Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Gift of Hot Dog Lemon Tea

Think of it as a stocking stuffer. There has been much discussion, both domestic and abroad, about the inadvertent advent of Hot Dog Lemon Tea. So, since I am a housewifely sort, I will divulge my recipe for this new taste sensation. It's more a method than a recipe and it takes rather a lot of preparation.

Starting at about 10:30 AM - Boil a fresh pot of water for the Hooligan when he begins demanding hot dogs for his "second breakfast". Leave the water in the pot because the boy can eat anywhere from two to six hot dogs in one sitting. You just never know. (Also, don't judge me. No, I don't know exactly what's in hot dogs. No, I don't want to know. Yes, I buy the nitrate-free kind because I heard somewhere at a meeting of the Conscientious and Competitive Moms Society where I was lurking outside the windows looking for discarded canapés because they wouldn't actually let me in that nitrate-free is the way to go.)

About 10:45 AM - Remember that the boy has to go to school, throw the appropriate number of food items in the appropriate combination of peak organicness and healthfulness into his completely re-usable, 100% post-consumer lunch kit and roar off to the nature park where he has school in your inexpensive, yet socially conscious car. Avoid eye contact with the mom who wears fur (fur!) to drop off and pick up at the NatureKids Preschool because she gossips and terrifies you and you're afraid one of these days you just might not squelch the urge to pet her coat.

11:15 AM - Stop by the grocery store on the way home (Must mind these carbon emissions, you know. Combining the trips and whatnot.) to pick up a few items for dinner (that are neither refined nor prepackaged, mind you.)

12:15 PM - Exit blinking into the real world after having entered into some sort of portal into another galaxy wherein they were shouting things on megaphones and giving away free samples and singing Christmas carols all at the same time. Few items purchased for dinner have mysteriously transformed into 3 skeins of yarn, 5 bags of assorted gourmet chocolates, 2 tubes of toothpaste, a ball of twine and a jar of queso. (I wish I was making this up.)

12:15 - 1:15 PM - Enter into a kicking fight with what might be the worst thing you've ever written (including some of the bad, bad love poetry of your late teens.) Take a break from kicking fight with writing to get into a slap fight on Facebook with an extremely grumpy friend. Get up and go stand in the garage for 3-5 minutes to cool off. Sit down, get ready to give it another go, answer ringing phone without first checking caller ID.

1:15 - 2:15 PM - Try to write while nodding and making mmm-hmmm and tsk tsk and uh-uh noises into the phone while lonely person on the other end tells you everything they hated about yesterday. (I also very much wish I was making this up.) Give up writing and use the last few ounces of creative energy you have typing nonsense doggerel to grumpy friend who refuses to cheer up. Suddenly realize that you didn't do anything you were supposed to do this afternoon and that it's time to go pick up the Hooligan.

2:15 - 2:30 PM - Extricate yourself from the phone call while dodging the foghorn blast of guilt coming out of the receiver and then play Jack Johnson and Ben Harper's With My Own Two Hands on repeat in the car to try to regain balance.

2:30 - somewhere that seems like the end of time but is really only 5 minutes later PM - Extricate the Hooligan from preschool while dodging the foghorn blast of fur coats and flying galoshes and temper tantrums and excessive baby talk on the part of both children and grownups and leap from foot to foot over stray toddlers while trying to regain balance.

2:35 - 3:05 PM - Get caught not once, not twice, but three times by the same drawbridge, extending what should be a 5 minute trip between schools into a thirty minute extravaganza. Pick up the jBird who is out of sorts because her beloved student teacher's last day is today.

3:10 - 5:30 PM - Referee wrestling matches, pick up someone's pajamas still on the floor since morning. Start a fire because it's dark already and cold out and your only heat source is wood. Wander aimlessly around the kitchen and wonder why you don't have everything you need to make dinner. Think about writing and how much it sucks today, think about scrapping the whole blog thing because who cares anyway? Think about the new skeins of yarn you bought and how you'd love to just go cuddle up with them and some needles someplace. Think about how Word Girl is clearly the most intelligent show on television. Think about how your kids watch television in the afternoon after school instead of going to chess club or violin lessons or tutoring in French. Snicker to yourself because the Hooligan watched Star Wars in French today and that counts. Oh crap! What are you going to make for dinner? Ask the monkeys nicely in your best mom voice to "Put the furniture back together and throw away the evidence before Daddy gets home." Start making dinner based on what will be the quickest and use the fewest pots.

5:30 - 7:30 PM - This will all be a blur. There will be the shrieking and wrestling for joy when Daddy gets home. There will be the inexplicable rolling around on the living room floor that seems to take place every day at about this time. There will be the setting of the table for dinner, the requisite "I didn't want to eat this" while shoveling it in, there will be the homework beat down, the naked run around and dance-a-thon otherwise known as "getting ready for bed", interspersed with trips out to the garage to get fire wood, vitamins of all shapes and sizes and flavors because they just might not be getting enough nutrition and yes you have to eat the fish ones I know they're nasty but just chew them up with something else they make your brain grow no thank you I won't eat one my brain is big enough already. All culminating in that magical moment when hugs and kisses are doled out and "good-night Mama"s are said and everyone disappears upstairs. It is the perfect time to sit down and focus on writing something and you think you'd like a cuppa tea.

Rewind 11 years to the tragic day that the tea kettle that was shaped like a giraffe broke, never to ever be replaced again. Its neck was the handle! It was a giraffe! Besides, you can just boil water in a pot.

7:45 PM - Surprised and delighted that there's a pot with water already on the stove, absentmindedly turn on the wrong burner under the wrong pot of water because you were distracted thinking about fur coats and really bad writing and whether or not there is a hobo living in your garage and wander away to the computer while waiting for it to boil. The rest, as they say, is history.

In my defense, Stash Meyer Lemon Herbal Tea is very strongly scented and sometimes herbal teas have a bit of a meaty smell to them anyway. Don't believe me? Close your eyes and have a sniff next time you make a cuppa. I think because they are similar herbs to the ones used in stuffing turkeys and whatnot. Olfactory association or something. As for the flavor, it may catch on in Asia and then end up this side of the pond in a few years at $20 an ounce in fancy fusion restaurants as an apéritif. It's a bit murky and viscous and leaves a bit of a film on the palate, but if you add enough raw evaporated cane juice, it's all right.


  1. I LOL'd for real at the end of your 10:45 paragraph and woke up my grandson. He went right back to sleep and I tried not to laugh through the rest. :O)

  2. "Put the furniture back together and throw away the evidence before Daddy gets home."

    This reminded me of that fifteen minute "speed-clean" my mom used to have us do just before my dad was due in the door. Alas, there was no speed at which fifteen minutes would've made my grown-up house presentable when my kids were young. ;)

  3. @Word Nerd - sorry to wake your grandson, but so very glad he went back to sleep.
    @cdnkaro - It's not for the faint of heart.
    @Masked Mom - We call that "Blitz Clean" around these parts. It involves a kitchen timer and a whistle. I am relieved to know that I am not alone in my mad dash for presentability at the end of the day. I don't ever remember my mom doing things like that. I think perhaps she cleaned during the day instead of blogging. :)

  4. I checked the "Berry Undertones" - of course I have no idea what it means, but it sounded like a fun choice. My day has ended and I found my end-of-the-day beverage and Cooper snuggles at my feet, so my day is complete.

  5. I knew it! I read the whole thing with dread... just waiting for the moment! The only thing that saves me from doing the same thing is my metal tea kettle.

  6. Oh, this is hilarious. It's even funnier that you drank the. whole. thing! I also read this post aloud to Green Goose while she was tree-ing and she got that look on their face people get when you describe something really gross. Priceless, really.

  7. Hey, you can brag that you are the ultimate recycler! You don't even waste hot dog water!

  8. In regards to 2:30...5 years working in a large elementary school taught me one thing: at 2:30 avoid all school zones and the 5-block radius around each one. Because it's just as you describe.

  9. @Boston - I wondered if anyone ever read those check mark thingy. 100 points to you for paying attention. Berry undertones is perfect.
    @Jewels - I will definitely add that to my resume.
    @Jane - Oh my, yes. If only I could. In a few years I will train them to meet me outside of the "danger zone" when I pick them up.


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