Friday, November 21, 2014

Trashy Recipe Recommendation: Party Pinwheels

One of our very favorite family memories, one that we love to revisit over and over again at every family gathering, is of the first time my older sister’s boyfriend (now husband) met my youngest brother.

It was before any of us had kids, and we were on a float trip, which is basically a code name for getting drunk for two days straight, hopping into canoes, and trying not to drown.

It’s great fun.  It’s been almost 10 years since we’ve gotten to take a float trip—responsible adulthood kind of gets in the way—but we’re looking forward to when our kids grow up and move out of our houses so we can all become drunken float trippers with no responsibilities again.

Anyway, on a float trip, everyone knows that you fend for yourself.  You stock your coolers to the brim with beer, alcohol, mixers, food—anything you’ll need for a 48-hour bender.  People on float trips don’t often share their supplies, you see, because the nearest stores are always several miles away—and all of the drinking being done means that nobody drives.  So when you’re out of something…you’re just out.

And it’s okay; it’s not impolite because everyone knows this is how it works.  If you run out of beer—sorry asshole, better luck next year.  Take this as an opportunity to learn better planning.  In the meantime, sit back and watch me drink mine.  No, you can’t have any.

Well, that year, my youngest brother came along, and he brought absolutely nothing.  And when I say nothing, I mean nothing.  It wouldn’t have mattered if he had actually brought beer or lunchmeat, though, because that bastard hadn’t even brought a cooler to put it all into. 
Who the hell forgets a  cooler on a float trip?

I should amend that last paragraph:  My brother actually did bring two things.  He brought a dickwad friend (who also brought nothing) and a koozie with a neck strap so that when he mooched a beer from someone else, he wouldn’t actually have to hold it.  Instead, he could wear it around his neck.

My husband and I laughed.  My youngest brother is loads of fun, so we were glad he was there, but he also understands how selfish we are.  He knew with absolute certainty that we would give him nothing, so he didn’t even ask.  It was a really great mutual understanding that worked out quite well—on our end, anyway.

My older sister, however, has a soft heart when it comes to people going hungry for two days.  Because of this, on the second morning of the float trip, her new boyfriend offered to make my brother a peanut butter sandwich.

“What the fck?” my brother replied.  “No jelly?”

My sister’s boyfriend explained that they hadn’t brought jelly because he and my sister preferred regular peanut butter sandwiches, and they hadn’t been aware that they would be feeding anyone else. 

My brother shrugged.  “Alright, that’s cool,” he said.  “I’ll take a peanut butter sandwich.”

My older sister’s boyfriend walked back to their tent to put together my brother’s sandwich.  He returned a few moments later and held it out to my brother.  My brother was in the middle of a conversation, but he did manage to flick his eyes in my sister’s boyfriend’s direction and offer a “Thanks, man.”

The showing of true appreciation, however, came only moments later, when my brother took a bite of the sandwich and immediately spat it onto the ground.

“Holy shit, that’s terrible!” he said, swinging the arm holding the sandwich back.  “It’s all bread!  There’s hardly any peanut butter in there.”  With that, he chucked the sandwich—sans one tiny bite that was currently lying at his feet—into the woods.

My older sister’s boyfriend looked at her.  “Your brother’s kind of a dick,” he said.

My brother is kind of a dick, but then, we’re all kind of dicks, and at least my brother’s hilarious, so we can overlook a lot of his dickiness.  And besides, it’s really only when it comes to food.

Once, my husband and I were visiting my dad’s house back when my brother, the youngest of the five of us, still lived there.  Suddenly, as if an inner timer had gone off in my dad’s head, he jumped from his seat at the kitchen table, where the three of us had lost track of time as we chatted.

“Oh, no,” my dad said, his brows knitting together in a look that could only be described as fretful.  “Your brother will be home from work any minute now.”  He scurried to the stove.

“Okay…” I said slowly, eyeing my husband questioningly.

My dad wrung his hands.  “It’s just that…well, he likes his dinner on the table when he gets home at 5:15.”

My eyebrows shot up and my husband’s jaw dropped.  “Holy shit, old man,” I said.  “I’d forgotten that this was 1951 and you’re an unappreciated housewife.  Would you like me to fetch your apron for you?”

“No, that’s okay,” my dad said, hurriedly opening a drawer.  “I have it right here.”

Luckily, my dad had had the foresight the night before to whip up a batch of deviled eggs for my brother to snack on while he made something more substantial.  When my brother walked into the kitchen with his new girlfriend after a hard day at work, his eyes lit up as they landed on the eggs.

Just as quickly, though, his face fell.  “Where the hell are the bacon bits?” he asked my dad.  “I told you to put bacon bits on these bastards.”

My brother still found it in his heart to shovel an egg into his face, but when he went for a second one, he accidentally dropped it.  It fell facedown onto the floor with a big splat.

“I’d have been more careful with it if it had bacon bits on it,” he said.

I looked at his girlfriend.  “Gee, I hope he proposes to you soon or you might miss all of this.”

But seriously, it’s all in good fun.  The act between my dad and brother has us all—including the two of them, but except for maybe my now brother-in-law, the peanut butter guy—squealing so hard with laughter that we end up crying.

That is, until that little assclown brother of mine messed with my party pinwheels.

First off, as I explained in this Trashy Short, everyone is sick of my party pinwheels.  But I don’t give a shit, because those bastards are the ones who make me prepare something to bring to family events, and my pinwheels are one of the easiest options.  They require a very little amount of effort, which is how I roll when it comes to cooking, my peeps. 

Like I always say, if it has more than 3 ingredients, suck a ball because I’m not making it.

Anyway, I had brought them to our annual Easter celebration, and my brother was being really kind by reaching for one when nobody else would.

“Aw, thanks, bro,” I said, my eyes misting up at the sweetness of the gesture.

“You’re welc—" he started, bringing the pinwheel to his mouth.  And then: “What the hell is this piece of shit?  It’s HOLLOW!”

I guess he’d grabbed one of the end pieces, where the filling hadn’t made it all the way to the edge of the flour tortilla before I’d rolled it up and cut it.  I’ve since learned to throw those pieces out.

But at this point in time, I’d learned no such lesson, and I was sick of being fcked with about my pinwheels.  As he brought it to his complaining mouth, I smacked the side of his face so hard that it turned a little bit, causing the hollow pinwheel to go flying from his mouth halfway across the room.

We all laughed so hard that our sides ached.  My dad was the loudest.  I guess he was sick of my brother’s shit, too.

I hope that this beautiful story of love amongst family members has been inspirational to you in this month of Thanksgiving, when often times we're required to bring appetizers or side dishes to gatherings.  If so, here’s the recipe.  It does break my “More than 3 ingredients, suck a ball because I’m not making it” rule, but I allow it because it’s just so damned easy:

Party Pinwheels
You’ll need:
A block of cream cheese, softened
1 small can of chopped black olives
1 small can of chopped green chiles
1 tiny jar of finely chopped pimentos (equivalent to about 2 tablespoons)
1 packet of ranch dressing
8-10 flour tortillas

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Spread onto flour tortillas and roll up.  Leave in the refrigerator for several hours (I always make mine the night before) to harden a bit before cutting.  Cut into small “pinwheels”; remember to toss out—or snack on—the end pieces before serving so that no jerkface family members complain about hollow pieces.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trashy Shorts: He's Actually Got a Point

The other morning, my boys and I were running a bit late and were leaving the house in a frenzy.

“We’ve got to go!” I shouted, rushing around the kitchen, popping the lid onto my coffee mug and grabbing the boys’ lunch boxes.  “Big Bubba will be late for school!”

I entered the living room, where my 6-year-old son was reclining on the couch, popping raisins while watching Umizoomi.  He leisurely looked up at me.  “Oh, that’s okay, Mom.  I don’t mind.  The later we are, the less time I have to be there.”

Holy shit, if that isn’t the exact same conversation I have with his dad every Sunday before church…

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Trashy Shorts: Booger Wars

I was putting our 3-year-old to bed the other night while my husband was putting our kindergartener to bed.

As I was giving our younger son a kiss, he looked up at me and said, with a very serious and somewhat angry look on his face, "Mommy, Bubba took my booger. Get it back from him."

In the next room, our older son heard and laughed hysterically.

I tell you what: If there's not something to fight about, you can bet that won't stand in my boys' way. They will create something to fight about.  Little stinkers.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Trashy Shorts: What Did You Say This Was Again, Son?

My son came home Friday afternoon, proudly wielding his prize from the kindergarten prize box for being good all week:

Is that…is that a penis hair tie?  With a tail?

I was going to complain to the principal, but then I thought better of it.  Instead, I think I’m going to tell my son to be extra good this week so that he can bring home all kinds of fake peni.  You can never have too many of those, right?

Friday, November 14, 2014


Do you guys remember this short, when I complained about my older sister making us take family pictures on the hottest-ass day of the year?

And I said that I knew my family would post them on Facebook and tag me, and I would be annoyed because I would look all sweaty and gross and wilty and all of my ex-boyfriends would see them and be all like, “Oh, thank GOD I dodged that bullet”? 

A little aside:  If you’re wondering why I have ex-boyfriends on my Facebook page, it’s because I’m a pretty good judge of character and all of the guys I’ve ever dated were pretty awesome—with the exception of the one who showed up, drunk, at my family’s Thanksgiving celebration the year we broke up and stood on my dad’s driveway screaming, “Dirty whore!  Dirty whore!” while the entire extended family watched from the big picture window in the living room. 

To be fair, I was kind of a dirty whore, my mom reminded me as we sipped our wine and watched him throw his hands up in the air in frustration as he let loose his string of profanities about me…but still, no matter how much entertainment he provided for us that night, I haven’t accepted his several friend requests.

Most of the rest of my exes, though, are really great guys with whom I remained friends after our breakups.

So anyway, the family pictures did end up posted on Facebook, and I did look all sweaty and gross and wilty and frizzy, so I can only surmise that my ex-boyfriends actually did have the response that I imagined they would.

But for some reason, I wasn’t really as bothered by it all as I thought I would be.  Probably because I was too busy trying to clean up the mess of familial discord caused by the damned pictures.

What happened was, my older sister posted the pictures and tagged me in the ones that she knew I would find acceptable.  And I have to say, she did a great job.  Of all of the pictures, she put up the ones where I looked the least sweaty and gross and wilty and frizzy.

But then suddenly, in the comments section under the pictures, I noticed that my mom had something to say about them:

You assholes only posted the pictures of you kids with your dad. I KNEW you liked him better!  I know I was the one who cheated, but it was 23 effing years ago.  It’s time we all got over it.

Remember, peeps:  This was on the comment section of my Facebook page.

I sighed when I saw it, and I knew it was time for a phone call to my mom.

“Holy shit, Mom,” I said when she picked up the phone.  “Is there some special type of joy you get from airing our familial dirty laundry?”

“Oh, yeah, Shay, because you’re really one to talk.  If I have to read another blog post about what a dirty slut you used to be, I’ll just stop fcking reading.”

Just a touch angry, then.  I suppose that when I publish this post, I should steer her in the opposite direction so she doesn’t have to be subjected, once again, to my dirty whore Thanksgiving story above.

“MOM,” I said.  “Have you met my older sister and me?  I mean, you did carry each of us in your womb, bear us, and raise us, right?  Have you forgotten how vain we are?”

“Nooo,” my mom said slowly, and I could tell she was coming around to at least hearing me out.

“Mom, you know damned well that Ursula* and I only post the photos that we look good in, blatantly disregarding anyone else in the picture.  In fact, we don’t even really give a shit if there is anyone else in the picture as long as we look good.  Remember the Christmas cards I tried to order that one year?”

My mom tried to hide it, but I heard her reluctant chuckle at the other end of the line.

I once almost spent $150 on Christmas cards made from a picture in which my husband’s eyes were closed.  Thank God he walked up behind me at the computer just before I pushed the button to finalize my order.

“You’re not ordering prints from that picture, are you, Shay?” he asked, peering over my shoulder.

“Totally,” I replied.  I pointed to myself in the picture.  “Look how swoopy my hair looks in it,” I said, gazing admiringly at my own image.

My husband flicked my finger to the right a little bit so that it was now pointing at his face in the picture.  “Shay, my eyes are closed in this one!  You can’t use it for our Christmas cards!”

My shoulders slumped.  “Oh, shit,” I said.  “I hadn’t even noticed that.”

In all actuality, I was kind of mad that I hadn’t finalized the order before he caught me.  I didn’t give a shit if his eyes were closed…you guys, my hair looked really good in that picture.  Nobody was going to be looking at my husband when they saw that glistening mass of bleached blonde to his left.

As my mom and I reminisced about Christmas Cardgate, I could see that she was coming around and that she really did believe me:  The choice of family pictures that my sister had posted had had nothing to do with which parent we loved more. 

Still, though, my sister and I scrambled to find another picture to post, this time with Mom in it. 

And it totally wasn’t our fault that in the one we liked of us the best, Mom’s eyes were closed.  The woman is 59 years old, we rationalized.  More than enough years of photos taken to know that when the photographer counts to 3, you should have your damned eyes open.

Ah, the perils of coming from a broken home…
*My older sister's name is not Ursula, but since I write anonymously, I get to have fun making up names for family members depending on my mood.  And you know what?  Despite the fact that I love her very much and we get along quite well, I don't think I'll ever be in the mood to call my older sister something cute like Emily or Stephanie.  This way is just so much more fun (for me).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Trashy Shorts: Dashboard Clock

The clock in my car was 6 minutes fast for about 2 years, and I finally fixed it last week. Too bad my mind still thinks it's 6 minutes earlier than the time displays every time I get into my car.

I'll be congratulating myself, giving myself pats on the back for being totally on time, all "Look at me, such a responsible adult getting my kid to school a little bit early so he has time to settle in..." when suddenly it'll hit me like a ton of bricks:

Nope. I'm actually late. Six minutes later than I thought I was, to be exact, and if I don't shove the kid out of the car, throw his lunchbox through the window in hopes that he'll catch it, and scream at him to "Run like the wind, son!!!" he might be late, too.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Trashy Shorts: Breakfast Sandwich

Yesterday morning, my 3-year-old bit his own finger in a frenzied attempt to get at my breakfast sandwich.

"I bit it, Mommy," he said, "but I still have it."

Well, that's good, son. Because having bitten your finger OFF in a frenzied attempt to get at your mother's breakfast sandwich would have been an even more embarrassing story to have to tell for the rest of your life.