Co-Opting the Rainbow

Oreos love gay people?  Sorry, I'm not buying it.

Oreo love gay people? Sorry, I’m not buying it.

Yay Oreo, you’ve won gay marketing ploy of the week award!

Seriously, those who think they’ll be boycotting Oreos are stupid bigots.  1. Oreos are so addictive you’ll be begging for one by next week.  Even 1 Million Moms stopped just short of an official boycott.  Why? Not because they’re not bigots (they are asking followers to write stern letters to Kraft), but because they know their little brats will be screaming at the grocery store for them.  Seriously, those cookies are addictive!  2. Love the list here on Upworthy of all some of the Kraft foods you’d have to boycott if you want to truly make a stance.

At first glance, I think it’s great that large corporations have turned around and are “supporting” the LGBTQ community, but then I realize it feels a lot more like co-opting the Pride message.  These companies are unfazed by boycotters not because they’ve truly decided to finally stand on some moral high ground, but because they’ve realized that we’ve reached a tipping point in America in support of LGBTQ equal rights, and/or more likely perhaps someone at their agency showed them statistics on the disposable income of LGBTQ persons.  Am I cynical, yes.  If companies wanted to show their true support of the LGBTQ community, they would run their Pride campaigns and commit to giving a portion of their proceeds back to the community instead of simply exploiting it.  (See Bitch’s Douchebag Decree: American Apparel and Target from earlier this month.)

Speaking of boycotting Kraft products, I can think of some other reasons why you actually should boycott.  Oh how about GMOs, poor labor practices, unfair trade (including the use of child slave harvested cocoa in US Cadbury products). So progressive folks, let’s not let the proverbial rainbow colored wool be pulled over our eyes here. Instead, why not tell Kraft that you appreciate them reaching a hand out to the LGBTQ community (even if it is reaching for your wallet), but even so, you still don’t feel comfortable buying their products until they address these other important issues. The company’s website gives list of Kraft’s largest brands.

MeggieKate’s Amazing Pulled Pork

I’ve had a delectable little boneless pork shoulder roast sitting in my freezer for the past couple months.  It was taunting me.  See, I’d never cooked this particular cut of meat before, and so was needlessly afraid of ruining my precious little roast.  I read through dozens of recipes online, watched tutorial videos and consulted my cookbooks.

What I arrived at was inspired by three recipes I found:

Pioneer Woman’s Spicy Shredded Pork
Queenbee’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Diana Rattray’s Slow Cooker Pork Barbecue

Here’s my take on pulled pork.  Important note: I highly recommend meat that is raised humanely (ie gets to live outside, not in a cage) and organic.  Yes, it’s more expensive but I balance that with eating vegetarian more often, that way I’m eating less meat and the meat I do eat isn’t full of things I shouldn’t be putting into my body.  As an added bonus, the meat is way tastier!

The only shot I could get before I wanted to shovel it all in my mouth.

MeggieKate’s Amazing Pulled Pork

Ingredients

Boneless pork shoulder roast (mine was somewhere between 1-2 lbs)

Rub/Seasoning:

Juice + zest of one lime

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons coriander

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil (EV)

Ground pepper (about 5-8 twists of the grinder)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon agave

Roasting Ingredients:

2-3 bay leaves

3-4 smashed whole garlic cloves

1/4 of a red onion, in 1 inch slices

1/4 of a lime, sliced into 3 pieces

1/2 cup Black Butte Porter

I started the night before by mixing up the rub and slathering the roast in it.  I wrapped in saran wrap and let that baby soak up all those yummy juices.  The next morning I fired up the cast iron skillet and browned the roast on all sides.  With a boneless roast, you definitely want to keep the strings or netting on the roast.  Browning took no more than 10 minutes to get a nice browning that had spots of dark brown in it.

In the bottom of the crock pot, I set down the bay leaves, garlic and most of the onion (saving a few slices for the top of the roast).  I laid the roast down on top of this and poured the beer in.  I laid the slices of onion and lime on top of the roast and cooked on low for about 10 hours.  During that time, I turned the roast over 3 or 4 times to make sure it was all evenly juicy.

Once it was done, I cut the strings and used two forks to pull the meat apart.  Then to make sure it stayed nice and juicy, I ladled the juices over the plate of shredded meat.

From there, I dished it up onto a bun and topped it with Podnah’s Pit Barbecue Sauce – OMG, amazing!

I also think in the future I’ll want to make my Grandma Drury’s Chow to put on top. (I just need to try making a version of this with a sugar substitute.)

Grandma Drury’s Chow

A complement to burgers, barbecue, etc.

Ingredients:

1 large head cabbage

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cup vinegar

3 medium onions

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 stick margarine

2 Tablespoons prepared mustard

Chop cabbage and onion until very fine (food processor works well). Mix remaining ingredients in saucepan, just until mixture boils.  Pour over chopped cabbage and onion.  Stir until well mixed.  Store in canning jars, etc. and refrigerate.

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal seems to be all the rage these days.  Just one taste of this delicious stuff and it’s easy to see why.  For people like myself who have issues with eating things like wheat and yeast, breakfast can sometimes leave us feeling left out of all the fun.  After playing around with a couple different recipes, here’s what I’ve arrived at.  The brilliant thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile.  Don’t have blueberries?  Add a chopped pear instead (or whatever fruit you like).  Don’t like walnuts?  Try using raw cashews or pecans as a substitute.  Can’t find agave at your local supermarket?  Use maple syrup, but make sure it is real, not some corn syrupy wanna be.  Don’t like chocolate?  Huh??  What’s wrong with you?  Okay, I guess you can take those out if you must.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled, sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and butter one 9×13 baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg salt, walnuts, blueberries, and chocolate. Transfer to baking dish, making sure to get an even distribution of berries, nuts and chocolate.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter, vanilla extract, and agave.
  4. Arrange the banana slices on the top, then pour the milk mixture over everything. Make sure the liquid ingredients cover the oat mix evenly by slightly tilting the pan until everything is covered.
  5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown and the milk mixture has set. Let it sit for a few minutes before dishing out the warm deliciousness.  Enjoy!

Wash the Winter Blues Away

I’ve heard rumors that there are people who enjoy winter weather, but personally I am skeptical that these people exist.  I think there should be some kind of law passed that says you have to leave your holiday lights on through the entire month of January, just for my own sanity.  After a month of gloomy January weather, I’m ready for some serious sunshine.  So when I found out late last Friday that it was going to be sunny and in the mid 50s – 60s on the Oregon coast, I began contemplating.  Combine that with the fact that not only did Alex and I have a rare entire weekend off together, but there was also a special running at our new favorite hotel on the beach (complete with ocean view and fireplace), and I knew that the cosmos must have aligned.  I went home and informed Alex of our new weekend plans.

Just under two hours away from our destination, I dusted off my sunglasses and prepared to enjoy the scenic drive to the coast.  I don’t even think I knew how much I needed this getaway until we arrived and felt the stress and doldrums wash away.  

For the next 24 hours it was all wave watching….

beach combing…

sunset watching…

bird feeding…

brunch eating…

tide pool exploring…

and lots of basking in the glorious sunshine!

It’s Ms. Honey Badger to You

As printed in Erin Parker’s “Am I There Yet?” Newsletter
by Megan Cox – Guest Columnist

While Ms. Parker is busy gallivanting about the world being a sparkling entertainer, I am usually sitting in my grey-walled cubicle dodging
monotonous office work. Earlier this year I read an article stating that “Advertising Account Executive” was among the top 10 most stressful jobs. Even though what advertising professionals do doesn’t exactly matter in the same way that say, pilots and EMTs who havethe fate of human lives in their hands every day do, somehow seeing my line of work in this list somehow justified my nail biting habit a bit. But it’s not just me – we are all clearly a stressed out bunch of people lately.

There are few things that get me through my days. Clandestinely scrolling through Erin’s newsletter on my ipod has been one of them. Other stress relievers include staring deeply into my sprinkle ring, devouring bars of Cadbury dark chocolate, dreaming of one day having my own lavender and blackberry farm, and thinking about what the honey badger would do.

My boyfriend Alex loves watching online videos, mostly of animals doing silly things, preferably cats. Personally, I’ve never been big on this form of entertainment since I find about 98% of amateur videos tobe utterly boring and anti-climatic. I’ve come to realize that video watching is his way of releasing stress. Focusing on things like a cat repeatedly jumping into a box and then out again allows him to let go of his crappy day at work. Me, I prefer
yelling at the other cars on my way home. I always thought watching silly videos was a waste of time, but I guess that getting my road rage on, while cathartic, isn’t exactly the most healthy form of stress release. I’m learning the art of decompressing a little less toxically, but I never knew how much a silly video could affect my life until I was introduced to Randall and his famous honey badger video.

I find it hard to believe by now that there is anyone out there who hasn’t seen this video, but if you haven’t seen it, please, I implore you, go to YouTube now and watch it. FYI, the official video is titled The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger (original narration by Randall).

Randall’s honey badger isn’t just a funny video; it’s a way of life with the transcendental tagline of “Honey badger don’t care.” I cannot tell you how many
times I have whispered this line to myself as I am starting to get worked up over stupid email or a client’s request that feels like it’s about to ruin my day. I say the words and become one with my inner honey badger. And yes, it really helps to hear those words in a saucy gay tone that implies “I ain’t takin’ any shit from you, stupid.” Not only does honey badger not give a shit, (and why should he? He can get bit by a venomous snake with little consequence) he’s also a total badass, just taking what he wants.

We should all take a little life lesson from the honey badger. Whenever life or work gets you feeling so stressed you want to bang your head
against something, take a deep breath and exhale as you repeat to yourself “Honey badger don’t care. Honey badger don’t give a shit.” Your world will be a more peaceful place.