My Life of Crime Continues, Mustard is Yummy, and Pocket Knives Are Essential

Oooo. Artsy picture. The candle was on the other side of the glass.

I’ve been craving the Beefy Mustardy Cabbage Casserole that Claude makes ever since he served it to us on New Years’ Eve.  Oh wait, you guys don’t know about that because I didn’t start The Blog until New Year’s Day.  Before The Blog, I would post a picture each day on Facebook and write a very short (well, short for me) paragraph about it.  Here was part of the paragraph on the day that Claude made the Mustard Casserole:

“We finally made it to Claude and Kendra’s house for lunch. Claude made a dish for us that his grandfather brought home from Indo-China during the Secret War in Laos. (Yeah, I’ve never heard of it either. That’s why they call it the Secret war.) Cabbage, rice, ground beef, onion, and …. mustard.

It sounded gross. Claude says that everyone thinks it sounds gross, but when they try it they love it.

To Claude’s delight, the cabbage dish is undefeated. We tried it, and I loved it! I had thirds.”

Yup.  I did love it.  And have been thinking about it ever since.  They finally brought us some more today.  I took pictures.

A tables set for dinner with a candle is such a soothing thing, don't you agree?

I provided the desserts:  Dump Cake and Chocolate Bolacha.

Incidentally, this is the second dump cake I’ve made this week.  We took the first one to Vince and Gail’s house on Friday.  Dump cake, chocolate bolacha and minestrone soup are some of Vince’s favorite things that we make for them.  Vince pointed out that our food often comes across as weird or gross but turns out to be really good.  For example, with the dump cake, one of Vince’s 41 kids asked, “What is that?” Vince told him it was dump cake.  This was met with much snickering.  Eleven year old boys tend to see the potty humor in everything.  Dump cake.

And the Chocolate Bolacha sounds a little goofy.  It’s just melted butter, sugar and vanilla, baked over saltine crackers and then topped with melted chocolate chips.  Really?  You’re serving your guests saltine crackers and chocolate chips?  Is this 1965?  Are you going to serve a TV dinner with that?  Sounds bland, but it’s actually pure evil.  Pure evil.  It has an entire stick of butter in it and an entire bag of chocolate chips on it, but it never lasts longer than 12 hours in my house.  No, it’s not Darling Husband or the kids eating it and that’s all I have to say on the subject.

Below are pictures of Vince and the Dump Cake.  In the first one, Vince has given us our generous portions and is planning on keeping the rest of the pan for himself.

This is for you, and you, and you. THIS is for ME!

But Gail only let him have a little bit.  Cholesterol, you know.

Here’s an old picture of the bolacha:

Chocolate Bolacha

It’s not really called Chocolate Bolacha.  We made up that name.  Have I already told you that story?  It’s only March and I’m starting to forget what I’ve already written.  Eh.  I’ll tell that story another day if I haven’t already.

Back to today:

As soon as Claude, Kendra and Baby walked in the door, Baby took one look at us and started wailing again.  This time she only cried for about five minutes.  This is because we’ve begun an aggressive campaign to win back her love.  First of all, we hired a babysitter.  He is very good with children.  He sings songs to them and tells them stories.  His name is Juan.  Here is the baby, mesmerized by Juan.

Juan is sleek and handsome. Even the babies love to look at Juan.

And then, we fed her good wholesome food.  The sort of food her parents don’t give her at home.  Nutritious cheese.  Wholesome grains.  Dayglo orange coloring.  All the good stuff.

I can't believe they're letting me have this stuff!

See, baby, when you come to our house, we feed you Doritos and let you watch at much TV as you want.  You love us.  We’re your favorite people.

See these beautiful flowers?  They were on some trees in my neighborhood.  I was coming home today from an emergency run to the store for chocolate chips and thought, “Huh.  My stolen daffodils are all dead now.  Wouldn’t these blossoms look so lovely in my home?  Too bad I don’t have scissors…”

More stolen flowers.

And ladies, this is where you really need to start carrying a pocket knife with you everywhere you go.  Because I just so happen to carry a pocket knife and I was able to pull over and cut off these little branches from the trees.

The other time pocket knives come in handy is when your kids are trying on cheap sandals at Walmart, but the shoes are stuck together with elastic bands.  When the kid tries on shoes, the elastic stretches while they walk and then snaps back, and the kid topples over.  This is entertaining for a time or two, but after a while it gets old.  My pocket knife comes with some little scissors that’ll take care of that elastic problem for you.

I’ll finish up with another picture of the flowers.  I took 59 shots of the dumb things.  After 59 attempts, I’m posting them whether you want to see them or not.  No, I’m not addicted to taking pictures.  I can stop anytime I want to.

No, actually, I can’t.  The idea of not being able to take pictures leaves me a little shaky.  It’s bad.  I’m already thinking about what I can sell so that I can get another camera next Christmas.  The kids don’t need all those toys, do they?

Fluffy apple blossoms

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