Thursday, May 26, 2011

Well Marbled in Hell

For crap's sake, people.  I try to do the right thing.  I swear I do!  But I keep ending up in situations where I find myself in possession of various items for which I did not pay.  Want some real-LAB-life examples?  Just look here and here.

And it happened again.  Last week I was at Publix buying a handful of items on the way home from visiting my Dad, who was in the hospital recovering from surgery.  Between the hospital and Publix my beloved convertible was rear-ended by a high school kid with sketchy insurance, so I had kind of a lot on my mind while I was checking out in the express lane.  It's not like it's rocket science to ring up three 2-liter bottles of Diet Coke, a bag of potatoes and some limes, so I figured I didn't have to monitor the cashier's activities too closely. I paid for my purchases, the bagger loaded them into my cart and I rolled the cart outside and tossed the bags into the (smushed) trunk of my car.  Nothing seemed particularly amiss.

When I got home, I unloaded my groceries and took everything out of the bags.  Here's what I found:  three 2-liter bottles of Diet Coke, a bag of potatoes, some limes... along with four ribeye steaks and a package of Famous Amos vanilla sandwich cookies.  Yep, someone else's groceries found their way into the trunk of my car.  The receipt was even in the bag.  Someone bought just those few items, paid with a debit card, and I guess either left them at the register or left them in the cart in which the bagger loaded my groceries.  Those are the only two possibilities I can think of to explain how these items came into my possession.

I couldn't really figure out what to do from there.  If I took the steaks back to Publix, would they look for the person who paid for them and then return them to their proper owner?  Would Publix just put them back out and sell them again (someone had already paid for them - I had the receipt).  The steaks were clearly not mine.  I know this.  But seriously people.  I'm dealing with an ailing father, a wrecked car and a serious backlog of work at my office because my personal life has been sucking up 2-3 hours of work time a day.  (Rationalizing really is my greatest strength).

So I turned to the most moral person I know:  I called Jeff at work to ask for his opinion.  His response?

Jeff:  "What do the steaks look like?" 
LAB: "They look like $35 of meat I didn't pay for.  Should I take them back?"
Jeff:  "No, I mean are they well marbled?"
LAB: "You think I should KEEP them?"
Jeff:  "I think you're dealing with enough problems right now.  I'm sure Publix made the customer whole by replacing the items."
LAB: "But..."
Jeff:  "Remember Blockbuster?  If you want to go through that humiliation again, go right ahead."
LAB: "No way. Putting them in the fridge now."

We ate the steaks (and the cookies).  I'm going to hell.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Culinary Charade

Like many Southern women, I pride myself on my cooking.  My Creamy Fried Confetti Corn is so good you'll want to smack your Grandma.  No lie.  And my Chocolate Pecan Pie?  It's the surefire route to a marriage proposal.  Trust me.

But like most contemporary women, balancing time-consuming homemade recipes and a busy schedule is a challenge.  So I cut corners when I can.

A couple of Sundays ago, my family got together at my Dad's house to celebrate my brother's birthday.  I volunteered to cook.  I decided I'd make pot roast, hand-mashed potatoes and a big pot of fresh green beans (cooked with chopped onions, a chunk of pork fat and a bay leaf, naturally).   But the weekend got busy and before I knew it it was time to head over to my Dad's to start cooking.  I realized that there wasn't going to be time to make pot roast, or any other type of roast for that matter.  So I committed the Cardinal Sin of Southern Womanhood.  I bought a pre-cooked package of Hormel Beef Roast au Jus.  Clearly I'm going straight to hell (in just three days if Christian calculations are correct).  Lucky for me the end of days isn't scheduled to occur until 6 p.m. on the 21st, so I still have time to get my laundry done.  But I digress.

It wasn't enough of a crime to serve the pre-packaged protein.  Not for me, at least.  I had the nerve to try to pass it off as my own recipe. Hormel as Homemade, if you will. So instead of popping the package into the microwave for four minutes as directed, I put it in a baking dish and baked it in the oven so it would look like I made it myself.  Then I proudly served it along with my hand-mashed potatoes and special-recipe green beans.  I should have known better.

At the dinner table, my sister said "What cut of meat is this?  A chuck roast?"  My reply:  "Ummm.  Pot Roast" (I never claimed to be a quick thinker).   She mentioned that her husband is on a low-carb diet and said after dinner she wanted to get the recipe from me.  I smelled a confession in my future.

After dinner my sister and I were cleaning up the kitchen and she asked me several pot-roast-related questions.  I'm pretty sure she was being sincere, but I'm open to the possibility that she knew she had me nailed and she was screwing with me.  I wouldn't put it past her - she's nobody's fool!  So I finally dug deep, deep into the trash can in which I had buried the pre-packaged evidence and I confessed my crime.  I'm a food fraud.  A repast pretender.  A dinner duper.  I felt dirty.

The good news is that she was excited to find a really easy low-carb dish to tell her husband about.  The bad news is that I'll forever live under a cloud of dietary distrust no matter how labor-intensive future meals may be.  Oh, well.  At least the beans were good.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Think before you speak, Jackass!

Yesterday I posted this picture on Facebook and bitched about how tacky this "car" (and I use the term very loosely) looks in our driveway:

Jeff bought this ridiculous 1969 Ford LTD to strip out the engine and transmission and then scrap the remaining car.  The fact that it's a temporary addition to our collection and that he keeps it under a car cover and out of sight when he's not working on it doesn't make it any more palatable to me.  Our house has officially turned into Sanford & Son.

So last night I'm bitching to him about what the neighbors must think of us (as if their opinions aren't already firmly in place) and how trashy we are to have 5 cars scattered around our property.

Jeff's response?  "We have 6 cars. Don't forget the one in storage".

Thanks for the reminder, Jack Ass.  Have I mentioned how lucky he is that I love him?