-A mostly true journey of a girl, her man and their three kids; all trying to live harmoniously in a house somewhere in Utah. Names and exact locations may be changed in order to protect the grouchy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Can I get some milk with that?

The man's sister made a comment the other day about visiting a store where girl scouts were outside, still selling their infamous cookies in the warm weather. She was surprised that the gals were hocking their goods in beautiful May, rather than in March; the usual cookie season.

She was trying to convey that the troops were lucky to be soliciting the heavenly treats without freezing their little green beanies off. March is a cold month to be out selling $3.50 worth of childhood memories. Door-to-door, in the cold wind and rain, people ceremoniously rip down their "No Soliciting" signs in hopes of grabbing a traditional package or six of the now too small boxes-of-disappointment.

I say this because instead of the glorious sleeves of cookies of long ago, they are now individually encased in plastic packages that hold all of eight or twelve cookies.  We continue to buy smaller, thinner boxes that cruelly list the ingredients and as an extra stab in the patch-covered sash, the cookie company  now also lists the calories. Ugh.

I thought about my sister-in-law's encounter for all of three seconds, and I too became concerned. My worry wasn't whether the cookies might taste stale, or even (gasp) that they could be past their expiration date.  I didn't care if these pre-teens were vending the last left-overs of the year....

So, what was it that was bothering me?  Were my feelings bitter about the selling of these cookies later than the traditional cookie season? Was I upset that we as a nation are being encouraged to purchase less product for more money? Was I appalled that there isn't a natural ingredient in any of the cookie products or that two little cookies count as a serving?????

No. My feelings instead were of pure jealousy. I mean, why does my sister-in-law get to live in such a magical place that girl scout cookies are apparently for sale year round? Why is it that her town gets to eat Trefoils in the sun or stuff their mouths with thin mints on days appropriate for picnics? If you live in this "field-of-dreams" town, is it NOT required to hide your Samoas in the bottom of the freezer under the broccoli? Can you actually have whole wheat crackers in their own box rather than hide your precious reserve of Tag-a-longs? I'd be willing to bet this enchanted city hands out Lemon Creams with their parking tickets too.

Hmm. I think I smell injustice.




If injustice smells like peanut butter.

What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie? Would you eat them if they were available year 'round?

For those of us that have to wait for March, here's a few simple recipes that will tide you over, for the weekend :)

To make Lemon Creams, Peanut Butter Patties, Thin Mints and Samoa knock-offs, You'll  need:



Animal Crackers (bag)
Creamy peanut butter 1/4 cup
Meltable chocolate 1 1/2 cup
Marshmallow fluff 1/4 cup
peppermint flavoring/ extract 1 tsp
coconut  (fresh and toasted) 1/4 cup each
caramel topping (squeeze bottle)
lemon frosting in a can
Parchment paper
Cookie sheets (One for each kind of cookie)

1. Place cookies flat side up on various cookie sheets. I used about 24 on each.



2. On one pan, spread peanut butter on the flat side of all cookies. Spread it thick. Set aside.
On the second pan of cookies, squirt carmel sauce on each cookie. Sprinkle fresh coconut over the carmel. Set aside.




3. Pour tsp of peppermint extract into a bowl. Add marshmallow fluff and stir until smooth. Spread on to the flat side of cookies on the third pan. The mixture is thick enough not to slide off, so frost as much as you can onto each cookie.

4. On the fourth pan, find matches for your cookies. I used Winnie the Pooh animal crackers, so it was fun to have the youngest match them up. If you're using round cookies- you are a rock star and are all set. Simply frost one flat side with lemon frosting and smoosh another cookie on top. You're done!!!



5. When marshmallow cream has set up (about 30 minutes,) you can start to melt your chocolate (chips or bark). I do mine in the microwave at intervals of 45 seconds until completely smooth. Use tongs or a fork and slowly dip the peanut butter, marshmallow and caramel cookies in the chocolate and let dry on wax paper, parchment paper or a wire rack. I like parchment. You can do each kind of cookie in batches. I like to dip only one side on the coconut caramel cookies. I also like to add darker chocolate chips to the bark for the mint patties. They're not beautiful, but they are delicious!



6. Let cookies set up (about 10 minutes) When set, drizzle carmel on the coconut cookies and finally, sprinkle toasted coconut on the top.


You now have 4 kinds of Girl Scout-like cookies...Enjoy!



Happy Wednesday, friends :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thought from the little guy....

"It's a really good thing you didn't marry somebody like a garbage man..." says the youngest.

Sensing a teaching moment on nipping any snobbery in the bud as well as how every person's job is equally important, I take a deep breath.....

"Why do you say that?" I ask, curtly.

"Because he couldn't fit his garbage truck in the garage. Dad drives a little car and it barely fits." he explains.

Now I shift from lecturer to thinker.

I understand that he was speaking spatially, not socially.

I try not to take offense to the fact that my garage is so full of junk, it barely fits our small cars and that a six year old can see what I apparently can't.

Finally, I now must come to the realization that an affair or second marriage with a school bus driver, FEDEX guy or a big-rig trucker is more than likely, out of the question.

Happy Thursday, friends :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, step right up......

Welcome to the circus!!

For the main attraction, witness the delicate balancing act of the Mrs...

Watch as she juggles too many things in the air while walking the tight rope of sanity. Oh, how does she do it?

Deadlines. Errands. Cooking. Cleaning. Laundry....spinning in the air with the greatest of ease...

Look closely as the Mrs. maintains her balance just in time for the children to add in delicate plates full of plans of all the final activities piling up at the end of the school year...

Be amazed as her man throws in the mix a bowling ball with the name of the company that just bought his out....

She's still hanging on!!

Oh, but here comes the chainsaw, roaring with too many doctor's appointments and procedures and follow-ups and referrals... Yes Sir. Focus on that axe!! Look how it's changing things up with never-ending bad news. Amazing.

And way over there, folks, are her friends, the flying trapeze artists. Watch as they smile, asking her to join them. With every graceful pass by, she wonders what would happen if she just dropped everything... or just a few things.... maybe...

No. The Mrs. knows better. She's experienced enough to know that the second she finds balance, the mighty sword throwers will join in- the ones who remind her that she has neglected family, forgotten to return phone calls, e-mails and knocks at the door.

The Mrs. holds focuses deeply because she knows eventually, everyone will stop watching the balancing act. The lights will shut off and she will be alone with her thoughts. At first, she'll savor the time she has left, hoping that daylight takes a little longer to return... because with morning, the big top goes back up and it all starts over.

But this is her job. The audience will continue to ooh and ahh. A little of that praise embarrassingly drives her. The man works tirelessly to lighten the weight of the bowling balls. The children tiptoe with the delicate plates, worried of seeing their juggling-tight rope-walking star become overwhelmed. She has already, unknowingly, set those nervous children up to walk small tightropes of their own.

Quiet now... Watch carefully as the Mrs. gets ready to take center ring. She has always been very good at painting on a smile. She knows that people came to see it. She also knows that some of the audience finds the drama a little too perfect. They secretly hope she'll fail at this balancing act. Wouldn't it be a beautiful disaster to watch such a professional fall from so high?

No matter. She keeps going, concentrating..trying. What the audience doesn't know, is that if she falls, it will be okay. Sure, it will be a huge mess. There will be a lot of things to sort through; to piece back together. She knows that the man and the kids, the fly-by friends and even a few sword throwers will help her back on her feet. They always do. They will all get back up, take their places and start over.

The show must go on.

Happy weekend, friends.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jeopardy....

I'll take, "How pathetic is that?" for 200, Alex.






Answer-



A dresser, 6 pairs of shoes, a yoga mat, a mirror and a pound of dust.



Question-



 "What is shellybean willing to move in order to retrieve ONE bag of peanut M&M's?"

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Times are hard, man.

Happy Wednesday, friends :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Quote of the weekend...

"I want you to homeschool me until the tenth grade, or until I can read 'good'..."-says the youngest, confirming the awesome talents of his mother. Oh dear...



Reach for the stars, friends :)
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