Monday, July 6, 2020

Happy post July 4th



"STAUNCH."

Little Little Edie hopes your holiday was as patriotic as you felt it could be.


Friday, June 26, 2020

Well, now, another thing in life, ruined.


Somehow, dirty movies will never be the same.  Now I'll see Ms. Touchstone instead of the action.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

What is that chaperone really up to?



If you have hung around here long enough, you know that Cookie loves vintage ads.

This is the one that I find disturbing.  Not the product, or the "yutes".  I do hate punch.  Mostly because most juices burn my mouth and throat - an intolerance, not an out and out allergy, so the doctor says.

No, its that chaperone.   We know she not the mother of one of these "young people" - there is no wedding ring.  But she certainly has mannish hands of great strength.

What the Hell is she up to?   Yeah, she's making punch. But she looks a bit like her mind is telling you "Yes, my plan is working...WORKING!" Muh ha ha ha.

Now, any chaperone at a party with high school or college coeds may be charmed by youngsters and young love, as it was called.

But her face is telling us that a different, darker thing is going on.

"Hey Mom, that new housekeeper is great, but we've been getting calls from the Maryvale Asylum for the criminally insane, but they won't say why they are calling.  Have you checked Lizzie's resume and her recommendations?"

"Why yes, Ethel, but her recommendations seem to be from people who died, many years ago."

"How odd..."


How odd, indeed.

Maybe I have been watching too much TCM, but I just know that Lizzie is up to something. 

A real chaperone would be busy telling the couples to dance four fingers apart.  Or would be admonishing Henry Wilson not to "get that grape juice on Mrs. Applewhite's rug."  Or would be giving Ethel sage advice to Ethel, like "Save yourself for marriage.  You'll be glad you did."*

Instead, I just can't shake the feeling that after the party Lizzie will turn into Mrs. Danver's, and poor Ethel will be invited to the balcony and then the patio in one last step.

So whatever you do, Ethel and friends, don't drink the punch.


* No she won't.  Seven years into that marriage the milkman will bring her milk and a free bottle of whipping cream.  One afternoon of having consensual sex with a man who knows what's he doing and she's ripe for the Chapman Report before Murgatroyd realizes that she wants more than 30 seconds, the second Saturday of every month. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

YOUR recipes await...


It's not my recipe, but it is yours.

Oh, yes it is! 

Says so right there, Missy.

Watered down soup, a few chunks of chick, escarole, and radishes.

Bon appetite!


And what is this?

Well, it says a tomato aspic salad with cucumber salad and red cabbage slaw.

I don't see the red cabbage slaw.  But I see the tomato aspic shaped like the Hippodrome!

If you ask me, it's two thumbs up.


What this has to do with Monterrey is beyond me, unless its the canned tuna, canned a la Steinbeck.

It's never a good thing when your meal has an evil eye on its top.

Remember to clean up after dining!






Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Doorknobs and Bullshit



Remember this image, you'll need it later.


Cookie wears many hats, one of which is Historic Architecture Preservationist - a field I have forty years of experience in - consultant, head of a statewide preservation organization, etc. and so on. 

During this COVID thing, I have tried to find different ways I can use my knowledge.  Someone suggested joining some of the old house groups on Facebook set up to help people with restoring their period houses. 

For the most part, a lot of people don't have any clue what restoration of a house is, but they love the word Restoration, which has to be the poppers of home remodeling - because it gives them a heart on.   

These are people who think the BS they see on HGTV's Hometown or stripping the plaster to expose the structural walls and chimney's in their houses is restoring something - it is not.  It's remodeling and decorating. 

  • When you RESTORE a home, you are taking it back into a point of time when it would have looked a certain way.  Restoring your original wooden windows means that you save the sashes if they are in good repair, clean them, scrape them down, reglazing them, and then putting the whole thing back together. 
  • Remodeling is when you don't restore anything, but get rid of the old and then bring in inferior replacements, as in throwing out the original windows and then replacing them with sad ass vinyl windows. Also known as "remuddling".
Get it? Got it? Good.

So I am a member of this group, cringing, at people who think they are doing wonderful things, trying to talk them into not vinyl cladding their homes - LOTS of posts seem to begin with "Looking for opinions, but if you disagree then please don't respond" and the like - when this woman who bought this fire trap in upstate New York chimes in with her latest hair-brained tip.  We'll call her Tonya. 

Tonya has posted all sorts of stupid stuff in the six weeks I have been in the group.  Like the time the roof was caving in but "I got distracted with polishing the light switch plates, and putting them back in the right places."  Or the time the porch caved in and she said "I knew it was unsafe, but I got distracted polishing the stair rail."

Anyway, yesterday, Tonya went a bit too far.

Tonya posted a picture of porcelain doorknobs, one with white knobs, the other with black knobs, and the other with the woodgraining.   These types of doorknobs were fashionable from the early 1800s on into the 1890s.  They were less expensive than true brass knobs, and they were usually fitted to surface latch and lock sets designed to screw into the inside face of a door (new example here).  These too were inexpensive, and they were a quick install - no mortice work on the door itself, just drill two holes through the door and match those holes to the holes in the metal latch and key set, and screw that in.  The latch catches on another plate screwed into the surface of the door frame.  In addition to being weak, they started falling out of favor when doors began to be mass-produced.

Tonya's narrative with the doorknobs went something like this:
"I just learned this and I thought I would share this interesting knowedge!  In Victorian times, white door knobs meant anyone in the household could enter that room in a house.  The black knobs were only on the doors that house servants could enter.  The wooden door knobs were on doors that only white people could use, blah, blah, blah..."
And then Cookie started reading the comments of the people who read this and actually agreed with it: 
  • "I think I read that on the internets somewheres (sic)."
  • "I know I heard that, but I forget who told me."
  • "And those people were so clever.  You'd need that in a mansion."
Reader, let me tell you - Cookie just about had a stroke when he read that racist bullshit. 

So I called "Bullshit" with a capital "B".

I explained that in forty years in historic preservation, in preparing a National Register of Historic Places nomination, in college classes, in graduate school courses, I had never heard anything even remotely like this.  In book after book, nothing like this.  I also pointed out that solid color knobs, white and black were the least expensive, and that the wood tone ones would have been used in public rooms.  White could be used in any room, as could black, as well.  "You could walk into a house that was practical, and the doorknobs could be any color based on what the builder could afford."

I also pointed out that this was particularly insensitive given what the nation is currently undergoing.

And then something magical happened.  Tonya removed the whole post. 

Victory.

But today, she is back at it, asking if she should expose the brick in the kitchen like the house was when servants cooked meals in the fireplace. 

Sweet Smoking Jesus.

This idiot doesn't get that plaster walls were desirable in modern homes going back centuries. 

See.  This is what happens when we don't teach basic history.  You get people who think that the word old was spelled "olde".  Or you get people that olde time western movies were what the west was really about, pilgrim.

But I can only do so much.

My bet is that Tonya will leave the house when it's condemned.  And after seeing the pictures she posted today, I can't imagine it won't be long now until it is. 








Monday, June 8, 2020

When you don't know what to say...


...one thing needs to be understood:

Black Lives Matter. 

But we each need to take a moment and figure out what we can do to fix this and move the world around us back to a point when we work as one for the benefit of the African American communities in this world. 





Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Brave new world my ass.



Google, a company that cares not a wit about common sense has decided to completely overhaul and reformat the Blogger interface.

In cleaning it up, they have removed words and now only provide symbols.  They have hidden tools and common sense things behind pict-o-graphs.

If Cookie can't find time before the end of June, this could be the end.   Not that I want it to end, but they certainly didn't do this to make it easier to create posts, share videos, etc.

Evidently old fuckers like me who still use desktops aren't Google's priority.

We'll try and make the leap, but it if proves too frustrating, I may be forced to give up the ghost.

It's that day again

Saturday, May 23, 2020

We are having a moment...



Yup.


And this one too. 


Not there yet.


That was just gas.  Excuse me. 



We'd like to end up here.


How's things with all y'all?

Monday, May 18, 2020

Some days...



...you just feel like Neely O'Hara.

You know, just fucking done with everyone, including all the Helen Lawson's in the world.

Unlike Neely, I need not escape into booze and pills.  Sometimes you just gotta find something else to focus on.

Like the President and his embarrassing vocabulary.  Last week he announced that the U.S. was developing a "Super Duper" new missile that was "Super Duper" fast.  Like "ten times faster" than anything the Soviets, oops, I mean Russians, or Chinese have.  I mean after using Super Duper, we know he is thinking like a five-year-old.  I just don't hope he's still in office when he starts sucking his thumb. But then again, we may be there right now.

Like the October rollout of Schitt's Creek, season six, IF that when they roll it out in the U.S.  C'mon, David, we're tired of waiting.

Like this miserable weather, we are having.  We had three days of May and now its fucking March again.  What the hey, Mother Nature.

Like the people in grocery stores who are not abiding by the six-foot of space rule.  I am beginning to feel that in the not too distant future, there are going to be 100 of us left in the world who played by the rules.

Like this high school friend who makes disastrous life decisions over and over and over, because they have no idea that there is a future and no idea how to plan for it.  I get these questions like "Should I invest everything in widgets?"  I say no, they do anyway, and then the widget market collapses they lose everything.  Then they call up and say "Should I declare bankruptcy," and you say no, but they do anyway.  Then they call up and whine that they can't rent an apartment because of the bankruptcy on their credit bureau, and on and on and on. The latest is "I am going to raid my IRA because I am going to be sixty next year and...."  And NO!  Your retirement money is for RETIREMENT.  It's not something you saved because someone has given you some kind of cocky locky idea to spend it all on something silly.  I love my friends. I am loyal. But stop calling me for advice, not taking the sound advice I am giving, and then asking for remedial advice over and over again because you aren't listening.  And no, you can't move into my retirement villa when that time comes because you blew it all when you never thought you would need it later.

Cookie has a limit, you know.

Now I am going to pour myself a Cranberry Juice Cocktail from the Oceanspray bottle. add some seltzer, bundle up, and go outside to look at the Iris bed in the back yard. 

Cookie needs that moment of Zen that keeps Cookie from becoming Neely O'Hara.



Thursday, May 14, 2020

Old Bay Hot Sauce: PRECIOUS IS MINE!


Why is master wanting my precious?

So an old friend from college, who lives in Ohio, contacted me in February and asked if I could pick up a bottle or six for her of McCormick's "Old Bay" brand hot sauce because she couldn't find it anywhere.

Frankly, Cookie was gobsmacked.

"Six bottles of that Old Bay Hot Sauce?  Just what the hell is Marilyn smoking?" I said to my husband.

Long story short, McCormick, the spice company, is an old-line Baltimore company.  Now its based about five freeway exits from the beltway in Hunt Valley.  And someone got it in their mind that it would be wonderful to mix up a batch of hot sauce and dump in some Old Bay, bottle it and sell it in a limited edition.  Locals have been doing it indirectly with hot sauce and the spice from the tin.   Well, once that hot sauce sits for a which with the Old Bay in the bottle, it gets really tasty.

The problem is, McCormick is making it in small batches to test the market and create buzz.  Well, let me tell you, before the toilet paper, and paper towel shortages thanks to COVID-19, Old Bay Hot Sauce was like a unicorn in the wild.  A store would get it in and the consumers were like fighting one and other for it.

And it kept selling out.

INTO THIS, came Marilyn who was asking for the six bottles.  SIX? Why not ask me to steal some jewelry, cause it would be easier to find and pull off than buy six bottles of the stuff.

Still, Cookie loves a challenge. So I undertook the task with gusto.  I had no luck, but I was stopping at every market you could imagine trying to find this item.  I looked for weeks, nada.  At one point, I started to feel like Gollum searching for precious.  The color of the sauce was certainly the color of the lava in Mount Doom.

And then COVID-19 upended our world.

I still looked, people were buying all sorts of stuff.  At the Safeway in Towson, at one point the hot sauce section was bare, just down to a bottle of something green that looked angry when you picked it up.
This is the God Damned Stuff, Man...

So yesterday, Cookie is out and about trying to find Swiffers (they too have progressed to Unicorn status) and I stop at this supermarket that we never patronize because it's really out of the way, and the smell of stale air permeates the place, as does the smell of moth crystals.  Still, Cookie will go deep to find Campbell's Tomato Rice Soup.  And as I look at the sad produce department and then move on to the sad deli department, and on my way to the sad meat I noticed some sad little product on the top of the counter and it was in a blue, yellow and red bottle and the color was that hot sauce orange that I avoid (delicate stomach) it was some sad hot sauce that a rep dropped off and probably said: "try and sell a couple of these, will you?"

And then I walked down the to paper towel section and I thought "well what do we have here? Bounty?  Name brand paper towels?"  And just as I reached for that last eight pack of real paper towels I thought...

"JESUS! THAT WAS THE GOD DAMNED HOT SAUCE!"

Well, I turned around so fast that I just about knocked this old woman over.  BUT I HAD TO GET THAT SAUCE!  By the time I returned all but two were gone.  So, reader, I grabbed them for Marilyn.  Upon seeing them at home, the Husband said, he would have never thought that was it. "They're kind of small.  I was expecting a bigger bottle."

I know, so did I!  Then I told him how I passed them by and then almost knocked over an old woman.

And then the husband says, maybe they'll have more tomorrow morning.

Needless to say, Cookie couldn't sleep.  I was up at 4:30AM today at the idea that they might have more.

And they did.  The guy was putting them out and I asked what the limit was.

"There's no limit.  People are so freaked out about COVID, they aren't rushing the store for this."

So I got four bottles.  And guess what else, that old woman was back in the store this morning.  We ran into each other while social distancing at check out number 6.

She looked at me, and then she looked in my cart.

"My, that certainly is a lot of hot sauce," says she, all judgy like.

And that's when I went full-on Gollum on her and snarled "PRECIOUS IS MINE!"  Then I gave her that rolly eyed look that only CGI make.  That scared her, and she darted to Check Out 3.

I did get a hold of Marilyn and tomorrow I will figure out how to send this to her.  And yes, I will be able to part with the stuff.  Marilyn is thrilled, and am I.  I am glad I can give this to her.   So now to find a box and packing for the glass.

Unlike Gollum, I can live without this precious.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Hot time in the old town tonight



Katrina Morgan - photo credit Ottawa County (Ohio) Jail

There's an old Bette Midler joke, that she tells as a Sophie Tucker joke that goes like this:
"I will never forget it you know. Ernie, Lucky Ernie, Flying Ace Ernie from WW 2, had just gotten back from that very same war. He took me up to his apartment, stripped me naked, and threw me on the bed. He took gasoline and poured it on my privates, then lit my groin on fire. I said “Ernie, Lucky Ernie, what the hell is going on?” He said, “When Lucky Ernie goes down, he goes down in flames!” 
Its a joke of dubious quality.  But it just seems so right at this moment.   Especially when something happens that you just can't make up.

For Katrina Morgan of Port Clinton, Ohio, there was no gasoline, no Ernie, but her night of drinking apparently went up in flames, and the account is spectacular.

The Port Clinton News-Herald reported that Katrina had a run-in with the law on Saturday, May 2, 2020.  Allegedly, Katrina and some friends had been drinking.  Allegedly, perhaps a wee teensy bit too much.

Anyhow, Katrina was either feeling randy or social distancing was getting to her so she got on the phone and call 911.  Apparently, Katrina was hot.  No, actually, Katrina called 911 TWICE to report that she had, not a Hot Pocket, but a fire in her crotch.

That's what the headline said.

Digging deeper, eh hum, Katrina apparently stated that her "P_ _ _ Y" was on fire.  And she needed some firemen to put it out.

Ms. Morgan, on the 911 calls - YES, she made not one, but TWO calls to 911 and which were recorded -demanding to know if their "hoses" were working.  That right, her "P _ _ _ Y" was on fire and that a fireman's hose was needed, presumably to treat the fire in her crotch.

And her P _ _ _ Y just wasn't on fire.  No, per the audio, it was "On FIIIIIII-ERRRRRRRR!"

Cookie's reaction? "That is so Fuckin' aye Molly Hatchet"


When the Police arrived they found not a fire, but a couple of friends drinking, empty bottles, and poor Ms. Morgan, whose crotch not on fire, but she was combative.

She resisted arrest and only complied with officer directives until they threatened the use of a stun gun.

While said fire may have been metaphorically true, evidently the lack of tangible evidence meant that she was charged with Disrupting Public Services, a felony, and with Making False Alarms, a misdemeanor.

Since the News-Herald is a Gannet paper, the story went out and became a wire story.  From Bing to various newspapers, Ms. Morgan and her alleged predicament went worldwide.  The New York Post carried it, and even the Voice of India.   And you just know that the British Tabloids latched onto this, too.  They live for this stuff.

Said a friend who is a lawyer, "She looks like she could need a pubic defender."

NOW, lest you think that this is fake or fraud, let's go to the audiotape of the 911 calls.

Let this be a warning, people.  If your crotch is "on fire", that life is not a porn movie.  Once you call the police, they will not "Brown Chicken Brown Cow" when they discover that your claims are just a call out for sexual healing.

A special nod goes out the 911 operator who kept a level head during this crisis.

Take it from Dr. Cookie, they make a cream to treat that ring of fire.

Source: Woman charged after calling 911 to report fire in her crotch.



Friday, May 1, 2020

Another 31 days for the Cookie's



Cookie's husband, always referred to as the Husband, got notice last week that International  Amalgamated Ltd. Inc., his employer, was going to keep the offices locked down through the end of May 2020. 

By the time this is over, that will almost be eleven weeks of being housebound.  Seventy-seven days. 
Now the world around us, we are told wants to start right back up. 

Cookie's not buying it.

I think more people are freaked out about what is going on and floating in the air than they willing to recklessly start resuming contact points. 

I understand the need to start-up food production, in a safe environment.   I get that.

But we don't need everything opened up. 

So to that end, we are staying put.

I am not going to die from someone else's stupidity.

On the good side of this, I am getting allergy shots again so I can breathe without wheezing and coughing.

While Cookie is an introvert, even all of this is getting to me.  We'll figure out a way to get through it all. 

In any event, I hope you are all doing well and taking precautions.  I know its no fun.  But better no fun than no nothing.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Starlink surprised us tonight




So today was a rough one for Cookie.  Lots of worries about things I can't change and that became a worry unto itself.

This tonight, at 8:45 the husband took the dogs out and went out onto the deck, I followed and he told me to look skyward.

And up in the dark, I saw something that kind of restored my faith in mankind. 

Elon Musk's Starlink, 6, and 7 were up in the night sky.  Satellites, one after another, zooming from the northwest to southeast over our house in a perfect line, each spaced a perfect amount from the next, traveling from Westminister to the Eastern Shore.  The whole show took about a minute.  Simply unexpected and amazing.

Now the video is something from the UK.  And it certainly doesn't even hint at the beauty of these see on a clear night with your own eyes.

Yes, I know that someone people will say its space junk, but it reminded me that the world is far bigger than I.  I needed that.

Check below to see when you might see it!

https://findstarlink.com/





Eating Raoul.



Cookie has become food-obsessed in this time of shrinking food selection.  It keeps me up at night.  And it keeps me from eating, and not in a good way.

Baltimore is a horrible region for supermarkets compared to Columbus.  Columbus is a traditional test market city and a variety of stores, and the bounty was always better stocked, with more variety than you could shake a stick at.   Compared to Columbus, Baltimore is a food desert even under the best of circumstances. 

Part of the reason is that the number one chain, Giant Food is so horribly run.  We have three Wegmans, which are nice, but all are half an hour away.  There is Shop Rite, which was on life support, before, then there are the boutique markets.  Add in a smattering of Safeways, and that's about all we have.  We have no Kroger, we have no Giant Eagle, we have no Publix.  There are a couple Harris Teeter, but not many.   And there is no Piggly to get Wiggly about.

And then there is the Trader Joes with the mile-long lines.  A neighbor said that her husband trudged out to one, had been standing in line for an hour, when a woman in a battered Chevy Cavalier filled with trash drove by and start screaming at people to take off their masks, which was a sign of the devil, and repent to be saved by the blood of Jesus.  "So now I go to Trader Joes because he is over the experience."

We all have to be flexible, because we are all in this together, right?

So we have food.  But it's not the food we want.  It's the food we can find.  We no longer live in a nation where we have enjoyed the unlimited freedom of choice at the stores.  We are careening toward a world where hardtack biscuits will be gourmet.   So I look at what we have, and I think, can we afford to eat that can of corned beef hash?  Do I dare open that jar of jelly?  What if we need it - I mean really need it in a month or six?

What we can get at the stores around us is either stuff that you cannot live on, or stuff that no one else wants.

The food crisis started the day after Trumpanzee did his address to the nation.  THEN the hoarding started because people heard him and thought "He's going to kill us all."

So know when you go to the store you see not what you want to find, but what others will not eat.  Campbell's soups are wiped out.  No tomato, no tomato with rice, no "tomato and stars".  In uniform fashion, the only Campbell's soups that one can find are the unloved ones.  Split pea, cream of celery, cream of chicken, cream of cheddar cheese, and bean with bacon.

Pasta sauce?  It all Vodka Sauce, Four Cheese, Meat Flavored, and Ricotta.  Pasta?  Good luck with that.  The Hershey brands of pasta (San Giorio, Creamette, Muellers) no longer exist.  Everything is Barilla, and even then its either just spaghetti or elbow macaroni. 

Even in produce, the potatoes look like they have been stored way too long.

And then, Cookie had an idea. "Let's try that store over by the you know what.  Yeah, the one that never has anyone in it."

It's an off-brand store, way off-brand.  But we trudged over looking for something, hoping they had it. 

They didn't, but oh the bounty we found!

Campbell's tomato soup!  Low sodium, but I can work with that.  Paper towels!  Oh thank god!  Name brand toilet paper!  Hosannah!  Prego!  We bought one each!  And they had Raoul's salsa!

The husband wanted to tell our neighbor, but I stopped him!  "You fool!  They'll know where to go and they'll take my precious away from us."

And I came to.

Tell them.  Ugh.

So today I will eat something for lunch. In celebration of yesterday's finds.  Then I will return to looking at trees and wondering if we'll wondering how to eat a maple, at the bushes wondering if push comes to shove how to cook and azalea. 

How long this social distancing thing will last is unknown.  But I continue to fret about starving.  About that point when things get really dire, I'll break open Raoul's salsa and some long stale chips, knowing that tomorrow there will be mud pies.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Answers people. We need answers.



Cookie has questions about this picture.

I suspect you do too.

Like, who are these people?  Why is there all this food?  And why is the cat in the picture?

They are covered with a shearling blanket, but the rear ends are probably on that sisal mat.  Ouch!

And the food.

I would call it a daring combination.  Cauliflower, puddin', escargot, and everything else.

The giant gingerbread men?

But the cat just takes it over the top into a dangerous place.

And are they waiting for other pairs of lovers to join them in the feast?

Will these other people find the cat as offputting as Cookie?

Answers people, we need answers.


Friday, April 24, 2020

I dare you: BE the Carleen Fredrick you need to be.



Every now and then I come across Carleen Fredrick's picture and I am reminded that we have to gotta do what we gotta do in order to get the day done.

So today, you need to cop the Carleen attitude.  Be leggy, kicky, and a high energy Las Vegas show performer that sings the songs of your audiences' lives your way.

That's right, high kicks and make this Friday yours.

Puffy shirt sold separately.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Love has many faces



One of Cookie's favorite trash movies is Love Has Many Faces.  It stars Lana Turner as a fading beauty with a big bank account. And we all know where this goes.  Fabulous resorts in places far enough away that no one gets to see her crepelike skin.  Lana looks good and plays a woman involved with gigolos and beach bums out to make a few women happy while being paid handsomely for it. 

The movie also stars Cliff Robertson as Lana's minute man of the minute, Ruth Roman as a woman on the prowl and a bearly clothed Hugh O'Brien looking like the hot daddy on the suburban cul de sac.   Hugh was too tan, and parades around in a white bathing suit, all hot, oily and hairy.


Here's Hugh with just enough moose knuckle...


Even Ruth wants her claws into him...


Of course, there is a questionable death - one of Lana's previous luv bunnies - otherwise it would be fading stars and daddy bodies and regret.  Lots of regret.  

I asked a friend who is a film buff why this doesn't get more airplay and she said "It's because's the men are the sex toys, while the women really can't carry the movie.  It should be a cult classic, but audiences simply didn't embrace it.  Go figure."

If you get a chance to see this trifle, do.  And bring along a bottle of banana boat suntan lotions to snort on whenever Hugh or Cliff saunters onto the screen. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

You can't do that with raisins...well, you could, but why?

Back in 1986, Cookie was first exposed to the genius of Billi Gordon and her cookbook, You've Had Worse Things in Your Mouth Cookbook. It was a transformative moment.

In the book, which includes a section on "Revenge Cooking" filled with such dishes, well that polite people don't discuss.  Gay men and queens?  Yes. Because everything is on the table in theory.


But this vintage recipe an ad in a 1970s women's magazine from the California Raisin Advisory Board, aka CRAB?  Raisin Celery Sauce.

This is not a Billi Gordon original.  But, the CRAB? These people were serious.

It was mainstream, honey.  No camp here.

Now, who would do this to Cream of celery soup?  Cream of celery is the milquetoast of the soup world.  It's an excuse to sell something thick, whitish, and tastes like glue as the basis from "Casserole Culture".  No one ever says, "would you like to join me in a bowl of cream of celery," for a reason.   Cream of celery is the food equivalent to the nerd in your sixth-grade class who still wears mitten clips and eats paste.

Cream of celery has its own problems so why add raisins to its misery, right?

Now Cookie is going to tell you that when some promote something as "Taste Surprising" you have to ask yourself, does "it" taste surprising?  Or do they mean "be surprised" by what you are tasting?  Dare I say that anything that looks white, runny with black lumps in it that - that right there is surprising and its a reason either protest and say that you are on a diet and would love to indulge but... Or, more crassly, if you see that after sex, you to call your doctor for a shot of penicillin.

Ah well, the best of intentions, gone horribly wrong, are still very wrong.

I do give credit to someone in the group where I found this who girded her loins and decided to try this. So she made it according to the recipe, fixed herself some Stove Top dressing and went for it.  And did she taste surprising?

"Sweet Jesus Christ!  HORK!"

As I do with every raisin post, thus comes Dorothy Parker's comment "This wasn't just bad.  This was terrible bad.  This was bad with raisins in it," to remind us of the possibilities and certainties of the flexibility of raisins.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

But, it's a no win situation

Let's be clear about something. 

Cookie does not have all the answers.

Cookie has opinions.

If you ask, I will give you an opinion.  If you ask, you have an opinion that you need to take and think about. 

Don't argue it. 

If you don't want to follow it, then don't it's that simple. No harm, no foul.

But asking a professional opinion in which Cookie has education and experience is a different matter.  If you ask and are given a reasonable answer, there you go: the advice you were given, consider it. If you don't follow that opinion and something goes wrong, don't come to Cookie "boo hoo'ing" about how something went wrong. 

I mean I am willing to help, to a point.  But if I tell you not to stick a metal knife into an outlet because you'll get shocked, don't do it and then come back on me after the squad resuscitates you for saying "give it try."

Because I am not a "give it a try" advice kind of guy.

Not on hair color, buying a vintage Pucci dress, or getting cats when you are allergic to them.

And as an adult, don't we all owe it to what should be our innate sense of common sense to think before we act?  I mean some people can't help themselves.  "Should I jump off the cliff?" will always get a "No, don't do it."

That "No" should be my, y'all, and all y'all's indication to STOP and think about this before acting. 

"Should I stick my little finger in the pencil sharpener?"

NO!

"Should I marry Jack, even though he's been married six times before?"

NO!

"Should I paint my house lavender even though the owners association says I can't?"

NO!

"Should I try heroin?"

Oh, fuck NO!

See how easy that is?

But it seems like an awful lot of people ask these questions "Should I..." or "You know, now that we can..." don't want advice.  They want you to validate their cockamamy ideas.   And if you won't they want to argue it. 

Case in point, a friend who has made a series of bad financial decisions came to Cookie with a proposition.

"Now that we are old enough to access our retirement funds, should I drain the accounts and pay off my house?"

Cookie's response was "No.  I wouldn't do that until you speak to a professional in the money management field."

"But that costs money," they respond.

 And that is my (and yours, as well,) cue that what this person wants, isn't logical advice, they want VALIDATION of their plan.  They want you to see the genius of their idea, even when it isn't.

Here's the thing, past behavior is a pretty good indicator of future behaviors.  Be it the President or a friend that you have known for decades.  If they have developed a life pattern of making bad calls, it's an uphill battle to save them from themselves.

It's easy to give advice, but many people don't want it.  They want VALIDATION, and that means they want reassurance, even when you know that they will hurt themselves. 

The best course of action is to give, sound logical, fact-based advice, and then not argue it.  Because once they start arguing it, they are going to do what they are going to do.  And you are in a no-win situation.



Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Our taxes are paid. So is the grocery bill.



Well, thanks to the President, and despite revving up our paycheck deductions, we owe Uncle Sam.  So for the third year in a row, the government has grabbed us by the ankles and has shaken every last kopeck out of our bank account. 

So. Much. Winning.

And the tax thing has hit my cousins hard as well, the successful and the not so successful.

Said my cousin Louise: "It looks like a fish stick and Spam year ahead again, if I could find Spam or the Gorton's of Glouchester Fisherman, anywhere.

Louise has a point.  Not even the depression or WWII have American grocer stores been this depleted.

Oh, you can find stale Circus Peanuts, or jarred Escargot.  But who eats that stuff daily or even on rare occasions? 

Still, we keep a stiff upper lip.  The Brits have their "Keep Calm & Carry On". 

The American way is to stop needless noise and keep the nation calm. 

But I am wondering if we should start raising our voices and having them heard before it really is too late.

  

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

I'm flattered, but just no.



So I received a message from an acquaintance.   She wanted my mailing address.  Said she wanted to send me something to help me through the isolation period that we are all trapped in.

That was my first mistake.

My second was opening the package.

My third was pulling it out of the package.

The gift?

A facemask made from one of her bra cups.

"For when you go to the grocery store," the enclosed note said.

Maybe, if I shopped at Walmart.  But I don't.

"Does she understand that you're married to a man?" asked my husband.

I think so, I said.

It was nice that she thought of me. 

No, I did not try it it on, but I did shriek when it dawned on me what it was.

Do I send a thank you note?  What is the social convention for this kind of unsolicited gift?

Do I send her a mask in return made from a jockstrap?

So if you are thinking of sending me something for a while?  Don't. I'm not opening it. 

Monday, April 13, 2020

When in Garden Grove in the 1970s...


And it's only one a half miles south of Disneyland.

In addition to appearing at the Playgirl Club, according to a board post by someone identifying as "Leo Medina" Dale "owned it."  Now, whether Dale had an ownership stake in the club, or he "owned it" in the sense that his presence commanded the room is unknown to Cookie.

But Dick is in the ad.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Little Fires Everywhere?

NOTE: I had to edit this to remove the video window.  Evidently CBS is simply too aggressively in launching its videos. 

Celeste Ng uses Shaker Heights as the backdrop for her story, and you gets some good views of the city in the CBS interview that aired Sunday morning.

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/little-fires-everywhere-writer-celeste-ng/


But the HULU Miniseries wasn't filmed in Shaker Heights because of a protest by Reese Witherspoon over medical rights for women in Ohio.  And that was the right thing to do.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Babs


Just wait until you meet our alligator wrestler.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Well, what does he want in a woman?




Cookie knows what Liberace doesn't want in a woman.  I suppose if you think about it for a minute, that is as plain as the nose on Liberace's face.

Cookie wants to know what you think.  What does Liberace want in a woman?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Hanging In There: We have no other alternative

Lovina and Lars and her dog Thor remind you - Hang in there baby. 


With all this social distancing, I have forgotten why we keep the plastic wraps on the lampshade. 

Oh, yeah, so we can have nice things.

TODAY, the guy across the street, a lovable puppy-like guy decided to burn brush in his front yard.  So he got out his fire pit and lit the brush on fire. 

Within ten minutes, Baltimore's FD was in the neighborhood, admonishing him and his wife.  Evidently, a neighbor called the fire department on him.

The fire department then informed the neighborhood that no, you cannot use a fire pit in the city fo Baltimore, even with the screen cover on.

Well, damn it.  There goes all the fun in the fall months.

That's all in the future if we can still have one. 

We have to plan on it, there is no other option.


Friday, March 20, 2020

We're all in this blah, blah, blah

What would Diane Fürstenberg do? More importantly, what is she doing right now?


Well, here we are where we never planned to be.   You are living your life and then one day, BOOM, you're in house arrest.  No, no, not that kind of house arrest, but Sheltering in Place. 

So we, like you, are doing what we can do to be compliant with rules for the new plague.  A trip out of solitary is for necessary things, only.  No nightclubbing, and alas, gayety is in short supply.

We all have to do our part.  I tell myself all the time. 

It could be far worse.  I could have been a member of the White House Press Corps, trapped in a room with the Mouth Breather in Chief.

Meanwhile, the husband is working from home for the next eight weeks.

That's eight weeks.  Count them:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8

That's MAY!

I love having him around, but Cookie needs alone time.

The dogs have been promoted to co-workers.

Rocky is in his bed cubicle licking himself.  I will have to write him up.

Kevin is on guard in the solarium reporting, in dog speak, in on every dog walking by the house.

We were planning an office banquet tonight, but alas, the roast is as frozen as a concrete block in winter, so it will have to thaw in the fridge overnight. Plaques and awards will be given out.

And our BIG plans for this weekend?  Cleaning the basement.  Yes, I know it sounds rash, but that's us - madcap.

Hang in their folks.  After that presser today when the occupant of the Oval Office went ape shit at NBC's Peter Jackson, it's going to be a long, long, long couple of weeks ahead of us.

Remember people: A normal person knows a question is a question.  A psychotic adult sees questions as assaults on their character and they attack any threat, which is everything.  

Cookie

Sunday, March 15, 2020

COVID19 Alert: There are plenty of these to go around.

Do not panic.



Grocery stores have plenty of circus peanuts.  For everyone.

Unfortunately.

It's the one food that stores can't give away.

No need to hoard.

Unfortunately.

Friday, March 13, 2020

A Delicate Balancing Act: When shopping becomes hoarding



So we all know what's going on in the world.

But what gets me is the hoarding at the grocery.

Folks, it is a delicate balancing act.  Buy what you need, leave what you don't.

I mean we have all been to buffet's at functions where people overload the plate with things they want, and they end throwing perfectly good food because their eyes were bigger than their stomachs.

If you don't eat canned hash, don't buy it.  If you eat tuna, buy what you need for the week and leave the six week supply behind.

If you don't have cats, leave the cat food behind.

We need level heads, common sense and not greed.

So look at the cart in front of you and ask yourself: "Do I need this."  If you don't take it to a store employee so they can wipe your germs off and then put it back where it needs to go.   If you are buying things that you would otherwise not buy or use, then your problem becomes a problem for others.

Hoarding doesn't give you a sound basis for happiness or well being.  It is literally the embodiment of selfishness.

Don't run up credit cards to buy crap you will not eat, and most likely throw away when this ends.

So let me state this once more, buy what you NEED and nothing more. 

Cookie is telling you, don't be that guy, that woman, that everyone hates.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Happy March and Pass the Ten-B-Low!

What better way to celebrate March then a look back at one of the unsuccessful products from a  Corporate Kitchen!

Ten-B-Low was a product of Borden, back when they were a milk company and not a Chemical GIANT.  The idea was that instead of junket, the milk, the egg yolks and the angst for that housewife who is simply over it,  they would dehydrate it, dump it all into one can and call it Ten-B-Low. 

And it would be simple, just add the wet stuff, throw it in the freeze and stir the crap periodically.

And just look - LOOK -at the results!

Can you see the happy face?


I bet that tastes as green as it looks.   Get ready to be disappointed: it's plain old vanilla, but LURID Green in color.

And who doesn't love frozen gumdrops to make festive shamrocks?

Never mind that making Ice Cream in the summer is one of mother's little ideas to have the kids work off that kid-energy.  Every kid back then wanted to crank those old bastard machines.  Every kid wanted to know why you added salt to the ice, too.




Someone in the marketing department must have been grasping at straws because as this add shows us, Ten-B-Low made for great goop.

"We can convince housewives that serving melted ice cream is a thing.  Better than a thing, but a NEW THING," an inspired Marty told his co-worker Morty.

"And better than that, we can convince them that no one will question that their icebox is on the fritz," said Morty.

And what hostess wouldn't care that her guests were afraid that her icebox wasn't working?

Things must have become dire when this ad came out:


Sort of like the scene in Chinatown Jake Gettis demands that Mrs. Evelyn Mulray tell the truth about who the girl is, but insert Ten-B-Low.  You know:

"It's an Ice Cream." SLAP

"It's a Cookie Mix." SLAP

"It's an Ice Cream. It's a Cookie Mix. It's an Ice Cream. It's a Cookie Mix. ...." says Mrs. Mulwray between being slapped.

"I want the truth!"

"It's an Ice Cream and it's a Cookie Mix.  It's both," she sobs.

Jake Gittes is disgusted.  "That can't be."

"I know that's counterintuitive, but its the dessert mix that swings on both sides of thermodynamic ranges," says Evelyn, relieved that her secret is finally out.

And, as an added bonus, you can build a toasted coconut mound that looks like an insect egg sack.

Eventually, Ten-B-Low was consigned to the dustbin of history. 

But we have a consolation: Shamrock Shakes, folks.

Sometimes, you gotta take what life gives you and be happy with that, if you don't have the gift gab or are not old enough for a green beer.