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Archive for August, 2011

Whoah, look at you.  You are WAY sophisticated.  Who pickles grapes?  YOU DO.

First mushrooms and now this.  I must say, you’re quite the enterprising misfits.

Impressing guests at your next kegger wine and cheese party can be as simple as popping open a jar of these babies.  No wine and cheese party?

You’re screwed!

Wait…I meant, No wine and cheese party?

No problem!  Simply turn off your phone, lock yourself in the pantry, and party down with your three best friends: cheese, a spoon, and your elastic jammy tutu pants.  Friendship has never been so simple.

Cinnamon Spice Pickled Grapes
Makes 6 half-pints

Go Get:
2 1/2 lbs. black, seedless grapes
3 cups dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon Saigon Cassia Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Jamaican Allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
A few pinches salt
1 teaspoon peppercorns

Go Do:
Start with sterilized canning jars and lids and get a boiling water bath canner going. Now wash the grapes and pull them from their stems.

Stab each one with a fork.

What can I say?  Grapes just make me feel violent.

Now put all ingredients except the grapes in a pot and bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.  When the sugar and salt are dissolved, stir in the grapes.

When the mixture returns to a boil, shut it off and use a slotted spoon to transfer the grapes into the jars.

Pour brine over them up to a half inch before the top.  Wipe the rims (may wanna dampen your cloth…sugar gets sticky and all), and apply the lids.  Screw on the rings just a wittle bit tight and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.   Line a cookie sheet with a towel and use a canning jar lifter to transfer the jars from the bath onto the cookie sheet.  Let them sit for a day, at which point you can check the seals.

Note: Jars didn’t seal?  Don’t feel like canning?  No problem–just move unsealed jars into the fridge, where they’ll last for several months.

Another Note: For a totally herbaceous variation, put a sprig of rosemary in each jar before adding the grapes.  You fancy minx, you!

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Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

Heya!

So, remember that Subversive Cross Stitch Giveaway I ran?

And how I announced the winner on Friday?

Well, hike up your fishnets, mah little babies, ’cause the fun ain’t over yet!

Julie Jackson, the bitchin’ babe behind Subversive Cross Stitch, asked me to pick 5 runners-up so she could gift them with the pdf of their favorite design.  Even more subversive fun for you most subversive of misfits.

The winners, who shall be notified with much pomp and circumstance very shortly, are as follows:
Kristineh, who said:
“This is the funniest give away I’ve ever seen. I would pick the #@%&!! cross stitch. The head master at the high school I worked for had a story about how to pronounce #@%&!!. When he was a little kid, his crazy uncle was reading him the comics and #@%&!! was printed in one of the scenes. He asked how you were supposed pronounce that to which his uncle replied “goddamnshitswear.” It’s my favorite expletive to use ever since.”

sleepyheadedmom, who said:
“Best giveaway ever!
I would pick the Shut the Fuck Up one.
I NEED one of those Metal quilts. Maybe I’ll get or make one for my fiance as a wedding gift. Good sh*t.”

lynn, who said:
“i’d choose shut your piehole. wait. people are cattle. no wait, shut your piehole. yes, shut your piehole!
 thanks”

Jennifer, who said:
“Bitch, please!
Of course I’d pick “Bitch, please!”, though there are so many lovely ways to say “fuck”, aren’t there?”

And Marty J. Christopher, who said:
“I don’t even know which one to choose; I love them all so much. I’m maybe drawn to the one that says “Shut Your Whore Mouth” only because when I saw that one, I busted out laughing. : ) Nice giveaway. LOVES it!”

Congrats, awesome ladies, and a big thank you and virtual pair of fishnets to Julie Jackson of Subversive Cross Stitch, without whom this extra water balloon full o’ fun would never have popped.

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Hello again, my wittle misfittles!  Remember my bitchin’ Subversive Cross Stitch Giveaway?  Yeah, me too!  Anyway, the winner has been drawn, and the lucky gal is Erica, who said:

“I’m loving the ‘Bitch, please!’ kit.”

I’m lovin’ it, too, Erica, and pretty soon you’ll be hearing from me about the “Bitch, please!” kit that I’m sending your way.  It should be noted that Erica increased her chances of winning by following me on Twitter and tweeting a link to my blog.  Something to keep in mind for next time, dollfaces!

Thanks for entering and, uh, for being so damn funny and positive in the comments.  I believe the misfits are our future, and right now, the future is looking pretty.  friggin’.  bright.

Lotsa love and big red kisses,
BMG

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Okay, so maybe the pumpkin plant just has its own special maternal “knowing feeling” when she’s expecting…she develops an interest in crochet, becomes addicted to IKEA catalogs, cries for no reason, craves pickles and bone meal…but this is how WE know she’s pregnant.

Misfits have asked, “How do you know if a squash flower is going to produce fruit?”  Well, some squash flowers are male, and they’re really just there to get pollinators used to stopping by for a rub-down.  But some flowers will bear fruit, and this will be obvious.  No, really, it’s IMPOSSIBLE TO MISS.  Look just before the flower bud.  You’ll see a baby bump for sure.  And in the picture above, that little round ball just before the flower bud is going to turn into a magical sky blue pumpkin streaked with clouds.  Remember those seeds I was talking about?

This is, of course, barring natural disaster or squirrels, truly the most unnatural disaster of all (my new tactic: the soon-to-be-patented “Squirrel in a Jar”: fine fun for the whole family!).  The garden’s suffered this year due to alternating droughts and then severe floods.  It doesn’t just rain around here anymore, nooooo, it’s either dry and hot as Hades or IT’S A FRIGGIN’ MONSOON COMPLETE WITH HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS.  And last year, Monsieur Squirrel (yes, he is French, I just know these things), in the days before my soon-to-be-patented Squirrel in a Jar, managed to get his dirty little paws into EVERY butternut squash.  But didn’t the poor dear have a tummyache after eating all those squash, you ask?

Oh, no, not at all.  You see, he took only a few bites of each squash before leaving it like so much trash and moving on to defile a fresh one.

(“Squirrel in a Jar, Squirrel in a Jar, that’ll fix everything, it’s all gonna be okay, Squirrel in a Jar will know what to do lalalalalala…”)

Of course, squirrels have long marked my family as a target of special interest.

So, the point is, things happen and I may not get to see these punkins.  But this plant, true to the lore surrounding its origin, is hardy as heavens-to-Betsy and quite the sprawling misfit.  So let’s say it works out…should your Bad Mama Genny save seed and distribute it to some of you lucky vamps and vixens?

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I know what you’re thinking–mushrooms can be neither fine nor sexy.  But oh.

Oh!

OH!

They can.  And they are.  In this recipe in particular.  Now, these are pretty boss straight out the jar or with a sandwich or on a hamburger, but your Bad Mama Genny likes to push the envelope.  Put a few in a martini and watch people gasp at your fearlessness in the face of fungi!  Better yet, offer a whole bottle as a gift alongside a bottle of nice gin or vodka. (Or perhaps some cheap vodka that you’ve turned into gin, using my instructions.  Or hell, you could just buy a bottle of gin named after me.)

Because nothing says “Happy Birthday” like good old-fashioned enabling.

Now, the other nice thing about this recipe is that you trim the mushrooms before pickling, so you end up with lots of little mushroom bits and bobs.  And what a coincidence, I LOVE little mushroom bits and bobs!

Aww, look at all those misfit mushroom pieces just waiting to make you feel like the lady you aren’t.

They’re perfect for frying up in pan drippings with a little wine for a burger topping.  Or throw them into a veggie burger mix.  How about soup?  A vegetable stir fry?  See, I just KNEW you’d come around to little mushroom bits and bobs!

(Psst, remember when we talked about growing your own mushrooms?  Oh, right, here.  And here.  And here.  And here, too.  Surely it’s never too early to start thinking about how you’ll pass those chilly winter nights without a homesteading project!  What’s that?…you’re planning on drinking?  Well, gosh…that’s a solid plan.  Carry on!)

Fine and Sexy Pickled Mushrooms
Makes 6 pints

Go Get:
5 1/2 lbs.small, white button mushrooms
1 head garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
6 bay leaves
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons pickling/canning salt
4 cups white wine vinegar
6 sprigs thyme
6 sprigs rosemary
3 teaspoons black peppercorns

Go Do:
Start with sterilized canning jars and lids and get a boiling water bath canner going.  Now divide the peppercorns, herb sprigs, bay leaves, and smashed garlic cloves evenly amongst the jars.

Thoroughly wash the mushrooms and trim the stems super short.  Save the trimmings for another use.

Slice large mushrooms in halves or quarters to maintain some kind of size uniformity.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, stir in the lemon juice, and add the mushrooms.  Cook until they’re tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Now.  Embrace the slotted spoon.  The slotted spoon is your friend.  Transfer the mushrooms from the pot to two tea towel-lined cookie sheets to drain.  Take care not to ignite your favorite new tea towel while doing this.

Not that I’d know.

Or anything.

Then divide the mushrooms evenly among the jars.

In a pot, combine the vinegar with 1 cup water and the salt, and bring it to a boil over high heat.  Cook until salt is dissolved, then use a canning funnel to pour the brine in each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top.  Wipe the jar rims, position the lids and rings, screw them on only a wittle bit tight, and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.  Line a cookie sheet with a towel and use a canning jar lifter to transfer the jars from the bath onto the cookie sheet.  Let them sit by themselves (aww, poor mushrooms) for a day, at which point you can check the seals.

Note: Jars didn’t seal?  Don’t feel like canning?  No problem–just move unsealed jars into the fridge, where they’ll last for several months.

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(Psst…if you haven’t signed up for my subversive cross stitch giveaway yet, do so now!)

When your Bad Mama Genny and The Boy lived in the New York City place, we frequented the occasional Jewish deli.

Fine, the SLIGHTLY MORE THAN OCCASIONAL Jewish deli.  What can I say?  I’m a half-Jew.  Making me a Cashew.  Fun, little known fact about your Bad Mama Genny, misfits.  Oy vey!

In any case, these fine establishments almost always carry the elusive, the beautiful, the mouthgasm inducing…SOUR PICKLE.  These are totally different from vinegar pickles–they’re sour because they go through lactic acid fermentation, which gives them a unique flavor profile, makes them easier to digest, and grants them special probiotic superpowers.

I am all about superpowers, misfits.  Just this weekend, The Boy’s mom taught me how to crochet.  She was in town for a funeral, which is pretty much as good a place to learn crochet as any other.  There were no sour pickles at this funeral, but someone did chip a tooth, so that was exciting!

It was me.

Oddly enough, there are those who think the most valuable thing in the pickle crock isn’t even the pickles–it’s the garlic.  In fact, lacto-fermented garlic is something of a folk remedy for its probiotic and antibacterial properties, as well as its ability to repel strangely moody, pale man-boy mouth breathers with names that rhyme with Schmedward.  So basically, this garlic IS SOME VALUABLE SHIT.  And, um, just in case you were worrying that this recipe wouldn’t include enough of that fine and funky garlic?

Yeah, I think we’re pretty well covered here.

Y’know, naturally-fermented pickle brine was also once a precious commodity and cure-all.  But historical misfits wouldn’t stop at applying it to cuts, bruises, and rashes–they used it on wrinkles, too, which is just. so. sexy.  Of course, people don’t do this anymore, but I say, why pass up a perfectly good opportunity to torture the people you love?  In fact, the next time The Boy walks into the room, I plan to toss a bucket of cold pickle brine into his face.  For love.

Naturally.

Make up some naturally-fermented pickles with your bumper crop of cukes, lovey loves.  Because the BMG is worried that you may not be colonized by sufficient numbers of foreign bodies.

Colonizing you with foreign bodies.  It’s one of the things I do best.

Lacto-Fermented Garlic Dill Pickles
Makes 1 gallon pickles

Go Get:
3 1/2 lbs. pickling cucumbers, washed, with blossom end shaved off (that would be the non-stem end)
6 Tablespoons sea salt
1 rounded teaspoon calcium chloride (optional, for crisp)
3 heads garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
1/2 cup whey (extract whey from yogurt like so) (wanna do this the vegan/dairy-free way?  See this post.)
2 large bunches dill weed
2 Tablespoons coriander seeds
2 Tablespoons dill seed
1 Tablespoon peppercorns
2 teaspoons mustard seed

Go Do:
Start with a clean, 1 gallon container–a pitcher works well for this.  Pile in the cukes, layering them with the dill weed, garlic cloves, and spices.

At this point you may be wondering if my manicures are EVER unchipped.  The answer is…no.

Reposition any cukes you have to in order to keep them several inches below the top of the container.  Now mix 8 cups of lukewarm (not hot), filtered water with the calcium chloride (if using), salt, and whey.  Stir and pour over the pickles to thoroughly submerge them.  If you need more liquid to cover, add additional filtered water.  Now place an open Ziploc bag over the crock (open side up), and fill with enough water to weight the cucumbers down and keep them submerged.  When you have that right, seal the bag, cover the whole thing loosely with a towel, and let sit in a dark, room-temperature location.  Check the pickles for sourness each day.  Mine are usually at optimal sourness in 1 week, but your results will differ based on temperature and environment.  Once they’re where you like ’em, refrigerate the batch to slow fermentation and enjoy!  They’ll keep for about a year, and usually longer.

Note: If a little mold develops on top, don’t worry–this is normal.  Just skim it off, rinse and replace the bag, and keep on fermenting, lovey doves.

Note Again: Pickled garlic turns blue sometimes.  It’s normal.  We all get blue sometimes, right?  Well, this is a totally harmless chemical reaction and you can (and should, and MUST) still eat the blue cloves.

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Unwarranted photo of Nicholas Cage with a rabid wombat eating his face by Kirk Weaver
 

Well, my little creative freaks, I am chock-full of misfititude today.  CHOCK-FULL, I SAY.

Which can only mean one thing:  I’m feeling generous.

Which can only mean one thing: You stand to benefit.

Which can only mean one thing: It’s time for another giveaway.

That’s right, misfits!  Im’ma have you salivating over some totally righteous buyables with another installment of “My Favoritest Stuffs and Things!”  Remember how much fun that was last time?

Yeah, me either, I was drunk, too.

So let’s not waste another moment, we’ve got a Bad Mama Genny Fueled Consumerism Frenzy to set in motion!

Bad Mama Genny Fueled Consumerism Frenzies.  They’re the American Way.

1. Glow Graffiti Light in a Can

Vandalism at its finest, people.  Do I need to tell you how much fun potential this stuff has?  Now, keep in mind, I’m not encouraging any unwanted property decoration.  Except on the abodes of Internet trolls.  Heh.  Heh.  HEH.

2.  Flower Grenades

Subversive item the second, misfits!  But this is one grenade that can do serious good.  How many abandoned lots do you pass on your commute every day?  Wouldn’t they be a whole lot sexier if they were full of wildflowers?

Absolutely, you say!

Bad Mama Genny, your logic is airtight, you say!

Oh, BMG, you have amazing hair with no flyaways whatsoever, you say!

What?  You totally said that.

3. Ben Venom’s Metal T-Shirt Quilts

Check out these Ben Venom metal t-shirt quilts featured on the Domestic Sluttery blog.  Fab, right?  They’re not cheap, but if you’re looking to spend on the metalhead in your life (uh, YOURSELF?! Chya!), I can’t think of anything cooler.

4. 8-bit Eyeglasses

This product espouses the nerd-chic movement (that’s a movement, right?) better than anything I’ve seen in like, oh, I dunno, ever or something.  They’re by dzmitrysamal.com and for anyone who was there to witness 8-bit while it was actually a thing, they are beautiful and touching in the heartstrings place.  A big thanks to Nicole Balch and her babble.com blog for pointing these out.

5.  Subversive Cross Stitch (Giveaway!)

People, this is everything that is awesome about arts and crafts minus everything that sucks, plus some serious attitude that is very much pleasing to the Bad Mama Genny person.  Can’t you see yourself happily stitching “Shut Your Whore Mouth” whilst listening to Foo Fighters and eating one spicy meat-a-ball?

I can.  In fact, I plan to.

They come in so many pleasing designs, too.  Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Get a jump start on the holiday cheer, bitches!

And Exhibit C:

And I’m giving away a FREE Basic Kit (includes fabric, thread, pattern, and instructions) of the winner’s choice to one lucky reader!

To Enter:

1 Chance: Leave a comment on this post telling me which cross stitch kit you’d choose (Check out your options here), and you’ll be entered into a random drawing to win it.

2 Chances: Want an extra go?  Follow me on Twitter for the first time, and leave a second comment here telling me that you did.

3 Chances: Still not enough for you?  Damn if you misfits aren’t demanding!  Well, I’m an obliging Bad Mama Genny.  Tweet a link to my blog’s homepage and leave a third comment telling me that you did.

You have until Thursday, August 11th at noon (CST) to enter, so hike up your fishnets and get going!  I’ll announce the lucky misfit shortly after.

Love and big red kisses,

BMG

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