Monthly Archives: December 2011

Downton Abbey is Everything.

Now I’m not even trying to front like this hugely popular show hasn’t been all over everyone’s top list for the last year, but I just got around to it, so now I’m going to throw some shine on Downton Abbey too.  Why risk redundancy?  Because it is just that fucking excellent. Obviously Maggie Smith rules, and she is in top form here as a domineering Countess.  She’s just one yummy morsel of an all around delicious ensemble cast.   Truthfully, there isn’t a bad actor in the bunch. So you are thinking period drama = snoozy, right?  Wrong bitches.  Academy Award-winning writer Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) propels the story forward using death, love, accusations, and swirling intrigue to keep the viewer super engaged.There’s even a little Edwardian style man-on-man fun for those queens that need further convincing. Downton Abbey is everything.  Obtain, devour, and enjoy seasons 1 & 2 now.

Demeter Clarc Manners Moment: Forbidden Friday

So no matter what happens this weekend, we are absolutely forbidden from partaking in the following behaviors.

Childish Alcoholic Douchebaggery.

No belly shots, keg stands, quarters, beruit, or other drinking games spawned from the land of Kappa Kappa Kunts.  Trust me – you’ve graduated.

Enjoy no more than 5 cocktails, and if any one of you makes that Mercy-laced cocktail recipe courtesy of GOOP then I will issue an official fatwa on your ass.  Take that shit to Gwyneth’s townhouse.  Wanna cure your hangover?  Set aside a fat rail from your eight ball and reserve it for breakfast.  Problem solved.  Put that in your newsletter Mizz Martin.

Mopping up the Dregs.

No matter how desperate, horny, or lonely, avoid finding a fuck partner the last twenty minutes the bar is open.  When has a truly satisfying sexual experience come from sorting through the dregs at last call?  Better question, how many of these encounters require a side order of Valtrex with the following morning’s Mimosa brunch.  Don’t kick off 2012 with a trip to the free clinic.

Including the drama couple.

Most of us are friends with at least one couple that can’t make it through an entire evening without getting into some loud dramatic stunt queen shit that sours the fun for everyone.  Avoid those assholes this weekend.

Drinking and Driving

DUI’s are so 2007 and so inexcusable.  For those dumbasses thinking of riding home on their bikes drunk (FYI, you can still get a DUI on a bike), did I ever tell you about that night I spent in the hospital with my friend Oskar after he cracked his head open drunk biking home from the bars one night?  Fun story.

Bitch & Complain

Nothing sucks up fun like a whiny bitch.  I’ll sum this up with one of my favorite quotes (which has been attributed to several different people including: Katharine Hepburn, Wallis Simpson, Henry Ford II, Benjamin Disraeli, and John Wayne, but who knows where it originated?)

Never Complain.  Never Explain.

HOLIDAY HAIR

Beehive PonyDirty Bed HeadTeased to PleaseFor the BoysNaturalBardot ForevahBlunt and SleekTop HeavyLow-Slung Texture

Ironic Product Placement: Teen Mom 2 sponsored by Mirena?

In case you missed it last night on Teen Mom 2, Kailyn sought out birth control from some beady-eyed OBGYN.  During the course of the episode, the word Mirena was uttered no less than 7 times. Mirena was mentioned thrice by the Doc and Kailyn and once by new boyfriend Jordan as if under coercion.We’re not talking about the word IUD, we’re talking specifically about the peppering of the pharmaceutical brand name “Mirena.”  Coincidence or profitable product placement?  The exam and “insertion” ran like a 5 minute commercial shoved into the show.  Did Kailyn get a free IUD in return for her enthusiasm?Marketing a long-term hormone based contraception to teenage girls is an interesting choice considering their high risk for contracting an STD during unprotected sex.  Personal opinion only here: keep the hormones and the foreign devices out of your body and keep the wenis wrapped. 

pOST-hOLIDAY cLEARANCE mASTERCLASS

Broaden the search by shopping the mens and kids departments for excellent markdowns on sweaters.  On the mens rack find plenty of small sizes and on the kids find the leftover XLs.  The patterns and proportions can be a fresh alternative to the same old womens offerings. Read the signage carefully.  Just went jeans shopping and my denim-purchasing companion would have probably bought twice as many pairs had he known at the time of selection that the $159 jeans marked down to $89 would actually ring up at 40% off the lowest marked price.   Don’t get suckered into buying fresh Resort 2012 right now unless you are actually traveling someplace warm in the next 4 weeks.  Now is the time to stock up on deeply discounted coats, winter accessories, and boots for the rest of this season and next. 

6 days to salvage 2011

If the day after Christmas has left you with a holiday hangover, consider using the last precious days of the year to accomplish a few unmet goals.  Rather than waiting until NYE to make some phony resolution, begin the new year with the confidence that comes from triumphing over obstacles.  First off, your space is filthy, so a good pre-New Year purge wouldn’t hurt, right?  Like when is the last time you really mopped?  What difference would 3 hours dedicated to tidiness make in your life?  What impact could a donation of all your unused crap mean to someone in need?  Now is your chance to make up for snubbing that Salvation Army bell ringer this year.  It is never too late for generosity.If your goal this year was to cultivate fun, you still have 5 days to plan an execute a bitching NYE party.  How about a trade-your-most-hideous-gift exchange party?  The fiesta provides another avenue to declutter (see #1) and an opportunity to trade it for something you might actually like, even if only ironically.

Schedule preventative care appointments.  Now is as good a time as any to schedule dentist, mammogram, colonoscopy and all those other screenings that can save you from critical malfunctions.  Maintenance is everything.  I care for you and want you healthy for 2o12 and beyond.

Here’s to rising to the challenge of accomplishing more in the last week of the year than bong hits and Teen Mom 2 marathons.

Sunday with the 12 Days of Christmas

12 Drummers Drumming

11 Pipers Piping10 Lords a-Leaping

9 Ladies Dancing

8 Maids a-Milking

7 Swans a-Swimming6 Geese a-laying

5 Golden Rings

4 Calling Birds3 French Hens2 Turtle Dovesand a partridge in a pear tree.

 

light up

on pies

Over the last few years I’ve baked pies from scratch.  Like quilting, it is easy to understand why preparing dough by hand could easily become a lost art for the amateur baker.  If a holiday pie is on the menu, instead of store bought, consider wowing the crowd by bringing a homemade pie. 

After creating several decent-but-mediocre pies, I’ve learned a few tricks that have dramatically improved my results.  A self-proclaimed baking neophyte, I humbly offer you the following advice based on personal trial and error.  Going against popular modern instruction (including Martha), I declare the food processor the foe of flaky crust.  Cut the fat into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter and a little effort.  Most beginner pie makers overwork the dough which results in a shortbread-like crust consistency.  Since switching to the cutter from the processor, the previously illusive flaky texture is now literally within my grasp.  The recipe for pie crust only requires 3-5 simple ingredients:  3 cups flour +  1 cup butter and/or shortening (I use 1/2 cup of each) + as little ice cold water as possible (1/8-1/4 of a cup) , a pinch of salt and a skosh of sugar (about 2 tbsps). Cut abut half the water into the dough with the pastry cutter and reserve the other half to dribble on as needed once the crumbly dough is transferred to the location where you plan to roll it.  Add water conservatively, keeping in mind the fat should hold it together.  It took me quite awhile to get comfortable with the relative dryness of the dough.   Immediately after forming the dough into a mound, use a greased fondant roller to roll an 1/8 inch thin round.  Form into a shape that generously exceeds the diameter of your intended pie pan.  Not sure?  Turn the pan upside down and use a knife to cut around it, leaving yourself at least a 3 inches all the way around the circumference.  For the lattice, cut strips from the remaining dough.  Some strips should exceed the diameter of the pie pan.  Refrigerate the crust after it’s rolled and formed rather than chilling the dough and then trying to roll it.   If you choose apple filling, I learned you really don’t have to pre-cook the apples as is generally recommended.  As for type of apple, the cheap and ubiquitous organic Granny Smith works great.  Peel and thinly slice the apples.  In a large bowl, bathe the sliced apples in sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.  Let the mixtures stand for a half hour and then use a slotted spoon to transfer the filling into the pie. 

Weave a lattice with strips of dough you cut while rolling out the pie.  Dot the top with butter.  Use a foil lined catch pan in the likely event the pie juice simmers over.  Try the lowest rack of the oven for a crispier bottom crust.