Tuesday, December 15, 2009

behind lock and key

Did you know that recipe exchanging can get touchy sometimes?

I found this out a few years ago when I called up an acquaintance from church to ask her for her delicious caramel syrup recipe that pairs perfectly with German pancakes.  She stammered around for a couple seconds finally saying that NO, she could not give out that recipe as it was a "prized" family recipe only to be kept within the confines of their blood lineage.  

I paused for a moment, a little bit embarrassed for asking and a little bit dumbfounded for not receiving.  I decided to press the issue a little further.  Starting with some seriously sappy compliments about how it was literally THE BEST syrup I had ever tasted and I didn't know how my tastebuds would survive without that recipe at my own disposal.  

Then I asked, "Did someone in your family INVENT the recipe?"  

It was a risky move to make.  Perhaps she could sense my underlying tones of sassiness.  But I really wanted to know.  I mean, to me, the ONLY reason you would not give out a recipe is if YOU were the INVENTOR  and were hoping to make money in some shape or form from your medley of perfectly combined ingredients.

Sheepishly she said, "Well, no, but we are famous for this syrup and have never given out the recipe to another living soul."

I knew there was only one thing for me to do.  I had to create a binding contract between her and me promising that I would NEVER, EVER give the recipe to any other living person.  

So she conceded.  Under pressure she decided to surrender the precious recipe into my trusting care under the strict agreement that I would never tell another living soul.

Well, I tell ya folks.  The internet is a great resource.  I typed in caramel syrup and about 25 recipes came up with the EXACT ingredients and EXACT measurements as this sacred recipe.  Which leads me to justify that it is perfectly alright for me to share this not-so-original recipe with the masses.

But I still have questions for all you non-recipe sharers.  
What is your fear/reasoning behind hoarding your recipes?  

Is your recipe a hit at parties?
Is it something you've gently fine-tuned to perfection?
Is it a family heirloom?
Do you want all the glory for your famed chocolate coconut crunch cookies?

I really won't judge.
This can be a friendly forum.  

Two of my greatest friends have openly confessed to me that they do not like sharing recipes. One friend (you know who you are) has since shared a few of her top recipes now that I live seven stakes (Mormon lingo) away and there is absolutely no chance of me showing up at a Relief Society (more Mormon lingo) dinner with HER recipe.

So come out of the closet, whomever you are, and tell us why we can't be part of your amazing skills in the kitchen.  And if you aren't a hoarder, then share your thoughts too.  

We need to get to the bottom of this!

* postscript *
 I am always willing to share any of my gourmet recipes with you.  I have a great one for tatertot casserole or our family favorite...corn crud.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

this will boost your self-esteem

I really shouldn't be blogging right now.


Because I should be busy figuring out what plan B should be for my kids' Christmas presents.  

It was all going well two nights ago.  While watching an uplifting Christmas message from the Prophet of my church on television, I carefully cut superhero symbols out of felt for later application to a cape for my kids.  I was rather pleased with my freehand drawing of the giant S for Superman.  Just looking at my precise cuts and lines made me feel like I was back in my "crafting" groove.

Then tonight, I got out the sewing machine.  I've already admitted that sewing is not my strong suit.  I am much better with hot glue.  Yet, I insist on trying over and over to improve my skills. But someone needs to tell me to STOP trying and just let my husband take care of the sewing because it all went wrong.  So wrong.

First mistake was buying sparkly, flowing, polyestery, stretchy fabric.  You know, the kind superheros would look stellar in?!  How on earth can anyone sew with that stuff?  It was stretching and pulling and bunching all over the place.  Pins...what's the point?  The fabric is so slippery, it could care less about the pin holding it "in place".  

Second mistake was using spray glue to secure my felt pieces together.  When I tried to sew them in place, the needle got all gummy and gunked up with felt balls.  Every 5 inches of sewing the thread would break.  And I would swear. (not really, cause remember I don't swear?  but there were plenty of groans and grunts.)

Third mistake was wearing fleece pants while getting increasingly frustrated and disturbed (which equals very hot and fired up).  When I got up from my chair there were literally two butt cheek imprints of sweat droplets.  (not pictured, but take my word for it.)  I'm such a lady.

Why oh why do I do this to myself?  I could have just bought myself a couple of cute capes off of Etsy, but no...i wanted to make something meaningful and from the heart.   Something, however, tells me that my 3 year-old just wants a blasted superman cape that resembles superman and more importantly a CAPE!

There's always next year....

Monday, December 7, 2009

...and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care

I was talking with a friend yesterday about how our desire for creating magical moments "sprinkled with fairy dust" for our children around the holidays sometimes gets thwarted with tantrums, fights, broken decorations, spilled hot chocolate, crayons in the fire, and basically a less than ideal outcome.

None of which happened to us while decorating for Christmas.  (wink, wink)

But in the end, don't you think we will all remember the magic over the meltdowns?

(we are going sans ornaments on the tree this year and I think I LOVE it.)

Friday, December 4, 2009


The GOOD thing about going to Sacramento is that we finally got to see Fall leaves.
The BAD thing is that we had to endure 12 hours of holiday traffic. (boo)

The GOOD thing about Thankgiving dinner was, well, EVERYTHING.
The BAD thing was that I overdid it on the hors d'oeuvres and saved little room for the main course and dessert.  (what a travesty!) 

The GOOD thing about our trip was spending time with family.
The BAD/sad thing was that Troy's grandpa passed away. (but the funeral was beautiful)

The GOOD thing about vacation was letting our kids be constantly entertained by cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
The BAD thing is Monday morning when it is back ME as the only source of entertainment.  (I'm not nearly as exciting)

The GOOD thing about Sacramento is Leatherby's and Costa Vida.
The BAD thing is 5 extra pounds.

The GOOD thing about going home is buying 20 pounds of delicious seedless mandarins straight from the orchard.
The BAD thing is over-regularity.  (a small price to pay for the deliciousness)

The GOOD thing about thanksgiving being over is that CHRISTMAS is just around the corner.
The BAD thing is that the days seem like minutes.  (for you too?)