Snapshots of a… Crazy Kinda Life

The Misadventures of Messie Jessie

5 Random Things That Make Me Inappropriately Thirsty December 18, 2011

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  1. Hot showers
  2. Rita’s Swedish Fish Water Ice and any brand of Vanilla Bean ice cream (regular vanilla ice cream not an issue)
  3. Department stores with multi-levels and/or large square footage
  4. Hot chocolate with a high fudge content
  5. This soap I bought once that smelled like Smarties candy

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Strange, but true.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit parched just reading this. Before you grab yourself a large glass of ice water, don’t forget to: Rate, Comment, Subscribe, Share!

 

Why you never want to get stuck behind me in line at the grocery store July 14, 2011

The check-out process at the grocery store is a very stressful event for me. That’s because I  treat it like a competition. The ultimate end goal is to get all my stuff in line and through the line, in the most organized fashion possible and packed up as fast as possible– because there’s nothing I hate more than holding up everyone else in line behind me.

But the thing is, because I am totally anal about where my stuff goes and how it goes in there, I always end up holding the line up anyway. Let me explain:

The process starts while I’m still shopping for my goods. I always bring my own reusable bags with me and I use my Granny Cart instead of the regular store cart because I need to make sure that I can preplan how everything is going to fit back in there once I’ve paid for it all. (Click here if you don’t know what a Granny Cart is). As I select each of my food-stuffs I will put it in the same bag that it will leave in, or with the other items it will later be packed with.

Once I finish the actual shopping, its time to select the most expedient line possible (which is determined by a complex calculation involving the number of people in line and the approximate number of items per person). As I approach my turn to load up on the conveyor belt I must now organize all my items on it so that when each item comes out the other end it effortlessly goes in succession into the right bag, with the right stuff, and fits perfectly by leaving as little air space as possible in each bag so that I use as few bags as possible.

Oh, and did I mention that this process needs to happen as quickly as possible too? That conveyor belt moves fast, man. The little plastic separator thingie used to distinguish where one customer’s items end and the next’s begins is essential in this process.

The entire time I’m putting my items on the belt I think to myself, “Ok, well the greek yogurt, block of swiss cheese and organic milk need to go together because they are all refrigerated items and if placed together will stay colder longer. But the milk is also a beverage, so maybe I should put it in the beverage bag instead. I need to use my green bag for the beverage bag because the beverage bag always gets heavy and the green one fits best over my shoulder, and my shoulder is the best place to put the beverage bag because that makes it the least difficult to carry… Now, I should put my Kashi Go Lean cereal with my couscous because they are both boxes. Boxes are rectangular so the seven total I have should fit nicely together in one bag. I’ll make sure that bag goes on the bottom of the cart because it will be sturdy enough to handle the weight of the rest of the bags… As for this bag of Tostitios, I’ll have to put that back at the end of the conveyor belt so that I can put it on the top of the produce bag. All that stuff in the produce bag is easily damaged so I want to make sure I don’t put anything too heavy in there. And the pineapple will have to go on the bottom of the bag because it’s unwieldy and I don’t want to bruise my bananas.”

Once it’s my turn in the que I scan the bagging area for paper bags. I gave up using plastic bags long ago and, unless given no other option, will never use a plastic bag again. If there are no paper bags in sight, I will ask the cashier if there are any available. Unfortunately, this inevitably adds approximately 7 – 12 minutes to the process. The cashier must leave her post and walk around to all the other lines to see if there are any stowed away at those registers. Because there are not, she must now go into the back stock room to obtain more paper bags. Of course there are paper bags back there but she’ll have to pull an unopened box of 8000 bags down, alone, from the top shelf, in order to get them for me. And because she’s a petite Asian woman, this requires finding a step stool, which is no where near the location of the paper bags.

Meanwhile, I am still standing at the register as the line grows behind me. The natives are getting restless. To ease any potential tensions, I will make casual conversation with those around me. I mean, we’re all crowded in here together; why should we stand around staring at our feet, pretending like each other do not exist? I generally comment on someone else’s items to break the ice. “Oh look, you got a red bell pepper. I was thinking about getting one but then I thought to myself that I never get the orange ones so I decided to go a little wild and get one of those instead.”

Usually by the time the cashier returns, the other patrons and I feel like old friends and I’m cracking jokes left and right. I downright entertain the people sometimes. Heck, I took tap dance lessons for a month when I was 12. I’m not afraid to pull it out of my arsenal if the need arises.

However, sometimes, there are people who do not care about my attempts to appease the masses. They just get irritated. One time I was next to this tall, almost Amazonian, woman who was very concerned about her ice cream and the probability of it melting while she waited in the (air conditioned) line. She said that she was in a hurry and hoped that the cashier didn’t take too long. Once it became clear that the cashier was, indeed, “taking too long” she began to shoot me angry sideways glances.

Paper wins

Then she brought up the subject of paper versus plastic.

She told me that she loves plastic bags and uses them all the time. “I put them in my trash cans and use them as little trash bags. I never seem to have enough plastic bags around.” Clearly, this was a jab in my eco-friendly direction.

What Ms. Amazonia didn’t realize was that she picked the wrong girl to instigate with on this particular subject.

I talked to her about the ease of going greener, which can be as simple as reusing the plastic bags in her trash cans. I noted that all she would have to do is dump out the contents of one trash can into a larger one at the end of the week and the plastic bags could serve as a reusable protective liner for her trash cans.

I mention that I also recycle my plastic bags, and hint that she can do the same as there is a bin specifically for plastic bag recycling right outside this very grocery store.

I then told her about how I switched over to using biodegradable dog poop bags because, “it just doesn’t make sense to put world’s most biodegradable substance into world’s least biodegradable substance.”

At this point we were nearing fist-fight levels of ire.

When I had finally had enough of her rabble-rousing I exclaimed, “thankfully, because of people like you, they are making plastic bags that are biodegradable anyway. In fact, I bet you’re one of those people that take your food scraps and put them in one of these little plastic bags and tie it up real tight, just so it won’t mess up your trash bag. You just really wanna make sure those suckers never make it back into the earth, don’t you? And you know something else, lady? I take you for one of those people who would request to be extra embalmed when you die, because you’re worried about becoming a pile of bones in several hundred years. Noooo, you wouldn’t ever let that happen. You want to stay fresh as the day you were buried. Well guess what lady – it doesn’t matter how fresh you are because you’re DEAD.”

Ok, so maybe I didn’t really say ALL of that, but I definitely thought it in my head.

Potentially preventing a melee, this is right about the time the cashier will return, with no less than 500 bags in tow. But before they can start ringing up my items, they’ve got to visit  the other registers to drop off paper bags to each and everyone one of them.

After I hand the cashier my Super Savings card, they will begin running each of my items over the red laser and the continuous bleeping of a successful ring-up commences. Standing in the bagging area, I’m at the at the ready for the fury of goods as they start heading my way.

As the cashier gets to about the mid-point, they almost always encounter one of my bags already prefilled with items and are not sure how to approach this. “Do you want me to keep these in the bag?”

My answer is always, “yes.” Why else would I have put a prefilled bag on the conveyor belt? This, of course, takes longer than usual because they must remove each item, run it over the scanner and place it back in the bag. For what it’s worth, I always feel relief when the bag makes it way to my end and is already packed and organized appropriately. It’s one less thing I have to stress about.

The cashier is usually done ringing everything through before I’m done packing it up. When they give me the total I hurry over to the payment area to swipe my card. As the cashier waits for my bank’s approval they will begin to help me bag my items.

This is also why the conveyor belt strategizing is so crucial. It has been my experience that if my items are already grouped together as I would like them bagged, this increases the likelihood that the cashier will bag them that way. So far, I have a pretty high success rate.

But heaven help the cashier that haphazardly throws my food into any old bag without any sense of logic. I start to get all frantic as I have to explain:

“No, I’d like my cans and bottles in the same bag.”

“Please use as few bags as possible.”

“I’d prefer it if you didn’t wrap the paper bags in plastic ones, thanks.”

Once I’m paid up, bagged up and ready to go, I feel a rush of relief. It’s over and I can finally get out of here.

Then I hear the cashier say, “Oh, I’m sorry Miss. I forgot to scan the only coupon you gave me… the one for 25 cents off a bag of frozen vegetables. Do you still want to use it or do you want to save it for next time?”

Me: “Actually, I’d prefer to use it. Thing is, on the rare occasion that I remember to bring a coupon I almost always walk out with it still in my pocket. So it’s, you know, kind of a personal milestone that I remembered to give it to you. Can you just give me the quarter?”

Cashier: “No Miss, since you paid with your card I have to put the refund back on your card. Store policy. And in order to do that, I have to call over the manager.”

And that’s why you never want to get stuck behind me in line at the grocery store.

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Spread the word to give all ye kin fair warning. It’s as easy as rating, commenting, subscribing and sharing!

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Oh my, it’s totally Thai! June 2, 2011

It’s been a while since I blogged about food. Twas May 9th, 2009 to be exact, when I wrote a lovely little post about two awesome lentil soup recipes I concocted.

(Which, incidentally, is how someone found my blog by using the search term “recipe for foot bath using Ramen seasoning.” Confused? See the post below)

Then today, something magical happened. I bought a rice cooker.

Sad but true: I’m not domestic in the least. I live a bachelorette lifestyle. I don’t wash my dishes until my sink fills up and starts to smell like… well, decomposing food. If I run out of clean dishes before that time, I’ll just eat out of my Gladware. When I go to the grocery store my list typically consists of seltzer water, cucumbers, greek yogurt, cereal, bananas, half & half and cottage cheese. My fridge has more condiments than any real food-stuffs, which means I don’t really cook all that often.

Today I realized I hadn’t cooked myself a real meal in over a month.

That’s when a co-worker suggested I look into a rice cooker. I was intrigued when they said all I have to is put the rice and water in and it does the rest automatically. I was sold when they told me I could also use it as a slow cooker.

After work I headed over to the local Vietnamese grocery store to pick one up. While I was there I grabbed a few other items of interest, although I had no idea what the heck I was going to do with them.

Truth be told, I never feel so lost in the world as when I walk through the aisles of that joint; I have no idea what anything is. Except the cow uterus (yes, they really sell that).

I walked out $50 lighter and armed with a rice cooker, tofu (which, I’ve only eaten about three times in my life and had absolutely no idea how to cook), roasted sesame seeds and a can of tom kha gai soup.

A funny thing happens when I decide to cook: I never follow a recipe and yet somehow it comes out ah-mazing. Maybe I should look into that. Or, at least, cook a little more.

Regardless, the result was my 100% original Teriyaki & Ginger Tofu with Tom Kha Gai Rice.

Money Shot

Wanna know how to take this masterpiece for yourself? It’s super easy:

You’ll need:

-Tofu, marinaded in teriyaki sauce for about 30 mins; cut in the shape of your preference

-Rice

-Canned tom kha gai soup

-Ginger root, grated (the more the better)

-A dash of soy sauce

-Sesame seeds

All you gotsta do:

For the rice, use a ratio of 1 1/3 cups tom kha gai for every cup of rice. Throw it in the rice cooker and BAM! Let that rice cooker do it’s thang.

For the tofu, after it’s marinaded, put it in a skillet that’s been preheating on med-high heat. Throw a quick once-round of soy sauce in the skillet, then sprinkle the ginger root on top. Let it cook for 5 – 8 mins on either side- it will get a nice brown skin on the bottom when it’s ready for flipping.

When everything is good and ready, plate and shower with sesame seeds.

The tofu has that teriyaki taste with a slight ginger undertone, which intensifies on the exhale. The rice has a light coconut flavor and a good old fashioned slow-burn. It’s the kind of heat that’s warming at first, but 5 minutes later has you discretely blowing your nose in your (hopefully paper) napkin.

You know this sounds delicious, so go ahead and try it.

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When you and/or your loved ones are marveling over this meal, don’t forget where you got it from.

Credit for this recipe will be accepted in the form of comments, subscriptions and recommendations. *wink!*

 

Me Smart May 8, 2011

I recently had a conversation with a friend about my dreams for this blog. It went pretty much exactly as follows:

Me: I have this fantasy that I could make money from writing my blog. Then I could do whatever I wanted, be where ever I wanted, and still make a living for myself. I want that kind of freedom. The problem is, I just don’t seem to have enough regular readers/traffic/subscribers to make it happen.

Him: Well, your blog is a little too… how should I say…. too smart for most people out there.

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In an effort to gain more readership, I have crafted the following prose:

I like cottage cheese a lot. I like it because it tastes good. When I eat it, it makes my tummy happy. My tummy is happy because I ate cottage cheese.


Let the readers roll in en masse.

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(P.S. What’s the moral of this story?: Unless you want to keep reading dribble such as the above… READ, COMMENT, SUBSCRIBE, RECOMMEND!)

 

WWJessD? December 7, 2010

Filed under: All about me,Food, glorious food! — Messie Jessie @ 9:35 pm
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Test your knowledge: How well do you know Messie Jessie?

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Which do you think is the scenario that actually happened?

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Scenario One: “I would really like to partake in some of those delicious chocolate covered almonds I have in my kitchen. I also have to take out my garbage. Even though I don’t feel like doing so in this particular moment, perhaps I shall first take out the garbage, then reward myself with a handful of chocolate.”

Scenario Two: “Ugh. My tummy hurts. I can’t believe I ate that entire bag of chocolate covered almonds…. Dang it! And I forgot to take out the trash again this week! Argh.”

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Here’s a clue:

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SUCKERS!

I totally took out the trash.

Then I ate the whole bag of chocolate covered almonds.

 

Love your Lentils May 6, 2009

Filed under: Food, glorious food! — Messie Jessie @ 10:14 pm
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The poor little lentil…. It by far one of the most delicious, affordable, nutritious, and yet widely ignored foods.

Nearing the top of the most-bang-for-your-buck list, a pound of lentils costs roughly sixty cents. Lentils are also jam packed with protein, fiber and nutrients. For a full breakdown of nutritional value, click HERE. To read it in a little more plain english, click HERE

So what can you do with these simple legumes? Being the soup maven that I am, I will share two original recipes that are not only tasty, but nutritious and delicious as well. An added bonus is that you probably already have all the ingredients you need in your cupboards!

Lentils: Two Ways

Spicy Lentil Soup

Spicy Lentil Soup

Spicy Lentil Soup:

This one has a real Mediterranean taste to it, and is sure to please any palate.

– Packet of Ramen Noodles, chicken flavor

– 1 cup cooked lentils (save the cooking water)

– Fresh Carrots (sliced)

– Lima Beans, Corn (both frozen)

– Curry (2 or 3 tsp), salt & pepper

Put a few cups of water in your pot, and add the Ramen seasoning packet. Also, add the lentils and cooking water, along with the veggies. Begin to heat this mixture, while adding your seasoning to taste. When the carrots have softened and the soup is almost ready, break up the Ramen Noodles into 1/4 pieces and add them to the soup. In 3 minutes the noodles will be fully cooked, and your soup is ready to eat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tomato Lentil Soup

Tomato Lentil Soup

Tomato Lentil Soup

This soup has the Mom’s Kitchen feel, and is perfect for anyone in need of a little extra TLC.

– 1 can of Tomato Soup

– 3/4 cup cooked lentils, still slightly firm (no need to save the water this time)

– 1/2 cup cooked rice

– Fresh Spinach (as much as you like!)

– Salt & Pepper

-Shredded cheese of your choosing

Prepare tomato soup according to directions, adding lentils and spinach before heating. Also add salt & pepper to taste. When the spinach is wilted and the soup is piping hot, mix in the rice. Put in a bowl, top with shredded cheese and enjoy!

Note: I add the rice after I put the soup in the bowl. If not, the rice will continue expanding, and if you have extra you want to save for lunch the next day, you will find the rice has absorbed all the liquid in the soup- leaving you with a tomato lentil mush. Just put the rice in a separate container, mix in before reheating, and you’ll be golden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast: It’s what’s for dinner April 5, 2009

Filed under: Food, glorious food! — Messie Jessie @ 12:44 am
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My favorite food genre, hands down, is breakfast. I haven’t cooked a meal for myself in a while, and recognized yesterday that I have eaten entirely too much take-out lately.   

One of the benefits of being single and living alone is that you can eat whatever and whenever you want. Therefore, I decided I would spend my Saturday evening on a date with myself; by cooking a delicious meal and watching a good movie. And as in such, there was no question as to what I was going to whip up for my “me date” night. On the way home from other errands I swung by the local supermarket to pick up the accoutrements I would need to make one heck of a breakfast.

At 8:30pm I finally sat down to eat my western omelette and home fries, both from scratch (the sausage was compliments of Jimmy Dean). And let me tell you folks, it was good right down to the last bite!

 

 
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