I can point a lot of fingers when it comes to my warped sense of how people start relationships, but lets not play the blame game 90210/Hey Dude/Saved By the Bell/pretty-much-all-teen-fiction-of-the-90’s. Teenage girls don’t just get bonked by wayward volleyballs while sunbathing and somehow meet the meatbag of their dreams when he comes to retrieve it. Believe me, I tried. Sitting on the beach for hours while visiting the grandparents in Boca… creepily inching my pale ass closer to the birdcage-chested teenage boys with hopes of… I don’t even know. Something. Anything. It didn’t work. In retrospect they were probably doing the same dance, just waiting for some bikini-clad thing with a massive side ponytail to be shoved over on a dare by her gaggle of clucking girlfriends. Because, well, back in my day, we had to actually go meet people in person and didn’t have no fancy shmancy technology to hide behind. Now get off my lawn. *fist shake*
After turning 19 (and therefore officially knowing everything), it became apparent that a man who bumps into me and smiles is likely engaging in some (mostly) harmless frottage rather than trying to make some pulp fiction magic happen. Jaded? Maybe. Again, I blame teen-oriented TV for infusing my impressionable brainmeat with impossibly romanticized expectations that eventually led to feelings of inferiority. Alas, I’d never get face’d by a volleyball and meet the cleft-chinned preppie that Seventeen said I needed to be socially relevant no matter how hard I tried. All that contributed to my giving up and maintaining a blissful state of apathy toward menfolk throughout my 20’s. Dating was unpleasant. Relationships left me with a semi-permanent stink-eye. By 28 I washed my hands of it all and trotted off down the cookie-dough-and-vodka paved path to cat-ladydom. They make that now, you know. Cookie dough flavored vodka. Perfect for cat ladies who just got dumped by their internet boyfriends – snickering doesn’t make you a bad person.
The single life was great. Just the cat and I in our ivory tower with nobody cramping our style – and then he happened. That barrel chested sonofagun with the lumberjack beard and deep gold eyes. The whole “bumping into someone at a grocery store and starting something awesome” thing is right up there with the volleyball scenario in my mind, but that’s what happened. Alright, less bumping into and more being stalked until he had the courage to talk to me, but I’m still counting it as a bump to fulfill my own media-propagated expectations.
Eight(ish) months later I’ve got a best friend, enthusiastic muse for the condiment blog (he’s got culinary savvy!), and the best hug dealer a girl could ask for. So Beefcake, this one is for you – hot honey for my hot honey. I felt like a tool typing that and will take the impending mockery like a champ.
- 20 packets of honey ( about 1 cup)
- 2 packets of crushed red pepper flake
- In a small saucepan, heat the honey at low/medium until it becomes runny.
- Add the red pepper packets and stir gently periodically for about 20 minutes. The honey will gradually darken ias it is infused with the pepper dye and spicy bite.
- Taste test, and continue to steep the mixture on low heat until it has enough kick for your taste.
- Strain the flake and seed out with a sieve before storing or leave it in for that nifty faux amber look. Seeds will gradually float to the surface as the honey cools and can easily be skimmed off with a spoon.
If you’re in a pinch to find a gift for your token pain-in-the-ass foodie friend, roll like Martha and pour it into a mason jar and lay a square of gingham over the internal lid before screwing on the outer ring. Make up some nutty story about a roadside stand, organic bees, and sustenance farmers. Its alright, we all get lied to at some point. Damn you, Babysitter’s Club.