Monthly Archives: January 2010

Out Of This World


Yes, I am super busy and haven’t been blogging but to let you know I am still here, I am rearing my withering, aging head this morning with a quick post. I just wanted to let you all know about my friend’s blog, Out Of This World, which I will be linking on the sidebar under inedibles.

KB sidebars:

The premise for this Blog s that a comic book is like a time capsule that allows us a glimpse into the thought processes and behaviors extant in our society when the particular issue was written, drawn, and published.

KB’s blog is a comic book trove, showcasing great graphics and the youth pop-cultural trends they represented. Totally fun. Very visual. Definitely not just for comic book geeks.


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It’s 2010, Like It Or NOT

Our New Year’s Eve was pretty chill. I spent the day in a fever cleaning in preparation for the New Year. How dumb of me. As if the New Year was going to walk into my house at the stroke of midnight donning a white glove and take a finger to my windowsill. Well, personification or not, I passed that test, baby. At least in one room.

Yesterday brought the sharp realization that actual cleaning is way more time consuming than straightening up. I scrubbed. With hot soapy water. I polished candlestick holders. I even went through the boxes of miscellaneous stuff that we haven’t unpacked, only added to, through two house moves. I found a brand new set of measuring spoons which was a bit of a treat. You know what they say: you can never have too many measuring spoons.

My husband worked yesterday and is working again today, so a nite of severe partying with a case of Perrier was out of the question. He needed his beauty sleep in order to keep up his “hot nurse” look. Me, being a housefrau and all, need not look beautiful so I stayed up way too late and continued my mission to welcome in the New Year in a spotless house.

Another realization forced upon me last nite is that my house is too big for a one day overhaul. Come midnite, I had to settle for half a house of cleanliness. The other half was there to remind me of the previous year, all my failures and the fact that my kids won’t pick up a damn thing.

I had this fantasy that at 12 o’clock I would be polishing my fridge so that I could post as my Facebook update: Devadeva Mirel polished her fridge in both 2009 and 2010. This would have been cool because it would have simultaneously shown what a major loser I am while also inciting envy from the people who wish they could polish their refrigerator  in back to back  years. That probably would have made me the world record holder in something.

But again, plans dashed. Around 9:30 I started in on a big bag of Indian River grapefruit, paring and peeling and de-pithing. It takes so much time. Like, so. Much. Time. Call me slow, but one episode of 30 Rock didn’t even equal 2 grapefruit. More like 1.7 grapefruit. Needless to say, I was watching 30 rock until 3 am.

I didn’t candy any peel last nite. I just blanched what I worked on. Will do some more today and then cook it up with sugar. I want to make little parchment envelopes (stress on the word *little* since this handmade stuff is so time consuming) filled with an assortment of candied citrus peel as little party favors for my b-day celebration.

Okay. My birthday party. Is tomorrow. It is small scale. But I want it to be nice. There are too many details to tend to. I should have started a week ago. I have napkins to iron. NAPKINS! This always happens to me. I need 2 weeks prep, minimum. I have kids, dammit. Today I am going to put their little hands to work sewing buttons onto trim for simple napkin rings. Hey, that’s how the ones in Pier 1 are made. Some of the child laborers may even have the same names as my little slaves, er, I mean, kiddies.

Because I was so engrossed with applying Brasso to ever dulling metallic surface during the day, I neglected the huge mess in my kitchen. Poor husband got fed a New Year’s meal of pre-cut salad mixed with leftovers. I tasted it and it was good. But I still had to hook him up with a lunch for today. And did I mention that he volunteered me to make brownies for the New Year’s Day party at his work? Well, I’m mentioning it now.

Before I unleashed the beautiful scent of citrus into the night, I cleaned that kitchen. After midnite I started in on a pot of kichari for his lunch and got cracking on the brownies. Now, if you remember the brownie recipe, the main ingredient (besides chocolate) is condensed milk. Before I became addicted to the brownies, I never had a reason to keep condensed milk stocked in my cupboards. That didn’t keep me from having a bottle of corn syrup or a huge bag of poha. Why? Why do I have these things that I never use? Because you just never know.

Now that I make the brownies with frequency, I buy sweetened condensed milk in quantity. It is a household staple, like rice, pasta, sugar or broccoli. So I didn’t even check if I had any when I went out to Ward’s at 7pm to buy more citrus. It wasn’t until after midnite that I went to preheat the oven. When I opened the cabinet for the cans of milk, I couldn’t find any. I checked the shelves in the laundry room where I stockpile foodstuffs. Three cans of tahini, five pounds of nutritional yeast, 50 lbs of chickpeas (which reminds me, have to soak the chickpeas!). But no condensed milk.

I didn’t know what to do. The only thing I could do was panic. I contemplated stimulating my nipples to see if I could bring about lactation. After I expressed enough milk for quintuplets, I would boil it down into a thick, sweet pudding. But then I remembered that I had cow milk in the fridge. Suddenly, the effort seemed too great.

Back to the kitchen, behind jars of spices, I find one lonely can of condensed milk, scared and lonely in the back of the cupboard.

I had no choice. My husband signed up for brownies. I would have to half the recipe. But who shows up to a party with *9* brownies? Might as well be a white fool showing up at the Apollo in black face circa the mid-80’s. Cause even if you don’t get your ass whooped, you know you deserve an ass whooping.

I had to think quickly, despite the unnatural hour. It was after midnight. I should have been eating sweets, not cooking them. Despite this disturbance in the universe, I managed to figure out a solution. A solution which involved chocolate and….by god…corn syrup. That’s right. This bastard bottle of Karo Syrup which has been in my house for I don’t know how long for I don’t know what reason would finally make sense. The internet, a recipe for marshmallow-less Rice Krispie treats and the sacrifice of my very expensive almond butter (I knew I should have stuck with peanut butter, that faithful old friend) and I had a respectable amount of sweets for my husband to bring to his little nurse’s party.

Still, there were only 9 brownies.

*Update: It is Saturday. Nothing has been accomplished. Slave labor revolted. I don’t like the way the candied grapefruit peel turned out. Too much like something and old Southern lady would have in her candy dish. Too tired. Napkins will be wrinkled. Going to make some pie.


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Port Royal House FSBO $159,000

Contact owners, Max & Dana Mirel, by phone: 386-418-3898 or email:

living room

dining room

view of kitchen from dining room doorway


view of Tuscarora Academy from kitchen window

recently created breezeway which closes in back porch so laundry room and garage now accessible without going outside 🙂

recently refinished original pine floor! upstairs bedrooms have same pine boards.

downstairs bath

backyard view, grapevines to the left

*House was built in 1834 and was originally the administrative building for the Tuscarora Academy (museum), which is its neighbor. Museum only open 12 days a year.

*Stone foundation, asbestos siding over wood clapboard (except on back of house where original clapboard is exposed).

*2 car garage, stone front porch, tiled back porch, metal roof, large attic

*Approx. 3,000 sq ft. 10 rooms (4.5 bedrooms) + laundry room, breezeway and 2 full baths.

*Original windows downstairs including 3 floor to ceiling French doors. Upstairs window sashes replaced in Fall 2006 (originals in attic).

*Original wainscoting in dining room as well as original built in cabinets.

*Wood flooring throughout. Oak floor in dining room and living room refinished in Winter 2007 as well as original pine flooring in parlor (water emolsion/natural finish used). Upstairs has same original pine flooring.

*1940’s porcelin bathtubs. (Bathrooms need updating.)

*Kitchen gutted Spring 2007. Oak floor with 3 different width planks finished in top quality Street Shoe water emolsion satin finish (same product used on gym floors). Custom pine cabinets (2 lazy susans, glass doors, baking tray racks, pullout drawers) which go to the ceiling outfitted with antique brass Victorian hardware from Horton Brass. Undercabinet lighting. Cobra soapstone countertops (non-reactive, heat resistant, scratch resistant, stain resistant), cobra soapstone 40″ custom sink with 2 wall mounted satin nickel faucets, white fireclay Porcher dish/prep sink, 3 integrated drainboards, white carrera marble backsplash. Polyurethaned maple butcher block countertop. White enamel Jotul Allagash gas stove set in hearth of Inglenook brick tile. Pine trim matches cabinets. Pine glass door leads to breezeway built when kitchen remodeled to bring laundry room inside house.

*Tiled breezeway and laundry/pantry room provide ample storage. Utility sink added in 2006. Pine shelving.

*Garage includes work bench. Wired for welding workshop.

*Multiple heat sources. New oil furnace (forced air) in 2006, baseboard heat in bedrooms and laundry room, Dovre Cape Cod wood burning stove in living room.

*Floor to ceiling stone hearth built in 2006 with rocks from local creekbed

*Benjamin Moore and No VOC Sherwin Williams paint inside house. New paint throughout most of house.

*Miniblinds on many windows, including upstairs bedrooms.

*Outside stone barbecue pit

*Landscaping includes: old growth maples, Japanese Maples, Japanese ornamental cherry trees, black walnut trees, fruit trees including quince, apple, pear, crabapple, peach and mulberry, vibernum, ornamental evergreens, many rose bushes of different varieties, hundreds of daffodils, hostas galore, approx. 20 sq ft of peonies, azaleas, tulips, iris, many lilies, black eyed susans, daisies, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, elderberries, lilac bushes, concord grape vines, clemetis, hyacinths, echinacea, hydrangea, ornamental grasses, trumpet vine, butterfly bush and much, much more. Shade everytime of day, something always in bloom.

*Fenced paddock with horse shed.

*Sheds, outhouse, etc.

*Septic pumped Spring 2007.

*Since Spring 2007 house has been treated by Orkin, assuring a pest free home

***Much has been done to this house since we have taken posession. The list is long but includes: Gutting/custom remodel of kitchen, new furnace, repair brick chimney, reinstallation of 11 light fixtures (including installation of 8 ceiling fan fittings), tiled laundry room and back porch, back porch stuccoed, new thermostat, new septic drainfield dug, plumbing which illegally drained to street rerouted to septic, endless amounts of painting and caulking, stone hearth built and large wood stove purchased, uv water filter serviced and bulb replaced, septic pumped, house under contract with Orkin, floors repaired and refinished, floors painted, upstairs windows replaced, and much more!

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