Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

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I've got a little story today for you about baked goods gone horribly, horribly wrong. Well, actually, if you want to get technical, we're talking about fried goods--Sister Girl is having to do cajun cooking, or something New Orleans-related, essentially, that resulted in her having to make beignets.

Now, I bought her a box of mix at Café du Monde that produced light, fluffy, delicious beignets. But seeing as how this is cooking school, they are not so much interested in the box mix. So Sister Girl makes the beignet dough from scratch and lets it sit for a day to rise and all that, and she takes most of it to school and leaves a plastic bag of leftovers at home. (Side note: this was mutant beignet dough to begin with. The day she made it, she came back that night and it was, like, already bubbling over and trying to climb out of the bowl and take over the world. "Uh, I think your dough is riz," I said. "Uh... YEAH," she said.)

Two days after that, she gets it into her head to actually make beignets from the leftover dough. Now, I can make cake or cookies from scratch, but generally my experience with baking is the glorious boxed mix, so I'm all like, "You let it rise for three days? Is it... still good?" Also, she didn't refrigerate it at all--just let it sit on the counter, in front of a window, in the sun. So she's heating her oil and getting it ready to fry and she doesn't like to cook (or do much of anything) alone, so I'm downstairs as her audience. And then she opens the plastic bag to roll the dough out. My Lord have mercy, I could smell it from across the room. What did it smell like? Beer.

"Your dough... fermented?"


But Sister Girl is nothing if not intrepid, so she decides to make the beignets anyway. Now, the last time I was really, truly ill with a stomach bug, I think we all decided that it was actually very mild food poisoning, and I can specifically point to bad pizza we were eating that night. And my God, was that painful. So I'm sitting here now going, Oh God. If she makes them, I'm going to have to eat them, because she always gets upset when you don't eat her cooking, even though maybe I don't WANT to eat baby cow, okay? And I seriously do not have time to die of bad beignet.

But the oil gets hot and she drops one in and it puffs up like whoa and she fishes it out and powders it down with sugar and drops another one in and this one is mine and she cuts each one in half and hands me one half on a fork. Hilariously, she makes a big show out of biting into hers and says, "Mmmmm, it is SO GOOD." So I carefully, gingerly sort of approach mine with my teeth and tear out a nibble and MY GOD IT BITES BACK.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you a new taste sensation: the beergnet. Those of you who don't have time for pastry and booze, well, now you can get them both in one convenient atrocity. My tongue immediately went numb. It was awful.

"Uh... yeah... it's... I really... I think I can still taste the beer."

"No! It's not that bad! All the beer cooked out. You just think you taste beer because you're expecting to."

What I really want to say is, "No, really, dude. It's okay. It's not your fault. But this is mutant beergnet and we have to nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure," but she's very touchy about her cooking, and I really don't want to cause a scene.

"So! I! I really! I really need to get back to--! I'm just going to--! Take my beignet and--go back upstairs!"

But Sister Girl looks sort of unhappy, and the oil is getting a little too hot and starting to smoke, and Mom is unobstrusively fiddling around at the sink pretending not to be up in Sister Girl's culinary Kool-Aid, and there's some sniping going on, and--well, I grew up as the family mediator. I'll stay a few minutes longer, just to make sure that Sister Girl does see reason and decides to close down the Little Beignet Shop of Horrors for the night. Unfortunately, she's still got one last monstrosity floating in the oil and--you know--she really hasn't--it's been a while--hey, you might need to--for the love of God, turn the beignet over!

And then the stove bursts into flame. So that was interesting.

Today was a houseworky day. One of Sister Girl's classmates is coming home tonight to show her how to cut up a whole chicken, or something, and they're going to watch The O.C. (or this poor guy is going to be forced to watch it while he butchers, I guess), so Mom wanted me to clean up the house a bit. So I turn up Heart's "Crazy for You" really loud and put it on repeat, because I like the opening guitar bit (duh dundundundundun dunnnnnnnnnn), and get to work. The thing is, the things we have to do to clean the house are, occasionally, a little... counterintuitive. For example, we can't vacuum the carpet; the pile is too low, and what with owning two Pomeranians, a cocker spaniel and a cat and all, you have to get down on your knees and scrape the hair off with a household brush. So instead of vacuuming the carpet, after that, I take the vacuum cleaner downstairs and vacuum... the wooden parquet floor, because there's crazy cobwebs and bits of fluff and dead leaves from the plants and lovely presents from the dogs and some rogue powdered sugar left over from the mutant beergnets skulking under the cupboards, and I mean, I guess you could sweep that up, but why bother, when you can just put on the hose attachment and be done with it? On top of that, Mom apparently washed a bathmat that died on the operating table in the washing machine and shed its yarny threads over half the house, so I'm on thread patrol sucking up bits of yarn in the laundry room... and living room... and the front hall... and the den... and the dining room... and the kitchen... and then that massive wad of dog hair I coaxed out of the stairs and hall carpet mutinies and tries to make its escape and I have to beat it back into submission with the vacuum hose, which is hard, because it's about the size of a basketball and it's got a lot of fight left in it. (This is what happens when you don't brush the carpet for two days, people. Hey, at least we don't have the two rabbits anymore.) By the end of it, I had a dozen mice following me around singing, "Cleolindy, Cleolindy! Go up and do the hall stairs and go down and do the hall floor, you can do them both together! Brush the carpet, beat the dog hair! CraaaAAAAaaazy on youuuuuuuuu!"

So, having saved the universe a couple of times over now, I'ma watch me some TV, dammit. I don't watch a lot of TV, aside from... wow, just Lost at this point. Kinda fell out of the Veronica Mars habit--I keep forgetting it's on. Fnarr. But I admit that any time I hear someone interesting is on a talk show, I will track it down and watch. Wow, Jennifer Love Hewitt is twenty-six today? I feel like I haven't accomplished that much in comparison. Oh, wait, except that I have a college degree and half a master's and people look at my face instead of my breasts and I managed to avoid having I Still Know What You Did Last Summer on my résumé. Whee! Aaaaand... Ellen is doing bird calls. And singing like a parrot. Okay.

So I admit I'm watching this because Gerard Butler is going to be on--he was on Leno last night, and I realized I'd never seen him in anything but Phantom of the Opera or... really, heard him speak in a non-musical way at all, pretty much. And I'd heard he was Scottish, and I remember hearing about him being on Leno like, just two months ago, so he must be a pretty good guest, right? Okay. So, I watch last night, and you guys? Seriously, like, imagine the most Scottish accent you've never understood and, like, double that. Soooooo cute Scottish. I have no idea what he said, mostly, except that there was some story about Viking horns at a drunken law society party. Although, really, you can't blame it entirely on his accent, because when he came out, good Lord almighty, I have never heard women scream that loud. I thought living with a teenage Hanson fan once upon a time had taken my hearing to the limit, but I was wrong. So it was a little while before I recovered my aural faculties, and by then we were in the middle of a story about... wait... Ellen is now dancing with a wooden puppet and a sock monkey? I am perturbed. But, like I said: I don't watch a lot of TV... excuse me, I have to go now.

Links and quizzage:

As a reporter, it's important to say what you really think:

Are you dating anyone now?
Nothing serious, but I'm not lonely. I'm kind of in a phase right now where I'm in love with my girlfriends. I'll literally be sitting across the table from them and I'll think, Your eyes are so pretty.

Keri, that's called being a lesbian.
[Laughs] I might be. I love them so much.

I told you people would start handicapping next year's Oscars.

Now we are all going to die. (Thanks, supersyncspaz7.)

It's the latest multi-arc story from the filmmakers behind ''21 Grams'' and ''Amores Perros.''
by Gary Susman (

Paramount hired talent manager-turned-studio chief Brad Grey for his ability to attract stars. In his first week on the job, he seems to be making good on his reputation. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Paramount has assembled an all-star cast for Babel: newly-minted Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, former Grey client and business partner Brad Pitt, and Motorcycle Diaries star Gael Garcia Bernal. It's a film from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarrítu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, the team behind 21 Grams and Amores Perros, the movie that put Garcia Bernal on the road to international stardom. Like those films, Babel will interweave several stories set in motion by a single catastrophy, in this case, a tragedy that strikes a married couple on vacation. The four stories are set in Morocco, Tunisia, Mexico, and Japan. No word on whether Grey, who used to negotiate for top dollar on behalf of his clients, was able to get the stars at bargain rates now that he's working the other side of the fence.

You Are As Cool As They Come

(You are more dramatic than 10% of the population.)

Rational and relaxed, no one could accuse you of being dramatic.

You roll with the punches, and nothing ever gets you too worked up.

You are able to maintain perspective and see the big picture.

And even if you're emotional inside, you don't let it show.

You're great at keeping it together, and you're rewarded for that.

People see you as an ideal friend, employee, and partner.

Tags: appropriate responses to bad situations, best of, cleaning, conversations with my sister, cooking, family, movies



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  • Podcasts!

    I kept trying to write ~companion posts~ to go with the podcasts, got too bogged down in rainy depression to manage it (THREE WEEKS OF STORMS AND…

  • So I saw Pacific Rim

    @cleolinda: Well. Pacific Rim was kind of like if Independence Day had sea monsters and was quality. @cleolinda: It's basically the movie Michael…