Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not so Mr. Roger's Neighborhood

I read an article the other day that discussed how more and more people's newspapers are being stolen for coupons. Just when I thought print was dead, it is revived by mega savers. Never in my wildest dreams would I think someone would stoop to stealing another person's $1.65 newspaper for coupons. That was until our paper started disappearing.

At first I thought it was because we had just reopened our account after our trip to California. I had completely canceled our delivery and told them we were moving, in fear that somehow, it would get out we were out of town for an extended amount of time. So soon after renewal our paper would be there one day, then absent the next, then there for two day, well you get the picture. I even had reported at first, what I thought, lousy delivery to the paper. Then it kept happening, so I started to suspect that someone was stealing our paper. And it looked to be just ours, because both my neighbor's were still there. Annoying to say the least.

By chance one morning, I happened to be rearranging the closet by the front door, when I glanced out the window. And I saw IT happen. A family, that I knew as THE family you shake your head at. THE Family, who leave dirty mattresses on their front lawn (okay front weeds). THE family whose kids have been known to ask neighbors for cigarettes or they were going to be in trouble by their Mom. THE family that you are sure social services has made at least one trip to. THE family where I actually was not sure how many kids they had, but was sure each one had a different father. THE family where you were sure the parents were on Meth or some kind of drug. Yeah, that promising to not judge went out the window with THAT family. You see THAT family was walking with their kids to school by my house when the male adult in the group pointed to my paper, said something, and then one of the children picked up my paper.

Needless to say, I went tearing out the front door, in my pajamas yelling at the top of my lungs "So your the ones stealing my paper!" The entire family stopped in their tracks. The little boy who was in possession of my paper dropped it quickly. The toothless mother responded, "It's the first time my son has ever taken it." This comment, got me even more angry. How dare this women blame her child! (Yes I was judging) I saw with my own eyes the "Father" figure tell the kid to pick up the paper. Her child looked stricken. The male adult continued to walk on. And in my not so great moment in front of these children, who obviously needed some good role models, in front of my children who stood at my door with my husband, (in shock and quite confused), I responded, "YOU ARE JUST TRASH! JUST TRASH" And then grabbed my paper, turned around and stormed back into my house.

Husband was left speechless and I must admit, a little proud of me. I was left sheepish, thinking how I could have handled the situation a little better. How I could have used it as a lesson in using one's words nicely to get what one wanted. How maybe it might come back to bite me in the ass in the form of T.P., eggs, or something worse. How maybe, that mother, according to those friends with a different perspective on Facebook, might have needed the coupons. How maybe my $1.65 a day paper was not worth it. How instead of judging, I should have helped. There's a reason my American Indian name, given to me by a friend in High School was, "Speaks With Foot in Mouth." It will one day be my downfall.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

When a Good Cookie Goes Bad

Food allergies are annoying for those of us without them. But for those with severe ones, it is absolutely frightening. Because my Cookie is lactose intolerant and allergic to pumpkin, I have had to become "THAT" parent. You know, the one who insists that no one brings cheese or milk for snack at school. As any parent of a child with a food allergy knows, it gets harder as the kids get bigger. Having to order spaghetti at Chuck E. Cheese while everyone else enjoys pizza at a party, or forgoing the summer trips to the D.Q. are just small sacrifices. It is heart wrenching as a parent to witness your sweet child's eyes tear up when they can not be like their friends.

Yesterday I inadvertently poisoned my friend with nut tainted zucchini cookies. I am not a nut fan. I usually forgo putting them in any baked good, however, for some unknown reason, I put cashews in a batch of zucchini cookies.

These cookies are incredibly yummy. It's a recipe I stole from one of my favorite food mystery writers, Joanna Fluke. In fact, I lost the copy I had made, and had to go to the library, and borrow Apple Turnover Mystery for the recipe. I've made these cookies numerous times, and have never ever included the nuts it called for...but last minute decided to throw in some cashews. I have included the recipe below.

This delicious recipe is made for sharing, and it makes two dozen cookies. So, when my friend and neighbor invited us to the park yesterday morning, I brought some along to share. Forgetting she was allergic to nuts, she forgetting to ask about nuts, had one bite....then asked, "Oh my God, are there nuts in these?" Yes people, I poisoned my friend. We had to gather our children and rush over to my house just down the street. Within fifteen minutes, she was having trouble breathing. I drove her, bringing along Cookie and her little firecracker to the Urgent Care. An hour later, a shot of Adrenaline and friend was done for the day. Unfortunately, her hubby was out of town...and she has a 4 year old. So of course, I stayed with her while she slept, and let the girls play. My hubby had to step up and take Jelly.

Thankfully, we caught it in time. Thankfully, she knew how bad she was. The worst
part, other than I could have killed my friend, was that she was hesitant to get help. Hesitant because of course it was the weekend. Hesitant because that meant a possible trip to the E.R. And a trip to the E.R. would cost money...a lot of money, even though she has insurance. Glad I remembered the Urgent Care, which we have gone to for hubby for his broken collar bone and his anxiety attack. Glad that I could take her little one with us to the fair to give her more rest. Glad that she harbors no anger towards me. But in the future, no nuts....ever.

Almost to Die For Zucchini Cookies

preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 cup of White Sugar
1 cu
p of Brown Sugar (packed)
1 cu
p of Softened Butter (that's 2 whole sticks people)
1 1/2 cups of peeled, Shredded Zucchini (I use a cheese grater)
1 tsp of baking soda
2 large eggs beaten
1 1/2 ts
p of Vanilla
1 cu
p of Chocolate chips
1 cu
p of chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews) optional
4 cu
ps of all purpose flour

1. Combine White Sugar, Brown Sugar, and butter in a large bowl, beat until fluffy
2. Mix in baking soda. Add beaten eggs and vanilla extra mixing thoroughly
3. Add in the
peeled shredded zucchini packing it down into the measuring cup. (I had to drain it first) and stir until incorporated.
4. Add nuts and chocolate chips, mix well.
5. Add the flour and mix in one cu
p at a time. Dough should be thick.
6. Dro
p by teaspoonfuls or tablespoons (depends on the size of cookie you want) onto a cookie sheet.(sprayed w/ non-stick spray or on parchment paper)
7. Cook 10-12 minutes, for smaller cookies, 20 minutes for bigger, at 350 degrees until lightly browned.