Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Skeletal Food & Beverages on a Hot Afternoon

Since our summer seems reluctant to give way to autumn it has been a bit hard to muster up any real Halloween spirit. Daytime temperatures that climb into the 80's aren't helping much either. Not that I mind! There's plenty of crisp fall weather ahead but it's impossible to resist spending these balmy summer days in idleness even if they are keeping me from getting to serious Halloween decorating!

There's also been a bounty of late summer flowers in our backyard. These hydrangeas are normally midsummer bloomers but this year they decided not to show up until it was officially autumn. They make quite a contrast to the fading greenery of the perennials with their blossoms all gone to seed.  

Even the clouds formations we only see in the summer are showing up now, at the end of September! Yikes!

Naturally, all this unseasonal weather has kept the mosquito population thriving.
Although, it has also brought in some of their more interesting predators.

So without so much as a hint of frost on the pumpkins, Burt has taken it upon himself to create some proper autumnal ambience by employing his favorite foods and beverages - starring skeletons! Besides, what else goes down better on a hot afternoon than a few cold ones and some junk food? Burt is obviously not one to be overly health conscience, probably with good reason.   

Actually, it all started around our anniversary in August. Burt stopped by to convey his regards and share a bottle of wine that was currently a favorite of his. He felt this bottle was highly appropriate for the occasion and apparently so did Mickey and Minnie. They made quite a cheerful group! So a quest was established to find other skeletal themed consumables that we might be willing to try.

For whiling away a sunny afternoon when it's just too hot to do anything, Burt selected this interesting looking beer. It has a great name and clever logo but it tastes like Miller Lite.

At least the carton makes a pretty good mask.

Fortunately we have a Cheetos Bag of Bones to make up for the lack of flavor in the beer while also providing some much needed entertainment. Besides, it's always fun to play with your food.

Moving on to dessert, we should probably have been feeling either sick or guilty by now.
We will most definitely be skipping the milk with these cookies.

Even though they're orange in color they still taste like regular Oreos.
Why is this not a surprise?

Finally, while Burt sleeps off his afternoon indulgences Spencer has stepped in to remind us of the classic Halloween treat! Even though he's not a black cat, he can appreciate the fact that kitties also play a big part in the holiday, plus they have their own candy bar! Even though he doesn't eat candy or junk food or even mice, he does look like he's pretty pleased about getting one up on the skeleton!

Thanks so much for stopping by, has Autumn arrived where you live yet?

What's your favorite Halloween treat?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Ahoy Matey! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is upon us! It's that time of the year when the compass starts to spin in all directions and we celebrate like fictional pirates! Since Halloween is still 42 days away and let's face it, the Labor Day weekend was pretty much of a snooze, we are itching for a proper dress up holiday dedicated to talking funny while eating and drinking way too much! 

Avast! This doesn't have anything to do with real pirates, so no weapons or hostages are involved. Sadly no treasure either, except for the chocolate variety and most of us do consider that a treasure of sorts. It's not a day we celebrate the heinous deeds of pirates, just the silliness of talking like them. Here's Burt, exercising his navigational skills to plot a course for partying like it's 1699!

Aye, Aye! Studying up on the lingo is mandatory. The old adage, it's not what you say, it's how you say it, is good to remember. The general consensus is to be as loud, abrasive and confident as possible. Replace "I" with "me" and drop the Gs. The archetypical pirate grunts, Arrr! and Arrrgh! actually have quite different meanings, the former is a term of agreement and the later is an expletive, if you catch my drift. Fortunately, as the party wears on into the early morning and after a generous amount of rum and ale have been consumed, it probably won't make much difference what we say. 

Talking with the locals is a good way to learn many fun and interesting things to say, for instance saying "ass rye" when you mean "that's right' is always a crowd pleaser. For pirate names, the rule is to precede a person's name with something insulting like a criminal behavior or noxious odor. Though from personal experience I can say it's not always a good idea to be lazy and use your own name beginning with "Smarmy" or "Scurvy" for a pirate name. These things can last well beyond one day.

All this strange talking certainly does give us an appetite. Luckily, the parody religion Pastafarianism and it's deity the Flying Spaghetti Monster also share Talk Like a Pirate Day. Since every holiday needs a special dish to make it truly festive and because turkey and ham are already taken, we feast on spaghetti and meatballs. Hey, we're not eating like pirates, just talking like them! Now it's time for that Scurvy Scallywag Burt ta be shake 'n a leg 'n makin' the pasta! Arrr!  

Shiver me timbers!
Rolling out the pasta until the sun shines through it can be a religiously scary experience! 

Nautical Nick's got the job of cutting it into spaghetti. The Noodleyness is taking shape!

Finally, it's all together! Time to celebrate at the plate of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,
in the name of the meatballs and the sauce and the pasta. Ramen! 

Yo, Ho, Ho! It's a pirate's life for Burt! Is there any separating a pirate from his drink? According to Capt. Jack Sparrow drinking rum before 10:00 am makes you a pirate, not an alcoholic. How much trouble will Burt be getting into with this rum named after the Kraken? Will there be singing soon?

So turn over the tables and shoot out the lights, cause we're all going to party like Pirates tonight!*

Eye patches, earrings and rum aside, it's a relatively stress free holiday usually followed by aspirin in the morning. The vocabulary is pretty limited but some well placed hand gestures combined with a scowl goes along way and it's a great excuse to slip in a few insults to those who deserve them! Burt enjoys being called a pustulant, pox-ridden halibut because he believes you should always be yourself, unless you can be a pirate, then always be a pirate.

'tis time ta heave ho, batten down the hatches, weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen!  

Thanks for stopping by you scurvy dogs!  Hope yer havin' a great weekend.
Aye, ye better or ye be walking' the plank! 

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!
Thanks a million to the founders, Ol' Chumbucket and Cap'n Slappy!
Thanks also to wikiHow and quotes

*these are the last lines of an unattributed poem I found under Pirate Party on Pinterest 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Juggling the Bounty

Our long hot and humid summer has had quite a positive effect on the local produce and now we are enjoying the benefits. We usually bring home quite a load from the Farmers Market but this week was larger than ever and included pumpkins! A couple of little sweet ones found their way into our hoard but they will have to wait until it cools off before becoming pies! Burt was impressed with our haul.

Even our two scrawny tomato plants have been overly productive, a surprise since they live in pots on our driveway and are subject to all sorts of abuse by the squirrels and chipmunks. 

The habaneros, another group of my abused and regularly neglected plants have also out done themselves and put out enough of these lethal cuties to make our dinners blazing hot for decades! 

Thankfully we don't have to rely on my questionable agricultural skills for the rest of our produce since there seems to be no end to the amount of edibles for sale by the local farmers. I do have to admit that I find it much more enjoyable shopping in the sunshine than under fluorescent lights. Everything looks so cheerful and there's no fiddling with those stupid plastic bags trying to get them open! In January, when there's a foot of snow on the ground I'll be thankful for the supermarket.

Seems like dealing with Mother Nature is always a tricky business and there's also the possibility of ending up with too much of a good thing. Wonder who's going to eat that mountain of broccoli? How will it all end up? Probably (if I know the locals) there will be cheese and beer involved if it's soup, definitely cheese if it's destined for a quiche. The cabbage will end up as cole slaw or sauerkraut, the latter with corned beef and of course, cheese. The one thing I don't miss is the frozen food aisle, except for the ice cream but there are plenty of tents selling it so all that's needed is a free hand.

The best thing about summer markets is how they inevitably take on a carnival atmosphere. With the colorful flowers everywhere, the ever changing melodies of the buskers as we stroll past and that unmistakable aroma of fried food, the only things missing are the side shows and pony rides.

So what happens when we get back home with all this stuff? How do we keep from losing all those festive feelings so far away from all the fun and excitement? Well, it appears that Burt just may have a plan and it will either involve basil and pasta or a special touch of madness.

Burt has a challenge for Nick, to see how many of the fruits and vegetables from our shopping trip he can juggle without turning them into mush. Starting with the tomatoes.

It seems Nick's special juggling madness is more than equal to the task!

However, Burt's imagination (and guile) knows no bounds . . .

but Nick is unfazed by the challenge. It's got to be easier than juggling cole slaw and pies!

There are always limits to everything, maybe that's enough excitement for today.

Thanks for stopping by, hope everyone had a great weekend!