Saturday, July 27, 2013

Glorious Bachelorious.

Thursday night, Jordan and I worked diligently, attempting to resurrect my grandpa's faulty computer. The software kept crashing, so we saved his information, formatted the hard drive, and reinstalled the software. The problem still wasn't fixed, but by then we were too tired to keep working so we called it a night. It was 12:10am and my bed was singing sweet love songs to me. Jordan bid me farewell and headed out to his car. A few minutes later, he called to inform me that his car was entrenched in thick, nasty mud in my driveway. I went out to help him escape the clay prison, and we finally succeeded. At 12:30, I jumped into my bed.

I awoke Friday morning to find my driveway had not dried out, as I had hoped, but looked even worse than it had at 12:15. 

I buried my car five inches into the soupy clay before changing tactics and using pieces of wood to provide traction. I finally got to high ground and drove to work.

The cool weather we've had this week has meant the business phones have been quiet, giving us a welcome break from service. But no rest for the weary! We tore off more shingles on my dad's house today. Yesterday we tore off shingles, and Wednesday we poured cement at Pathway Christian School.

After work, I headed out to check on my sequoias. I'm not entirely sure if I've mentioned this already, but several of my beautiful little saplings have died. Horace and Amaya struggled and survived two floods, but the third flood proved to be too much, and they gave up. Douglas is looking pretty sickly, but I'm hoping he'll pull through. But all is not lost! Sherman is leaping skyward each week. He's a stout, vibrant 12" at least. Kermit and Hugo are still snug in their concrete cinder block, but they're growing quickly so I'll be transplanting them back in the yard soonish.

But I didn't stop for long to admire the trees. I was headed to the riverbank to send a few Easter eggs to their watery grave with a new rifle I just picked up. After a long week of work, sinking little plastic toys is very therapeutic.

The upper rifle is my IWI Tavor SAR, which fires .223 cartridges. The lower rifle is my brother Shane's Hi-Point 9mm carbine. Both guns have a 16.5" barrel, but the Tavor is much shorter because it is a bullpup. (NOTE: Men, that link contains incredible, amazing, interesting information on a revolutionary weapon design that has slowly but surely changed the way we think about firearms. Women, that link is incredibly boring and has nothing to do with male cows or little dogs.)

I then swooped up my lovely grandma Ruth on a gluten-free date to Monica's Italian Bistro, and we had a splendid time eating salads and pizza while Grandma told me stories about growing up. Grandma is always a joy to be with, and since Grandpa is currently on a long bus trip (he drives tour buses with Windstar), I seized the opportunity to spend some time with Grandma.

Earlier this week, I made a wax bomb. Well, it was more of a giant fireball than it was an explosion. All that you require is a kettle or pot that you wouldn't miss if it suddenly disappeared/became mangled. Toss some old candles in there, and then place the whole thing over some blazing coals. Once the wax has melted and begins to bubble, pour a small amount of water on the wax. FWOOOOOOM! No more eyebrows! Unless, of course, you thought ahead and poured the water from a distance by means of a measuring cup duct-taped to a rake handle.

You! Yes you there, young teenaged man reading my blog. I know that our culture places a lot of emphasis on dating, or at the very least, relationships with females. But let me be the rebellious naysayer in the crowd and tell you to enjoy the freedoms God grants only to bachelors. Yes, there is a time for dating, a time for relationships and marriage. But until that time, delight in the plans God has for you! Fill your days with exploring, inventing, discovering, and conquering! I'm not saying that you'll lose all of those things when you begin to date, but there's a certain dynamic that changes alongside the change in your relationship status.

Enjoy the precious, fleeting days of single-hood. I sure am!

P.S. I thought about starting this blog with the disclaimer, "Do not try this at home." but quickly realized that it would be hypocritical. So I'll make my own disclaimer:

Please do not injure yourself with hot wax, firearms, kidnapping grandmothers, pushing cars out of swampy driveways, pouring concrete, tearing computers apart, or stabbing shingles off a steep roof with a pitchfork.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How to Make Delicious Pizza When You Have Zero Pizza Ingredients

Truly, bachelors are champions of improvisation, especially when it comes to cooking.

One evening, I wanted pizza in a bad way. My roommate Shane was of the same mindset. So, we set out to craft some, but then realized we didn't want to wait TWO STANKIN' HOURS for my gluten-free pizza crust to rise. So we flew by the seat of our pants and crafted a never-before-attempted culinary masterpiece! We subsequently videoed the eating of our masterpiece and I put that video on Facebook. This blog post is a response to a friend commenting the following:

"I want to try that pizza!!! Recipe now!! I mean it!!!!!" 

When a woman uses 10 exclamation points to emphasize something, she really means whatever she's trying to emphasize. So here I reveal the secret formula behind the Ultimate Bachelor Pizza.

Start with the crust. 

First determine you want pizza. Then look at the pizza crust. Look at the ridiculous amount of time it takes to make gluten-free pizza crust. Toss the idea of a normal pizza. It's time for speedy pizza.

 Take a gluten-free pancake mix (I used Pamela's Pancake Mix) and try to make the largest pancakes you can. Before they're completely done, place them on a cookie sheet. They'll be baking in the oven eventually, so that's why you don't want them completely done. They should be large and square, because you're going to place them side-by-side on the cookie sheet to make an unconventional crust.

Get you some sauce. 

Will pizza sauce taste normal on slightly-golden, fluffy pancakes? Who knows? We certainly don't, because we didn't have any pizza sauce on hand. But we had Ranch dressing, and that obviously makes everything better (unlike butter). So put some of that on. Experiment with your sauce! We placed Ranch on one half, mayonnaise and mustard on the other half. We threw some mild salsa in there as well, because it was the closest thing we had to pizza sauce.

Toppin's all over that bidness. 

You're getting somewhere. But now you've hit a tiny hitch in your plans. There's hardly any cheese. No pepperoni, sausage, peppers, or mushrooms to be found. But now is not time for retreat. The oven is already preheatin' away at three-hundred-and-fifty thundering degrees! Grab whatever is on hand and toss it on! We liberally added bacon, onions, and pepper jack cheese to both sides.

Heat it all up, son. 

Place the bizarre-topping-smothered pancakes into the oven and bake them until the cheese melts. The bacon was fried until slightly crispy and then cut, just in case you were beginning to think that bachelors are mentally retarded and eat pork products raw. Well, maybe sometimes when we don't think about it, but NOT THIS TIME.

When I witnessed the ingredients going into this onion-bacon-mustard pizza cake (Onbacmuspizcake?), I was interested in tasting the results only for Science. And curiosity. But that foodstuff came out with an undeniably delicious smell. Shane dove in first, trying some of the mustard/mayo side. I tried the Ranch side.

It was so good.


The crust had a sweet aftertaste. After giving it some considerable thought, Shane and I concluded the sweetness was because the crust started its life out as a pancake. You would think the contrast of sweet, delicious pancake and strong oniony-mustardness would be awful but it brought out a fantastic blend of superior flavors. Also, we were pretty hungry when we finally ate.

The pizza-like material was tested by several visitors, who all gave high regards to its unique taste. Alaynna's brother, Alex, quoted that he was half-starved and hadn't eaten much of anything for an entire day, but a cold slice (slab? flap?) of our pizza was so tasty, he'd prefer it to most other leftovers.

When we went for seconds, Shane tried the ranch, while I tried the mustard/mayo. I think we both decided the mustard half was the better half, even though both sides tasted unreasonably good, considering the lackadaisical construction with whatever we had on hand carefully-selected ingredients.

So there you have it, Pizza a la Bachelor. I don't have any measurements. That's half the fun, making it up as you go! But for you less-creative types that want a more concrete recipe, I'll throw in some numbers.


One serving of pancake batter. It will make either 6 normal pancakes or three large pancakes/tiny pizza crusts.

Half of a large white onion. I don't think we used the ENTIRE half, but we used quite a bit.

Five slices of thick-cut, smoked bacon, fried and chopped.

Half a pound of pepper jack cheese.

1/4 jar of mild salsa. You could probably use more (and it would be even more delicious) but that's all we had on hand.

Mustard and mayonnaise to taste.

A thin layer of ranch, as a pizza sauce. So 3/4 of a bottle of Ranch should be adequate. :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, make sure to grease the cookie sheet before adding the pancake crust, since gluten-free stuff bakes on to pans easily. Bake pizza until cheese melts. That took our pizza roughly 10-12 minutes.

As my mind drifts back to that brainstormy evening, the taste of that pizza grows in my mind, becoming this legendary phenomenon that begs to be revisited. Perhaps my next one will be more breakfast-themed. Pancakes with cream cheese, sausage and bacon, cheddar cheese and a little maple syrup, perhaps. A side of scrambled eggs and some hashbrowns? Yes.

What is the strangest pizza you've ever made and/or eaten?