Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I could have used a machete - French's Green Bean Casserole without Green Beans

Ear worm time, sparked by my little Chelsea as she digs frantically at the inside of the dog bed.

Who's been sleepin' in my bed
Gettin' what I get

When I don't get it

Who's been sleepin' in my bed
Yeah, that's what I said
I just don't get it
Who's been sleepin'
Who's been sleepin' in my bed

Chelsea usually sleeps on our bed while Indiana likes to sleep in one of the dog beds on the floor. Tonight though she really wanted to be placed on the floor, wherein she picked out her bed, and promptly went into a dog scratching frenzy, searching for the "right" scent, namely hers. All's well that ends well, and she is snoring peacefully while I've got Barry Manilow on the brain. Well, if I've got to have an ear worm, let it be Manilow.

Today is Super Tuesday, a politically crazy day when over a dozen states (and one territory - who knew American Samoa had 10 Democrat delegates?) hold their primaries. Big numbers are at stake here, and with big numbers come big changes. Neither Florida nor New York are part of this mass hysteria, although my home states will have their chance soon enough. This may not be your idea of fun, but I got hooked on politics when I was just 7 years old, and despite my bitching it never gets old.

I saw a poll this morning that predicted both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders could beat The Donald if the General Election was held today. I hope that gave Donald just a touch of heartburn. In fact, I hope it gave the whole Republican Party heartburn. 

As I hacked through my so-called garden today while wielding a heavy duty bread knife (great for cutting thick stems when one doesn't have a machete close at hand), I gained another ear worm of sorts:

Mary, Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

Yeah, right. I guess I didn't think of it when I was a kid, but now that visual brings to mind a  print ad I once saw for "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Who plants pretty maids in their garden? And who composes a children's rhyme with that sort of imagery? 

Here is the 2016 deeply personal version:

Beary, Beary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
Like shit, thanks for asking.

I harvested as much as I could of broccoli and cauliflower and noting that both were past their prime, threw them in a big pot to boil, baby, boil. I see a cheese sauce in their future, but that could be wishful thinking.

I also grabbed every last cherry tomato and a few of the sweet little yellow pear tomatoes off of the overgrown bushes with thoughts of a little caprese salad. Or an oven-roasting session, or maybe just add them to Cory's Eternal Salad. Too many choices.

I'm still feeling the effects of leaving the house and doing stuff. Not the worst fibro symptoms I've ever dealt with, but there is pain and there is exhaustion and some low-grade itching,and I can't wait to head back upstairs. If I can fold the laundry, I'll consider the day a good one. Project Zero is on hold until I can make a trek to Walmart for certain organizing materials. 

Forget the cheese sauce. I'm taking a short trip in my own mental TARDIS to 1974, the year I discovered French's Green Bean Casserole. Here we go:

4 cups cooked broccoli and cauliflower
3/4 cup whole milk
1-10 1/2 oz. can Campbell's cream of asparagus soup
black pepper
granulated garlic
Italian seasoning
Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce
1 1/3 cup French's Crispy Fried Onions, divided

Place the broccoli and cauliflower in a deep casserole dish (that has been sprayed with some butter-flavored cooking spray)with 2/3 cup of the French's onions (I'm addicted to these things. Sorry.) In a 2-cup measuring cup combine the milk, soup, and seasonings to taste. Pour over the casserole, fold together with the vegetables, and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and top the casserole with the remaining French's onions. Lightly spray with the butter-flavored Pam and sprinkle on some black pepper. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes or until the onions are done to your liking.

In case you didn't know what  was referring to 

So I took absolutely fresh-from-the-garden vegetables and prepared them in a retro recipe which includes condensed soup and canned French-fried onions. Oh, the irony! Oh, so good!

Speaking of good, here are some pictures of the finished chicken dish I made yesterday, all sliced up nice. You could serve one whole breast per person, but at least in this house that's way too much solid protein-on-a-plate.

Pretty chicken

Pretty AND Healthy

Now that I am finally upstairs, and in pain, I am wondering why I did the one thing I said I wasn't going to do today - cooking - which wore me out so much I am having trouble doing the thing I said I was going to do - folding laundry - and why do I forget to take my meds first thing in the morning?

That's fibromyalgia.

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