Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Radio Silence... (aka Weekend Fun - Followed by Whining)

Yeah, so a couple weeks ago I whined a bit about my psoriasis woes.  Then, about a week later, everything cleared up (purely coincidentally - after seeing a new dermatologist.  We hadn't changed anything with the pharmacological stew I was taking).

So then I had, like a WHOLE WEEK where I was able to walk and function like a Normal Human Being (Hey!!!).

News Flash:  I *like* walking and functioning like a Normal Human Being!

Welllllll...  Unfortunately, that didn't last nearly long enough.  It *did* last long enough for me to eradicate the rotting plum population from the garden, thereby sparing our party guests from having to swat flies away from their BBQ dinners (Yay!).

And I *did* manage to prunify 15# of plums - and learned that "prepping" tart fruit by soaking in a lemon/water mixture results in even TARTER fruit.  Yuk!  Not sure what I'm gonna do with the resulting plums, but I might try soaking them in a Sweetener/Water solution to "reconstitute" them before using them in various recipes (i.e. maybe pork roast? Stuffed chicken breast? Dunno yet!).  But they are decidedly *not* Snack-Worthy!

Annnnnnd....  In the meantime, I have ALSO discovered that they do make "Plum-Pitters" / "Plum-Stoners" - similar to Cherry-pitters, only larger.  I bought this one on Amazon.  Too late for this year's harvest, but maybe it will prove useful NEXT year!  If so, there will be MORE jam (and - maybe - less b*tching) next year!

Annnnnnd...  I made ANOTHER Orgasmic Cherry Pie!  This time, I followed my recipe EXACTLY (including cutting back on the Almond, and bumping up the Vanilla).  FAN-F**KING-TASTIC!!!  Even our BBQ Guests raved about it (and I *hope* they weren't "just being polite!").  Another addition?  Clear Sugar Sprinkles on top of the pie (basically coarse granulated sugar - but it's in the "sprinkles" section of the baking aisle of the grocery store).  Made it even "prettier!"  Shame I didn't take a picture, huh?!

Anywaaaaayyyy...  My hands/feet held-up pretty well and were "flare-free" until around Friday afternoon.  I managed to get my grocery-shopping done in a semi-hobbly fashion.  But by Saturday morning (the DAY of the party), I was starting to feel like a friggin' mess (which p*ssed me off - more than you can imagine!).

I was really-really glad I hadn't overestimated my Hostess-With-the-Mostess skillz.  I did opt for pre-made Macaroni and Potato Salads (and - to be fair - Smart and Final does sell a most delicious "Sliced Home-Style" Potato Salad).

I kind of regretted "passing" on the pre-made/pre-chopped fresh veggie platter - but I had a 'Frigerator-Full of fresh organic veggies!  And, besides, pre-made Ranch Dip totally sucks - out loud, even!

So my June Cleaver Duties were limited to prepping burger fixin's (lettuce, tomatoes, onion slices); making fresh dips (Ranch for the veggies; Onion for the chips); Chopping fresh organic veggies for the crudités (which is Fancy-Schmantzy French for chopped-up carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchinis!); and the Pièce de résistance: Fresh-baked Orgasmic Cherry Pie!

Everything else was pretty-much Grab 'n Go: 3 bags of potato chips; couple cans of Bush's Baked Beans; pre-formed burger patties (fresh, not frozen!); a package of kielbasa, and some boneless-skinless chicken breasts.  And buns, of course!

So Saturday morning was spent on the aforementioned prep items:  Stand for 15 minutes to do some prep-work, then sit for 20.  Stand for 15, sit for 20.  Lather, rinse, repeat!

There was "Outdoor" prep-work to be done as well: Windexing the table and bar-tops, sweeping leaves, and general "Straightening-up" but I was conserving the "Finite Number of Footsteps" I was allowed that day.  And I think hubs *might* have given me the 'Stink-Eye' - a time or two - when he caught me "sitting!"  Oooops!

Anyway...  Long Story Short (Too Late!): The party was a success.  Hubs' friends are super-cool, super-fun people and they swam in the pool.  Then we laughed and drank, and ate, and sat around socializing til late into the evening!  We even got to use our Propane Patio Heater (no clue if it's the same kind or not - we've had it awhile!).  It did a phenomenal job of keeping us warm, anyway! (We *don't* get pleasantly warm summer evenings here in No' Cal!) (But - OTOH - we don't get eaten-alive by skeeters either!)

As they were getting ready to leave, I glanced down at the kitchen table and spotted: "Oh sh*t!  We didn't eat any pie!!!" So I made everybody sit down and eat a slice and - like I say - got Rave Reviews!

So yeah - fun party!  And I really wish we did this sort of thing more often.  In fact, we DO have a "Neighbor Party" on the calendar for mid-August.  And I'm thinking of setting up another "Couples Party" at some point in the not-too-distant future because - Seriously! - It *is* a lot of fun to have people over (Yeah, it's WORK too - but!  Totally worth it!) - and we have the Ultimate Party Yard so it seems a shame to waste it.

I'd LOVE to go back to throwing big "Themed" Parties - like I used to do when I had a Family. (We'd usually do Hawaiian/Luau Themed Food and such).  But Burgers and Dogs seem to work just fine, too - and not NEARLY as much work!

Nevertheless - even though we kept it pretty low-key - I totally "paid for it" on Sunday.  My friggin' feet were a mess-and-a-half, and I was confined to the recliner all day - just so I could keep my swollen feet propped up. :::sigh::: (And I'm *still* pretty ouchy - even today!)

Oh well.  Whaddya gonna do (besides p*ss and moan, right)?!

It really does suck, though.  On the Plus (?) Side:  We are back to "being robbed of summer" so I don't feel too terribly awful about not spending Every Waking Moment outside.  OTOH, it's starting to be Harvest Season and that is the Absolute Best Part of Gardening: Wandering around the garden, every afternoon, checking on your harvests, picking what's ready, and *hoping* it makes it into the house.  Trouble is, it hurts too damned much to wander out that far :::sigh:::

Sorry - I think I said that this blog is s'posed to be my Happy Place and - well, right now, I'm not doing a very good job of it, am I?!

Here's hoping that the latest batch o' Toxic Drugs will have better results than the last batch................


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