Thursday, September 21, 2006

Must have bunny slippers!
A trip to the vet.

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As
she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his
stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or
two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, I'm so sorry, your
Duck has passed away."

The distressed owner wailed, "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead," he replied.

"How can you be so sure," she protested. "I mean, you haven't
done any testing on him or anything! . He might just be in a
coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room, and
returned a few moments later with a black Labrador Retriever.

As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his
hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and
sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked at the vet
with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog and took it out, and returned a few
moments later with a cat. The cat jumped up on the table and
also sniffed delicately at the bird from head to foot. The cat
sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and
strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said,
this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

Then the vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and
produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner,
still in shock, took the bill, "$150! she cried, $150 just to
tell me my duck is dead!!"

The vet shrugged. "I'm sorry. If you'd taken my word for it, the
bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat
Scan, it's now $150.00."

And then somebody came and stole the dead duck. Sounds like taking Garfield to the vet!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"It's too bad she's having a baby, she's so smart."

According to my sources, this declaration was made referring to me. I won't make any statements about the individual who said this particular sentence, because I don't really care to perform any acts of public defamation.

What I want to talk about is how little sense this little cobbled-together bit of the English language makes.

If it's unfortunate when smart people have babies, that would lead me to believe that it's fortunate for people who aren't smart, here we will use the term "dumb", to have babies. So let's just try this out:

"It's so great she's having a baby, she's so dumb."

Wow, what great logic. I really have to hand it to whoever said that sentence above about me, they sure are smart.

In addition, making a statement like "It's too bad she's having a baby, she's so smart" would lead me to believe that the speaker considers baby-havers to be less than intelligent, or in other words, dumb. Maybe this is a long shot, maybe I just have a strange way of understanding things, but does this mean the speaker considers his or her mom to be dumb? I would think so. Now that's pretty mean. It's not just because I love my mom that I say this, but I think she's pretty smart. And not just because she had me. She's witty, she's resourceful, and she has a great understanding of people.

Though you might not need brains to make the baby, you sure need them to bring one up. Wrangling your way through well-meaning advice from all corners and the various opinions of doctors and specialists is no easy task. And it's not like you can just sit around and watch TV all day while your kid just grows up, you need to interact with it, too, so that someday it will become a decent little being who can speak and make it's own decisions. All this all starts already in infancy. I'm only a few months into this new job of mine, and it can already be so stressful that I've nearly broken down a couple times. Maybe I should just stop being so smart and this would be a lot easier.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006

Jim Beam puked on my burger.

Back when I was still pregnant and my cravings could swing wildly from one end of the flavor spectrum to the other in a matter of seconds, we found one restaurant that was capable of satisfying my cravings for American food: Jim Beam's Bar here in Dresden-Neustadt. They have really good pub food, like giant burgers, piping hot fries, and spicy nachos. They even had a really excellent veggie burger, at least once. It was a big veggie patty, piled high with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and sauces on the side. One Sunday we returned to Beam's because I had a hankering for yet another of these mouth-watering burgers. Well, what I got was a bun with some cold lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and some sauce. I complained and said this wasn't what I ordered, then demanded to talk to the cook, who was supposedly the brain surgeon who wrote the menu. He should know what he put on his menu, then. He treated me badly, and made some very unappetizing pureed glob of vegetables that he seemed to then throw in a deep fryer, and subsequently on a bun. It looked like vomit. I ate some of it, and the fries, which at least were good. Then I proclaimed a boycott on that crappy place. And that cook is haunting me. I see him just about every time I leave the house, somewhere on the street, and I am always overcome with rage whenever I see him, he was such a jerk. I've now taken to boycotting other places he even sets foot in.

Just this past weekend, I had to boycott yet another place, to which I never should have gone in the first place: Burger King. They too have a veggie burger, and when I have a junk food craving or otherwise need something to eat fast, I like to get this as a value meal with fries and a drink. They denied me my value meal, claiming that the veggie burger is no longer available as a meal, just alone. This at a place where you can't buy a sandwich, or anything else for that matter, without the employees attempting to convince you to get a meal. They denied me my meal, and I denied them my order, continuing on my way hungry and in a rotten mood.

But yesterday we ate at a place at which my boycott would be vetoed even if I tried to apply one:

This place is great. They have excellent homemade Saxon-style food, friendly service, and if one of the menu items is out, they are honest and tell you, rather than trying to pass off something else as what you ordered. The first time we went there, I had the potatoes and herb quark, a delicious kind of cheese which is sort of like a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream. Mmmmm. I wanted this yesterday, but they were busy and it was out. So I ordered a farmer's breakfast, a sort of omelette with potatoes, onions, herbs and bacon. I asked them to leave off the bacon, but unfortunately, I got bacon. They took it back, excused themselves, and a few minutes later I received a freshly-made, bacon-free omelette. And it was delicious! We love the Diechl!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I love food.

Of course that's completely natural, you need food to live, so you'd better at least like it. But there's more to it than that for me, I love to cook it, I love to look at it, and I love to eat it. Plus, I think the kind of food person you are is important in a relationship. For example, do you like to prepare food for guests? Do you like to spend time at the table, having a long breakfast? Or do you just think that food is just one more thing to waste your time, so you don't bother spending much time on it? Food, along with pets and entertainment, can make or break a relationship, I think. Sure, there are other important things, but cat people and dog people don't mix, just like a person who loves to cut the rug and a person who won't set foot on a dance floor might not be so compatible.

Anyway, last week my love of food was given a great treat: a whole carload of fresh vegetables from the family garden. Not only I was pleased, but the bunnies received a sack full of fresh greens as well.

Been spending most their lives living in a bunny's paradise.

Some of the stuff I wouldn't normally buy, like two red beets, and other stuff was just especially delicious, like the tomatoes and new potatoes, because we all know how much better fresh garden vegetables taste than that flavorless stuff you get at the supermarket. So, I was challenged to prepare these delicious things to the best of their advantage, and wanted to try some new things as well.

First we had our regular tomato salad, using fresh tomatoes and onions, along with some feta cheese, fresh garlic, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar. Then I got creative, setting out on the task of preparing borscht, a delicious Russian soup. This is something I've only had one time in a restaurant, and was unsure if I could replicate the pleasing taste, but using a couple different recipes, I came up with my own special blend.

This isn't my borscht, but this is kind of what it looks like.

So, I chopped up the 2 beets, 5 carrots or so, 4 or 5 new potatoes, an onion, and half a head of cabbage and sauted it all a bit in a big soup pot with a bit of olive oil. Then I threw in a liter and a half of vegetable broth, some salt and pepper, a few tablespoons of vinegar, and a couple of bay leaves. I cooked this all until the vegetables were tender but not mushy, then served it up with some chopped feta cheese on top and a dollop of sour cream. Normally this soup would contain meat, but you know me and my strange ways. The feta cheese is also untraditional, but gives the soup a satisfying kick.

I still had half a giant head of cabbage, and after a bit of research, discovered that coleslaw made from scratch is no brain surgery, so I whipped up a batch of that. All you have to do is chop up the cabbage, grate a handfull of carrots, mix it together and toss it with some vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper, and you've got a delicious, though flatulence-inducing, salad!

Even after the soup and the coleslaw, and a somewhat unusual carrot casserole, there were still 2 big bowls of carrots lying around the kitchen, so I looked into making carrot salad. It seems that in Germany, sweet carrot salad is traditional. I've had this before and it's really good, but wanted to be untraditional and found a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey for spicy carrot salad. So I grated about half a kilogram of carrots, and then prepared the sauce. For this, you take 3 tablespoons of oil, heat it up and saute about a couple teaspoons of dry chili flakes, a chopped onion, and 3 cloves of garlic. Then add a couple tablespoons of vinegar, run that all through the food processor, and mix it up with the carrots. I added a bit more oil, because it didn't seem to be coating well, and a bit of salt and sugar, and this made a crazily spicy carrot salad that I ate for 2 meals in a row, it enthused me so much.

We still have a few ears of corn stolen from a field, so today my task is to think of a use for it. I'm considering making sweet corn cake or perhaps scalloped corn, both of which I haven't had in years, if I can find the time.