Homemade Blueberry Sauce OR “Why An Intruder Will Never Be Able to Murder Me”

I once wrote a story about a nice guy who ended up breaking into the home of his boss and strangling the maid when he unexpectedly found her there, innocently cleaning the inside of a giant vase with a vacuum hose. He snuck up behind her, yanked the hose from her hands and wrapped it around her throat. She twisted and kicked for a while, but he just dragged her around the house, tugging her along backwards from one room to the next to keep her from re-gaining her balance and putting up any real fight.

After she was dead, he kept his grip around her throat for another few minutes because he had seen so many movies where characters who are certain to be dead turn out to not be, and come back in the third act to surprise the killer who then stumbles down some basement stairs in shock and bangs their head against a water heater and dies.

Of course, the killer then never comes back to life in the same unexpected way the original victim did because they’re after all, a killer, and we expect fairness to prevail in our movies, unless the movie is directed by Robert Altman or someone German. But in real life, I know for a fact that you’re less likely to die from hitting your head against a water heater than you are if an intruder drags you around a house backwards by your neck with a vacuum hose. Ask anyone off the street about this; you’ll get the same answer.

When I was a kid and my parents let me stay home by myself, I would pull the largest knife out of the kitchen drawer and stab a cardboard box in my toy closet repeatedly, honing my aim and fortitude in case a burglar broke into the house and tried to kill me. Looking back, perhaps I should have asked myself why I thought a burglar might break into the house between 2 and 4pm on a Sunday afternoon, but ever since the time I was first able to pull myself out of my playpen, I have lived feverishly by the motto that you can never be too prepared.

As an example: I don’t wait until the end of the day to buy tickets for a movie Michael and I are planning to see that night. I buy them first thing in the morning. And if Michael is in charge of buying the tickets and plans on waiting until the end of the day, I try to warn him. “Maybe they’ll be sold out by the time you go to buy them. And then where will we be, hmmm?” But Michael just does what he wants. And almost always, there are good seats left. But sometimes there aren’t, and when that happens I don’t wag my finger and look at him with crooked lips, even though I could. It’s the same thing with being ready with a giant knife on a Sunday afternoon. “Maybe someone will crawl in through the doggie door and kill me when I’m home alone. And I won’t notice in time because I’ll too busy playing UNO against myself at the kitchen table. Then where will I be, hmmm? Dead. Dead with three Skips and a Draw Four card still unplayed, that’s where! And then people could say, “He should have been ready with a giant knife just in case,” and wag their fingers at each other during my funeral. Who wants that? Not me. That’s why I’m always ready: buying movie tickets, avoiding being murdered, and everything in between.

Needless to say, Michael is not fond of this paranoid quality of mine. When he’s supposed to call me at a certain time and doesn’t, I get panicky and start dialing his phone over and over, then hanging up before I leave a message, so he can see I’ve called fifteen times but won’t actually be met with the desperate voicemails I used to leave him, such as, “I need to know that a serial killer hasn’t gotten you. I’m worried. Plus I don’t understand how people are identified by dental records and I won’t do it right. PLEASE CALL ME BACK!”

Michael sighs sadly and presses his eyelids together dramatically whenever I start acting this way. Sure, I may sometimes walk down the street with my head facing the sky in case a piano is about to fall out a window. And when we hear about a trainer being pulled into the water by a whale at a marine park, I may look over at him and state plainly, “And THAT is why I want a harpoon!” I think secretly Michael believes I need help for this. But I don’t care. Sometimes, when we’re leaving the movie theatre he goes down the stairs without holding the handrail, and I say to myself, “We’ll see who gets the last laugh, buddy.”

Click here for an AMAZING Blueberry Sauce Recipe!

Aunt Emily’s Lip Smacking Strawberry Sauce

This is a recipe for my Aunt Emily’s Lip-Smacking Strawberry Sauce.  Aunt Emily is not exactly the warm, inviting face of home and hearth you might imagine on a jar of desset topping, but she is definitely worth a few minutes of your time.  She met my Uncle Raybon on a blind date at a mini-golf and pirate-themed adventure park just before the bicentennial.  They were married six weeks later, the second time for both.  The first piece of furniture they split fifty-fifty was a tiki bar with light up palm trees and wooden, half-pineapple ashtrays.  It was the focal point of their sunken den, and the home base for all their football parties.  Raybon would mix the drinks and Emily would sit on one of the stools, sipping and barking out raunchy jokes with set-ups always involving someone who farted at the worst possible time.

While she was married, Emily worked as a cocktail waitress in a hotel bar.  Her bouffant Brenda Vaccaro hair was almost exactly as wide and exactly as red as the short, ruffled skirt that was her uniform.  In between the hair and the skirt was a crowd of hilly cleavage and a deep, weary tan. Emily liked to twirl in her waitress skirt before she left the house and say, “It’s the preferred look for today’s cocktail gal… Mexican square dancer with super titties.”  Then she would run her fingers in circles around her blouse where her nipples were underneath and stick her tongue out sideways like a rock star, while my mother shouted out her name with reproach and the rest of us fell on the floor.

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10 Cinco de Mayo Recipes!

If you’re still looking for ways to wow your friends and family with a one-of-a-kind Mexican feast this Cinco de Mayo, here come the Top 10 Latin-themed recipes that should definitely be crowding your table this weekend.

Some are wild, some are mild, but they’re all rich in flavor. More importantly, they all go well with a chilled Tecate or a shot of tequlia. Have a great weekend!

Habanero Pizza

It may look like a traditional Italian pie, but this sauce carries a kick that definitely comes from South of the Border! Those who like to avoid foods that make their eyes water will not be put off, though they will receive a subtle indication with each bite that there’s something sneaky going on. It’s just a pinch of heat that won’t linger on the tongue but will definitely make its inclusion known.

Click here for the recipe

Next… Tomatillo Sauce and Guacamole

Simple Marinara Sauce Recipe

Homemade spaghetti sauces

Homemade spaghetti sauces

Homemade marinara sauces

Of all sauces for pasta, marinara is the easiest. If your mother forgot to teach you how to make spaghetti sauce, here’s the recipe for you.

Learn from me, dear readers.  DO NOT watch FOOD NETWORK after 10pm!  Last week there was a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives marathon on, and I was only about 20 minutes into it when I could no longer resist the call of the kitchen.  Unfortunately, raw materials were limited, so instead of replicating the corned beef and cabbage, baked mac and cheese, polenta, and stuffed meatballs Guy Fieri was lucky enough to inhale, I was stuck sucking down three slices of garlic bread and a handful of peanut butter chips.  Not quite up to my usual standards, and also slightly embarrassing.  Yet still most satisfying!

Changing topics now.  Marinara sauce is something you can always put to good use.  And a simple homemade spaghetti sauce recipe is something every cook should have committed to memory.  Of course you can use it to top pasta, but don’t stop there.  Slather up a grilled vegetable sandwich, or just drop in some meatballs and Italian sausages, heat it up, and eat it straight from the pot right there over the sink!

As you can see from the above, I used this batch of sauce for sandwiches (sausage, cheese, bell pepper and onion) and got the big thumbs up from MG.  Wrap these babies in foil and cook at 400 F for about thirty  to forty minutes.  Good hot, good cold the next day, good at 4 am in the morning when your building’s fire alarm goes off and you want to nosh on something while standing in your slippers on the street.

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