Can I Get an Extension? (Part 1)

12 Sep

Live in LA long enough you are sure to do one of the following things:

a)    Run down the aisle screaming at a studio taping of “The Price is Right.”

b)   Be arrested for a DUI while out on the town with a former child star.

c)    Become a Scientologist and start spreading the word of galactic overlord Xenu.

d)   Get hair extensions.

Let’s address each of these:

a)    I can’t seem to score tickets to a Price is Right taping.

b)   I’m generally in bed by 10, which is when people who party START their night.  In fact I’d say a 10pm bedtime really narrows my chance of getting into trouble with the law. How many criminals are in bed by ten?

c)    So far I have resisted the magnetic lure of the Scientology Celebrity Center. Although I hear the burgers at the restaurant inside are amazing! That’s how they get you. First a tasty burger, and then suddenly you’re telling everyone psychiatry is a pseudoscience and methadone has something to do with Hitler.

d)   Isn’t the answer almost always “d”? Yes it’s true, friends! Next Saturday! Mark it on your calendars! Little missy ordered me some hair and it’s being “installed’ next weekend!

The Pixie Cut made me do it.

Growing out a Pixie Cut is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Okay, maybe it is something I would wish on someone truly evil.

Moammar Gadhafi may you have to grow out a pixie cut for the rest of your life you nasty bastard! Just when it’s almost a bob, we will cut it again and you will be stuck with bad hair forever!!! People will look at you and ask,“Is Moammar growing out his hair, or does he just not care about his personal appearance anymore?”

Growing out a pixie cut with style is next to impossible. The only people who can pull it off are those who are so stunning that all their beauty just cancels out the quasi-mullet at the back of their head. Like Carey Mulligan…

The rest of us are stuck looking in the mirror and heavily sighing for a good 4 to 6 months. My poor husband had to endure me shouting from the bathroom things like,“My hair is bullshit!”, “It’s like a giant un-workable turd on the top of my head!” or, “My hair makes me want to barf.  I am gagging right now while I’m looking at the back of my head!”

Here’s someone having a hard time growing out a pixie cut:


Vanessa Hutchens. She looks a bit like….a Teletubby. Keep smiling, sister! It’ll grow!

If it was 10 years ago, my husband would have to endure many more months of listening to my complaints.  But thankfully, today there are hair extensions! Yes, the hair that we buy from people who live in lands far, far away where hair is thick and beautiful. Then we take that beautiful hair and pretend it’s ours!

Stay tuned (That doesn’t make sense; this is a blog not a TV show!), because next week I’ll tell you all about getting them put in and I’ll post “After” pics! Here’s my “Before” photo. I made sure that I have no make up, it’s an unflattering angle, and I’m not smiling so the after picture next week will look very dramatic!

 

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Stupid questions. Smart mouths.

5 Sep

Sarcasm.

A dangerous yet highly effective tool.  Paired with a delicious sense of humor, sarcasm can be the perfect end to a robust question that’s been stuffed with stupidity.  Don’t let your feathers be ruffled by uncouth company, my friend, dish it right back!  At least that’s been our mantra as of late. Sometimes stupid questions just deserve stupid answers.

Scene One

It’s early morning and I’m in the kitchen, pouring myself a fresh cup of coffee.

Anonymous: (enters kitchen) “Hey, is there any coffee?”

Me: “Nope.  This steaming brown liquid which smells remarkably identical to coffee, is actually last night’s meatloaf.  I’ve puréed it, and created a hot breakfast smoothie.  Want some?”

Though this may seem a little harsh to some, please consider the options.  Either I use our witty friend ‘sarcasm’ to assist me in diffusing the situation, or I revert to basic instinct.  Since I’m completely uncivilized first thing in the morning, especially before I’ve had my coffee, my instincts lean towards hurling the cup of coffee directly at Anonymous’ groin, ideally scalding him with the steaming beverage.  Next, I’d most likely begin openly weeping with the eventual goal of drowning myself in my own tears, thus becoming a casualty of the war against foolish questions.  Not so harsh anymore, huh?

Scene Two

Early morning…again. I’m in the kitchen (most likely enjoying a hot breakfast smoothie) as Anonymous stands in the living room.  Curtains are drawn.

Anonymous: “What’s it like outside?  Is it sunny?”

(At this point I’ve only one eye open, and a mere one fifth of my brain actually functioning.  Basically I’m still asleep.  Or mostly dead.  Hard to say.)

         

Me:  “Nope. Raining.”

Anonymous: “I don’t think so… (pulls curtains aside), looks sunny!”

Me:  “Only looks that way. Monsoon season.”

Anonymous:  “Really Nic?”

Me: “I know.  I was shocked too when I heard the news, especially since Southern California’s weather has been the exact same, every day for the last gazillion years.”

Now, I understand that this approach may not be the most mature or even appropriate for that matter, but COME ON!  The weather has been the same.

Every.

Fucking.

Day.

Just open the damn curtains.  Or are you experiencing a rapid onset of upper paraplegia, thus being the reason you can’t seem to look for yourself?

I’m not sure of the lesson that is to be learned here.  Maybe it’s that I’m a bad person, or that I really shouldn’t interact with other humans before I’ve had at least two cups of coffee, but sometimes you’ve just gotta be a smart-ass.

Dog Gone

29 Aug

Last Monday around 4 in the afternoon I was standing in my kitchen when a thought entered my brain. “It’s been a while since you’ve seen the dog of yours, hasn’t it?” the thought said. Where could that rascal be? I playfully thought.

I bet he’s under the bed…..nope.

Maybe he’s under the couch….no.

After checking EVERYWHERE, I turned to the age of trick of obnoxiously loud opening of dog food containers while shouting “DINNER!” at the top of my lungs. For the entirety of my dog Norman’s life, he has never come when his name has been called. He has, however, always come after hearing the word “dinner.” Next dog I plan to name dinner.  It’ll just make things easier in the long run.  But I digress, as I was saying the dog is, officially, gone.

Call to husband…

“Norman is gone.” I say.

“What are you talking about? He’s just sleeping somewhere.” Says the hubby.

“He’s sleeping in heaven on a cloud, because he’s missing, and that means he’s dead.”

Our dog Norman is a grumpy, 12-year-old Boston Terrier, with more attitude than a grounded teenage girl, who’s on the rag. He’s bossy, has wicked halitosis, and ZERO natural instincts. Outside of the safety of a house I’d give him somewhere between 2 to 10 minutes to live. He doesn’t know about crossing streets, hunting for food, or that raccoons are not to be fucked with.

Basically he’s a total jerk, but he’s MY jerk and I’ve loved that smelly little smushy face for 12 years.

While my husband prepared to drive the streets and make missing posters I decided the first step was to call the Humane Society. Fighting the tears I was finally connected to the Lost and Found department.

After a seriously long, frankly unnecessary, list of questions the woman at the lost and found informed me that indeed Norman was there at the shelter.

I burst into tears and shouted “When he gets home I’m gonna KILL HIM!”

For the next two days Norman was a man of mystery.  I wondered where he had been found? What he had seen? Did he save little Timmy who was trapped down a well? Did he fall in love with a hooker dog with a heart of gold? What did my dog do with the 6 hours of his life that I cannot account for?

Three days after Norman’s trip to the slammer Norman and I were walking out the door to go to the park. Our neighbor’s wife (who we haven’t seen all summer) was getting out of her car. She looked at me, looked at Norm and gasped “Oh I’m so sorry! I didn’t know you had a dog!”

Turns out she had found Norman by the garbage bins between our two houses. And seeing that he wasn’t wearing a collar she scooped him up, and whisked him away to the animal shelter.

So turns out Norman went… well…. nowhere. He got as far as the side of the house when his dream of freedom was taken away from him.  No wonder he looks grumpy…..

 

What are we,12?

22 Aug

 

In a perfect world, weddings are sophisticated, romantic events that re-instill our belief in true love and the sanctity of marriage.
However, there’s something about an open bar and a gathering of family that can turn a wedding from classy to trashy faster than you can say “I do.”

Weddings should (in theory) bring out the best in everyone. But sometimes, a little gin and a long personal history can turn a simple toast into, “Let me tell you about the time ‘Bride’ pretended to be a record producer and banged 3 of the guys from 98 Degrees.”

I find that the tone of a wedding begins with the Stag and the Stagette. My sister Tiffany is getting married this coming weekend in a picturesque setting (wine country), with only immediate family in attendance. In honor of my beautiful sister, I’m throwing her a simple, tasteful shower.

Here’s something I won’t be doing for this event. I will NOT be serving any penis-shaped food items, making her wear a penis hat, or tying a penis balloon to her wrist lest I lose her in a crowd. When I see some of the extraordinarily phallic items intended for showers these days, all I can think is, “What are we, 12?”  And did your betrothed friend really miss that many PE classes in grade school, that she has no concept of the male genitalia?

    

I suppose hundreds of years ago women did marry when they were 12. Back in the 1600’s with things like The Black Plague the phrase “Live like you are dying” applied in a very literal way. But today’s brides are older, wiser, and well aware of “the monster in his pants” that waits for her on her wedding night. Who are we kidding? Most brides have seen their husband’s penis so many times before they’re married their attitude is more, “Oh, that old thing!” than, “Oh my! What is this?!”

At my shower there will be no “sexy arrests’’ made by scantily clad officers, no party-bus pub crawls, and no riding of mechanical bulls while wearing a shitty veil someone stole from the dollar store.  Fear not, my dear sister! This shower will be a celebration of you becoming a married woman, not you becoming a woman. Because Tiffany is a wonderful, witty, intelligent woman who is entering into her marriage already grown up.

At the shower there will be bottles of bubbly, tasteful lingerie…….and temporary Justin Bieber tattoos. What are we, 12?

      

Irony and Wine.

15 Aug


Missing a friend is like giving up dairy. Your life goes on, it’s just way less…delicious. Over the last 4 months my life has been less delicious without my friend Nicole, the other half of Society Finch.  Nic has been in LA, and I, Toronto.  It’s been an unfortunately long separation, but last night we met in Toronto for a much-needed dinner date, pairing long overdue catching up with wine, laughter and sunshine!  Sounds like a good 80’s album, I know. After dinner we moved on to ‘tipsy shopping’ on Queen St. West. Unfortunately most of the shops were closed, but we managed to wander into an edgy little boutique  filled with ironic hipster clothing, at ironic hipster prices.  (Shocking.)

How is a half top 400 dollars? It’s only HALF a top!’

Our too cool for school sales girl, recommended we visit the “garage sale in the back room”.  Usually when offered a “back room” experience, I’d suggest checking the ‘No, thank you‘ box, but we were feeling wild and inspired!  Or mildly intoxicated… it’s a fine line.  The back room consisted of everything that ironic hipsters weren’t willing to wear, which is impressive because hipsters will pretty much wear anything…. ironically.

I’ll see a person walking the street in gold leggings, a Spider-Man T-shirt, huge glasses and a waxed mustache, and I honestly don’t know if they’re a hipster or mentally unwell. It’s a tough call sometimes.

I would love to be so confident in my coolness that I could leave the house in 80’s running shorts, a Fonz t-shirt and a fur coat, and feel that if you laughed at what I’m wearing, you’re the asshole.

Hipsters are emotionally untouchable! They are rubber and we are glue. Whatever we say bounces off them and sticks to us.

In the back room of this shop, Nic and I found hoodie dresses, ruffled leather mini shorts, and an off-the-shoulder t-shirt that said “peach cobbler.”  We stood in that back room and laughed our asses off . We also sneaked pictures of said clothes while the sales girl walked in and out of the room.

I’m sure she thought we were stealing. Not bloody likely!  In the end, we decided that if we HAD to buy something, we’d choose a couple of navy skull bikinis. Only because there was two of them so we could look like jackasses together.

The irony continued as we moved further west to the Drake Hotel, for a cocktail. The Drake is like The Mothership for hipsters.  One of our bartenders was inked from head to toe, with mostly comedically ironic tattoos. We were big fans.  Lionel Richie on his calf. Eyes wearing glasses on his forearm, so when he sleeps with his arm over his eyes he looks awake. And our favorite, a small tattoo on his collarbone that simply said, “Tough Crowd.”  Thankfully he never had to pull aside his shirt collar, exposing his true feelings regarding our company, because after cocktails and a mystery shot, we were ironically crowd-pleasing.

Travel, I’m over you.

8 Aug

The novelty has officially worn off.  Driving, flying?  So over it.  The bus, you know how I feel about you.  Hell, I don’t even look at my bike the same way!  In the last few years, I’ve done more traveling than I care to remember.  I know that sounds pretentious, but allow me to clarify; I am in no way referring to romantic European adventures, or intoxicating tropical cruises.  I’m referring to traveling in a car packed to the roof, through deadly weather conditions, being nourished by only fast food and stale coffee for days.  Or flying east to west-coast and back, crossing time zones, and showing up to work the next morning feeling like you traveled underneath with the baggage. That kind of travel.

Over it.

Two weeks ago, my bags were packed and I was headed to Vegas for ten days.  When offered the choice between the four hour drive, and the forty-five minute flight with free peanuts, I obviously chose the flight. So relaxing.  So quick.  SO WRONG!

Things started going down hill once I opted out of the x-ray scan at security (save the ovaries!).   After receiving a rather ‘intimate’ pat-down from a cranky old broad, who I personally felt should have at least bought me dinner before fondling my lady lumps,  I was robbed at fork point by the LAX food court while purchasing a wilted twenty dollar salad. You want to know what that salad tasted like? Disappointment….in a light vinaigrette.  I arrived at my gate just in time to learn that my flight had been delayed by an hour.  First thought: I could have saved twenty bucks by taking the time to eat at home.  Second thought:  At least I can eat this shitty salad in peace.  Third thought:  Is 10:50am too early for a cocktail?

That sweet little flight would be delayed not one, not two, but three more times there after.  By the time I was in line to board the plane, I could have not only driven to Vegas, but been fully unpacked, lounging by the pool enjoying the sub-par early dinner buffet!  With a free drink coupon clutched in my hand, I found my seat and ordered myself a vodka soda. Not a moment after that life-giving nectar touched my lips, I was informed that a flight attendant would be coming though the cabin to collect all glasses because we were about to hit a patch of turbulence.  I looked at my drink and thought, ‘If they want this from me before I’m finished, they’re going to have to fight me for it, and I’m not afraid to pull out some mad ninja skills!’  Could I not just have this one thing!  I threw that vodka soda down my throat, like a soap star who just learned that her lover is actually her brother!  Nothing would go to waste on my watch!


Exhausted and head aching, I spent the next thirty minutes in full turbulence, staring at a Vegas-bound bachelorette party in slutty club gear, trying not to vomit.
Travel, you owe me one. Big time. I expect an upgrade sometime in my very near future.

Moms with jobs….. what up with that?!?!

1 Aug

I am a Mom and I work. There! I said it! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, world!

I know what you’re saying, “Moms in the workforce are nothing new, Jenn!” Well as a Mom who works, I have felt a trend lately where it seems less “acceptable” to be a working Mom with young children. I know this because every time I go to an audition, the first thing someone says to me is, “Who’s watching Lola?”

At first I would answer with “She’s with her Dad.” Or “She’s with the sitter.” But as I started to get bombarded with this question time and time again, I started answering sarcastically in the hopes of embarrassing these people for asking such a stupid ass question.

Them- “Where’s Lola?”  Me- “You know what? I have no idea…..”

Them- “Who is watching Lola?”  Me- “No one. I left her alone, in the tub, with a toaster…”

You’re probably thinking right now as I write this blog “Who is watching the baby while you write this blog!!!” Jenn, what about the baby?!?!

No one ever asks my husband when he’s at work who is watching Lola. They just assume she’s with her mother….arrrggggg!!!

To give you an idea of how little respect Moms with jobs get, when I Googled “Famous Moms with Jobs” for this article the first link was to a Youtube video entitled Britney spears naked video college geometry textbook public blow jobs!”

Thanks Google, thanks for the respect. Although, I am intrigued that “geometry” made it into that mix.

By the way, being a Mom who stays at home with the kids is JUST as hard as a Mom who works out of the house.  I probably wear high heels more frequently, but Hero Moms who stay at home, probably have a cleaner house, and unlike me, you know where your daughter’s immunization card is.

My at home Mom shoes.

My at work Mom shoes.

So thanks to Google, I thought I’d give you a few examples of Moms who work out of the home, love their children, and kick ass!

Hillary Clinton- Hilary held her head high during the most personally embarrassing time of her life, handles foreign affairs with grace, and speaks to victims of political oppression in a way that truly inspires.  Also her daughter is lovely and doesn’t dress like a strumpet.

Sheryl Swoopes- Sheryl was the first woman to be signed to the WNBA, she won 3 Olympic Gold medals, and was named the 2000 WNBA player of the year AFTER she gave birth to her son! On being a working Mom Sheryl says, “I want people to remember me as a great athlete, but more than that, I want people to remember me as a great mom.” You go, tall girl!

My mom- My mother set an amazing example for me. When I was young my mother returned to school, got her degree, and spent the next 25 years teaching and counseling young children.  We used to joke that at 5’0 ft. my Mom was good with children because she was the same height as them. But the real reason was that she really cared, and no one worked harder for those kids than my Mom.  You go, short girl!

Have a great week, and if you know a Mom who works outside the house, for the love of The Sweet Baby Jesus, DON’T ask her who is looking after her kids!!!!

Dessert Storm.

18 Jul

I was at a bit of a loss this week as to what to write about, so I asked my husband for suggestions. He said “What made you mad this week? You always write best when you’re angry.” True.

So this week, the thing that really made me mad, the thing that really toasted my oats was… bad dessert! Dessert is the last memory of a meal.  It’s the “big finish” at the end of a tap routine, the white ribbon holding together a Tiffany’s box, the sequin visor on a leathery Palm Beach senior citizens.  Dessert should make a statement.  You see, I was at a lovely dinner, in a beautiful restaurant. I was with great friends and I was wearing a pink ruffled dress!

Everything was perfect until the prix fixe dessert arrived….”Spiced Yogurt with Ontario Strawberries.” Or as I may have called it at the time, “Spiced bullshit with Pedestrian Fruit.” (I had a little wine with dinner and was feeling verbally expressive.) YOGURT AND FRUIT is what I EAT FOR BREAKFAST!!!  Why not serve me Toasted Bread Shards with Crushed Butter of Peanut? Or what about Roasted Flakes of Corn soaked in an Artisanal Dairy By-Product?  You served me breakfast for dessert Restaurant-that-shall-go-unnamed-in-this-article!  Now you must feel my wrath!!!

At the end of a meal, I want something that will make me feel naughty! I want to feel like the calorie police might rush in and stay “Stop in the name of your waistline!” I want to look at the menu and look at my dinner partner and say,“I really shouldn’t… wanna share?  Two spoons?” And then you do it! You hear yourself say, “We’d like to share the Baked Alaska….

Ain’t life beautiful?

As my friend Sean Cullen says in his stand-up act, “What separates humans from other animals is dessert. You won’t hear a lion say after it’s eaten a gazelle “What I’d love now is a smaller, sweeter gazelle.”  Too true Sean, and I’m pretty sure a lion would also not request “Spiced Yogurt with Ontario Strawberries.”One of our Society Finch readers, Tracey, is a master when it comes to sweets. She passed along a few of her tips for great baking:

-Use real ingredients, real flavors, and use butter not shortening…yuk!
-Use natural ingredients to color your icing like orange juice, strawberries, peanut butter or coco.
-Be sure to measure accurately, baking is chemistry!
-A good mixer makes all the difference. “I love my KitchenAid Mixer” she says.

Here’s a few pics of Tracey’s masterpieces. She sells her goodies at the Truro Farmer’s Market in Truro Nova Scotia.

Bake something sinful this week, serve it for dessert, and give someone you love a happy ending….not the dirty kind…well that’s up to you. xo

What Your Shades Say About You.

11 Jul

 

I was getting ready to head to an event this past week, when I found myself in a bit of… snag.  A wardrobe crisis I hadn’t quite anticipated. I was going to be meeting a lot of new people, and LA can be a really superficial city, so I needed to be sure I was putting my best superficial foot forward. I needed my arrival to scream ‘Classic! Bold! Someone get this woman a martini and a canape stat!’ I contemplated a Gaga-esque latex womb but realized it was currently at the dry cleaners.  So there I was, I had the dress, the shoes, the clutch and a little extra swagger in my back pocket. Hair done,  nails fresh, and I had managed to successfully apply false lashes without gluing my eyes shut! You have no idea how awful it is to spend the entire evening “winking!” So I was right on schedule! Then I went to grab my sunglasses…

I used to think that wearing sunglasses said to the world, “It’s bright outside!,” or “My eyes are sensitive.” Wrong! I’ve been schooled people!  In actuality, sunglasses are visual code to be used by other humans to inform each other on things like  hip factor, financial status, political standing, and lifestyle choices. They’re the logo t-shirts of the 90’s. I stood over my collection of eye wear, here are some of my different persona’s.

The Wayfarer  (origin unknown, probably $5)

The everyday hipster go to.  The wayfarer says you ride a fixie, bring your own bags to the grocery store, got most of your clothing second-hand, and were obsessed with the album ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’ in 2009.  Your life is generally ironic and if you’re a female you’ve either had, or seriously considered an undercut, and as a man, you’ve  definitely used ‘Movember’ as an excuse to live out your dreams of being the proud owner of a filthy mustache.  World Peace!


The ‘I Wear My Sunglasses at Night’  (Dior, $you don’t wanna know)

What, you don’t know who I am?  I’m kind of a big deal.”  Well my sunglasses are anyway…..You are a person who spent too much money on your glasses.  These babies say ‘ I bought these to wear inside the club, while I fist pump.’  Unless you’re attempting to join the cast of Jersey Shore, save your money.


The Round Done Right  (TOMS, $135)

These shades say you’re fun, chic, and full of whimsy! However under no circumstances should you wear these with a burgundy velour track suit… then you’re just sad, trashy, and full of shit. True story.  Colored shades with large lenses make you more ‘available’ and less… ‘recluse.’  They say you love florals, bike rides, and drinking expensive champagne… even if it’s out of a red plastic cup!

The Bug Eye  (found them in my car, $I hope they weren’t over 5 bucks)

Honey, you’re not hiding from anyone.  We all know your secret.  These shades are code for, ‘I’m not a big fan of….my own face.  If you’ll notice, these opaque monsters cover up half the face, leaving the general appearance of one’s visage, to the imagination.  Do you have pink eye?  Have you recently had a bad brow lift? Or the worst…are you one of the Olsen twins?  May I suggest a Zoro mask, or outrageously long fringe if face hiding is your goal.

Classic Cat-Eye   (Anthropologie, $25)

They say Audrey.  They say Grace.  They say you’re delicate and balletic, but you’re probably wearing black lace panties under those perfectly pressed, skinnies.  On your coffee table you have a copy of  V Magazine for the cover photo, and Vanity Fair for the articles in the back.  You’ll drink red wine before noon, and most likely own a piece of vintage fur.

Phew… just what I needed, red wine before noon!  Oh, and some killer shades for the ‘ol lookers.

Urine and Lies.

4 Jul

Ahhh… the Canada Day picnic.  What could be better than lying on a blanket under a shady tree enjoying delicious food with friends? Sitting there in your perfect summer frock, drinking wine before noon, listening to birds sing….


(SOUND EFFECTS OF NEEDLE BEING RIPPED ACROSS A RECORD)

That was not our picnic.

I spent most of our picnic trying to get the baby to stop shoving giant chucks of watermelon down her gullet. And within 5 minutes, my silk shorts wrinkled so badly I looked like a hobo who lived his life on trains, drinking moonshine.  Okay, so there probably aren’t a lot of hobos wearing silk shorts – but they looked bad, people!

(She’s running because she thinks I’m a hobo who’s going to make her live a life of trains and moonshine.)

Finally, the dog decided he would pee on everyone’s belongings.  Nothing was spared: bikes, picnic baskets and sweatshirts. I swear he would have peed on the children had they sat still for more than 60 seconds.


(Deciding what to pee on first…)

Despite this, all our friends claimed they had a lovely time and assured us the urine would come out in the wash. Not something normally said at the end of our gatherings, but perhaps when we’re in our 90s that statement will become more common.

We ended the day by taking the little ones over to the public “splash pad” in the park. Let me explain to you the “Splash- Pad Lifestyle.” In Toronto during the summer, many public parks have a circular area filled with about 9 inches of water. At any point in time, this mere 10 ft. circular “pad” can contain up to 50 children, ranging in age from 6 mo. to 10 years.  It’s basically a giant bowl of hot pee and sunbathing bacteria. What could be more refreshing! While my husband and daughter were splashing around, the lifeguard suddenly shouted, “Everybody out of the pool! I have to add chlorine.” Now my initial thought was, “Thank God ‘cause I could tell by the faces of at least 3 kids, that they were totally peeing at that exact moment.”  But my relief turned to horror as the lifeguard casually donned a full hazmat suit including mask, gloves, and tall rubber boots. She waded into the water and poured her bucket of freshly brewed chlorine into the piss pad… I mean splash pad. She looked like the guys that almost killed ET, or someone form the cast of “Outbreak.” It was just children and urine… Wasn’t it? At this point I turned to my daughter and casually said “You know what? The pool is broken.” I was met with her disbelieving furrowed toddler brow. “It’s true. They broke the pool so we can’t go in anymore. Sorry sweetheart.”

So it was a day of urine and lies, but mostly it was fun and we made a very tasty sweet potato salad for the picnic! Here’s the recipe. Hope you all had a wonderful Canada Day and/or Fourth of July!


Sweet Potato Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
4 medium sweet potatoes – chopped into small cubes (peeled if desired)
1 cup arugula – roughly chopped
A handful of fresh dill, chopped
8 slices of Serrano Ham or

Prosciutto Dressing (adjust ingredients to suit your personal preferences):
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 shallot or 2 scallions – finely chopped
A dash of hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

As with any dressing, feel free to taste and tweak it as you go.

Prep:
– Arrange slices of Serrano Ham or Prosciutto in a roasting pan or large baking sheet  and cook at 375F until crispy (about 10min, turning them over once.) You may have to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your roasting pan/baking sheet
-When cooked, remove the crisp ham from roasting pan and set aside to cool. When cool, break it into to small pieces.
-Chop sweet potatoes into cube-like chunks and put them in the same roasting pan the ham was in.
-Toss in some olive oil and salt and roast for 30 mins or so at the same heat, until slightly browned.
-Remove and set aside in a large bowl to cool
-In the meantime, make the dressing: chop up the shallot (or scallions), and add the other ingredients to form the dressing mixture in a bowl.  Add the olive oil last and whisk it in until emulsified.
-When the roasted sweet potatoes are still slightly warm, add the fresh dill and chopped arugula, the crisp ham, and the vinaigrette. Mix everything together thoroughly.
-let it cool and marinade in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. It’s even great the next day.

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