Archive for the 'Hunger Pangs' Category

The cupcakes of death

NS April 4th, 2009

It was TNC’s third birthday on Thursday. We took her to the zoo on the day but we’re having a party with family and friends tomorrow. Nothing major but I’ve done my usual trick: said I was going to make and bake a bunch of things myself and then ended up not doing them, or doing them badly. Will I ever learn? Who was I kidding when I thought I’d get enough time (or skill!) to make my own pinata and decorate two dozen cupcakes to look like sheep, like I saw in a Waitrose food magazine?! It was harrowing enough to organise the location, buy the food and decorations, get a party dress for the birthday girl, send invites and directions, and put together goodie bags for the kids. I obviously still harbor delusions of grandeur in which I am Bree Van de Kamp a la Desperate Housewives.

Not me
Not me

When, in fact, this is more like me. Or, rather, will be me at 10.55 tomorrow when the guests are getting ready to arrive and I am still slapping Betty Crocker “heart attack in a can” Vanilla Icing onto my dry, tasteless cupcakes (you suck, Waitrose food magazine) with a spork while trying to wrestle the plastic tags off of the decorations and games before passing them off as handmade.


More reporting from the dark side tomorrow…

Mother’s Day rocks!

NS March 22nd, 2009

The Noble Husband gets five gold stars for the Mother’s Day treats he and the children bestowed upon me today. I got to sleep in until 8.30 (woot!) and was awoken with coffee in bed and three smiling faces bearing cards and fantastic gifts.

A messenger bag I’ve been coveting

Honey and lemon-scented L’Occitane bath gel

Percy Piglets (my current favourite sweet)

and the entire series of A Bit of Fry and Laurie on dvd

These are probably some of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten in one collection, he did really well! TNH has always been a wonderful, intuitive gift-giver, he knows just what to get me, and others. It’s something he really excels at. Oh, and he’s a fabulous cook as well. This morning he made me poached eggs on a bed of spinach with toast and bacon. Delicious!

And very importantly, a mimosa (champagne and orange juice for the uninitiated)

This, added to the fact that he did a ton of cleaning and DIY without being asked or reminded while I was out at lunch with a couple friends yesterday, and before he had to go to work, means that he has earned about a thousand Good Husband Points this weekend. Well done, TNH! I think I’ll keep him.

Five more things

NS February 1st, 2009

1. This made me laugh

2. This made me cheer

“It is fitting that with the very first bill I sign … we are upholding one of this nation’s first principles: that we are all created equal and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness,” Obama said at the bill’s signing ceremony.

“If we stay focused, as Lilly did — and keep standing for what’s right, as Lilly did — we will close that pay gap and ensure that our daughters have the same rights, the same chances, and the same freedom to pursue their dreams as our sons.”

3. This quote, from this article on the woman who had the octuplets, made me angry

Rosenthal, on the other hand, questions the woman’s capacity to make a good decision under the circumstances. Some neonatologists believe that when pregnant women are told about dangers of prematurity or have great expectations about giving birth, their judgment can be impaired, she said.

The situation raises the issue of whether a doctor ought to override a patient’s wishes for the sake of saving lives, she said. Although the health care system in America gives patients autonomy in making decisions about their own bodies, when emotionally distraught, some people decide poorly, she said.

Bolded emphasis mine. All I can say is big HELL NO, doctors should not be overriding anything when it comes to their patients. Women do not lose their brainpower, their autonomy, their judgment or their rights when they become pregnant. And since when did having “great expectations about giving birth” become synonymous with diminished capacity to make decisions? This is the crap I was talking about in my recent post.

4. It’s snowing! Yay! Real snow! In London!

5. Sainsbury’s cheesecake is shite. Much prefer Waitrose’s.

Eating my weight in cheesecake

NS November 9th, 2008

Anyone who knows me well knows that my favourite dessert is cheesecake of the rich, creamy, New York style. No sauces, coulis, cream or fruit on top, just cheesecake by itself in all its delicious glory.

I try to only buy it occasionally, as a rare treat, but whenever someone comes for dinner and brings dessert they usually bring cheesecake, knowing how much I love it. When I went out to lunch with a few friends for my birthday this year, I ordered cheesecake for dessert. When I passed my driving test back in July, my best friend brought over — you guessed it — cheesecake. You could say it’s a well-known fact that I’m a sucker for a buttery, graham-crackery crust and a filling so ridiculously creamy and sweet that it strikes fear into the hearts of every nutritionist and dentist in the land. So it was a no-brainer when in a local grocery store last week I was offered a sample of their new range of cheesecakes. “Of course I want to try your new cheesecakes, lady! You are in the presence of a cheesecake connoisseur” I proudly informed her. I grabbed the miniature dish and spork proffered and prepared to chow down.

But wait. The samples on offer were not New York-style, they were caramel and chocolate. CARAMEL and CHOCOLATE. Oh, no no no. This would not do. The Noble Savage does not eat cheesecake that has been adorned with false embellishments not native to the original variety. I am far too suspicious of what they are trying to cover up. Is the crust not buttery enough? Is the filling made with an inferior cream cheese? Why am I being manipulated and distracted by fudge swirls, raspberry coulis and white chocolate shavings? What kind of sick, twisted plot is this?!?!

I narrowed my eyes at the lone bite of cheesecake that quivered before me, balanced precariously on that most wondrous of utensils, (whoever invented the spork is a GENIUS, by the way), contemplated its possible imperfections and calculated the likelihood of it disappointing my taste buds. Being in Britain (a land renowned for its unbelievably dry, tasteless, crappy cakes), my internal statistical analysis returned poor results and indicated that I was 86% likely to be left disillusioned by the experience and in need of a drink to wash down the dry, hardened crumbs. But it was Halloween and I was in high spirits, feeling adventurous and full of debauchery, so I took a gamble and took a bite of each.

HOLY FANTASTIC FUCKING CHEESECAKE, BATMAN!! It was so good my eyes rolled back into my head a little. I thought there might be a When Harry Met Sally moment, even. I was instantly converted to Cheesecakes With Stuff On Or In Them. I marched right over to where they were selling the actual cakes and bought one (caramel). That disappeared in a matter of two or three days. Then on Friday I picked up the chocolate one. There are only three slices left as of today and only one other person has had a (small) piece. I think I had two or three slices yesterday alone.

This morning I told myself it had to stop, this cheesecake madness, and vowed not to have any today. Lo and behold, while at my in-laws’ house for lunch, they served for dessert…cheesecake! I had two pieces of that one as well. I actually felt a little sick for awhile and thought I might be greeting it again on my knees in front of the toilet. It stayed down, thank goodness, but now I’m feeling like the lardiest lard-o lardass that has ever walked the planet. It was so worth it though.

I think my plan of action is going to be to finish off the chocolate one still in my fridge tomorrow and then call a moratorium on cheesecake-eating. I may have to enlist TNH’s help with this, though he won’t likely be with me in my moments of weakness at the store. I think a ‘Do not sell this woman cake’ poster with an incriminating picture of me stuffing my face might be in order.

Five things I miss about America

NS October 28th, 2008

Inspired by Courtney’s post about missing Michigan and as a result of becoming incredibly homesick while watching Stephen Fry’s new tv series In America, I give you Five Things I Miss About America

  • 1. My family and friends. I know it’s a given but it has to be said. My mother just left London yesterday after a ten day visit and watching her taxi pull away from my house and out of my sight for another seven months or longer was like being socked in the stomach after eating too much pizza — it hurt like hell and made me feel slightly sick. It didn’t help that TNC woke up from her nap a couple hours later and asked me as she looked around forlornly, “Where’s Nana gone? Nana gone on airplane?” Saying goodbye sucks.
  • 2. Wide open spaces. I can barely park my car in front of my house because my road is as narrow as a bigot’s mind, as skinny as Kate Moss’s thighs. When I attempt to parallel park I come inches away from hitting the car parked ACROSS THE STREET. This island is too damn small.
  • 3. Autumn. Gorgeous reds, golds, yellows, oranges and browns. Blue skies and crisp air accompanied by the faint smell of bonfire smoke. NFL football. Beer and wings. Pick-your-own pumpkin patches. Apple cider. Warm stews and casseroles. Favourite sweaters and scarves. Hayrides. S’mores. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Elections.
  • 4. Good, affordable food. To get reliably good food in London, even for basic stuff like sandwiches, salads or steaks, one must have a lot of spare cash with which to buy it or a lot of time with which to source it. Since I have neither anymore, the prospect of a good, inexpensive meal out is pretty dim. Finding family-friendly restaurants that don’t serve absolute crap and don’t make the adults want to self-harm is a whole other challenge unto itself. Sometimes I would give my left arm for an IHOP or Tumbleweed.
  • 5. That wondrous, zany American outlook on life. America has its problems and an ugly side, we all know that. But in a land where no dream is too big, no idea too crazy, no obstacle too insurmountable and no person unchangeable — a land where a homeless person can make themselves into a millionaire, the moon can be walked on and a black man can become president — being able to say that you were able to try, even if you didn’t make it, is pretty amazing. And in that trying — that striving to go further, faster, higher, better — we all become stronger people and in turn, a stronger community and a stronger nation. That can-do attitude is not only positive but positively American. And I miss the hell out of it, deep down, even as a hardened cynic living in Europe.
  • If you’re an expat, what do you miss about your homeland? Or if you’re already/still there, what do you miss about a place you’ve previously lived?

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