Sunday, March 22, 2009

Campfire Crackerjack

No, not a model.  I won't fix your car in exchange for a load of firewood.  I know nothing about installing cabinets... no, not a model... street performers are needed for tonight!... freelance travel writing, well, that would be cool but I haven't travelled anywhere exciting in a decade... no, not a model... dancers needed?  sounds like fun, um, wonder if they need ladies with a little junk in the trunk... not a graphic designer who can do your logo... no, not a model... Isn't there anything I'm qualified to do on Craig's List?  

I suppose I could just whip up a few batches of organic double fudge brownies, put out a card table near Pike Place Market with a large "Bake Sale" sign and see who has pity on the nutrition intern whose pennies are screaming from being pinched so damn hard.  Before being arrested, I would probably end up having to pack up and leave after being asked for the thousandth time "Why is a nutrition intern selling brownies?"  Well, I don't believe that wheat grass shots have quite the market value, kay?  
Don't think I haven't thought about converting my commuting bike into an umbrella-ed rickshaw to transport gawking tourists from one fish and chips stand to another during the rainy spring break season.  

Ideas?  Anyone?

I've been putting off grocery shopping for almost the entire month.  Things have gotten a little dire around here, kids.  Of course Mark has been smiley about the whole situation, because all it takes to make pizza is flour, water, tomato sauce and cheese.  We've had pizza twice in one week.  But when the time came that I had used almost every ounce of edible foodstuffs lurking in our cabinets - wow, pinto beans from '97! He was grumbling when I suggested he use salted peanuts as a topping on his favorite bowl of morning oats.  Not amused.  

We were both not amused as well when at 5:30 on Saturday night we realized we had nothing to bring to an appetizer party that started at 7:00.  I looked in the bare cabinets for the fifth time that day, somehow believing that there would magically appear a baguette, bunches of fresh green fragrant basil and a mound of fleshy red and purple heirloom tomatoes... 

Popcorn.  Buckwheat groats.  Brown rice.  Cane sugar.  I grabbed the popcorn, the sugar, and raced to my computer to look up that awesome blog entry from David about how to make your own caramel.  I didn't have any butter or any cream... but I did have olive oil and some vanilla soy creamer (I know, cover your eyes, David.)

Let's just say that it turned out much better than it sounds like it would have, even though I was a few seconds shy of burning that sugar into a blackened, sticky mess.  Beginner's luck.  The flavor came out more like a mildly sweet cracker jack... with the caramel reminiscent of burnt marshmallows.  Yes, Campfire Crackerjack - genius! And I would have added the salted peanuts if it weren't for Mark eating them all on his oatmeal.  Sheesh.

Making caramel sounds daunting, but it really is a fun little adventure.  Just don't try it with 45 minutes till showtime, because you'll want to take your time and be careful not to burn yourself (or the caramel).  

The moral of the story is that even poor people can have fun in the kitchen.  Now,  back to Craig's List... and to read up on pipe-fitting and swimsuit modeling... much more lucrative surely than selling green smoothies on Pike Street.

*** for the caramel recipe - using the real ingredients- see the link on David's name above.  There are many recipes for caramel out there, but David's technique can be applied to many of them. 




Anonymous said...

Sister, you could get a snack out of a wink and a smile.

Giggles and Grins said...

If you were nearby I would pay to eat your baked goods! You can come be my personal chef for some room and board and good company. ;)

Regina said...

Well, as far as Craigslist goes, there's always selling your underwear.

I'm mostly joking.

Sus said...

Are you kidding me? You are brilliant. I would have gone out and bought caramel corn - kroger brand to save the cash.

I think you should write for a living. I love your writing. Go to Blogher and at least start posting ads. Although I think I have made about $.25 in 6 months.