Monday, December 21, 2009

...Lauren's No-Bake Holiday Balls (Can be made vegan!)

First of all, if you haven't already, go look at the Schweddy sketch from Saturday Night Live. It is a holiday classic that inspired the recipe you are about to read.
Click here to watch.

Now, the recipe. This is the kind of recipe you can switch out ingredients for whatever you like, add a little, take a little away. It's one of those recipes where measurements should just be a guide. The real measurements are what tastes good to you!

1 cup peanut butter
(Almond butter would be good as well.)

1 cup honey
(Agave nectar will work I think. You might want to use less to make it less sweet.)

1 and 1/8 cup non fat dry milk
(I used oatmeal---Put it in the food processor on the "grind" setting and make a powder. Add sugar to make it a little sweet. It works just the same!)

1 cup oatmeal
(I used less since I already had some oatmeal taste from the dry milk substitute above.)

1/2 cup chocolate chips
(Carob chips would be a yummy vegan alternative! Raisins would be good, too.)

dash of extract (vanilla, almond...)

1/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

Mix sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside.
In another larger bowl, beat remaining ingredients until well blended.
Roll into balls, whatever size you like, then roll them in the sugar blend.
Set on a plate or baking sheet, whatever will fit in the fridge. Chill for an hour or two then enjoy! That's it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

...a Variety of Velcro

"Lauren to your register! Lauren to your register!" I announced over the speaker at Michael's Arts & Crafts one night. It was ten minutes until nine, closing time, on a Tuesday evening. No one was in the store.

The phone at my cash register rings. It's Kathy, the other cashier working with me that night.
"Why..hahaha...did you just page yourself to your...haha...register??" She was giggling and speaking at the same time. "You dork!"

"I just wanted to lighten the mood!" I replied. Just then, a woman burst into the store with a frantic look upon her face. A man walked in behind her, almost scared of what she might do next. I was prepared. This was the customer who's face read, "Shit! I forgot about this stupid craft project for my son's school that is due tomorrow!"

"WHERE IS THE VELCRO??" She demanded. I directed her to the opposite corner of the store in the back, where the small sewing section was located. She ran off. The man stayed near the registers in the front, pretending to be interested in the faux flowers located a few feet away. Moments later she rushed back up to the front of the store, empty-handed.

"I can't believe this!" She looked right at me. "You have a smaller selection of Velcro than Wal-Mart does! This is insane! You are a craft store!" The man she is with looks frightened.

"Yes, we are a craft store...not a sewing store. But we have a small selection of notions in the back corner, and that is all I can give you." I grin on the inside. She is personally angry with me because I cannot provide her with Velcro to fit her needs.

"I can't believe this!!" She exclaims as if she is reacting to seeing her car getting stolen. She leaves the store. The man follows, but before he goes out the door, he turns to look at me and says, "...Sorry...yeah...she's...." I smile and say, "Good luck and good night." He grins and leaves.

Kathy comes up to my register. "Can we call it a night?"


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

...Old People in Grocery Stores

"This yogurt, it helps my husband? He eats da grease!"

A hunched old woman with some sort of Russian accent approaches me while I carefully decide what flavors of Lite n' Fit I want to buy for just 39 cents each. Wearing a long grey dress and a draping black coat spotted with cat hair, the old woman standing just under five feet tall uses both hands to hold up a green six-pack of Activia for me to see.

"He is the fat!" She points at his belly. "He eats entire package? It helps with da acid?"

"No," I reply. "Tell him to eat one every night after dinner. He will feel better after that."

It wasn't entirely true, but I wasn't about to explain Prilosec OTC to this woman who was ready to feed her husband six cups of yogurt when they got home. I see her husband a few feet behind her. A large man with a grey beard wearing overalls and brown work boots. He picks up a tub of sour cream and studies the package like he's never seen it before.

"Oh," she looks down at the Activia. "Ok I buy this!" She walks away and begins to loudly state something to her husband, in her language. I can tell she wears the pants in the family. As his wife hurries over to the discounted grocery shelf, the old man puts the yogurt in their cart a with a look on his face as if he is saying, "Why can't I just take a Prilosec?"

Do old people ever approach you in grocery stores? I have plenty more stories where this one comes from. Let me know if you want to hear more.