Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Peeling carrots

This past weekend Brittany hosted a BBQ to celebrate her graduation with her Master's. When I came into the kitchen she was carefully trying to peel a carrot using a serrated knife to slice off the exterior, while the carrot is lying horizontally on a cutting board.

I mentioned that we had a vegetable peeler that would make the job easier, and pulled one out of a drawer. Brittany gives a blank stare, of course, and says, "I thought that could only be used for potatoes." Then she continues to use it similarly to the knife. It was so painful to watch, I asked to demonstrate how to use it, and I held the carrot in my hand over the bowl for the peelings, and finished the peeling in seconds.

Brittany looked amazed and said it had taken her hours to peel carrots for the tomato sauce she made a few weeks ago.

I never got around to teaching her the trick of using a serrated knife to scrape at the peel of a carrot instead of trying to cut off strips.

When I told this story to my hairdresser, she said she had to tell her friend to use a vegetable peeler on a kiwi. Another friend warns that her boyfriend broke their peeler when he was using it to slice cheese, though.


I haven't felt the need to blog about Brittany in a long time, but I figured i would add an anecdote from about a year ago that I tell often.

Through this blog and telephone updates, my parents and siblings had heard of Brittany's escapades, but must had thought I was exaggerating. In July of 2008, my mother and sister came for a visit, and spent time with Brittany while I was at work. One evening my mother was about to cook dinner and Brittany asked her what she was going to make, and my mother replied, "Some steaks I picked up at the grocery store." And Brittany says she s going to make the same, and asks my mom how she was going to cook them. My mom says, "I was thinking of grilling them." Brittany responded with her patented stare, so my mother asks how she was going to cook her steak. Brittany replied, "On a pan, on the stove. I thought you could only grill hamburgers and hotdogs."

But oddly a few weeks before Brittany had accompanied me to a BBQ where my friends made Bulgogi on a charcoal grill.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


I think I have remarked before on Brittany's making pre-made cookies: to send to a friend in the Army and for a guy on Valentine's. Since we are snowed-in by the Blizzard of '08 I decided to do a little baking today. I didn't want to take the time to place cookies on a sheet though, so I decided to make chocolate-chip cookie bars. When Brittany came into the kitchen as I was gathering my flour, sugar and chocolate chips from the pantry and told her I was making cookies, she asked me, "Do you have mix?" And when I said no, most people make cookies from scratch and the recipe is even on the bag of Tollhouse morsels, she was in shock. Apparently Brittany's mom had informed her it was impossible to make cookies on one's own- that it was too hard and they didn't come out well.

So mothers, do not fail your children as Brittany has been failed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tilted Kilt

Brittany is very excited that she has found a new job to supplement her Salvation Army internship income. She will be a bartender at a new bar about to be opened in Columbus, part of the Tilted Kilt chain. You really need to check out their website to know why I'm horrified.

Even worse, although she touts her bartending skills, she needs to start practising because she "sight poured" shots- i.e. knew what a shot looked like in a (particular) glass. She had never even heard of the variously named free/count/time pour that most professional bartenders use. Well, hopefully the outfit will look good on her.

Primary Colors

After her thinking that the presidential primary was in November, I believed that Brittany had been steered correctly in her understanding of American party politics. But, as is so often the case, I underestimated her ignorance.

On Monday I was discussing with Brittany the debate I had heard on NPR between two Democratic candidates for county commissioner (sadly they were both unable to put together a coherent sentence). I stated my belief that neither seemed worth voting for when Brittany replied that she hadn;t paid any attention to any of the races and so was just going to vote for "the Democrat" come Tuesday. When I said that since it's a primary we're voting between two Democrats she gave her patented blank stare.

Now primaries are odd things, the rules seem to be different wherever you are, as I am learning during this year's presidential campaign, but the basic idea is always the same: choosing who will represent a particular party in a general election. My vote has never really mattered before in a presidential election, but in the past I lived in areas so heavily partisan that only the primary mattered for local positions.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Last night I went out to dinner with Brittany and we chatted about our weekends/days and she told me about a new fruit she had tried from the grocery store "JI-cam-a," which she accurately described as looking like a potato but tasting a little more like a bland apple. Now, I wouldn't expect someone to get the pronunciation correct as "Hee-kah-mah" if they've never heard of it before, but I did think it was pretty obvious that most of us don't describe it as a fruit. Even worse, when I said it was a little more like a potato in that it was a tuber, Brittany stared at me blankly, never having hear of tubers before.

I just mentioned this story to my officemate, let's call him B.J., and he too had never heard the word tuber before. Looking things up in wikipedia it does seem like the definition of tuber and root vegetable is a little more complicated than I previously thought, but it still looks to be an entirely pedestrian term that I thought most educated people would have heard.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Grammy's

Watching the Grammy Awards Show with Brittany finally propelled me to update this blog. At some point soon I will add posts about the past month too, but now for the Sunday night drama:

Brittany walked in while Tina Turner and Beyonce (Knowles) were singing Proud Mary. Brittany said, "Wow, Diana Ross looks great!" And when I pointed out that it was really Tina Turner she explained that the camera shot was only showing the "INA" of the performer's name. "True," I said, "but Proud Mary is kinda a signature Tina Turner song."

Brittany stuck around for the montage of the music industry people that died in the past year, and it ended with Luciano Pavarotti. Brittany said, "It was nice that they ended those pictures with Pavarotti since he diad last year." I pointed out, "The montage was for all the people that died last year- that's why they did that."

Then Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban sang a duet of "The Prayer" in honor of those that died, and while Bocelli was introducing the piece Brittany wondered, "Why won't he open his eyes and look up, that's not a very good presentation style." I replied, "Well, he's blind." And Brittany said, "I knew something was up with his eyes."

Finally, Brittany jumped on the bandwagon of people against Amy Winehouse being "rewarded" this year because of her personal problems. Though I don't think Winehouse is any sort of role model, when an award is given for achievement and someone has produced the best song for a given year, then the award should go to that person.