Sunday, October 30, 2011

randomness from my tiny kitchen

It's no secret that I have insomnia. If you follow me on twitter, you've probably caught on to the fact that half the time, my tweets are in the 2:00-4:00am range my time. Our crazy new sleep schedule hasn't helped lately. So being the good wife that I am, I'm in the kitchen making my new favorite crock pot recipe for TLS to bring to work tomorrow. You ever have those things that you just want to say so someone else will know but they don't fit in anywhere?

Yea, well here are mine.

1) I have a lot of gripes with my kitchen. A lot. It's smaller than my bathroom. I'm the kind of girl that can easily spend 4+ hours in the kitchen without blinking, so the fact that I can't keep my pots, pans, stand mixer, crock pot, or heck, refrigerator in the kitchen is a huge problem. Well it gets better. There are exactly 5 outlets in my kitchen. A set of two on either side of the sink and stove, and a single one up on the wall by where I keep Fritz, my rooster. (More on him later.) The other day, when I was trying to use my stand mixer, I managed to blow a fuse. No problem. Plugged the transformer into another outlet. Blew that too. Emailed my husband in a panic because we did not have a spec of electricity in our house. He came from work to fix it. (We live 15-20 minutes from base.) As soon as he did, we tried to plug in the mixer again and ka-boom. No seriously, don't worry, Kitty is fine, but let's just say my husband had to take many a trip to the basement to get her to be that way. Since that fateful day, all of the outlets in my kitchen seem to be working again knockonwood but now we have a new problem.

The lights in my kitchen don't work.


Two days before, my husband had just put in all new lightbulbs, but just to be safe, I may have suggested insisted that he switch them out again. No dice.

Now my husband isn't exactly Handy Manny and can't do much more than flicking a switch in the fusebox (remember, I did have a man drive 35 minutes for this so I'm not exactly one to throw stones) and after looking up directions for how to fix our wiring or whatever (yea, not exactly a handy girl myself)- all of which were written for American wiring which we don't have, we realized that we will not get our lights back until we can get an electrician to come take a look at it. That's going to be a while. Germany just fell behind this weekend so it gets dark at like 4:00pm here. This is a huge problem. We went to the BX to buy a standing lamp to use as a temporary solution and of course, they were all sold out of every single one. And won't be in stock for a while. It's a Sunday so the German stores are closed. I've resorted to keeping my iphone set on its maximum brightness and using  several strategically placed candles to help me cook. Just call me Laura Ingalls Wilder.

2) We went to the commissary to buy food so I could you know, cook it. (Novel concept, I know.) I needed about 6-8 cloves of garlic and 3 onions. I got to the garlic and onion section and as soon as I set one foot near it, all of these fruit flies just swarmed out of it. So gross. No way in heck was I going to buy that. It's a Sunday so the German stores are closed. Yay.

3) On the days that the German stores are open, they are generally open later than the commissary. Fun fact, just because it says "American Ginger Ale" on the label, does not mean it tastes anything like the Ginger Ale that Americans are used to.

4) Last year, our very own Muffy Martini posted a link to a delicious-sounding pumpkin fudge recipe on her blog. I knew I had to make it. I was at a friend's house having a very grown-up playdate consisting of baking cookies and fudge (her kitchen is so much bigger!) and I made about 3 batches of it. It came out fantastic. So so good. People couldn't get enough of the stuff. So I said I'd make more. I went home, got all the same ingredients and set out to make another batch.

Floppity flop flop, flop flop.

It was a disaster, the fudge just would not harden. I'm not sure if my friend's stove has a better heating element than mine does or if it's because she has stainless steel pans and I have nonstick at home or what, but it was a disaster. This had never happened to me so I was perplexed. Convinced I had omitted a single crucial fudge-making step, I decided to try again. Determined that this would be a good batch. I followed the directions to a t. And you know what?

Floppity flop flop, flop flop.

Seriously. I decided to chalk it up to bad luck and spend all year sulking about it in secret. This year, I decided to revisit the recipe. This morning I raced downstairs, eager to beat the clock so I could still cook while I had daylight outside my window (seriously, wasn't there an episode of Little House on the Prairie that went just like this?) and attempted to make fudge. I'm sure you can guess what happened next, but just in case.

Floppity flop flop, flop flop.

At this point, I will not be making this recipe again. At least not until I get a new stove and a stainless steel pot. In the epic battle of woman vs. dessert food- rounds 2 and 3 went to the fudge.

I'm just wondering if any of you tried making this recipe and had success (or failure) with it? I've made plenty of much more complicated recipes in my life so I just don't get it. I really don't.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Search for the Great Pumpkin and give*a*way

I love pumpkins. A lot. I love everything about them. Mostly including eating them. This year, I have pretty much been on a "no pumpkin left behind" kick and have been making pumpkin stuff up the wazzoo. I'm pretty sure that if I do make any more pumpkin stuff, my husband will turn orange. I still have quite a lot of pumpkin stuff to make, so we're getting there.

Last year we found out about a pumpkin festival in Germany. Unfortunately, we found out about it after the festival had closed which meant I spent roughly 355 days sulking about it. This year I found out that there was a pumpkin festival right in our town (!!!) and kept on reminding my husband of that fact every half an hour. Of course in between plans we previously had and the fact that I wasn't walking for a while, it took us some time to actually get there. So we finally set aside yesterday to go to the park for the festival. The whole day.

Germans love their festivals and they are usually amazing so we were so excited! We got plenty of cash to try out pumpkin soup and pumpkin wine and went on our merry way.

What a disappointment.

The admission to the park for the two of us was 13€ and once we got in, we realized that all of the pumpkin-specific vendors had already closed up and there were only their usual food kiosks there (which are really good, but not what we wanted). 

Every year, the pumpkin festival has a theme and they make dioramas made out of pumpkins. This year's theme was fairy tales. While as a festival itself, it was pretty darn disappointing, we did have fun looking around the different dioramas. 
the prize-winning big pumpkins- don't ask me about #1- we didn't see that on display
the Frog Prince
the Pied Piper- love the little ears on the pumpkin mice
Beware of Dragon- Siegfried and the Dragon (this is a German thing)
Mother Goose
Like I said, the pumpkin displays were definitely cool, but it took us roughly 30 minutes to go through the whole thing. Perhaps this would have taken longer or been more exciting had we had a kid with us. I just don't know. In no way was this worth our nearly $20 admission fee. We bought some crepes from the crepe stand (delicious!) and ate those pretending like it was 18€ for just the two of those. The park that the festival was in is called the Dino Park because it has huge sculptures of dinosaurs all around it. There was a hollow dinosaur head in there so that little children could go in and take pictures of themselves in it.

Obviously. We had to.

Now on to the giveaway portion of this post. As most of you know, TLS and I have a huge soft spot in our hearts for a certain cartoon beagle. This month's giveaway will reflect that. I will be giving away one movie of the winner's choice:
I know it's a bit late for this one- but it is adorable and a true classic
The rules:
This giveaway is open to current followers via GFC only. Leave a comment here. That's it. I will draw a winner after it closes at midnight EST on Sunday, October 31st.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Still here

Never left.

So far, this month has been pretty uneventful and quiet and not much for me to blog about.

*Thankfully, I am almost completely back to normal and am moving around like my old self again.

*We went to the AF Birthday Ball this past weekend (yes, on the anniversary of the Navy birthday, don't ask) and I wore heels for the first time since our wedding. We sat with two of our friends who will be moving in about a month (sniff) so it was great to sit and talk with them. I wore this dress:
with bronze shoes that I can't find a picture of online.

*Have started cooking again. As with every fall, I have once again proven my pumpkin obsession. So far this year, I have made pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Dinner tomorrow night will most likely be pumpkin pancakes with homemade cranberry butter.

*Hopefully this weekend we can go to our town's pumpkin festival. Can. Not. Wait.

*We booked our tickets for Thanksgiving Day weekend. We will be going to Manchester, UK. Nothing at all ironic about that. Still have to book a hotel though.

*Bought a 220V Crock Pot yesterday and I love it already. The one that TLS had previously was a 110V (American voltage) one so to use it over here I would have to run it on a transformer. For things like a mixer or a food processor it's not a big deal, but do leave a Crock Pot on a transformer for 6-9 hours would send our electric bill through the roof. TLS keeps asking me to make more Crock Pot dinners and I said I'd only do that if he bought me a 220V one. So he finally did. Ours came with a stoneware pot that can also be used on the stovetop or in the oven as a roaster. I love it.

*Have become addicted to Revenge. I want pretty much every single thing that Emily wears. I am a bit worried about the show's sustainability though. How many people could have possibly wronged Emily/Amanda's father to warrant more than one season?

*Have spent a lot of time (too much time) lately looking for the perfect holiday card. I want to do a photo card this year and have been having a hard time finding a good one. Everything I like is either too expensive, can't be shipped to APO addresses, or says Merry Christmas on it. (We don't celebrate Christmas and prefer to go with cards that say "Happy Holidays" instead.) What are some of your favorite places to get photo cards? Other than the obvious Snapfish, Shutterfly, Vistaprint, etc?

*In the unlikely event that someone reading this is actually able to get her hands on a bottle of this stuff, please, please, please, pretty please with a sugared cherry on top send me a bottle of it. Please.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rabbit Rabbit

Happy October y'all!

Yes, I am still alive. I swear. We got back three days ago to the very fun surprise of our wifi pretty much dying on us. So until we can get that fixed, I cam only use my iPhone.

Things I am looking forward to this month:
*Air Force Ball- need to get a necklace still but my dress for that is fantastic!
*going to the pumpkin festival in our town- pumpkin wine, need I say more?
*Halloween with friends
*Breast Cancer Awareness Month- my favorite shopping month for all things pink!
*not much else- taking it easy this month, I need to relax

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad