Tag Archives: cooking

Recent tweets as of Aug 9, 2014

Recent tweets as of Aug 2, 2014

Recent tweets as of May 7, 2014

  • We’ve been waking up a few minutes before our 345am alarm goes off the last few mornings. I guess we’re becoming conditioned. Well, good. 05:19:13, 2014-05-02
  • Terra and I already hit three garage sales, Goodwill, and now breakfast at Weck’s (our first time trying it). Getting up early rulez!!! 10:14:42, 2014-05-02
  • Feathers all over the cafe, kitchen, and living room, where a large adult bird lies dead. Christmas Kitty is not my friend this morning. 04:23:32, 2014-05-04
  • You die a hero or you live long enough to be a villain. That applies to shows that didn’t last – Firefly, Freaks & Geeks, The Tick, etc.. 10:42:18, 2014-05-04
  • Without fail, when I decide to cook a “special” dinner – this time, chicken fried steak for Terra’s birthday – it’s a complete disaster. 18:46:51, 2014-05-05
  • When I go overboard to achieve fantastic hopes and disaster ensues, I say I Clarked it up. As in Clark W. Griswold from the Vacation movies. 18:52:39, 2014-05-05
  • I made a blog post expanding the explanation of “Clarking things up”… http://t.co/Igldq5NCcT 19:58:20, 2014-05-05
  • RT @OnePerfectShot: Perfect shot from DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) DoP: Gilbert Taylor | Dir: Stanley Kubrick http://t.co/GswBxjKg0E 05:39:36, 2014-05-06
  • RT @OnePerfectShot: Perfect shot from BLADE RUNNER (1982) DoP: Jordan Cronenweth | Dir: Ridley Scott http://t.co/Rwg9NxuM59 17:52:05, 2014-05-06
  • You know what I can’t stand about most modern #AudioTheater? It’s mostly silly comedic tongue-in-cheek stuff. It’s hard to take seriously. 08:49:20, 2014-05-07

I really Clarked it all up.

To Clark something up is to dream up an improbable fantasy situation for an event of special importance and then, when it doesn’t work out the way you fantasized, you do not accept the reality but put even more effort into it to try to achieve the fantasy at all costs until multiple disasters have transpired as unintended consequences of the overboard actions. The special event that would have probably been very enjoyable if left as was has now been ruined or at least made to be much less enjoyable than it would have been.

I have named this after Clark W. Griswold from the National Lampoon’s Vacation series of movies, of course. We’ve seen him do it to vacations and holidays. It probably would have been great until he tried to make it perfect. And now, it’s not exactly ruined, it’s just… all Clarked up.

I find myself guilty of this behavior frequently. So often, in fact, that I’ve thought of this expression for it. Common uses are as follows…
“I’m Clarking this whole day.”
“No, baby, I’m not gonna Clark it up this time.”
“Well, I’ve Clarked this whole situation beyond repair.”

Today, it was the special dinner I wanted to make for Terra’s birthday.
I decided to make her favorite – chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and green beans. I’ve never made chicken fried steak before. And I’ve never pan fried anything breaded that came out good. That should have stopped me. But, rather than back down to reasonable expectations, I wanted to give her a GREAT birthday. She even suggested we go out. But, no.

With that attitude, I had taken the first step in Clarking it all up.

What followed is typical of what I described above…
I waited until little more than an hour before dinner to read the recipe, realized this was going to be much more difficult than I thought and I didn’t even have the cookware to pull it off right. But, I had a dream and would not be discouraged by reality. My baby would not have to settle for anything less than my best.
All the pans didn’t even fit all at once on the stove. But, I tried to work with that.
Then there were fresh green beans. I don’t think I’ve ever even eaten anything but canned or frozen, let alone ever cooked them. When I saw the trouble I was in, I should have just cooked them in water. But, no, it’s my true love’s birthday! I said I’d sautee fresh green beans in butter and garlic and that’s what I’m gonna do! Wait, I don’t have another pan. Well, I’ll use a pot. It doesn’t fit on the stove because it’s already too crowded? Rubbish, I’ll make it work somehow.
Btw, she also has probably never eaten fresh either. And she likes the canned or frozen. Especially the way I always make them. What she thought of as best wasn’t good enough for me in full Clark W. Griswold mode.

Et cetera, et cetera…

I’m still kind of clueless about cooking and this was one of my most ambitious meals I’ve ever tried. (I’m not even gonna talk about the gravy – also a first attempt ever.) The idea of trying such a feat FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION should have sounded like a bad idea. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that I should cook what I am good at for special occasions. I should try new recipes on a regular day. Especially when I’ve never successfully cooked anything similar.

Dinner wasn’t totally ruined. I did a lot of angry yelling at myself and the food and the grease splatters and burned food and stuff stuck in the pan. So, the mood wasn’t exactly festive when I finally served it. And it was better than just edible. But, it wasn’t great. It wasn’t worth the huge greasy kitchen mess I now have to clean up. It wasn’t a total disaster. It was just… all Clarked up.

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Recent events

Tonight (Wednesday), Terra, Wesley, and I played PSO together. I’m trying to make this a weekly family night thing. He is 8, I know he can figure this out. The basics anyway.

We got another 16 photos printed, framed, and hung. A few added to the collection by Wesley’s room, but most of them start the new project on the wall by the dinner table. Both look great. I should have taken a pic to post.

Tuesday, we went again to the home fellowship we tried last week. It has a good sized crowd, it’s close, it’s early enough in the evening to work with our early bedtime, they have hang out time after study. So, it’s all sorts of stuff we need a home fellowship to be.

We are still trying to fit Ingress into our daily life. The best we’ve managed is maybe a half hour sidetrack here and there on our way to something else. BUT, we got new batteries for our phones! So we can venture out on foot now :)

We finished season two of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. We’ll get to season three eventually but now we’ve started season two of Second Shift – probably my favorite “podio theater” we know. We never got around to the final two episodes so this is good.

My new cookbook finally arrived on Monday and I’m very excited. On the same day, we were in Sam’s Club (Noel got us a membership!) and Terra came across a cookbook she bought me – maybe because she was tired of hearing me complain that the one I ordered hadn’t shown up yet. So, I ended up with two cookbooks on one day. These are the first cookbooks I’ve ever owned. I don’t think I’m doing “bachelor cooking” anymore but I still know so little. I still want to trade with someone – you teach me all you know about cooking and I’ll teach you everything I know about coffee.
Anyway, I asked on /r/cooking what a good first cookbook would be and I sifted through the many suggestions, did some research,  and went with How to Cook Everything – The Basics.
Now, I just need time to sit down with them!
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Christmas 2013, Act Three

I’ve spent probably 30 hours on this. And I still don’t like it.
I like the other two vids I made but I just can’t get this one right. I’ve edited and re-edited and re-edited – I even started completely over once – and now I’m just abandoning it and hoping it’s not as bad as it seems to me.
But, considering it’s the second week of January and no matter what I do, I’m still not satisfied with it, I’m just walking away and posting it as is…