Goodbye and Good Riddance to 2008


I don’t know about you, but I will be glad to say goodbye to 2008.  Overall it was a really shitty year with the world economy collapsing, people I know getting laid off, crappy weather, people I know getting flooded out of their homes, and, of course – me turning 40.  So, tonight we should all celebrate the new year in style and get the stink of 2008 off our collective auras and start anew tomorrow.

Here’s how I will be celebrating: going out for sushi with friends and then drinking my favorite champagne, Veuve Cliquot.  Damn, there is nothing better than this champagne.  We went through 24 bottles of it at our wedding, and I think I can account for at least two of them.  What better  way to forget a crappy year?


P.S.  Of course, if you drink, don’t drive – but for God’s sake, don’t call 303 Taxi either!

Et Tu Morrissey?


I’ve been meaning to get to this for awhile, but what up with the NFL using the Morrissey song “Every Day is Like Sunday?”  Do these people not read lyrics to songs before they use them?  It’s about being so depressed you want to die by nuclear bomb, for God’s sake!  That’s almost as bad as Wendy’s using Violent Femme’s Blister in the Sun (about masturbation) to sell some sort of cheeseburger last year.  

And, Moz – how could you sell out to the NFL of all companies?  What’s next, “You’re the One for Me Fatty” for Jenny Craig?  “”Interesting Drug” for Zyrtec?  “November Spawned a Monster” for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Sale?  “Ouija Board, Ouija Board” for… well, you get the picture.

Et tu, Morrissey… et tu?

Behold the Woodchuck!


This single dish may have been the one that started me on my obsession with vintage recipes.  This is the famous Woodchuck that my Mother-in-Law makes every Christmas morning at her yearly Christmas breakfast.  Okay, yes  – it does kind of look like someone threw up after drinking too much white zinfandel after a hard-boiled egg eating contest, but I promise you –  it really does taste wonderful.  It’s my favorite thing she makes on Christmas besides her cookies, but that’s for another day.

What is in this?  Actually, I don’t really know.  I have tried looking for a recipe for it and have never found anything called “woodchuck” that is even remotely close to this.  I know it has hard boiled eggs, green pepper, pimento, canned mushrooms, tomato soup and maybe butter or cream.  You pour it over store-bought toasted bread things that I have never seen any store I’ve ever been in, so I don’t know what the hell they are.  All I know is I love the damn woodchuck!

If anyone recognizes this dish, please let me know what is is in the comments as I am on a quest to find out where it is from.  My Mother-in-Law has been making it forever from a recipe jotted on an index card and can’t remember where she got it.


The Suckage of Allen Brothers Steaks


No… not the steaks – their meat is beyond fantastic.  What sucks is their crappy customer service reps – who have now fucked us over for the holidays not once – but twice.  For the past two years we have ordered Allen Brothers Steaks for my in-laws for Chirstmas – and for the past two years Allen Brothers has failed to deliver the goddamn steaks in time for Christmas for no apparent reason other than their own incompetence. 

Last year after the steaks failed to show up as planned five days before Chirstmas, we called  customer service and found out that although they had a record of the order leaving the warehouse, somehow it was eternally on a FedEx truck and never delivered – even after five days of calling.  Um, we live in Chicago, where Allen Brothers is located.  It does not take five days to get from Chicago to Chicago (well, unless you’re the Post Office, but that’s another story…)  Each day they would tell us it was on the truck “out for delivery,” and each day nothing showed up.  After a week, they finally conceded that perhaps the steaks were not “out for delivery” and sent out new steaks.  Problem solved, although we looked like the assholes who got nothing for our parents for Christmas in front of the entire family, but oh, well.  Anyone can have a snafu, right?

This year we were suckers again and ordered more steaks to be delivered to my in-laws.  (Yes, I know – but they are that good….) On Christmas morning we trek over to my in-laws’ house to open presents.  It is then that we realize that the steaks have failed to show up once again.  They were scheduled to arrive on the 23rd.  Again, we look like idiots to the rest of the family.  One of them asked my why we keep ordering from them if they keep forgetting to actually deliver the order on time.  Good fucking question!  My husband calls this morning and the very uninterested CSR looks up the order and says that – oops – they forgot to send it out.  That was the entire sum of the explanation on where the steaks were.  No apologies, no offers to make it right.  They just forgot to ship it.  WTF?

Well, I think I will forget to order from them again any time soon.  If you order from them, just know that their delivery is crappy, and the Customer Service reps don’t give a shit.  But, those steaks are damn good!  Curse you, Allen Brothers!

TBS Still Messin’ with My Seinfeld


What up, TBS?  You still messin’ with my Seinfeld and it’s pissing me off.  First, you move it to a different time after five years of me watching every day.  Now, you move it to yet another time, and – inexplicably – you are running them out of order?  Why do I want to tune in to see random episodes?  I need to see the progression of the show as God intended – why do you have to fuck with perfection?



I Hate @$%#&! Plastic Bags


And, no, it’s not because they take 10 bazillion years to decompose in the landfill – although that is a good reason to hate them.  It’s because for some reason when the baggers at the grocery store use them, they use 10 bazillion of them.  Before I got with the program and started using a reusable grocery bag, I used to bitch and moan about the way they were used.  How many times do you go to the Jewel and buy 10 things and get a fucking separate bag for each fucking thing?  Really – plastic isn’t strong enough to hold more than a package of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?  Then why the hell does it last for 10 bazillion years in the landfill?

Last year I made a conscious decision to use less plastic – no more plastic bags and no more plastic water bottles – and so far I’ve really cut down on both.  I’ve been trying to use my reusable canvas bags each time at the grocery store, and let me tell you – they try to make it as hard as possible.  Why?  Does the Plastics Industry pay the baggers a supplemental bonus for each plastic bag they can slip past the system?

Take yesterday for instance.  I was at the store to pick up items for dinner last night.  I didn’t use a cart, I used the little mini basket to get my items.  I didn’t even fill up the basket, but yet still managed to get home with three plastic bags anyway.  They stuck the plastic bags INSIDE MY REUSABLE BAG.  WTF?  If I can manage to put all the items in one basket, then YOU should manage to get all the items in my one reusable bag, okay???  And forget asking for paper – they are always perpetually “out” of paper, or the ones they do have are short and have no handles so it’s hard to carry – another Plastics Industry Conspiracy, I just know it.

And you just know when you actually bring the bags back to the store and put them in the Big Bag Recycling Bag (how ironic) that they just wait until it’s filled up and throw it in the main garbage out back…  Kind of like the old Chicago Blue Bag system in the early 90’s.

Vintage Cookbook Centerfold of the Week


I don’t know what it is about this photo that draws me to it.  Perhaps it’s the gooey triangles of American Cheese atop the Corn Medley Casserole on the top right side.  Maybe it’s the beautiful “wiener star” atop the lovely Skillet Supper at the bottom.  Or, it could be the little puffy balls on the tablecloth – I think we had those!

Whatever it is, anyone who can fry hot dogs in a 1/2 cup of butter – as the recipe for Skillet Supper calls for –  is either insane, or a genius.  Oh yes, it’s June Roth – author of 1969’s Fast and Fancy Cookbook, who promises right on the cover to show you “glamorous gourmet dishes from inexpensive quick fix foods.”

Well played, June – well played.

Post Office Can’t Manage to Send Stamps


So I’m lazy and like to do a lot of things from my computer.  In fact, I haven’t set foot in a mall for Christmas in over three years.  So, this year for my Christmas cards I decided to order my stamps online from the Post Office.  What could be easier?  I can see all the different stamps, they aren’t out of any, there’s no line and no driving around!  Well, my perfect plan had a small snag – it took NINE DAYS to get my stamps.

Nine days?  WTF?  Could you be any fucking slower?  How on earth does it take nine days to put a couple of sheets of stamps in the mail and mail them considering THAT’S WHAT YOU DO.

It’s no secret that the Post Office sucks.  I’m sure the mail service was amazing in 1805 when ma and pa could hear about Junior getting run over by a buffalo within three months time.  2008? …Not so much.  They should just shut the crappy post office down and let FedEx do it.  Fed Ex can get you something from anywhere to anywhere overnight since 1973 for God’s sake!

Remember Zippy the Zip code guy?  Well, I don’t either, because it was a little before my time – but Zippy was a logo of a speedy mail carrier used by the Post Office in the late 60s to get the public to use the newfangled Zip code system.  (I guess before that you just put “Tiffany, Chicago, IL” and got your mail that way?)  Well…

Zippy’s dead., baby.  Zippy’s dead.