Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not Quite a Teenage Dream

I received a phone call from someone advertising the new plays that would be coming to my area. I politely listened to the person talk about all the different shows, and although she refered to "my husband," I assumed it was just an honest mistake. However, toward the end of the call, she let me know that the show "Bring it On" would be perfect if I teenage daughters or nieces.

Teenage.

Yeah...

Mountain Dew Girl insisted it was because I bought 5 tickets for the last show we went to, and stated that the group had multiple students. I guess that could feasibly have been myself, my spouse, and our three kids ... but seriously, I just don't think I sound remotely that old!

(And for the record, I'm 23, unmarried, and definitely without children!)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Expired Strawberry Bread Thing



I'm a single, twenty-something living by myself. I go grocery shopping once or twice a month, and I have a habit of buying things that a single, twenty-something living by herself should not be buying. I mean, I try to be reasonable. I get the half-gallon of milk instead of the gallon. The six pack of eggs, instead of the dozen. Most of my "meat" is freezer food. Bread ... well, it's only 99 cents, so it's not like I need to feel bad if I don't use the whole thing.

But in any event, no matter how hard I try (which, admittedly, isn't very hard) I inevitably end up eating out way more than I end up eating in, and all my food tends to go bad. By the time I want some cereal, my milk's a week past the expiration date. I have a need for eggs maybe once every 2 or 3 months. And bread? Well, you probably don't want to know how long I keep a loaf around.

(Although this is why I don't buy french bread...)

Because of this, though, instead of buying new stuff every time that I see that my current stock has gone past its expiration date, I just go ahead and eat it anyway. Milk expired 2 weeks ago? As long as it smells okay, I'll drink it. That bread is 6 months old? I kept the twist tie on there pretty tightly, it's still sort of soft. Mountain Dew Girl came over for dinner one night and was horrified at the expiration date on my milk. She flat out refused to drink it! (I guess I should also mention that I had to cut some mold off the block of cheese I was using before I grated it, too.)

So when I saw that my package of strawberries (which I actually just purchased earlier this week!) were halfway toward molding, I decided I would bake some strawberry bread with it. But as I was pulling out all my ingredients, I realized that most of them were, well, expired.



It was almost laughable. The Jiffy mix expired back in August. The margarine said best before April. I had the option of two different half-used packages of eggs: one dated May and one June. (After some careful deliberation, I decided to use the June eggs. I mean, come on. I needed to be somewhat reasonable here.) Even my milk had expired 2 days ago. The only things that weren't expired seemed to be the spices (cinnamon and imitation vanilla) and the powdered sugar, although, honestly I couldn't actually find a date on that last one. Maybe powdered sugar never goes bad!











Anyway, so with my iffy ingredients (and a lot of substitutions and guesses) I began forging my strawberry bread. I was using a banana bread recipe on the back of the Jiffy box as a guideline, but I made some edits: I used powdered sugar instead of granulated (since I didn't have any of the latter), I used margarine instead of shortening, I added a splash of milk because I thought it was too dry, and added cinnamon and [imitation] vanilla. And, of course, a bunch of cut-up, almost-bad strawberries.



The batter tasted really good. I tried not to eat too much of it, since, well, 3 month old eggs and all. So I sprayed the pan with some cooking spray, dumped the mess in, and popped it in the oven. I was doubtful about the 55 minute cooking time it had suggested for the banana bread, so I put it down for 40 instead, checking on it every so often.





The smell was delicious, and 40 minutes was just about the perfect cooking time. It came out looking like a [somewhat] well-made dessert. But how was it going to taste?





It was delicious! I gobbled up that whole piece in a matter of seconds. I was actually going to put some butter on it, since I usually do that with muffins, but I didn't even get the chance. (I'll probably do that on my next piece, though.)



It was sweet, and kind of tasted like a fruit muffin. I probably could have tossed in some more of the almost-bad strawberries (I wasn't sure how much was going to be too much) but it really turned out well. An admirable treat, I'd say.



So there you have it, folks: The Expired Strawberry Bread Thing. So next time you see some expired ingredients in your cabinet, use the following approach to see if they're still usable:

1.) Did it expire recently? (For example, within the year six months?)
2.) Does it still smell okay?
3.) Then it's still good!

Another success for expired food!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cats

Yes, Little Scarf Girl has been on a bit of a hiatus. We can just call it summer break, right? That's what I've been calling my laziness business ever since April. Haven't played chess in a while? Well, I was just on summer break! Not attending many Tae Kwon Do class? Summer break. Haven't written anything in a long time? Summer, of course!

Actually I had a pretty active summer. In May I went to the beach for a week with Mountain Dew Girl. It was relaxing, albiet a bit windy. I'll have to write about how we almost got "stuck" in a hot tub. In the beginning of July, we went out to California to visit some relatives, and then at the end of July we went to NYC for a weekend to attend a cousin's wedding. Someone laughed and said I was quite the world traveler, and while I've only stayed in the US, I have been all over the place lately.

All of my trips were awesome, although I did end up facing off against my arch-nemesis: cats.

I'm extremely allergic to cats. Not the kind of allergic like, "Oh, I sneezed because there's a cat in the house!" It's the kind of incessant sneezing that doesn't stop. The constant runny nose. The congestion. The itchy, watery eyes. A good friend of mine from high school had a house full of cats. Sleepovers at her place were pretty rough on the old allergies.

So as it turns out, my relatives that I stayed with in California for a week have not one, not two, but four lovely cats. (And I'm not being sarcastic there - those cats were really cute!) But there they were, slinking all over the house. Purposely coming over to me and being all cute. (I gave in to their charms one evening and played with them for a bit - big mistake.) Rubbing their little heads against my leg. Crawling up onto my lap. Just taunting me.

Needless to say, I was on Benedryl for the whole week. And seriously, if I weren't allergic to them, I'd probably own one. But boy, am I allergic.

In other news, I've started a sub-blog:
Little Scarf Reviews

I figured I'm following enough TV series this fall, and seeing enough movies, that I may as well put my opinion on them out there, right? Cause there just aren't enough blogs where people give their opinions on popular media.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Popcorn List 3

And now it's time for the winter edition of ... The Popcorn List!

Easy A - I liked this one. I went to see it with Mountain Dew Girl and Coca Cola Girl ... I think. It wasn't nearly as funny as I expected, though. It's more of a drama, with some funny moments thrown in. I did particularly like the scene where the main character and her gay buddy are jumping up and down on the bed and banging on the walls to make it sound like they're getting it on, haha.

It's Kind of a Funny Story - This movie was okay. Nothing special, but the overall plot was uplifting, and there were some amusing moments between the characters. Some of it was a little depressing, though, given that they're in a mental ward, of course.

Paranormal Activity 2 - I really liked the first Paranormal Activity. It was spooky enough to have me clinging to my friend's arm everytime the couple went to sleep. This movie is a bit of a prequel and a sequel, and is better than the first one on pretty much every level. There are a lot of jump scenes, the plot was good, and the characters were relatable. On one hand I'd love to see another one of these, but on the other hand, the two movies right now are so good as just a pair I'm not sure I want the series to possibly be brought down by another inevitable installment.

Due Date - This one I went to see late one evening with Mountain Dew Girl and a few friends. It was a lot of fun, and had plenty of laughs. Not as many laughs as "The Hangover," but still a lot of laughs. I thought the Ethan character was really pretty obnoxious and over-the-top, and pretty much understood why Peter was so uptight. I think I would be, too. But it ended well, and it entertained, so I guess that's all that matters!

Harry Potter 7 Part 1 - I'm so used to the usual routine of Harry Potter movies that this one was a real depart from that past installments. It's usually, Harry, Ron, and Hermione go to Hogwarts, find some sort of mystery, involve some other people, battle, win, and go home happy. This one spends the majority of it with the three heroes on the run. It's dark, depressing, and the characters almost have no idea where to go next, resorting to arguing and splitting up for a good portion of the film. Characters die right and left, and you know it's only going to get worse before it gets better in the next film. Still, a good movie in it's own right. It's just not really "Harry Potter Magical."

Tangled - I loved this film. Even though it was in CGI, I thought the characters were great and the story was fun and engaging. The songs weren't anything special, but it was nice to have a Disney movie that felt ... well ... Disney-ish! The last Disney film I remember seeing at the theaters was Bolt, and while it was cute, it really didn't feel as timeless as some of the older Disney classics.


Burlesque - The costumes and singing were great. Characters and plot were paper thin and almost nonexistent. See this if you like stage productions or musicals only. There honestly wasn't a single problem in the movie that didn't get solved within ten minutes of the characters really focusing on it.

Tron Legacy - While this movie was good, it wasn't quite my cup of tea. There was a lot of cool sci-fi stuff, and I did love the scene in the beginning where the main character turns back on the old arcade, and "Separate Ways" by Journey starts blaring out the speakers. Very 80s. The plot was fine, although I wish Tron himself had a little bit more to do with the plot. I feel like he was mentioned once, and then just showed up randomly at the end.

The Green Hornet - I went to see this movie with high hopes for my birthday, and was sorely disappointed. The guy playing Kato was cool, but the plot was really bad, and the characters didn't seem heroic in the least. And when the solution to losing the evidence against the bad guy is, "Let's just shove the bad guy out the window with our car!" you have to think that maybe we shouldn't be rooting for the "heroes" after all.

Justin Bieber Never Say Never - The only thing I can say is that I got my ticket for $4.50 by going to a non-mall theater on a Monday evening. I was forced into seeing it by Mountain Dew Girl and her friends. The movie was a documentary, with lots of music, about Justin Bieber, obviously. I learned a lot about him, but honestly, I wasn't really that interested in the first place. Not to mention, at 1 hour and 40 minutes, the movie was way too long for my tastes!

Monday, January 17, 2011

When Birthdays Don't Matter Anymore

Little Scarf Girl is getting a bit old. (Just a bit.) This past week marked my 23rd birthday, which means I'm now 2 years into the "Birthdays-That-Don't-Matter."

Every birthday up until your 21st marks something cool. Some are more cool than others, and some are just plain boring, but they're all working their way up to that awesome "21."

1 - First birthday! It's a big deal, even though you won't really remember it later.
2 - Terrible twos. Everyone will dislike you for a year.
3 - Now you're a cute toddler!
5 - Aw, you're going to school now!
10 - Double digits!
13 - Teenager!
16 - Sweet Sixteen, and driver's license!
17 - The boring birthday in-between 16 and 18
18 - You're legal! And you can buy cigarettes.
19 - Boring birthday in-between 18 and 20. You're still a teenager.
20 - You're in your twenties! But you still can't drink.
21 - Tada! You can buy alcohol, go into bars, and pretty much everything else in life. Fun birthdays are officially over.
22 - The worst birthday ever, since now you're just getting older with nothing to "look forward," too. You're also graduating from college, leaving "being a kid" life behind.
23 - Boring.
24 - Will you even have a birthday party this year?
25 - You can rent a car without those extra fees for being a "young" driver.
26 - You've been out of college for 4 years now.
27 - You're officially in your "late" twenties.
28 - More "late" twenties.
29 - May as well just say you're 30.
30 - And...now it's really over.

So there you go. Between here and 30, there's just one little birthday with a small little bright side. But honestly, how often will I be renting a car? Not very. No, it just goes to show that all the fun birthdays happen before you're 21. After you can drink legally, there's not a whole lot else to look forward to. Doesn't that sound ridiculous? It's really pretty logical. Before you're 21, you can't drink legally because you're "too young." Even though it's annoying to be limited in what you can do, there's something about being told you're "too young" for something that makes you feel, well, young. This is why people in their 30s are always ecstatic when they get IDed for alcohol.

As for me? Well, 23 might not be an exciting birthday, but at least I've got looking young on my side. I'm betting I'll still be getting carded when I'm in my late 30s.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's All Downhill

When you knock an open bottle of deep, sparkly red nail polish off the bathroom counter onto the rug before you've even put your glasses on in the morning, you know that you're in for a terrific day.

I tried nail polish removed, which didn't do much, and then I threw it in the washing machine. I only ran it for about 10 mintues before I left, since I didn't want to risk flooding the house. (Normally I don't care about leaving my machine on when I leave, but I've never washed the rug before, and didn't want to come home and find my bathroom floor flooded. Now that would be just ridiculous.

I read up that hairspray does wonders for nail polish stains, so I'm going to pick some up on my way home. Maybe before or after I pay my rent. And pick up my sister. And go teach Tae Kwon Do. I don't know, I feel like my week has been going by on fast-forward, and that I generally only come home to take a shower and go to sleep. I was actually home one Sunday last month, and I was so surprised that I could open the blinds and let light in.

Mountain Dew Girl was having a discussion (or argument) yesterday about why it's not fair to compare your problems to someone else, or for someone else to invalidate your own because to them, they don't seem important. While I could see where this may have rubbed some folks with spouses and famillies the wrong way, it's true. Even I, Little Scarf Girl, have stresses and frustrations. Haha, you say! But you're a single girl, living on your own, with a good job! What could you know of stress?!

Well, you know, you're not me. And I'm not you. And we're entitled to be upset about our own issues, and as a friend, we should recognize that about each other. No one wants to hear, "Look honey, I've been there, done that, and it was so easy!"

I'm beginning to lose faith in humanity again, for a myriad of reasons. I am also really starting to understand why certain people think they way they do.

I'm being kind of moody and cryptic for a Little Scarf Girl post, I know. It's the nail polish, I tell you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blue M&Ms

When I was in fifth grade, one of my teachers was absolutely convinced that blue M&Ms tasted different from all the other colors. It wasn't just that they tasted different: she didn't like the way they tasted, and refused to eat them. While the rest of us could find nothing funny-tasting or even remotely different about the blue candies, she maintained her position.

At any rate, her homeroom class decided that because of this, it would only be fitting to get her a gift: a jar full of only blue M&Ms!

Since this was back before you could just order a bag of only blue candies from M&Ms website, all the kids in her class did their part to collect the candies. What they ended up with was a jar full of tons of candies in all different shades of blue, from the various dye lots that M&Ms had. I can't remember if I were there when she got it, or only when she was talking about it later. I believe she put it on her bookcase, and just laughed, insisting that they did in fact, taste funny!

I wonder if her belief that the candies tasted different was due to the fact that blue M&Ms were newer. They hadn't always been part of the mix of red, brown, green, yellow, and orange. Because they were a new addition to the classic mix, she probably felt they didn't belong, which spurned this belief that they tasted differently.


Or maybe she was on to something! I never tasted a difference, but does anyone else think blue M&Ms taste differently from the rest of their chocolatey brethren?