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The Great Suburban Mushroom Hunt

 

morels mushrooms hunting“Hey Wookiee,” Randy hailed me from across the office, “I was thinking we might go mushroom hunting Friday after work. We’ll see if we can get Galen to come, too.”

“AWESOME! That would really boost my Mo-REL.”

Randy had just been mushroom hunting a few days before and bagged several tasty morels out at his old hunting grounds in the country. He’d been mushroom hunting since he was knee high to a grasshopper, as had a few other coworkers, but until about 3 years ago I didn’t know it was a thing.

Though I’d lived in Nebraska 20 years, I hadn’t really been tight with any old-school Nebraska natives or known the strange ways of the country folk until one day I overheard Randy and Dave whispering about the hunt in reverently excited tones (which would have sounded cooler with Irish/Amish accents). Read the rest of this entry »

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28 Fake Questions: Vetting The ‘Love’ Candidates

 

interview questionnaire surveyDo you have a ‘love checklist’?  Are you firm in what you’re looking for in a significant other?  Does it require your girl to be pretty, musical, smart, a fly tap dancer, speak Pig Latin, and cook well in nothing but an apron?  Have you ever looked at your list & realized you might be a touch delusional?  I’m still in denial about my totally non-existent checklist, but from time to time I’m forced to face reality.

In every election season, there’s a tough vetting process for the candidates.  Sometimes it’s accidental vetting, but occasionally the candidates are forthcoming with their quirks.  We want someone who fits us.  I know many of you guys are dragging your feet on dating or committing because, well, you’re just unsure whether that girl you like has what’s needed to complement your own quirks.  In other words, you’re not sure how much like your mom she really is.  This fixes that.  Just hand her this questionnaire and sit back while she fills in the magic.  You’ll know soon enough whether your girl is the perfect cross between Giada, Megan Fox, Natalie Wood, and your mom.  Also, don’t be surprised if she high-tails it out of there, slaps you, or turns the tables and hands you a questionnaire of her own.

In my generous effort to help my fellow helpless men who inexplicably find themselves in situations where they’re receiving ‘love’ applications and/or resumes for a certain position, I’ve made this excellent questionnaire.  Start vetting your ‘love candidates’.  You are welcome. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cook A Romantic Dinner As Trickery

lady and the tramp romantic dinner(While other guys were out on romantic Valentine’s Day dates with their girls, I was home pondering the nature of life and how much chocolate ice cream I should eat in one sitting. I’m sure I did something manly.  I also worked on this.)

You’ve cooked a very special dinner for your girl and are seated at a candlelit table on a neighbor’s roof (non-sloped). This is approximately how you want your romantic dinner conversation to go (assume breathiness):

You: My Dear, can I give you any more of anything?
Her: My Darling, I’m quite full, it’s all so delicious, but I think I have a little room left for some of your yummy manicotti.
You: Of course, kitten. Here you are. Be sure to save room for dessert. It’s cherry cheesecake.
Her: Mmm, I bet it is, tiger. And you better save some room yourself, my love. () Ooh, watch out for that pigeon.
You: Actually, monkey, that’s a turtledove I borrowed from the aviary. I thought the cooing was soothing. Just look at that cute little leash.
Her: Um, yes, Sniffles. It’s lovely, dearest, but the local pigeons are trying to…Oh, no! Stop that!!
You: () Insatiable.

Disgusting stuff like that. My grandma is blushing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Butter Question On A Social Networking Site

(The following is a recent online conversation I had about butter, salt, and margarine with some of my friends on a certain social-networking site. Names have not been changed to protect any innocents. All are guilty!) Read the rest of this entry »

Enhance Your Life By Taking Free Courses

billymadison adam sandler movie school(Our guest writer, Brian Jenkins, writes about a variety of education topics for BrainTrack.com. This includes college level courses in culinary arts, which many bachelors out there could desperately use.)

 

Do you feel as though you could use some upgrades to your dating, personal finance, and/or cooking skills? Perhaps you’re preparing to take a beautiful woman to a fancy restaurant and you want to learn how to reject wines like an expert? You can learn this skill, and other skills useful for bachelors, for free! Let’s take a look at some free courses and some other interesting resources:

Cooking Classes

After preparing and providing an elaborate home cooked meal, your date says, “That was very good.” However, even your parakeet knows she’s lying. What can you do? Take a cooking class and learn how to cook scrumptious meals. You may even get lucky and meet some women in class.

European Cooking Vacations

Take a European cooking vacation and add some spice to your life. The International Kitchen offers an array of cooking vacations and one day classes in France, Italy, and Spain. The programs also include sightseeing tours. Cooking Vacations provides hands-on cooking classes and cultural tours in Italy’s 20 regions.

Free Online Wine Courses

How can you class yourself up to impress women? You could always wear a monocle. But perhaps a better choice would be to dazzle women with your wine knowledge. Take these two free online wine courses. The short interactive course will have you tasting wines like an expert, while the advanced course teaches you how to do the following:

  • Differentiate and describe wines like an expert
  • Talk about and order wine with confidence
  • Save money when buying wine
  • Reject wines commonly accepted by other people
  • Pair wine with food

Personal Finances

You don’t know much about personal finance topics? Is your brain melting due to your substantial credit card debt? What can you do? Enhance your knowledge by taking some free online personal finance courses. Check out Financial Security for All at eXtension, Money 101, and Planning for a Secure Retirement.

Even if you’re an expert on personal finance, consider taking a free undergraduate business course through MIT OpenCourseWare. MIT’s Sloan School of Business Management offers an extensive list of free classes. And yes, you can impress women by casually letting it be known you’re taking classes at MIT!

Speak With Class

How can you woo your date? Sprinkle the conversation with romantic French phrases. Don’t have the time or money to move to Paris? No problem! Take free online french lessons! Obviously, you’ll need to wear a beret to complete the wooing process.

By not paying a dime for these life-enhancing courses, you can buy that 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class automobile (MSRP $110,400) you’ve been thinking about! THAT should impress a few ladies.

 

(The opinions expressed by this writer don’t necessarily reflect those of The Domesticated Bachelor.)

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Grandma Gottschall’s Dutch Apple Cake

applecake dutch apple cake recipe cookWeirdly, breakfast is the one meal where you eat dessert as a main course.  Think about it:  Froot Loops and Lucky Charms, pancakes and waffles with syrup, crepes and blintzes, coffee cake and danishes, Pop Tarts and doughnuts.  It’s insane!  (I had some chocolate this morning to ‘test’ things.)  And Dutch Apple Cake.  I’m not sure what makes it a breakfast food.  Often, my Grandma Gottschall’s Dutch Apple Cake is served warm in a bowl with milk poured over it, so maybe that does it.  Mom and grandma made Dutch Apple Cake for those fancier breakfasts (foodfight-free fests) when we‘d all chow down together in a meaningful way.  This happened at least once yearly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Secret Ingredients and Family Recipes

recipe box recipes

not my recipe box (don't have one)

by Jonathan Boxlunch Perry

Recently, I visited my mom in Minnesota, and while there I took the opportunity to dig through her recipe boxes and copy my favorite recipes for yummy happy eating time.  Fortunately, I had my camera, so I just photographed them.  You didn’t think I was going to hand copy 25 recipes in one sitting, did you?  I’m not a medieval monk.  In fact, during my visit, she helped me cook some stuff, even though she’s been quite ill.  Actually, I helped her.  The food was delicious, I got fatter, we bonded, I practiced domesticity.  There you go.  This will help me circumvent having to call her for recipes.  I’ll still call her, of course, being the doting son and mama‘s boy that I am.  It’ll just be more for the weather report.  And tips on removing stains.  Stuff like that.  Oh, and to check up on her.

So we grow up with these tasty dishes and hopefully learn to make them ourselves or mate with someone who can make reasonable facsimiles and hope there‘s no withheld secret ingredient to throw off a recipe.  I mean, who would do that?  Who does grandma think she is, passing off recipes without all the ingredients?  Is there some posthumous cooking contest she’s trying to win?  Her competition is either dead or senile in a home and  isn’t allowed near the stove anyway for fear of a fiery death.  Or did she think Kellogg-Kraft was going to rip off her 10-layer lasagna and cash in?  And what if grandma goes to the great beyond before she shares her terrible secret (which is probably a teaspoon of cinnamon)?  I’ll tell you what, you’ll be stuck eating inferior food the rest of your life and may be forced to abandon family tradition for Martha Stewart’s hoity-toity ringer recipe that requires obscure ingredients like Mongolian goat bouillon!  or whatever.  Well, that just won’t do.  Also, I’m a non-goat-eating vegetarian.  Only fake-goat bouillon for me, thank-you.

recipe texas sheet cake

Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

I’ve helped my mom make many of these dishes over the years and can probably replicate them if forced at gunpoint, though quite slowly and not as expertly.  One thing I noticed while searching the recipe boxes is that many of these recipes were ones she acquired from her friends over a period of 50+ years.  They say things like “From the Kitchen of Linda” or Vicki or Arlene.  There are also those special recipes from my grandmas and even an awesome one from my great-grandma Gottschall:  Dutch Apple Cake.  Yum!  It’s nice to know you’re making something that your great-grandma made 80 years ago.  Perhaps she got the recipe from her great-grandma, pushing the baked goods lineage back a few hundred years into Europe when sugar was first making a diabetic splash (you try not to suspect the recipe was copied from a 1930s issue of Better Homes and Gardens).

I always look forward to my mom, grandma and aunts cooking for me.  They make great stuff and sometimes there are weird memories tied to the food, like that time mom made lentils and my brother Jay tricked her into giving him the birthright.  Good times (see Genesis).  But these moments are fading.  It’s a good thing my brothers and I cook (well, mostly my brothers) or some of these recipes would just disappear forever and everyone would forget what Broccoli Jello Surprise tastes like (okay, that‘s not a family recipe).  Actually, I’m sure many have disappeared from generation to generation, which is sad.  Really, though, it’s survival of the fittest recipes.  I only copied about 25 recipes, after all, not the full 200.  (I never claimed to be an archivist.  I‘ll get more later.).  But of the recipes I have, all the ingredients seem to be intact, which is a relief.  Everything tastes right.  No glaring omissions from grandma.  No wrong-tasting Special K Loaf.  No secret ingredients withheld.  Unless the secret ingredient is love (and that just seems like a therapy issue).

Stay Tuned for a Bachelor Eating eBook!

the secret word is bouillon

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Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Steps 8 & 9. Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Step #3. Shape Up, Fatty

Stuffed French Toast By Sam The Cooking Guy

Oral History Fixation Cooking

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9 foods I might as well move to the bomb shelter

by Jonathan Bombpop Perry

Good Times in the Fallout Shelter

I don’t have a fallout shelter, but if I did (and I really should, just so I can get one of those signs) I could start filling it right now with these unused and under-consumed foods that have been long-neglected in my cupboards and freezer.  Yes, I tend to overbuy and not plan meals very carefully, often eating whichever frozen meal sounds tastiest.  I might as well store the surplus in a very special bomb shelter pantry.  These 9 foods are mostly great foods, but they’ve been sitting in my house for years in some cases and they’ll probably last forever anyway (the underused veggies and half loaves of bread won’t).  Besides, they’re taking up precious kitchen space.

1.  Soup-If I’m in the mood and the weather is cold, I’ll eat soup, but I really haven’t been in the mood and it hasn’t been cold for at least 6 months.  I like soup.  I mean, it’s easy to heat up, but ehh.  There’s always too much sodium.

2.  Ramen Noodle-Also a soup, Ramen Noodle is the vestigial tail of my college years.  It’s cheap, doesn’t take up much space and is pretty yummy.  I should eat some.  I wonder how old that package is.  I wonder if it’s buggy.

 

Quinoa

3. Quinoa-There were samples of quinoa (keen-wa) at the grocery store a few months ago.  It was delicious and I wanted to make the food sample lady feel useful, so I bought a package of the weird ricy/pastafarian/grain-stuff the Incans feasted on after sacrificing a virgin.  I know that I’m too lazy to recreate it the way she did  (the food sample lady not the sacrificial virgin) since this would require planning so that I return to the store and purchase ingredients for the fancy preparation.  In the nuclear fallout shelter, I’d be less picky and would just steam it or whatever.  Maybe use soy sauce.  Or spaghetti sauce.  I also need to make more rice.

4.  Spaghetti-Last year after I moved into my house I was really getting to know my kitchen and made attempts at growing up and cooking food like an adult.  It lasted about 3 months.  During this time, my big food was pasta.  Mostly spaghettis, but some raviolis.  Somehow I overbought sauce in jars, which I should eat.  I think there really is some sort of expiration/BPA leach date I should heed.  There are 4 jars of tomato sauce in the cupboard and one jar of opened pesto sauce in the fridge.  Oh, and noodles.

5.  Cake-I have many boxes of cake mix.  I’ve made a couple cakes, but have several still sitting there aging, luring bugs.  I’ve been making lots of tasty brownies instead.  Of course, cakes would be great in a bomb shelter.  Why not celebrate the end of civilization?  Also, I could just eat pudding.

6.  Instant Pudding-Honestly, this probably came from mom’s house 10 years ago before she moved out of the state (braised gluten also came from mom’s house).  These days if I want pudding, I’ll buy the pre-made stuff in those little prepackaged cups in as many weird flavors as I like (Blueberry Muffin Pudding, anyone?).  They’re cheap, too.  They may or may not require refrigeration.

 

I had some great potato pancakes just down the hill.

7.  Potato Pancake Mix-What the heck?  Yeah, I saw this at the market and being the impulsive buyer of weird stuff that’s not too expensive that I am, I brought it home where it decorates my cupboard (I found hummus and falafel mixes, too).  10 years ago when I was visiting Castle Neuschwanstein in Germany, we ate at a restaurant at the bottom of the hill between bits of tourist nirvana.  It just so happened that the potato pancakes dish was 1 of 2 vegetarian items on the menu.  It was magically delicious.  Anyway, maybe I’ll make it sometime.  Mom used to make potato pancakes out of leftover mashed potatoes.  Tasty.

8.  Fancy Exotic Dishes like Indian or Thai-I eat a lot of microwaveable meals, even Indian and Thai, but they’re mostly frozen microwaveable meals.  Of course there are microwaveable meals that don’t require freezing.  These sit in your cupboard all sealed up nicely waiting for Iranian nuclear warheads to destroy all electronic devices via EMPs (electromagnetic pulses), rendering microwaves useless.  I suppose a living room campfire would still heat up the stuff.  You could eat it with quinoa.

9.  Canned Veggie Meat-Being a vegetarian, I have occasion to eat veggie meat (and tofu and braised gluten).  I don’t really do it much these days, but if I would just bother to cook more, it might happen.  However, I have prepared for those times when I do have the perverse urge to cook.  Seriously cook.  That bit of cooking will require some great canned veggie meats from the likes of Worthington, Loma Linda, and Morningstar Farms.  It also usually requires 3 or 4 people to consume it at a meal.  If I dare open a can, I am basically committing myself to eating the stuff within the next week or before it goes bad (whichever comes first).  That’s maybe 4 or 5 meals of the stuff over several days.  I really need more variety.  The frozen versions of the stuff seem to be more useful to me at this point.

I don’t have a bomb shelter, though.  More is the pity.  I have lots of food waiting to go into it.  There might even be popcorn, crackers, and chips.  Can you say fallout party?  What do you overbuy and why?

Stay tuned for my interview with Maureen Wurtz with the U of Nebraska’s College of Journalism.  That is, if it’s not worse than I recall.  Also be on alert for future DB eBooks!

The secret phrase is fallout party.

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Stuffed French Toast By Sam The Cooking Guy

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Berry Smoothie and the Magic Blender

by Jonathan Berry Perry

Violet & the Oompa Loompas

A few weeks back the stars aligned.  First, mom gave me her old avocado-green blender, which is totally 1970s chic and probably older than I am, but it still works.  Then, I started on a berry kick.  Most notably a blueberry kick.  Berries, especially blueberries, are supposed to be good for the brain, are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and nutrients, and have a boatload of antioxidants which act as ninjas to fight free radicals which cause cancer and other junk.  Ninjas!

Good stuff.  So I started scarfing blueberries by the handful and sprinkling them in my cereal until there were more blueberries than Mini-Wheats (I’d been eating cereal for other, non-breakfast, meals, so I had berries coming out my ears.  Blue milk in your cereal is pretty wicked, too.  I have not turned blue yet like that wicked child in Willy Wonka‘s chocolate factory).  I like most berries, being multi-berry tolerant, so I gradually added other types of berries to my blueberried cereal:  blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries.  If the market carried more weirdly named berries like gooseberries, lingonberries or boysenberries, I’d try those in a second.  Are there goat berries?  There totally should be.  No Marionberries for me, though (There really is a Marionberry, but it‘s not named after the nose candy dude.  I‘d try it if I could find it.  Oh, and the Marionberry is a blackberry.).

This brings me to the crazy awesome berry smoothie.  I’ve been making loads of them lately.  I know I’m late to the smoothie game, I didn’t invent them, and everyone else probably already makes them like pros all the time in their sleep at work, but I’m still quite excited.  I also beat McDonald’s to the punch (so McD‘s can bite me.  Also, your jingle sucks.).  I’m not selling them like McD’s, though, so I guess, we’re not really rivals.  Anymore.

I’ve been using the smoothies as meals and desserts, increasing my fruit intake and decreasing my processed sugar and caloric intake (hopefully) while consuming hearty goodness.  They taste fantastic and they’re super easy to make (I mean, if you have a blender).  In fact, they’re even kind of fun to make because you can experiment with strange tastes and throw different fruits into your mix to create interesting combinations and you can really do no wrong, as long as you like the way it tastes and don‘t die from, like, adding a poison mushroom accidentally to the recipe (though if you‘re adding mushrooms to your fruit smoothies, God help you).

I mentioned my new found smoothie operation to some friends and one of the girls asked if I was using a Vita Mix, which is apparently a pretty awesome piece of blending equipment that specializes in zombie brain smoothies.  I admitted to having an Osterizer that’s perhaps 40 years old with dull blades that would do a poor job on the smooth muscles of a brain and anyway I‘m a vegetarian.  And not a zombie.  The ancient Osterizer sits on the kitchen counter next to my 40 year-old Kitchen Aid mixer in some sort of appliance convalescence.  Another girl, feeling sagey, said that when an appliance is older than you, it’s probably a good idea to upgrade.  Resisting the urge to pull her hair, I pointed out that so far I’m only squishing fruits and berries into a tasty drinkable food substance and would probably be ok for the time being or at least until I start a small kitchen fire.

However, newly intrigued by the possibility of acquiring a nifty magic piece of equipment to change food from solids to liquids, from chewable to drinkable, I decided to buy a new blending device.  The blades would be sharp , the container made of glass, the buttons awesome, and it would look pretty excellent in my bachelor kitchen.  First, I had to do a little research.

Right away I found that the Vita Mix blenders sell in the $400-500 range, so that was a no go, since I‘m saving up to one day buy the Golden Gate Bridge.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re considered to be the best and most powerful blenders on the market and maybe in another lifetime I’d spring for it, but not now.  No, I just want to destroy little berries and bananas and figured I could do it much more cheaply.

Instead, I went with an Oster, basically a great-great grandchild of the avocado-green one from mom.   Osters are among the best rated blenders not in the $500 range.  They’re usually under $100.  In this case there was a sale, plus I had a store discount, so I ended up getting the thing for under $40.  Score!

For most of the smoothies I make, there are basically 3 types of ingredients:  berries, bananas, and soy milk.  At the moment, I’m using low-fat vanilla-flavored almond milk which is good stuff.  I know there are people who aren’t into soy or almond or rice milk, and are thinking “Dude, give me the real stuff.“, and if that’s the case, cow’s milk works fine (though there‘s some cholesterol and you‘re totally going to die).

I blend the milk and banana together before I start throwing in the berries.  Next, I usually add any frozen berries or fruit.  These frozen berries are great because they help make your smoothie nice and cold from the outset, also the flash-frozen fruit is supposed to preserve the precious nutrients better than berries sitting on the produce shelf for weeks.  I probably use ½ cup of frozen blueberries and ½ cup of frozen strawberries, but I don‘t really measure cuz I‘m a rebel like that.  I could call this random lack of measurement a glob, like a pinch or smidgen, but much bigger.

After I’ve added the frozen stuff, I throw in rinsed non-funky berries (although funkyberries sound cool).  I’m not really sure how much goes in, but I kind of eyeball it and probably add another cup or more of all that.  You might even try adding yogurt.  There’s an abandoned raspberry gelato in my freezer that I don’t much care for, so I might chuck that in (These smoothies taste better than that raspberry gelato).  I usually reach 3 or 4 cups of smoothie, by this point, and since a serving of fruit is ½ cup,  allowing for the milk, this might come out to 5 to 7 servings of fruit.  I usually end up with 2 or 3 large glasses of smoothie.  I may or may not have added a 2nd banana just to be weird.

Ultimately, I want to branch out from the berries and try other fruit.  Experiment with pear.  Go crazy with coconuts.  Get goofy with guava.  I added a nectarine and a mango a few days ago and they were superb.  Last week I added some amino acid to the smoothie.  Why, you ask?  Because I’m off my rocker.  The amino acid is in the form of huge double-horse pills I bought a while back for weight lifting.  I’ll need to be sure to chop the pills up better next time because there were unpleasantly large chunks of amino acid pills in my smoothie.  Blech.  This was my least favorite batch of the junk.

Some people add bran (not brain), whey, and other random healthy stuff to their smoothies.  I’ll have to mess around with these and see if they‘re not completely loathsome.  I’ve had good results with wheat germ and flaxseed and spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  Otherwise, the basic berry smoothie recipe is easy, very tasty, and quite good for you.  And I haven’t turned blue yet.

What smoothie combos do you like?

The secret made-up compound word is Funkyberries

Related Foodish Posts:

Easter Recipe:  Mom’s Creamed Eggs and Croutons

9 Foods I Might As Well Move To The Bomb Shelter

Secret Ingredients & Family Recipes

How Cooking Hijacked My Diet

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Step #4. Learn To Cook

My Bachelor Weight Loss Secrets: Sticking It To The Terrorists

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Steps 8 & 9. Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Step #3. Shape Up, Fatty

Stuffed French Toast By Sam The Cooking Guy

Oral History Fixation Cooking

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17 Types of Bachelor Pads

by Jonathan Bonobo Perry

ABC has a new cheesetastic reality tv show called The Bachelor Pad which seems like it might combine The Bachelor with Big Brother and The Real World after they’ve soaked in a briny vat of The Girls Next Door.  It promises an abnormally good-looking and freakishly healthy cast of cast-offs from previous reality shows being overly-dramatic and dramatically-amorous in a fine and expensive model home.  Pray, what will this bachelor pad be like?  Certainly it has everything.  Entertainment, games, and watery places, perhaps 7 hot tubs (so a few could be decontaminated simultaneously).  This got me thinking about types of Bachelor Pads as theme parks for men or rather types of homes for types of bachelors. What if guys were only one-dimensional and could each be pigeonholed into one tidy category?  Here’s who 17 of those guys would be and how their bachelor pads would be set up to reflect the weirdness.

1 Lothario/Lech Pad-Round spinning bed, cocktail bar, fancy lighting, a fine collection of loungy mood music.  It would be like the digs for Quagmire from Family Guy or for Austin Powers, replete with bathrobes and smoking jackets and lots of velvet.  A hot tub.  This is usually the first picture that comes to mind when one thinks of the classic bachelor pad.  It’s a lie.  Mostly.

2 Gamer Pad-Comfy chair for all that sitting.  Probably plush.  A couple gaming systems (XBox, Nintendo, Playstation, Wii) backed up by a quality entertainment system.  Dice and game parts for various role playing games.  Occupant-pasty sleepy nerd. 

3 Partier Pad-A sufficient supply of food and beverages and, if lucky, easily cleaned surfaces.  Large tv and other entertainment devices:  good stereo, lots of music, the gamer’s gaming system, some board games and backyard games.  Possibly a jacuzzi and a grill in the awesome backyard.  There might be a firepit.  Tiki torches?

4 Handyman Pad-Handmade furniture or carvings.  An extensive collection of tools and parts.  A fine workbench in the garage.  Powerdrill always plugged into the wall.  Multiple projects at different stages of completion spread about the garage and house.  Possibly a classic car parked in the garage being restored.

5 Traveler Pad-Travel books, posters, and paintings.  Souvenirs and maps.  Photo albums of trips.  Several suitcases, bags & perhaps an enormous travel cases like Jimmy Stewart‘s from It’s A Wonderful Life.

6 Collector Pad-The house may be overrun and/or decorated by strange collections:  stamps, baseball cards, license plates, Coca-Cola memorabilia.  Butterflies.  Places to store and display all this stuff have been set aside. The Antique-r is a sub-specialist of collector. Or is it the other way around?

7 Gadget Dude Pad-Assorted collection of the latest and greatest gadgets both electronic and mechanical.  Not only does he have the latest ostentatious Apple product (iPhone, iPad, iTouch), he also has camcorders, ereaders, robots, roombas, gps’s.

8 Reader Pad-Several bookcases, maybe some built-ins for a large a well-organized library (possibly numbered books, as if it were a real library).  There might be a list of books lent out and who has them and why you’ll never get them back.  (Chris?  Marshall?).  If he’s gone gadgety, there might be an Amazon Kindle or a similar ereader.

9 Sports Fan Pad-There will be lots of sports memorabilia, some of it plastered to the walls.  Maybe jerseys of the home team.  There could be game highlight footage on DVD.  There might even be sports cards, but certainly sports magazines.

10 Movie and TV-Buff Pad-Huge TV entertainment system with surround sound.  Lots of DVDs.  Lots of VHS tapes with the player.  Possibly a Beta player and Beta tapes for some rare ancient weirdness.

11 Musician Pad-Instruments.  The pinnacle is a grand piano or a specialty guitar signed by some dead rock legend.  Recording equipment.  A fine hi-fi system that spans the years from phonograph to 8-track to cassette to cd to mp3 player.  There will be plenty of albums to play on this system.  There might be busts of musicians and sheets of music.  Perhaps rooms have been modified to adjust acoustics.

12 Fitness Enthusiast Pad-In this pad might be found a bicycle and helmet.  If he’s a daredevil he might have mountain-climbing equipment, otherwise regular (and strange) exercise devices: dumb bells, stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, medicine ball.  He might have his own awards from previous sporty endeavors.

13 Animal Lover Pad-Aquariums, terrariums, cages and kennels.  Leashes and bowls on the floor.  Adorable creatures that want to eat and bite you and need to use the facilities which may or may not be in your house.  Animal hair everywhere.  Unsolved allergy issues.  Hello Kitty stationery?  Maybe that’s just a sub-genre.

14 Hoarder Pad-this comes from mixing too many of the other categories together and having certain psychological issues.

15 Artist/Photographer Pad-Paints and brushes.  Easels and canvas and frames.  Cameras and camera equipment.  Maybe a dark room for old film.  Some of his own work might be framed on the wall as well as his inspirations’ works.  Art supplies and works are spread all over the house.

16 Gardener/Plant Guy Pad-Much of this guy’s stuff would be in the backyard: Veggie garden, flowers, other odd plants.  Sometimes the greenery will come inside and there will be pots of living greenstuff (non-mold) around the house.  There might be books and magazines for gardening ideas and tips.

17 Chef/Cook Pad-This dude has a kitchen full of quality cooking equipment.  Pots and pans and skillets or whatever.  There will be odd measuring devices which might use the metric system or stuff like pinch or smidgen.  He’ll have lots of spices and fancy oils.  The cupboards and fridge are stocked with all kinds of food.

Certainly your type has been overlooked.  That just means you’re weird.

The secret word is pigeonhole

Related Reading:

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

My Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Step #10: Collect the Right Toys

Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

$15 Million Ultimate Bachelor Pad

Tenuously Related Reading:

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Bachelors In History

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Kitten Of Evil

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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Bachelor Easter Recipe: Mom’s Creamed Eggs With Croutons

by Jonathan Boiled Perry

A few years ago I called my mom to get the recipe for an awesome egg dish she makes, mostly around Easter, and instead of saying “No way! Figure it our yourself, genius!” or “Get your own stupid recipe, you sponge!” she graciously obliged and now I can feed my face in a whole new glorious way.  It’s one of those tasty comfort foods my brothers and I really enjoyed while growing up in the Shire next to Bilbo.  I’ve made it a few times since and, against all odds, haven’t managed to screw it up.  I think it was the first recipe I “collected” and wrote down (come to think of it, it could be the only one).  Do I foresee a recipe box in my future?  Who knows.  I do know that this year I won’t be doing any Easter egg hunts with foxes and metal detectors and I probably won’t be dyeing any eggs with the pulp of an exotic flower, but I may make this recipe.  I should drag it out more because it’s good stuff (not in a cross-dressing drag sort of way).  In fact, I have a craving right now (again, non-drag). Now!

Mom’s Creamed Eggs With Croutons

(Makes 1 Serving)
2 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
2 Tbsp Margarine
2 Tbsp Flour
1/4 Tsp Salt

3 Slices of bread

Bread: Begin your journey of a thousand calories by cutting your bread slices into nifty crouton sizes, then spread the pieces on a cookie sheet or baking pan.  Put in the oven at a temp of 250 degrees.  This basically just lightly toasts your bread, but in a fancy way.  Keep an eye on the bread & remove before it gets brown.  This probably completes by the time you’re done making the egg sauce.  I suppose you could be lazy and lightly toast bread in a toaster, then cut it up.  You could probably even use real croutons, but that just seems wrong and you’d suck.

In the meantime, boil the 2 eggs.  (Here are egg-boiling instructions for the dudes who need them.)  In a pot-thingy cover the eggs with cold water.  Add whatever amount of salt you use to boil eggs (like pinches or smidgens, etc.  This is different from the salt listed in the ingredients.).  Cover and turn to high heat.  When it boils, turn down to low & let sit for 14 minutes (I guess this hard-boils it, which is how we do it in my tribe.  You might like it soft-boiled, if you’re weird.).

White Sauce: While this boiling business is doing it’s thang, get a saucy pan & spray it with Pam or some other spray stuff named after a woman and turn the temp to mostly high heat.  Add your margarine, flour, and salt and stir as it melts.  After it’s melty and mixed add milk, then turn temp to mostly high.  Stir constantly with a fork or something shiny.  When your cauldron comes to a boil, turn off the burner and when it bubbles in the middle, remove from burner.  Repeat the words “Double double toil and trouble.  Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

Back to the eggs- run cold water in the egg pan.  (If you have time and are really in the mood, decorate your eggs.  Do the crazy colors!  See if the colors don’t bleed through the shell to the eatin’ parts.)  Peel your boiled eggs and cut them into chunks.  Stir the egg chunks into your white sauce.  Chunky.

You’re done.  Just put the bread on a plate, put the sauce on top and consume.  I should probably go make this again to be sure I didn’t leave anything out, just in case it called for strychnine (that may be one of mom’s other recipes).

Happy Easter!

The secret word is cauldron.

Cooking Related Reading:

The Great Suburban Mushroom Hunt

9 Foods I Might As Well Move To The Bomb Shelter

Secret Ingredients & Family Recipes

Grandma Gottschall’s DUTCH APPLE CAKE

Berry Smoothie & The Magic Blender

How Cooking Hijacked My Diet

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Step #4. Learn To Cook

My Bachelor Weight Loss Secrets: Sticking It To The Terrorists

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Steps 8 & 9. Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Step #3. Shape Up, Fatty

Stuffed French Toast By Sam The Cooking Guy

Oral History Fixation Cooking

Holiday Reads:

Christmas Rituals

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

Holiday Chocolate-For Independence Day?

 

Valentine’s Day Shame

Presidents’ Day Special:  The Bachelor President

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How Cooking Hijacked My Diet

Swedish Chef.  Bork

Swedish Chef. Bork

by Jonathan Bork Bork Perry

So, I’ve put a moratorium on the baking and cooking.  I was pleased with myself to finally be making non-sandwich food.  I’d done it before, just not so compulsively and not in a long while.  But here’s the conundrum:  Extra cooking means more eating and less weight loss.  My remedial chef skills are coming around (sort of) and it’s great to eat tasty junk you’ve made yourself.  However, this generally means fixing a dish or pan or something that might serve a hockey team, but I live alone, so I end up eating brownies for several days.  Or cake.  Or peach cobbler a la mode (All from boxes.  Don’t get too excited, mom.).

Now, I really have been trying to lose weight.  Between April and June, I lost 20 pounds.

Berry Cobbler-July 12

Berry Cobbler-July 12

So far, I’ve lost 30 pounds, as of today, actually, but based on my earlier trajectory I should have lost 50 pounds by now (I know it slows down as you get closer, but whatever). I started this whole kitchen self-improvement/domestication thing with the aforementioned baked goods as well as cooking falafel, pasta, and eggs, but it’s totally messed up my well-designed weight-loss plan.  Certainly I could freeze things or refrigerate them, but eh.  The stuff’s there calling my name.  I must answer, if only for research.

Cake-June 14. Went bad b4 I could eat it all

Cake-June 14. Went bad b4 I could eat it all

For years, I’ve eaten microwaveable meals from the likes of Weight Watchers or Lean Cuisine, even though I haven’t been in those diet programs (grocery stores carry the dinners). I still eat them regularly for maybe 25% of my meals. These portions are well-sized and usually fairly healthy. I generally eat well, with the huge exception of  desserts, especially chocolate.  I scarf that stuff down like a drowning person coming back up for air.  Still, I’ve even learned to control myself with the sugar stuff.

Falafel (not actually the batch I made)

Falafel (not actually the batch I made)

So, what have I learned from all this?  I’ve learned to pace myself with the cooking and baking, to try cooking some more healthy foods (possibly inedible sounding stuff), to not be afraid to freeze things (I wasted a third of a cake because I didn’t freeze it), and that I should work on my self-control, especially when it comes to baked goods still warm and gooey from the oven.  Mmmm.  Oh, and maybe I could take some excess food to work and pawn it off on the coworkers, or something.  Doing these things should help me strike a balance between eating healthy and being the Swedish Chef.

non-magical brownies-June 27

non-magical brownies-June 27

Related Reading:

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Step #4. Learn To Cook

My Bachelor Weight Loss Secrets: Sticking It To The Terrorists

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Steps 8 & 9. Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Step #3. Shape Up, Fatty

Stuffed French Toast By Sam The Cooking Guy

Oral History Fixation Cooking

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Stuffed French Toast By Sam The Cooking Guy

sam the cooking guyHere’s a recipe that looks really tasty:  Stuffed French ToastSam the Cooking Guy shows us how to do this easy weekend breakfast food.  I may have to try it.  You can find more good stuff from Sam the Cooking Guy on his website,  www.thecookingguy.com , or on YouTube.  See the video below.

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My Bachelor Weight Loss Secrets:
Stickin’ It To The Terrorists

weights russian

by Jonathan Beanpole Perry

I’m pleased to say that over the last 12 weeks or so I’ve lost 25 pounds!  (I sort of had to starve myself the last few days to drop those last 2 pounds, despite a huge nacho craving, but I did it!)  Otherwise, no magic tricks.  No feathers (though I was inexplicably sick a few days).  This weight loss has been from a mix of diet and exercise.  I’ve had less sugar and fewer desserts (I’m a big chocolate ice cream freak), smaller meal portions, and replaced a few dinners a week with shredded wheat bran cereals, which I’ve suffered through stoically (I’m very brave.  And regular.).

I’ve been taking lots of walks around the neighborhood and am now on the neighborhood watch list.  I also walk to the park or lake, and do some cycling at home as well as a 10 minute weight-lifting regimen every other day.  In fact, I’ve gained muscle weight, so really I might have lost like, say, 28 pounds of fat and gained 3 pounds of muscle (might be some brain mass loss, too). It’s nifty to need smaller pants and a new belt.  I could wear the old pants and do that whole lowrider pants hanging above the butt thing, but would probably trip and die.

Not my Hobbit feet

Not my Hobbit feet

I haven’t been down to this weight level since 2001.  That year I went to Germany with my uncle and cousins for 3 weeks and lost a few pounds.  A few weeks later, the Twin Towers were destroyed.  I’d like to blame the terrorists for that ensuing weight gain (coincidence?  I think not.).  But I’ve lost all that weight again.  I’m still not at my college weight, which I may not reach, but losing another 25-35 pounds would be super.  That should put me near the upper range of normal for my height.  That’ll show the terrorists.

Every so often I’ll lose a few pounds, just to tease myself.  “Oh, look!  I’m losing weight!  Yay!”  (Muppet hands waving).  Then, dejectedly, “Oh, no.  Shamu.”  I seem to lose the most weight when I go on vacation or travel to a foreign country for a few weeks, especially if there’s hardcore tourism involved or very few places with veggie food (Britain had lots of veggie food, so the weight loss must have been from that crazy UK itinerary tracking down all those cathedrals and doing laps around them).  I’ve lost the most weight when I’ve been particularly motivated.  Feeling better, being healthier and better looking (for the womenz) are huge motivators.  I’d like to go swimming again without feeling self-conscious, though I’d still be super pale.  I’d also like to become that Domesticated Bachelor dude I keep hearing about on this awesome blog.

whale cakeOff and on for a few years I took that Hydroxycut weight-loss supplement at the suggestion of my youngest brother Chris who’d had success losing weight with it.  I had no perceptible weight change using Hydroxycut.  Fortunately, I was undisciplined enough to use less than two bottles over 5 years.  Little did I know he was secretly trying to kill me.  You’ll get your comeuppance, Chris!  After it had been removed from the market for causing liver damage and death (goody), I notified my brother, who, only fearing for his life a little, suggested I hold on to the bottle, in case any remuneration was offered (he didn’t actually use that word).  So, it’s still there, lingering in my medicine cabinet. Waiting.

Anyway, I lost weight without a miracle drug, so yay for me!  I hope to keep losing it for a while and one day be normal again (weight-wise).  For now, I think I’ll go celebrate and bake a cake.  Maybe make some nachos.

Further Reading:

11 Steps: #3- Shape Up, Fatty

11 Steps: #2- The Right Wardrobe

11 Steps: #4- Learn To Cook

11 Steps: #5- Travel The World

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11 Steps: #s 8 & 9: Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

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