Friday, May 10, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: Mess Edition

round button chicken
Capturing the context of contentment
Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter

So, every week when I finish my PHFR post, I renew my vow to NOT JUST POST ON THURSDAYS.  Gah.  I mean, it's really annoying, isn't it?

Well, it annoys me.

But, I can barely remember what day it is and, I swear, Thursday catches me off guard each and every week.  I get the notification that someone's PHFR post is up and I'm always astonished: "Wait, it's THURSDAY already?"


This week's edition is about Mess in its various forms.  Well, two, I suppose.  But, for me, that's enough!

First, a gratuitous Pretty:

She has a friend who is into photography so a bunch of them went to a nearby park on Sunday for a photo shoot.  This was one of her best.

Coincidentally, this lovely girl also happens to be the biggest Mess in the house.  You'll see what I mean later...

This photo is part one in what I hope will be a two-part presentation.  There I was, sitting at the kitchen table, pondering what on earth to do about organizing my minuscule upstairs bath when I sighed in frustration and looked to my right and my eyes literally fell on this sweet enameled pan.  I had just unpacked the box it was in and lamely set it on the table because I could not think of a place to use it.  In the old house, it had the ignominious, but helpful, task of corralling various cleaning products and implements in the laundry room.  At one time it held clothes pins.  But I have no need for it in either capacity here at The Vicarage.  And, all at once, like a bolt out of the blue, I realized the perfect use for it!

I'm not quite ready to show it to you yet (the room isn't done) but hopefully it won't be long before I can.  Until then, I can tell you that it's definitely going to be adding a small but much appreciated dose of pretty to the bath!  Stay tuned!

Next: a visit to the Mess Hall...


I don't know about you, but I very often find food to be pretty.  I'm often tempted to combine categories when I post photos of my meals.  But this time I'm going to commit and declare these to be Happy photos!

The above is my latest 2-for-1 meal idea: Tandoori(ish) Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala (again, ish).

We love going out for Indian food and The Vicar is always after me to learn to make it at home.  And though I've learned a lot about cooking just in the past few years, I'm still quite a remarkable coward when it comes to trying new things.  Such as Tandoori Chicken and (our most favourite) Chicken Tikka Masala.

But (and don't yell at me for using a pre-fab and full-of-chemicals flavor packet) when I saw a seasoning mix for Tandoori Chicken at the grocery store I decided to try it.

I butterflied and pounded the chicken, mixed up the stuff in the packet with kefir instead of water and oil and had The Vicar grill it all for me (since my kitchen lacks an authentic Tandoori oven), making enough for two meals, of course.

It was pretty darn good.  And I think I might be able to come up with a homemade version on my own next time.  But now I'm not afraid of it anymore.

And then, tonight, I cut up the leftover chicken and made a masala sauce that was NOT from a packet.  This one I looked up on the internet.  I can't remember where I got it from.  But it had onion, garlic, cardamom pods, garam masala, brown sugar, tomatoes and cream in it, all of which I had, believe it or not.  The above photo was before the cream went in and, I admit, I was skeptical.  It looked more like chicken cacciatore than tikka masala...

But then the cream made all the difference!  It was lighter than it always seems to be when I get it in a restaurant, but it was pretty close!

Jasmine rice had to stand in for basmati, but it was just fine.  And while it didn't taste exactly like the professional (and, I'm sure, much more authentic) version, it was really good and I will definitely be making it again!  Next time I'm going to pick up some Naan at the grocery store to go with it (or maybe I could find out how to make it)!

More from the Mess Hall...


This is totally silly.  I bought a bag of pistachios last week and we've been enjoying snacking on them.  One evening our conversation turned to silly things, as often happens here, and we wound up laughing about mustachioed pistachios.  And then we remembered the pistachios in the pantry.  And then I had to draw mustaches on them.  And then take a photo of them (on a kitchen towel no less).  They're still sitting on the kitchen counter.  I have a feeling they'll be there forever.

And now for the other Mess...


I walked into the foyer shortly after school one afternoon to tidy up the dresser and found this mess (and one somewhat startled 12-year-old boy in the distance).  I believe those are four pairs of shoes scattered heartlessly across the entryway... well as five bags, including an empty shopping bag, and a torn-open package of toilet paper.  I had been through this area not very long before these photos were taken and I can assure you that this mess was made in a very short period of time.  Based on the evidence, it would seem that someone was having a bit of a potty emergency, ran to the store for a necessary item, ran in the door, flung their belongings aside and tore open said necessary item in great haste, and raced up the stairs to the nearest bathroom.

But, no.  For here is the culprit (the girl, not the dog), enjoying the sunshine and a pudding cup on the stoop, blissfully unaware of the trail of destruction left in her wake.  There was no potty emergency.  It was just our perpetual hurricane, arriving home.

Don't worry, I made her clean it up.

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