Sunday, October 16, 2011

NyQuil Crazy Party Fun Night

As per usual for this time of the year, a multitude of bacterial cells have commandeered my body and are running rampant causing a full on illness attack. Compounding this horrendous incident is that, unfortunately, last night, the love of my life ran out on me.
His name is NyQuil.
And I miss him.

But it's cool, because today I went to Safeway to get some more.

Little did I expect, as a serious college student with no real history of doing anything illegal, to get carded for so simple a purchase as a box of NyQuil Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief Liquicaps® and a pack of minty gum.

Not only did I get carded, but so did my roommate who was with me, who had to go out to the car to get her ID.

What the hell!?!

First off, to begin the transaction, the check-out lady started yelling at me for getting out my OSU ID instead of my driver's license.
To that I say:
JESUS CHRIST WOMAN! Hold onto your brassiere! I have more than one form of identification. Sorry I'm not perfect, but obviously neither are you because you're 60 and still working at a shitty grocery store chain.
And take off that pink cowboy hat. You look ridiculous.

What, does Safeway really think I'm going to try to get high off of it? I know more than a dozen people who would be more than willing and able to supply some herb for that sort of stuff. And it would definitely be a healthier alternative in any case. Or maybe the issue is getting "drunk"? Maybe you should check my handbag because, much like my homie Ke$ha, I keep a water bottle full of whiskey in there.

Obviously I enjoy looking shitty and causing suspicion when I go out to get my drugs, wearing sweatpants and glasses. I'm not really sick, you can tell because of the coughing and constant sniffling. I'm really a junky! A junky who can afford glasses, leather boots, and to keep French-tipping her nails, but can't afford real drugs.

Yeah, lady at Safeway with the pink cowboy hat, thank God you're so damn clever. You totally busted me. I was planning on having a crazy Sunday night getting high off of NyQuil starting at 7:30 pm. Since you carded me and wasted my time, I decided against it and will only use this medication for good! And that took a lot of brains on your part because anyone who knows me can tell you, I'm a hardcore rager!

But in all seriousness, you have to card my roommate too? We are college students, we aren't that dumb as to have the person we're illegally buying controlled substances for standing next to us in line. For reals. Riddle me this, if a mother is buying NyQuil for her teenage son or daughter there, do you card him or her? What if the underage person waited in the car? If you need to hassle me and my roomie this much, why not go all out? Maybe you should go check everyone in line. Or in the store for that matter. Heaven forbid! This policy really doesn't make any sense.


Dear Safeway,
Stop being a fucking a-hole and let me have my meds already.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rooting Around

So here's my attempt to bridge the gap between the horribly depressing post I wrote last and a new more upbeat one.

Since last we met, I repeated the phrase, "It's all part of the circle of life" several dozen times, put the past behind me, and moved back to school to start my second year at college. A big epiphany hit when I was planting bulbs at my new residence in Corvallis.

I was so excited about the life that each bulb held, the fact that these seemingly ugly little root things would, come spring, grow glorious daffodils, alliums, and grape hyacinths. They were just embryos of life, waiting for some good soil, rain, and sunshine to start growing. I was amazed when my brain made a connection between this instant, and the last time I knelt by a hole in the ground and placed something in it.

I've discovered a few things in this new state of mind.
I've found that, cliche but true, death is just another part of life. And I've come further in accepting that fact.
I've also realized how weird roots are.

(On that note... Mission Control: The gap has been bridged! Here we go...)

Who pulled up a root and thought, "Oooh, check out this nasty looking thing I just dug up! Let's eat it." in the first place?

I've been on a soup streak. Yesterday's variation was a winter root soup, whose modified recipe I will take you through now. This recipe forced me to deal with a bunch of ingredients I've never touched before. Including:

All I knew about parsnips before is from this Home Star Runner video. Clearly, from such an education, I didn't know much. And I was hesitant to use them. They smelled suspiciously like carrots. But white. So basically, they're like albino carrots. Creepy right?

(If the video doesn't work, go here
If you want to know what/who Home Star Runner is, go here.)

Or rutabagas, or whateverthefuck they're really called. I wasn't really aware that there was any other kind of turnip than the classically pictured red ones. But that was incredibly naïve, because there are. Red ones, white one, purpley white ones, et cetera. Nevertheless, they're still pretty boring. 

This word sounds like a disease. Celiac maybe? I don't know, but it sure as hell doesn't sound delicious. Upon discovering that another name for this revolting looking vegetable was "celery root", it managed to maintain its spot on the recipe card, even though it reminded me of the Mandrake roots from Harry Potter...

Butternut Squash (not a root, but still considered "wintery")
I've probably eaten this one before, but I've never dealt with it cooking-wise. It's name is actually kind of confusing. I wasn't sure if I should be expecting something buttery, nutty, or squashy. Or a combination. What I got in the end was none of these, but actually something more pumpkiny. 

Anywhoo, the recipe was those aforementioned vegetables plus sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped, drizzled in EVOO and tossed in an oven approximately the temperature of hell. Every time I opened the oven my eyebrows singed a little. But at least the oven smelled delicious.

Meanwhile... butter, celery, and a sweet onion were having a party on the stove top (I'm glad someone was, because it was Saturday night after all). Then came a quart of chicken broth. Whilst that was sittin' and a-simmerin', the roots and squash in the oven were ready for their debut. The oven veggies were commingled into the pot, and  everybody chilled together while I added some half-and half.

Then I got to take out the tiniest bit of "I can't believe I have a midterm already next week" aggression using the potato masher on the chunky vegetables.

Potato masher, because I don't have an immersion blender. Early Christmas gift to myself...? Maybe.
Although I did just buy myself a Kitchen Aid mixer.

Except the mixer's a little messed up because the box may or may not have fallen out of my car when I first got it. It makes a high pitched squealing noise now, but still mixes things fine. I registered it, so it has a one year warranty. I think it will explode before a year goes by if it has a mind to do so.

The finished product was interesting, like nothing I've had before, but good in its own right. My roomies seemed to like it too.

I've found a cool website that you can enter all the ingredients from a recipe and it'll analyze the vitamins, calories, and other nutritional aspects of that recipe.
Turns out that if one butternut squash, two sweet potatoes, one celery root, two parsnips, three turnips, two stalks of celery, three carrots, one sweet onion, a quart of chicken broth (low sodium of course), three tablespoons of butter, and 1/2 cup of half and half make 12 servings (which it did), then you'll get about 45% of your daily vitamin C, and a shocking 300% of your daily vitamin A.

So yeah, we're pretty much set on that front.
Until the soup is gone...