I make my Sangria with Neosporin. Don’t you?

Yeah. So. Had myself a pretty little kitchen incident tonight. But let first me preface that to say I had a lovely Christmas and it was so fantastically nice to spend 5 days going to visit the people I love and while I was there knowing I’m genuinely liked and don’t feel like I’m in the 6th grade. Because that’s not how life is feeling most of the time these days. It was a perfect little break. And I received some perfect little gifts. My favs include a new knife magnet, reflective vest for running, a picture I saw at a fundraiser that was actually taken by the host of the party I’m bringing the sangria to, and the complete series of the West Wing. (I’ve been asking for that last one for about 6 years and my mom completely surprised me with it. Go Mom!)

My lovely Christmas gifts. From my lovely family
Two other gifts make the top of the list. A speaker attachment for my laptop that is aMAZing. I love to rock out while I cook and it was in use during tonight’s little incident. The  last one was a new vegetable/thumb slicer.
The weapon of thumb destruction
I think you can see where this is headed.
I like to slice things. Like potatoes to make microwave potato chips (it really works). Or fruit for sangria. Especially champagne sangria for a New Year’s Eve party. A party with a new group of people who mostly don’t know I’m a bit of a mess. So I wanted everything to be perfect. And evenly sliced fruit is the only way to impress them, of course!

First. Here’s the recipe.

2 apples, cored and sliced
2 fresh pears, sliced
3 oz. Damiana liquer
20 whole cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 bottle chilled dry white wine
1 bottle chilled champagne
2 bandaids
1 latex glove (these last two are only if you’re me)

You mix everything except the champagne together and let sit over night. Just before serving you mix in the champagne. Talk about easy. And delicious. At least, it better be delicious.

Second. Here’s what it’s supposed to look like.

Photo: From the recipe

To start I went shopping last night. That way I could actually let the pears ripen a bit more, chill the wine, and if I forgot anything I wouldn’t have to rush right back out to get the whole cloves because it turns out the cloves in my spice cabinet are ground, not whole. It was like I was a real grown up. A new liquor store opened next to my Market Basket. I peaked inside while driving by when it opened in late October and it looked kind of sad and a little sketch. I was wrong!! It’s a fabulous place and I sort of would like to move in. The staff are friendly. The place is spotless. Their craft beer selection is actually a craft beer selection not a bunch of Sam Adams and Wachusett (don’t get me wrong. I love both of those. But it’s not exactly what I would call craft beer). And oh my the wine. A huge selection, good prices, and an expert that wanders the stacks and helps you pick out the perfect bottle. Yes please. I suck at choosing wine. I had someone over for dinner and served a wicked sweet dessert wine with dinner because I had a cold and couldn’t taste it and the interwebs said it would be good. Oops. The expert dude (is he a sommelier if he’s not in a restaurant?) pointed me in the direction of the supposedly perfect bottle of dry white wine. And then I asked about the Damiana. He had no idea what Damiana was. I told him it had a citrus flavor. He showed me the triple sec and said it was the closest thing. I have triple sec at home. That’s what went into the sangria. Because I have never heard of Damiana. And a search on Google showed me I had never seen it before either. Anyone drinking it will just have to deal.

I got home, popped the pears in a brown bag to help ripen them a bit more, popped the wine in the fridge, and checked my spices. I made a mental note to buy whole cloves on the way home. Today I stopped to buy the cloves. The grocery store was a mad house. I guess everyone thought everyone else would be at work or still at home and not be at the grocery store. They were wrong. Also, someone needs to tell the woman in front of me in line that ugly sweater party season is over. And that she’s not actually supposed to wear the ugly sweater to the party. Luckily the 12 items or less line wasn’t too long. I came home and turned on the oven for the frozen pizza that would be my dinner. It takes 8 minutes to cook. PLENTY of time to cut the fruit for the sangria because I have that new fangled slicer. Um. No. It took my the entire Sugarland album that was also a Christmas present. In the recipe’s defense, quite a bit of time was dedicated to the stoppage of the blood flowing from my thumb. And searching for a band aid. Because the only ones in the medicine cabinet were for Jimmy Fund Walk blisters and were about six thousand times too big.

I washed the fruit. I put the correct spacer for the slice size I wanted. Then I peeled the sticker off the blade. The sticker that says “SHARP BLADE: Use Extreme Caution When Handling”. No joke I had this thought while I was pulling it off. Well, duh it’s sharp. It’s a slicer. What dumb idiot needs this caution sticker. That should have been my warning. Oh wait. IT WAS!  I pulled a knife of my new knife magnet, sliced the fruit, and stuck a piece of apple onto the safety handle thingy for the slicer. And made my first slice. And it was perfect. And I made 4 or 5 more slices. And then the apple piece fell from the handle. Probably because I wasn’t using it correctly. But I didn’t feel like reading the little manual. So I just went with it. And pushed the apple down against the sharp blade. And then pushed my thumb through the blade. It just barely nicked the outer edge of my thumb. And the whole wound is about the size of a pencil eraser. And it really didn’t hurt. But it was bleeding. A lot. This happens when you cut yourself with a sharp blade because it makes a clean cut. I was actually surprise I didn’t swear. Or make any noise at all for that matter. I just walked to the bathroom and pulled out all the wrong bandaids. I searched all through the bathroom. A task made more difficult by the absence of a functioning right thumb. Finally I decided to just slap one on until I was done with the sangria. This next part is a little icky. It was bleeding through the bandaid. At that point I went and found the correct size bandaid. And while my left hand was trying to doctor my right hand all I could think was where’s my Top Chef paramedic? I really need one of those guys to swoop and take care of this business. Which got me thinking. I might keep bleeding. I have latex gloves from an old craft project. I put one on over the next round of bandaids to make sure I didn’t get any blood near the sangria. Food safety first. Always.

Thumb up for food safety. And for stopping blood

I finished slicing. I had finally figured out the correct technique and it was actually kind of fun. I threw it all in a pitcher and left it in the fridge. I hope it’s good. I would hate to waste my flesh wound on something that will just be spit out.

So far, it looks pretty good.

And it was a good thing I put on the glove. I did keep bleeding. And then I started to wonder at what point I would have to start worrying about it not stopping. But it did stop. And now I just have a nice little throb going. So I don’t have to go to the ER and explain what an idiot I am. Which is good. Because I’m pretty comfy in my pjs. And it’s hard to project intelligence when you’ve sliced yourself open on a blade that HAD A WARNING LABEL ON IT.

Hearts and bandaids

This is why I resist being an adult as much as possible.

I live alone. Sometimes it’s sucky. Like when I’m making dinner. For one. Again. There’s a scene in Must Love Dogs when Diane Lane (love her!) starts yelling at the butcher that she mostly eats over the sink and doesn’t need recipes. That’s me. Except it’s usually the little peninsula counter thing I have because the sink is in the corner and it’s dark over there. And I like recipes because I like to cook. But sometimes living alone is great. Like when I can hog the bathroom and the hot water in the morning. Or if I forget a towel when I shower or forget to grab the clean underwear from the dryer before said shower, I can dash around the apartment au natural (this could probably happen if you lived with your significant other. Or a roommate you’re creepily close too.) Me? not so much with the naked in front of the roommates. I think they appreciated that about me. And then there are the habits that are learned when living alone. Like running around the apartment without clothes on. Or taking a shower without the door closed. Or leaving the window mostly open in the middle of winter and making it freeeezing upstairs but toasty downstairs. Or leaving laundry everywhere. Or not washing dishes. For days. I like to hide the fact that I’m such a slob. Those close to me know it’s a lie, but they let me be in denial when I’ve frantically cleaned before their arrival and then casually comment “it’s usually cleaner than this, but I ran out of time”. To the rest of the world I can hide my shame when it comes to dirty dishes (and, um, the eternal pile of dirty laundry in the living room [it’s near the bathroom and the stairs to the basement, why would I ever bring it all the way upstairs just to bring it back down]). It’s just. I’m the only one who sees it. And as long as there is enough clean underwear and enough pans to cook vegetables and meat into some sort of dinner. And as long as there are enough plates to eat over the peninsula. And as long as there are enough clean forks to eat pie. Dirty dish/laundry piles don’t really bother me. Unless it’s summer because then there are bugs. And my apartment is old and has a wet cool cellar with C-E-N-T-I-P-E-D-E-S. This is one reason I really wish I had a big strong roommate, male or female. I can deal with most bugs. But those nasty brown-thousand-leg-move-at-the-speed-of-light things freak me the eff out. Seriously. In terms of creep factor they are on par with the s word. (the s word is the animal that Padma wants on a mother-effing plate). So in the summer I keep things a little cleaner in a futile attempt to keep nasty things away. Usually this fake I’m-always-this-clean routine works. Until I need an oil delivery. And because I’m a new customer the oil dude has to come out to “inspect” the oil tank. And he tells me I have a leak. And I call my dad, who is friends with the landlord (which is how I landed in my apartment) and my dad and the landlord talk back and forth and my dad calls and asks questions like “How was he able to inspect the tank, it’s behind a wall.” And I have to explain the dude told me he has to look at the bottom of the tank and there’s a hole in the wall so that the bottom of the tank can be seen. And then he asks “well is it a puddle, because they spilled some oil when they put the new boiler in” and I explain “I don’t know. The dude just said it’s leaking and he maybe had his hand on the pipes”. And then he asks “which pipes? The big ones coming from the tank?” and I’m think the eff I know. I don’t have a plumber’s license and though I’m independent in most ways I’m the idiot that’s been checking the tank gauge (win for me for not being a total idiot) since July even though only the heat uses oil and I didn’t turn on the heat until October 28th but what I said was “I don’t know. The small pipes near the bottom?” hoping that by making it a question, rather than a statement, he could maybe fill in the blanks and get me to say whatever it is he wanted me to say so he would understand what his crazy offspring was saying. Instead he repeated “small pipes near the bottom” slowly in a way that let me know he was writing it down and he was trying to write it down verbatim. But wait. He knows all there is to know about stuff like this. This is why I called him. If he’s writing something down its foreign to him. And now I’m the girl who doesn’t know what pipes are in her basement (that’s what she said. ha!) But really. I can tip toe into the basement in the pitch black to reset the fuse. And I can change the light bulb in the head lights of my car. And once I even replaced a whole tail light. And I can hunt down that damn beeping smoke detector and get a new battery in that bad boy. And I can deal with a clogged drain. And I built a pot and pan rack from wood and nails and stuff, and screwed it into the wall. But if you ask me to point to the water heater or boiler or other big metal tank-shaped thing in my basement I’d eenie-meenie-miney-mo it and try to look as cute as possible when I guessed. Anyways, my dad took his notes, talked to the land lord and then called me back. And this whole post is to get to this. The landlord is stopping by this afternoon sometime. He lives next door to me so it’s nice and convenient for him to stop by when he can. And when he lets himself in I’ll still be at work or the gym. AND HE’S GOING TO SEE MY DIRTY DISH PILES. Think this will change my behaviors? No way, man. But at least I have the decency to have shaaaame for an hour. Until pinterest lures me in with it’s pretty pictures. Then those dishes will be far away resting on the back burner of my mind. And on the back burner of the stove.

Liz, step awaaaay from the cookies.

Mmm. Christmas cookies. So goooood. But soooo bad for me. Boo.

I’ve put them in the freezer as a method to deter me from eating all the cookies in all the land. I’m not sure it’s going to work. I’m just wanting chocolate. In chip form, wrapped in dough, in dough form swirled with cream cheese, in chocolate form as a piece of chocolate. Just gimme. But I must say no. Lame.

One win tonight. I just wanted to get home, get on the phone, and order pad thai. Instead I got home, did some dishes, and made myself Thai Basil Chicken with brown rice. Only two pots and it was pretty tasty. It was a little spicier than I love, but wasn’t so overwhelming I didn’t like it. The recipe had jalapenos in it. I’m really not a spicy food liking person, but I don’t mind a little flame in my thai food. Knowing how potent these babies can be I cut them and immediately washed the knife and cutting board to make sure no juice or anything transferred to other ingredients. And I was successful. I ate dinner happily and went on my merry way. Fast forward two hours and I’m rubbing my eye. OW OW OW SEARING PAIN!!! Oof, it was bad. Apparently I didn’t actually wash my hands while I was washing the cutting board and knife. Um duh. I would think that would be my first instinct. Survival of the fittest #fail. Must remember to wash the hands better next time. With bleach. Or maybe set them on fire.