering, toothsome Layer Cake is magically made from a mix- but you get all the credit.”

As there are no instructions on how to bake said mix, Sister Madly must assume one is meant to eat the raw batter.

Truly, this is cookbook that understands the Single Girl.

MARSALA CHICKEN WINGS

  • 3-3½ lbs. chicken wings

MARINADE

  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 TBSP garlic, minced
  • Salt/pepper
  • Oil, as needed

GLAZE

  • 2 cups sweet marsala
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos/low sodium soy
  • 2-3 TBSP maple syrup, or to taste
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle, or to taste

MARINADE
Mix together marinade ingredients
Add chicken; shake/mix to coat
Cover; refrigerate for 30 min – 24hrs

GLAZE
Add glaze ingredients to pan; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until glaze thickens

BAKE
Preheat oven to 400*
Place chicken on greased baking rack in tray
Bake 30 min
Remove from oven, brush chicken with glaze
Return to oven; bake 10-15 min, or until cooked through
Brush with remaining glaze straight from oven

French Dip Sandwich ~ Clandestine Family Traditions

It was during Sister Madly’s Utopian Days that Midori- a recent transplant from Japan*- explained how, just before moving to the States, her Grandmother sat her down and lovingly outlined the ritual for something she called ‘jagaimo.’

* A culture of wise and beautiful people who recognize that life is much too short to be eating bread crust on a daily basis.
Also, they have pet otters.

Now Sister Madly hadn’t heard of this ‘jagaimo,’ but if she were to speculate, it is the custom of cutting the crust off all things sandwich- seriously, the Western World needs to adopt this tradition immediately. Many a school luncheon was ruined by her Mother neglecting to remove the crusts from her peanut butter and banana sandwiches. But fret not: having since learned how to properly handle a knife, Sister Madly is now able to remove the crusts on her own like a sensible adult.*

* That and her Mother lives across the country, and Sister Madly doesn’t want to pay the 50¢ postage to ship said sandwich for maternal de-crusting- again, sensible adult.

It turns out, what the Grandmother called ‘jagaimo’ was not the custom of de-crusting a sandwich, but her pet name for a specific method of seppuku, one performed solely by women. Apparently, tradition was very important to the Grandmother, even as she refused to utilize the appropriate term* when speaking with her grandchildren.

* ‘Jagaimo’ is Japanese for ‘potato’, the use of which undoubtedly caused much confusion and anxiety at the dinner table.

Now the Madly Ancestors hadn’t pass down so much as a cookie recipe* let alone one for ritual disembowelment. Why aren’t there any clandestine Family Traditions listed in the Madly Dynasty Archives? The recipe for bathtub gin, for example? The art of bootlegging? Even the secret to changing a tire would have been deeply cherished- if not most useful- in the years to come…

* Correction: they did pass along a Finnish sleigh bell, which included the Family Secret to Smuggling Things of No Value Out of Europe, circa 1900. Techniques are a bit dated.

The Ancestors on her Mother’s side, however, were much more generous, passing to Sister Madly an affinity for Perry Mason reruns and the time-honored tradition of pushing buttons on things that do not belong to her. So in honor of Midori divulging the secrets of ‘jagaimo,’ Sister Madly revealed her own familial tradition with the buttons on Midori’s oven, during which she discovered a setting called SAB.’

No doubt this was in reference to the Saber-Tooth Tiger, and a gentle plea to join the oven in a moment of silence to mourn its evolutionary demise. Naturally, Sister Madly left the oven set to SAB so that Midori, too, might partake in her own a Moment of Silence privately. Appliances are so thoughtful these days.

However, Sister Madly regrets to inform your good selves that SAB has absolutely nothing to do with the sadly-extinct Saber-Tooth Tiger. Midori later reported that, for several days after Sister Madly’s most touching Moment of Silence:

  • the oven’s digital display went dark
  • the lightbulb wouldn’t illuminate
  • the cooktop would not turn on
  • the oven would not turn off

From this, one can only conclude that SAB* means ‘Sabotage’- a clandestine method of mischief and/or glorious revenge authorized by major appliance manufacturers under the guise of innocent button-pushing. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the elder Madly sibling, Tallulah, also has this SAB mode on her oven…

Indeed, appliances are so thoughtful these days!

* It turns out, SAB means ‘Sabbath Mode,’ a setting that allows individuals to comply with Halakhah (Jewish Law) which prohibits certain activities during Sabbath and other holy times.

FRENCH DIP SANDWICH

  • 3lb chuck roast
  • 1 cup stout
  • (2) 10.5oz cans beef consommé
  • 3 TBSP Worcestershire
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne (opt)
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • Rolls, Swiss Cheese, Mushrooms; to serve

PREPARATION
Add onion, bay leaves, consommé, Worcestershire, and stout to slow cooker; mix
Mix spices together; rub over roast
Add roast to slow cooker
Cook on low 8-10 hours, or until meat pulls apart easily

TO SERVE
Preheat oven to 350*
Split rolls; top one side with beef, mushrooms, and cheese
Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted
Serve with au jus

Transition

Some People
Are a Part of Your History ~


But Not a Part
Of Your Destiny.

~ Steve Maraboli


1) Kirsty Mitchell Photography
2) oneeyeland.com
3) Pinterest

Braised Chicken Marsala ~ Ballad of the Last M&M

Sister Madly knows what you’re thinking: is it safe to eat the peppers of a NuMex Twilight ornamental pepper plant?

Allow the aforementioned Moppet to put your mind at ease: Yes, it is!

But you don’t want to. Trust her on this one.

Now that she’s gotten that out of the way, it’s time to talk about M&M’s.

As a wee little Moppet, this was one amongst many favored 35¢ treats, peaking a few years before Red M&M’s made their triumphant return to society. It was during one of Sister Madly’s weekly pilgrimage down to the party store* that she was confronted with the truth about the candy that ‘melts in your mouth, not in your hand.’

* A Michigan phenomenon jam-packed with all things liquor, tobacco, snacky things, candy, lottery, magazines, Clearly Canadian, and pickled eggs.
Also, pop.

Now Sister Madly simply could not pass by her friend’s house without pounding on the door and demanding that she come out and play (Sister Madly had impeccable social graces in those days.) And being the angelic little Moppet that she was, Sister Madly decided to save last M&M for Serafina- and a yellow* one at that. However, before she could implement her drop-whatever-you’re-doing-and-play-with-me! knock, Sister Madly was horrified to discover that most of the shell had melted off.

* Yes, the yellow ones taste the best. This is not up for debate.

Surely nothing is more devastating than discovering one of the fundamental truths of one’s childhood is nothing but a lie- and if M&M’s had the audacity to fib, how many other pop culture icons were doing the same? Does that mean drugs will not turn her brain into a sunny-side up egg? Is that to say the MASH game is not accurate when foretelling one’s future? Or that Golden Grahams is not part of a complete breakfast? Does that mean girls want to have more than just fun?

But even as Sister Madly faced this tragic, coming-of-age moment, she was determined that Serafina’s innocence should not be lost at such a tender age. Thus, in a most noble gesture, Sister Madly chose to save her best friend from the disillusionment of false advertising by eating the last M&M herself.

Personal Update: Sister Madly did not get the job as Reaper… it would seem that Philip Wardlow some other city slicker applied for the position first.
So unfair.

BRAISED CHICKEN MARSALA

  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • pancetta, diced
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • 1½ cup dry Marsala, divided (¼ cup + remaining)
  • ½ cup chicken stock, or as needed
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • ¼ – ½ cup heavy cream (opt)
  • 2-3 TBSP grated Parmesan, or to taste (opt)
  • Oil, for searing
  • Chives, for garnish

Season chicken w/salt and pepper
In heated skillet, brown chicken on both sides, 3-5 min per side
Remove from skillet; set aside
Sauté pancetta; 1-2 min
Add shallot and garlic; sauté 2-3 min
Add herbs; sauté 30 sec
Deglaze with ¼ cup Marsala; 1-2 min
Return chicken to skillet
Add stock, Worcestershire, and remaining Marsala
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until chicken is cooked: 20-25 min
Stir in cream and Parmesan (if using) simmer 2-3 min
Remove from heat, garnish with chives, and serve

THEME SONG: I Melt with You, Modern English

Prohibition

For every Prohibition
You Create,

You also Create
An Underground.

~ Jello Biafra


Images:

1.) Pinterest
2.) Pinterest
3.) Frank Horvat

 

Pulled Chicken Parmesan ~ The Magical, Mystical Repo-Man

Sister Madly was closing down the pub the other night when she overheard a nearby patron speaking about Soul Retrieval.

Now, there’s a fine profession she hadn’t considered when just a wee little Moppet! Which is most unfortunate, as Sister Madly clearly fits the criteria required of a Reaper: she works well independently, has mastered the art of being grim, and can put together a rather fetching uniform at a moment’s notice- her Renaissance Faire days has left Sister Madly with an eclectic array of costumes and bits of weaponry that is often difficult to explain.

Why, just think of all the joy she could bring to commuters simply by strolling along the boulevard in uniform; no doubt the ruffian who just ran that red light will be pleased to find that photo ticket in the mail. Sister Madly would downright giddy to receive a picture of the intrepid Itty Bitty flirting with the speed limit and a Reaper in the foreground- she might even go so far as to make that moment happen. She would hang it on the refrigerator next to the bold You-Didn’t-Vote-Enough! Shame Campaign Card she received in the mail before the last elections.*

* Apparently, Sister Madly is a very naughty citizen because she did not cast a vote for nor against the unopposed, incumbent Drain Commissioner.

For centuries, the Netherworld has employed Reapers as an eco-friendly alternative to leaving Souls littered about the Multiverse like candy wrappers on Halloween- but what does one do with the Souls after tidying up? Does Sister Madly, as a Reaper, decide into which afterlife the Soul is dispensed? Does she decide which ones to recycle, and which to reuse? Zero waste is clearly a concern of the Netherworld and, according to the Ancients, has been recycling Souls through an ecological process known as Reincarnation for centuries.

* Confirmed: Reincarnation is a fact, as evidenced by the bench at her local Marketplace made entirely out of recycled milk jugs.

Yet as with earthly rubbish, not all Souls can be recycled; but that does not mean the surplus is stuffed down the spiritual garbage disposal. As Souls are not compostable, it is most trendy to use the debris for DIY projects around the home- just think of the masterpieces one could make with the leftovers! Surely Sister Madly can find a board on Pinterest addressing this very topic. Hashtag TrendyMoppet.

In fact, a career as a Reaper might even benefit her current engagement as a Vendor.* She could make haunted relics by cramming leftover Souls into certain artifacts willy-nilly, and enlist the most interesting of Psyches (and hopefully, with the most colorful language) to be the spirit behind the Writing Planchette.

* Whose goods are mostly purchased by psychologists, teenage girls, and tourists from Montana. Apparently, Sister Madly has cracked the code on how to cater to this particularly niche market.

As it turns out, the retrieval of Souls is not the same as reaping them. Retrieval, he said, is all about the living

Living… So, does the Soul just wander off? Or is more like retrieving property- such as when one sells one’s Soul to the Devil and the Devil doesn’t deliver on his end of the bargain- like some sort of mystical Repo-Man? If so, Sister Madly may wish to retain these services: having sold her Soul years ago, Sister Madly is certain that the purchaser of said Soul is the Snitch behind her not voting for nor against the unopposed, incumbent Drain Commissioner, which is in direct violation of their nonexistent contract.

The Repo-Man politely declined.

PULLED CHICKEN PARMESAN

  • 2 sweet onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup red wine, divided (¼+¼)
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs, whole
  • 3 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1½-2 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan, or to taste
  • 1 TBSP basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • salt, to taste

Heat oil in Dutch oven
Add onions, stirring to coat
Lower heat, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized; 30-45 min
Add garlic; sauté 3-5 min
Add spices; sauté 30 sec
Deglaze ¼ cup wine; simmer to reduce; 2 min
Add stock, paste, chicken, and remaining wine; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until chicken is cooked (25 min)
Shred chicken in sauce
Simmer to reduce and thicken
Add cheese; stir until melted and remove from heat

THEME SONG: Don’t Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult


Image 1) Chris Clor

Poblano Corn Chowder ~ One Wheel Short of a Bike

A few weeks ago, Sister Madly was on her way home from the Market when she was passed by a man on a unicycle.

Now, she knows what you are all thinking: how does one even begin to master the unicycle? Does one utilize training wheels? Where does one keep the spare tire? And who was the madman that came up with the concept in the first place? Indeed, it was this train of thought that momentarily distracted Sister Madly from the fact that the cyclist was completely naked.

Yes, Sister Madly had just wandered into the outskirts of the World Naked Bike Ride.

As it turned out, the World Naked Bike Ride- which began as a protest against society’s oil dependency while promoting positive body image- was meeting at the park in her neighborhood. The Good Samaritan in Sister Madly considered hunting down the Unicyclist to inform him that he was, sadly, one wheel short of a bicycle- it was the Naked Bike Ride, after all- but she was quite overdressed for the occasion.*

* The World Naked Bike Ride is bit of a misnomer, as riders are encouraged to wear shoes and helmets, making it the Nearly Naked Bike Ride with Special Guest: the Unicyclist Without a Spare Tire.

While the Ride itself was to commence at 9pm, a few carefree activists decided to get a head start on the demonstration by assembling at 2; and though Sister Madly is all for that Consume Less Fuel thing, she was unable to participate in the Ride as she, unfortunately, does not own a bike.

But even if one does not participate in the Ride itself, there is much to be learned from the demonstration; indeed, much to be shared:

– Riding a bike without certain undergarments can be extremely uncomfortable and is accompanied by many 4-letter words.

– Unicorns exist; they are environmentally conscious and roam about on their hind legs. Unfortunately, Sister Madly is unable to provide photographic evidence as Unicorns are also body positive, and roam about completely naked.

* Nessie and Sasquatch, however, are clearly gun-toting, non-Prius driving, cloth-wearing body-shamers as they were nowhere to be found at the Bike Ride. Savages.

– Fairies also exist: they tend to be 6 feet tall, have butterfly wings, and sparkly Peace Signs painted on their tummies.

– Barbecuing in the buff is an extreme sport due to errant ash and the potential to singe off more than one’s eyebrows. A child’s bike seat, however, is a perfectly legitimate way to transport a bag of charcoal, provided it is properly strapped in and wearing a helmet.

* Fully nudity does not appear to be addressed in the current Food Handler’s Handbook. It seems that the Health Department does not give a hoot about one’s attire as long as one wears a hairnet.

Extreme Barbecuer was not wearing a hairnet.

– Now, that man is wearing a helmet. That’s right sir: safety first.

– Not all hippies sit in a circle and sing One Tin Soldier while weaving flowers into their hair. Sometimes they sing the Scooby-Doo Theme Song while smoking dubious plant life.

– A pair of red stilettoes is considered adequate footwear, the lady with the ombre hair insisted. Sister Madly has to admit, there’s talent in stiletto cycling- after all, if she so much as even looks at a pair of stilettoes, Sister Madly will break her ankle; she’s sprained it twice just thinking about it these last few seconds. Hats off to the Stiletto Cyclist.

– If you order the cheesesteak sandwich from the Hawaiian Food Cart, just eat all the steak with a fork and feed the bread to the ducks: you will be minimizing waste while maintaining a healthy, low-carb lifestyle, and you just might bring joy to a lonely, hungry, down-on-his-luck duck. Just a friendly tip from the cyclist in a loincloth and equestrian helmet.

– A tutu is more often worn about the head than about the waist, something Sister Madly does not remember from Tallulah’s brief childhood stint in ballet- but then, neither were particularly fashion savvy in those days.

– Update: Stiletto-Wearing Cyclist was not a lady. Apologies.

POBLANO CORN CHOWDER

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 poblanos, roasted, peeled, and chopped
  • 2 cans creamed corn
  • 1-2 potatoes, cubed
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1-2 celery, diced
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp turmeric (opt, for color)
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • coconut milk ~ or ~ heavy cream (opt)
  • lime juice, to finish

Sauté onion until translucent: 8-10 min
Add garlic and poblanos; sauté 2-3 min
Add celery and carrots; sauté 2-3 min
Add spices; sauté 30 sec
Add potatoes, corn, and broth; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until veggies are tender; 25-30 min
Blend soup to desired smoothness (opt)
Add cream (if using); simmer 2-3 min
Stir in lime juice and remove from heat

THEME SONG: Riders on the Storm, The Doors

Sriracha Bacon Sticky Wings ~ This Used to Be My Playground

Upon reflection, Sister Madly has come to the conclusion that her high school education was a bit lacking. While most students were studying the usual curriculum of Biology and How-Not-to-Get-Salmonella-at-the-Cafeteria, Sister Madly & Co. were handed flyers featuring Scuba Barbie and asked to describe what was wrong with the ad. When a heated discussion erupted over whether Miss Barbie was wearing her scuba gear correctly, the teacher tried to regain control of the dialogue by pointing out the impossible body proportions and beauty standards of the doll.

Now this is the same Teacher who once assigned the female students to carry an egg around for a week to prepare them for motherhood. Said Teacher was convinced that every high school student hungered for the shiny, happy joys of teen pregnancy while simultaneously suffering from eating disorders due to the “impossible beauty standards” of Barbie.

High school is, indeed, the best time of your life.

Still, Sister Madly can’t help but wonder if her childhood toys have, or continues to, influence her to this day:

CABBAGE PATCH KIDS
Throughout the 80’s, the Madly household amassed enough Cabbage Patch Kids to reenact the Great Plague, yet never once was Sister Madly thrown into fits of despair over the fact that she was born without the signature of Xavier Roberts tattooed across her bum. In fact, Sister Madly tried to unload her first Cabbage Patch Kid- a tot called Jennie Freddie- on Tallulah in the dead of the night a week or so after Xmas. Apparently, Sister Madly preferred to play with errant golf balls and rocks.*

* Tallulah once had a stick named Wendy, thus has no reason to poke fun at Sister Madly for her affinity for rocks. Sister Madly did not name her rocks.

CARE BEARS
Sister Madly must confess: these Bears were not goodwill ambassador toys so much as arsenal for a particularly twisted game of dodgeball. This Sibling Warfare notwithstanding, Sister Madly can’t remember being confined to a straitjacket because a big, blue thundercloud was not painted on her tummy.

MUNCH MAN
Even the Mother Madly mastered this far superior knockoff of Pac-Man by Texas Instruments, much in the way Sister Madly mastered the Art of Annoying Tallulah by simply sitting next to her. Still, Sister Madly can’t say she was ever compelled to devour Texas as a result… but admits that she does like to munch.

POPPLE
Sister Madly would like nothing more than the ability to fold herself into a plush little ball on a Saturday night… then again, maybe she can; she’s never actually tried. No doubt it involves pulling her lip over her head and swallowing herself whole… do remember to stretch before trying that maneuver, dear Moppet; you’re not the spring chicken you used to be.

SOME DOLL THAT HAD A PAIR OF WINGS
Even at a young age, Sister Madly knew that she would never possess the ability to sprout a pair of wings in order to fly to the candy store at a moment’s notice.* She really doesn’t know much else about the doll other than she didn’t play with it much because it was pink.

* She did on occasion try to float about the backyard with an umbrella ala Mary Poppins, but that was more out of curiosity as to whether this mode of transportation was possible. Further testing is needed.

OREGON TRAIL
Surely there was nothing more thrilling than crossing America in a covered wagon, chasing after oxen that wander off before dying of dysentery. She wonders if anyone has ever proposed a Vegan version of Oregon Trail where, instead of hunting buffalo, one sneaks into a garden and steals all the turnips- perhaps then Sister Madly would not, to this day, be sent into hysterics at the sight of a vegetable.

However, nothing impacted Sister Madly’s childhood more than the moment of awakening, the Coming of Age: when candy bars went from 35 to 40 cents apiece. She remains traumatized to this day.

SRIRACHA BACON STICKY WINGS

  • 3-3½ lbs. chicken wings
  • 1 cup bacon jam
  • 2-3 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Worcestershire
  • 1 TBSP garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • sriracha, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • ½ tsp lime juice, or to taste

GLAZE
Sweat off garlic; 1-2 min
Add remaining glaze ingredients EXCEPT lime juice; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until glaze thickens
Stir in lime juice and remove from heat

BAKE
Preheat oven to 400*
Place wings on greased baking rack in tray
Bake 30 min
Remove from oven, brush wings with glaze
Return to oven; bake 10-15 min, or until cooked through
Brush with remaining glaze straight from oven

* Not a first date meal; more like a ‘married for 10 years’ meal.

THEME SONG: When I Grow Up, Garbage

Aloo Gobi Matar ~ Moving Finger Writes

Sister Madly is a creature not unlike your good self- in fact, she may be more like yourself than you care to admit: like you, she dreams of one day becoming an eccentric old lady who runs the Curiosity Shoppe on the corner and frightens children with the volume of her hair.

But unlike yourself, Sister Madly has taken steps towards making this happen: yes, she has recently become a Vendor.

Now what’s tricky about being a Vendor is that one actually has to vend things. But unlike the seasoned Vendor who frequents estate sales, has a sprawling beach house and a mutt named Trinket, Sister Madly is pillaging free bins on the side of the road while pondering the ethics of nicking books from Little Free Libraries. She does hit up auctions now and then, but even her sparring at the Renaissance Faire did not prepare her for the blood-soaked battles she faces against bidders; Rorschach Plate auctions are particularly cutthroat.

But for all the blood, sweat, and four-letter words expended clicking the ‘bid’ button, Sister Madly has to admit, it gets a little boring. She has the spirit of a maverick, preferring to spend her free time in the noble pursuit of shenanigans, tomfooleries, and avoiding housework. And of course, napping in the sock drawer.

And occasionally, these auctions go awry:

And the Postal Carrier still insisted she sign for that.

On the bright side, she now has Pakistani stamps to sell to the avid collector; you may leave your bids in the comments below.*

* Sister Madly also accepts Ferrero Rocher in lieu of cash.

Recently, she came across an auction for a ‘haunted’ ring, which was said to relocate itself in the middle of the night. Since the average person is disinclined to invest in a Ring that is perpetually lost, it wasn’t a popular auction; however, Sister Madly figured if she could make the ring devoted to her exclusively- more specifically, to the Madly Marketplace- the Ring would relocate back to said Marketplace after purchase, where Sister Madly could sell it again and again indefinitely.

But how does one secure the devotion of a Ring? Does she woo it with poetry and roses? Hire a Mariachi Band for a moonlit, margarita serenade?* Or should she provide one-on-one training and reward good behavior with kibble? Maybe she should play hard-to-get, or perhaps she should make a pie chart and use the word ‘community’ a lot.

* The preferred method for wooing Sister Madly… or ticking her off. She forgets which one.

Being a savvy BusinessMoppet of a few weeks, Sister Madly recognizes a potential flaw in this plan: What if the customer is so in love with the Ring it is never removed from the finger? Will the Ring return to the Madly Marketplace with the customer in tow, or just with the finger? And can she charge extra for that appendage next time around?

But for the moment, Sister Madly put aside that auction in favor of one featuring an Automatic Writing Planchette. Winning said auction was easy, as most bidders were busy warring over the newest listing of Rorschach Plates- barbarians, the lot of them. Seriously, if there is a New World Order, it will be run by antique dealers.

Now Automatic Writing is said to be the psychic ability to write words or phrases without consciously doing so, and is attributed to the supernatural or spirit world; however, skeptics ascribe ‘automatic writing’ to the Ideomotor Effect, a physiological phenomenon in which an individual makes movements unconsciously. Since the Planchette had never been used, it was possible that Sister Madly procured an Ideomotor Effect Planchette and not an Automatic Writing one. Not wanting to falsely represent her product, Sister Madly set the Planchette up in the kitchen to see if it will write anything (she is hoping for a lovely note from Vincent Price)- after all, if it IS an Automatic Writing Planchette, it certainly doesn’t need Sister Madly to guide it along. Also, she can’t spell, which is embarrassing for spirits.

UPDATE: the Planchette has written a squiggly line, but whether this was by supernatural means or the aggressive jackhammer outside the window is unclear.

UPDATE #2: Sister Madly has since decided that it was the former, as ‘responsive to jackhammers during utility repair’ is not a good sales pitch- again, savvy BusinessMoppet.

ALOO GOBI MATAR

  • 1 TBSP ginger, minced
  • 1 TBSP garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 chilies, minced
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2-4 cups vegetable broth (less for dry curry)
  • 1lb (medium) cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ½ cup peas, frozen
  • coconut milk ~ OR ~ heavy cream, to taste (opt)
  • salt/pepper, to taste

Heat oil in skillet
Add onion; sauté 5 min
Add garlic, ginger, and chili; sauté 3-5 min
Add spices, sauté until fragrant; 1 min
Mix in tomato paste; 1 min
Add potatoes, cauliflower, and broth; mix
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat; cover
Simmer until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally 15-20 min
Add peas and cream (opt)
Simmer until heated through; 3-5 min

THEME SONG: Working Girl, The Members

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