Friday, January 8, 2010

Snowbound and Not Cooking

Yesterday we had what I like to call a "Jammies Day." This means the girls and I stay in our pjs all day long because we can't leave the house anyway so why bother getting dressed. (Yes, they're wearing Halloween pajamas and it's January. That is the least of my problems. Please note they are flipping themselves backward off the couch in what inevitably will someday be a trip to the ER while I idly stand by taking photos with my phone...)

I woke up yesterday morning and told my husband we were going to Pump It Up Party -- or as my girls call it, The Jump Place. It's one of our usual weekly outings. Please don't go there if you live in Chicago. We don't like crowds.

So anyway, my husband informed me there was a snowstorm and we likely wouldn't be going anywhere. I never bother checking the weather anymore. It's Chicago. I know the forecast: inhumanely freezing, not suitable for human beings. I don't know about you, but when I've just been informed I will be locked in a house with two screaming two-year-olds by myself for the next 12 hours, I start to panic. I'm not a kindergarten teacher, for crying out loud. I don't do crafts, I don't like to color and there's only so much Caillou a 41-year-old lady can take.

Incidentally, am I the only politically incorrect person who not only hopes global warming is real, but that we don't do anything to stop it? "Humans over polar bears" is my motto. It's a wind chill of about -1 right now and I wouldn't mind it going up a degree or 50. (Note to environmentalists: I kid. Sort of. It's easy to be against global warming when you live in LA. You're probably reading this from your back deck as your kids frolic on the swings. You just want the temperature to stay where it is because you had the good sense to move somewhere warm. Try living in Chicago November through March and see if you don't start trying to INCREASE your carbon footprint.)

Bottom line: we survived our day inside. We sang, we danced -- and when things got really dire --we put all the coins I've saved over the last year into their piggy banks for entertainment purposes. Which I kind of want back but it seems wrong to take money from a child's piggy bank even if it was never explicitly stated they could keep it.

Moving on... My new shiny crock pot is sitting on my kitchen counter staring me down, mocking me.

"Ya gonna cook something or what bitch?"

I won't be spoken to like that in my own home unless it's my children. And they won't know the word "bitch" for at least another week or so.

Here's what I've come to realize: I found a vessel in which I can (allegedly) easily cook food. HOWEVER, I must first pour over a cook book, find a recipe rudimentary enough that I can pull it off, drag my ass to the grocery store, buy the ingredients and then lug it all home. And then I still have to cook the shit! My solution: make my husband do the grunt work then I swoop in like Betty Crocker (is that who the crock pot is named after?), throw the crap in the cooker, let it simmer for 12 hours and then take credit if it is delicious and blame it on him if it rots.

Okay, so after I posted that we bought a crock pot, my mother called and asked if we really bought a crock pot or if it was just a funny story I concocted for my blog. Because everyone knows you mention a crock pot and hilarity ensues. WHO MAKES UP THEY BOUGHT A CROCK POT??? She thought it could just be a case of exercising my "creative license." People, presume what I say here is real unless I mention Daniel Craig is stopping by for a martini and a chat at which time I'll serve him a delicious meal I've just whipped up in my new crock pot. Because everyone knows I'm not really going to cook anything, even for Daniel Craig.


  1. saw a crock-pot the other day. it came with a mini-one, too. i didn't buy it. not sure if i should go back. one friend told me she has two and doesn't use either of them. that will probably happen to me. other friends have them and use them all the time. one even made lasagna in it. i can't begin to comprehend how that is possible. i thought it was for stews. take care and i hope you get to the pump it up soon. we had cabin fever this week and jump zone is my sane place. i don't like crowds, so i go early in the morning when they open. we get the whole place to ourselves.

  2. Oh good God! Make the snow and cold stop! If you have one ounce of kindness left for those of us living in Chicago, you will ease up just a bit! Because I agree, too much time trapped indoors with small children to entertain is inhumane.

  3. You don't need a recipe for a crock pot! Just start simple, if you want to make a bean veggie soup then cut up celery, squash, zucchini and carrots. Empty a 28oz can of tomatoes into the crockpot plus whatever beans you enjoy (from the can) I personally like black beans, kidney beans and white beans. Sometimes I throw in a fourth bean to shake it up. Empty a container of chicken stock into the pot (4-6 cups) then salt, pepper, garlic, onions, basil, thyme, rosemary (any herbs you like depending on the flavor you are going for). For veggie meals I prefer white pepper because it gives it a kick but blends better with veggies than black pepper.

    Chili is also super easy to make.

    You can conquer the crockpot!


  4. I just bought one of those uber cool, extra long flashlights that requires 10 batteries. Not really.

    I KNOW you're suffering in Chicago and that you must suffer much longer than we ever do. However, it was 9 degrees this morning with wind chill 11 below. And I live in freakin' Arkansas!!!

    Finally, if you want, I'll email you some easy crock pot crap that's actually not crap. You might need one of those extra long flashlights to illuminate the recipe, though...

  5. Ahhhh, what a lovely evening....{I write as I watch my kids frolic withe swings...}

    I think I almost died when you said Humans over Polar Bears. You could easily be my BFF.

  6. I too secretly hope to see global warming in my tiring constantly seeking the sunshine.

    I love your take on food preparation and hope you don't mind that I linked to your post in my blog.

  7. As I was reading this from my couch in L.A. I was thinking to myself, "Huh, did my lips get sunburn today from the three hours I spent playing outside?" And then I got to the part about people reading this in L.A. and it was a very meta moment for me.

    If it makes you feel any better our schools are shit and you really do miss wearing a coat when it doesn't dip below 60 all year. And because you never wear coats (and very rarely sweaters) it's impossible to hide a gut, which really sucks, let me tell you.