Monday, March 31, 2008

Public Service Announcement

If you love your family and want only the best for them you will brine your chicken. What am I talking about? Every time you have a recipe that calls for boneless, skinless chicken breast, first soak the chicken in the below brine for 20 minutes and proceed as usual. No more tough dry chicken for your dear ones. You can thank me tonight after dinner.

Dissolve 1/2 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup sugar in 4 cups of water in a non-reactive bowl. This amount is good for 1 pound of chicken.

Wow, three posts in a day. Can you tell I'm blowing off schooling the kids?

PriceRite, We Hardly Knew Ye

Here in the 'hood we have a lovely, little known secret to frugal living - PriceRite. Some people consider it a little on the dicey side, what with all the funky ethnic foods, unfamiliar brands and the some what dingy interior, but I kind of like it. For one thing, despite all the ethnic foods and teenage Latinos and African Americans stocking the shelves, they play Journey on the PA! I even heard Duran Duran. They play the soundtrack of my generation! This being Rhode Island, I bet I went to high school with the store manager.

I love when I walk in to PriceRite, there's a greeter. If you hang around long enough, she'll start a Bible study right there in the doorway. (Wal Mart has a door greeter too but not Nordstrom's or Whole Foods. Hmmm, do higher income people not need a "Hey, How ya doin'?"). All the Latina moms enter and immediately grab fifty produce bags and start filling them up. Meanwhile, the produce in Stop N Shop looks like it hasn't been touched in ages.

And the bargins! For example:

At Whole Foods, "Robert, can you pass the $4.99 Farmland Nitrite Free Bacon?"
At PriceRite, "Ai, chica, di me este $2.99 Farmland Nitrite Free Bacon!"

At Stop n Shop, a display of dried cornhusks in the "Food of the World" section for $3.99 each.
At PriceRite, cornhusks thrown in a large bin with $.99 SALE! sign stuck on top.

and my personal favorite - Nutella!
Stop N Shop $3.69
PriceRite $1.99

Not only good deals but fun foods. No where else in the city can you get Chocolate Gelatin (gelatin, not pudding. Maria, Gail, give me a shout out on this) or Chubby Soda in sorrel! or cotton candy! By the way, Chubby Soda has 38 grams of sugar per serving; coke has 27, orange juice is 30, just to give you a comparison.

All this to say, I love PriceRite. Dicey, edgy, Goya bargain' filled PriceRite. So imagine my horror when I went into their new store.

They relocated from the heart of Olney-Falujah to the old Shaw's on Atwells. A brand new, clean building. Next to a Staples. Already I was nervous.

The first thing I saw when I walked in was - a coffee counter! A pseudo-cafe just like Whole Foods. They were selling espresso! and lattes! and little pastries! Oh the humanity! And it didn't stop there. I saw a girl stacking baguettes into a bin. Baguettes?!? WT???!~ Not even Goya baguettes! And sample tables! Fresh mozzarella! Where's the dingy? Where's the edgy? THEY'VE GONE MAINSTREAM!

Oh PriceRite, you broke my heart.

Seperated At Birth?

My dear friend Gail, having recently read my "Your Mariah Moment", asked for clarification on Ken's moment. She asked, "Sheila Egan? would that be Sheila E? I am so not into pop culture anymore it is sad." Well, to enlighten Gail and perhaps a few others not in the know, here's a guide to Sheilas:

This is Sheila Margaret Egan. Stylish gal, quick wit, lovely Irish lass.

This is Sheila E (E for Escovedo). Stylish latina, unknown wit, diva percussionist

Hope this clarifies things for y'all.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Your Mariah Moment

For all you just surfing by on the internet (and by the way, just how did you get here?), this post may or may not have any interest to you. Some of us lucky folk had the opportunity to go to school with someone famous. Some times this bit o'trivia plays into our lives, so I asked some friends from high school to share if it has.

There were some teenagers who lived across the street from me and they were at my house discussing their favorite singers. I'd had previously shown them my year book with dear M's picture (earnin' me some street cred). One of the girls then said to me,"My friend thinks Mariah is in her 30's but I told her no, Mariah's got to be older because Ms. Kerr went to school with her and Ms. Kerr is really old." --that's my story

My Mariah moment happens every so often at work. Someone will talk about the versatility of her voice or how she can be poppy, bluesy or torch in her style of singing that she must have been a real star in her high school chorus - I happily tell them that we are on the same page in the year book and that she was actually not in choir, but I was. My friend Hector's reaction was this "She got fame, fortune and all the body money can buy and you, well you got us." 'Nuf said. --Lisa
(remember Lisa, no amount of fame or fortune can buy you talented snarky friends)

I help coach two softball teams. One of the girls on the older team loves to sing. When she is out of school she is going to try for American Idol. My husband, Jorge, said that I knew Mariah, she screamed so loud it was crazy. She wouldn't believe it. I told her I went to school with Mariah and when we were younger she lived down the road from me. She screamed again asked if I saw her any more and then proceeded to call her best friend on the cell phone who also screamed. It was hilarious to see the way she acted.--Karin
(you should have run with it, "Yeah, M and I had coffee the other day.
She said fans who scream loudly make her nauseous.")

One of my college friends used to point me out at parties and say "See that guy--he did Mariah Carey". Of course, then they would actually look a little bit closer at me and no one ever believed him.--John
(you're a quality guy for not being crude about it.)

As a teacher of high school students I have occasionally played the "Mariah Card" but usually only after a student brings her up. They never believe me and I misplaced my yearbook sometime in the 90's but I still have the impressive middle school yearbook with a young Mariah picture for verification. Oh, and my little sister went to her concert at the Middle school.--Erika

My best story is, after hearing her on the radio for a few months after her first single hit, my sister Betsy called me and said "didn't this girl used to play at our house?" And it is sad, but true. --Brenda
(did you teach her to bake, too?)

My Mariah moment was in 1991-2 after I decided to travel the world to see new and different cultures, get away from the crass Americans, etc., etc., and in my first stop outside the U.S., - Hyvinkka, Finland, I think - I walked into the house past my host brother's room, and there was a HUGE poster of Mariah on the wall. So much for getting away from it all...--Christine

My memorable story is all about the response. I was living in St. Louis, Misery (alt. spelling Missouri) for several years and was talking with a friend I had met out there. We had been friends for a couple of years before the Mariah topic somehow came up one night. When I mentioned that I had gone to high school with Mariah he started with the typical response, "Really?", but quickly followed it with a much cooler response, "Do you know Sheila Egan?"

Turns out my friend had dated Sheila for a while in college. Not only was Sheila in our class, but she and I grew up across the street from each other. So really this is more of a small world story than a Mariah story. --Ken

I'll post more when they come in.
By the way, not as many people seem to care about going to school with Andi Pukke ( Anyone up for some treasure hunting in the Cook Islands? Or Nevis? Where is Nevis?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Caption Contest

This is Baby

You might know him from

"Makin' Pies for Becky"
"Act Now! Limited Special Offer!"
"Go RVing!" (he was the one who terrorized the hamster)

Baby is God's loving way of helping me develop
a sense of humor
a greater appreciation for my other kids
a taste for martinis

But I digress.

The real point of this post is a Caption Contest. Send in your entries for a caption for this photo and you could win ....
(no, not Baby because no one would enter)

A Coffee Cake!

Now go be creative while Mommy has a drink

Saturday, March 01, 2008


I need a Sock-a-Nator. Here's what a Sock-a-Nator will do:

*It will go through my house every night and pick up the 2,000 or so socks that my five kids leave here and yond.

*The Sock-a-Nator will be able to tell 1. which socks were truly worn and 2. which were carried downstairs with the intent of being worn but then carelessly left on the floor. The Sock-a-Nator will then administer a sound thrashing to the owners of the second category.

*The Sock-a-Nator will wash the socks, match them up and put them in the appropriate drawer.

*Upon hearing the cry, "Moooommm!!!, I don't have any socks!" the Sock-a-Nator will automatically redirect the child to their sock drawer or their laundry that needs to be put in the washing machine. The Sock-a-Nator will also give Mom a quick back rub lest she explodes from hearing "Moooommm!!!, I (fill in the blank)!!" for the umpteenth time that day.

*The Sock-a-Nator will find a true and noble use for the orphaned single socks so Mom doesn't feel guilty about throwing away single socks.

*The Sock-a-Nator will, once per quarter, buy stock in Hanes to recoup money spent on buying socks for a large family. The dividends from said stock (which will rise exponentially because my kids won't stop growing like I've asked them to) will go into a high yield money market account from which Mom will buy stuff from Frederick's of Hollywood so Mom can once again feel like a sexy woman and not the Manic Sock Nazi.

That's not too much to ask for, is it?