Thursday, March 18, 2010

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Turns out that Shepherd's Pie is made with ground lamb. If you make it with ground beef it's Cottage Pie. Who knew? I was merrily going about my bidness celebrating St. Patrick's Day when I figured out my error in judgment. I had purchased a package of Shepherd's pie seasoning a few weeks back. And when I went grocery shopping this week, I took it with me so I could pick up the ingredients to make the recipe on the back which called for '1 lb. mince.' I bought ground beef, thinking that I was oh-so clever to have deciphered the Brit-speak. How was I supposed to know that 'mince' was ground baby sheep? Do you think maybe because they call it Shepherd's pie? Hmmmm. Yes, the clue bus is a little late to pick up in my neighborhood. I didn't realize the error of my ways until I opened the 'sachet' and was overwhelmed by the smell of rosemary. And what goes best with rosemary...lamb. Ah, well. We had it with ground beef. There were no complaints. At least I remembered to serve it 'piping hot.' Next year maybe I'll try it with ground pork! Hmmmm....yes. And bacon!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

From Glen To Glen

It's St. Patrick's Day! Do a little jig. Drink a green beer. Get down tonight!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bitter and Lonely. Party Of One.

I've been sending out engraved invitations all day to a pity party. There is nothing more horrid than tossing feeling sorry for yourself. It's rude, unattractive and annoying to all involved. I think my tendency toward it is because I am a spoiled rotten only child all grown up. But I don't want to make excuses for it...I want to get past it. No. I want to stop it. When it happens, I try to make myself count my blessings -- write them down in a list on paper. That usually does the trick. But today, I was stuck. Fortunately, I had to search no further than my inbox to find a little something that made me smile and forget the engraved invitation I'd been sending out. Seriously. What's a party without a cake?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tips For Hiring A House Cleaning Service

Something major happened to me over the weekend. I had my house cleaned by professionals. Three lovely women who don't speak a word of English came into my house and changed my world. And I'm planning on inviting them back to do it again in the next few weeks. They cleaned everything and then some. And they made a hotel fold on the toilet paper and a rosette in the Kleenex box. How did I ever live without? We couldn't find the cat for a long stretch of time after they left. She eventually re-appeared after we shook a bag of treaties. And she spent a long period of time after they left walking around the house sniffing stuff -- as if nothing smelled right any more. I didn't know what to do with myself while they were there. I just sat there while they cleaned everything including the windows and the ceiling! I felt so guilty. And my guilt was compounded by the fact that I had just read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. If you haven't read it, you should read it soon because it's going to be turned into a movie. It's set in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi and focuses on the relationships between middle class white families and the black women that are their help. I wish I didn't need help cleaning. But I really, really, really don't like to do it. I work so many hours out of the house, and I know I should be able to clean when I get home with as much gusto -- but I can't. I have no interest. I make half-assed attempts to clean things and then I give up. Yes, I can cook up a storm and I will attempt any recipe you give me -- but I can't seem to muster up the same passion for cleaning. I'm a good picker-upper. I operate under Betty's Rule #1: Keep your front room picked up because you never know who's going to drop by. But the rest of the house can turn into rack and ruin -- and I'm not likely to do a whole lot to stop it. I don't live in filth -- I can hide my cleaning deficiencies pretty well -- but still...when you drop by my house, you'll find that the level of cleanliness is not museum-quality. Except for right now. Right now, it's glistening and clean. And I love it. I love the smell of cleaning products in the air. It's better than cinnamon and lavender. Here's my tip for the day...have your house cleaned.