All posts by Laura Grimes

Meat: It’s what’s for dinner

"The Order of Good Cheer" by Charles William Jefferys, 1606/Wikimedia Commons

By Laura Grimes

My mom’s coming for Thanksgiving. I’m pretty excited. I’ve already talked her into making pie (it didn’t take much).

We have to get a turkey breast just for her, though. None of the four Scatterers eats turkey. We had a long conversation at dinner one night just to solve what to do about meat for Thanksgiving. The one carnivore in the house, the Large Large Smelly Boy, said he didn’t like white meat, and he wasn’t interested in turkey legs or thighs. He requested chicken. We dreamed up cooking a whole chicken, which is not a small thing in the Scatter house. We were relieved to have a plan, and even kind of excited. We could make stock, just like we used to. We could freeze it. We could make all kinds of things for the Large LSB. Boy, that chicken decided it. We were going to get the whole house cooking! Bring on Thanksgiving! Could it come sooner?

Continue reading Meat: It’s what’s for dinner

Buried in more hedgehoggery

Lone Fir Cemetery/Wikimedia Commons

By Laura Grimes

After the first hedgehog/book club post went up, a super secret source sent me this story. I copied and pasted it here exactly as it was sent to me except that the names have been changed to protect the innocent, the guilty and the identity of my source. A background note: The source’s family had lived in a large rambly house before moving to a high-rise condo.

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Pickle swaps, hedgehogs & applesauce

The swappage haul. Impressive, no?

By Laura Grimes

Book Club was great fun.

After I wrote my last post, a book clubber discovered it and broadcast it to the rest of the group. Then the email trail went eerily quiet. This is not a quiet email group. It’s not overly communicative, but the stillness was … worrisome. Were they ticked that I ratted them out?

Nah. Everyone arrived and, reminding them we were to celebrate all things French in honor of our book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, I immediately trained everyone in the double-cheek airkiss. They caught on fast.

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Hedgehogging our bets on book club

A European hedgehog, which is bigger than an African hedgehog./Wikimedia Commons

By Laura Grimes

Book Club is coming. Book Club is coming.

And it’s coming to my house.

I never thought I was a Book Club person. I love the idea of a gathering of people for the primary reason of discussing a book, but I chafe at the thought of being told what to read, spending hours on a book that I didn’t pick, and facing a deadline to finish reading something when I prefer to just enjoy it as a leisurely hobby. And then there’s the looming threat to be disciplined about finishing a book. The dreaded D word.

But a funny thing … I developed a liking for these people. I thought I would have Book Club Commitment Issues (like George Clooney), but I’ve grown so … so … attached.

Continue reading Hedgehogging our bets on book club

Piccalilli or pick a lot: The food of love

Behold. The finished Jars.

By Laura Grimes

The season’s pickle swaps are in full swing. These things sneak up and before you know it, you have hot peppers in the cupboard and elk meat in the freezer.

A few jars of piccalilli flew out the door the other night in return for promissory notes for bread-and-butter pickles and honey.

An email popped up the next day:

Your piccalilli is amazing. Can you send me the recipe? Thanks so much for sharing it.

So I typed up the recipe, mixing in all my adaptations, and then I kept typing. I was surprised to discover another story that attests to the Power of the Pickle.

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Opera: Large smells and large screens

The view of the opera's festivities from the Scatter campout spot.

By The Scatter Family minus one plus two

The Scatter Family minus one headed downtown Saturday night to Portland Opera’s season-opening Big Night gala concert, an indoors/outdoors spectacle that also included pizza, rockabilly, giant walking heads, and an after-concert showing of the Marx Brothers’ side-splitting operatic thrashing A Night at the Opera on an oversized screen hanging above the front entrance of the Keller Auditorium.

The Scatter Family? Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Scatter (Bob Hicks and Laura Grimes) and the Small Large Smelly Boy (age 13), who loves ballet and whistles opera whenever he thinks strangers aren’t listening. We fondly call him Felix/Martha (Felix Unger/Martha Stewart), but it really should be Felix/Frasier/Niles/Martha (if you have to ask then you haven’t laughed through the Frasier TV sitcom, where Frasier and Niles are hilarious opera-loving sons of a crusty retired police officer).

Why the minus one? The Large Large Smelly Boy is not fond of opera (“Why do they always sing so high and stuff?”), but he’s a big film buff and we had hoped he would fall for a chance to see A Night at the Opera (“But I can get it at the library!”). We have no idea why he’s not amenable to being exploited for cultural and comic purposes.

Why the plus two? We ran into one of the SLSB’s longtime buddies (LSB2, also 13) and his dad, who generously sent their reflections (they’re good ‘uns; just wait). In debating about a blog name, the dad suggested SSD (Short Smelly Dad), but we’ll call him Ed.

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Gollywump, Dad, happy frogbottom

"The Waiter" by Giuseppe Arcimboldo/Wikimedia Commons

By Laura Grimes (with help from the Large Smelly Boys)

Shhhh! Be vewy vewy qwiet! Sneak attack in progress.

It’s a big day in the Scatter household, when patriarch Mr. Scatter is feted (not fetid). So the Large Smelly Boys and I are hijacking the blog for a surprise post. The fun part is seeing how long it takes Mr. Scatter to find it. Don’t tell, OK?

It’s quite possible the rest of the blog world knows Mr. Scatter as a stately critic, a keen observer who elegantly writes deep thoughts about serious topics. Imagine him two-finger tapping away in a tweed jacket, a strong black coffee at his elbow, a softly snoring cat at his toes, and a mellifluous Haydn concerto mingling between sunbeams. That’s all pretty much right, though the jacket comes out only occasionally.

The blog world only knows Mr. Scatter’s high English finger-tapping language, though. His family hears a whole other side of him. Betcha didn’t know he has a hidden talent. He’s fluent in Bobspeak.

Just at dinnertime Mr. Scatter actually hollered — no kidding — “Time to eat! Mongo gila! Take your clothes off!”

Continue reading Gollywump, Dad, happy frogbottom

High times in the lowlands

Avert your gaze. Mr. and Mrs. Scatter have jettisoned the Large Smelly Boys and are having a romantic interlude abroad. In the meantime, they have temporarily outsourced the blog to their chief travel correspondent, who makes friends wherever he goes — this time to Bruges, Belgium.

By JoJo

Greetings from Bruges.

Continue reading High times in the lowlands

Balls, burritos and blasts from the past

I got balls.

By Laura Grimes

Dear Mr. Scatter,

I finished dusting my balls, recurating them, and I added an avocado pit to the collection. Can you guess which one it is?*

I know you think I just lobbed you a big fat softball (I have two in my collection) so you can make a smartass comeback, but then I would just have to emphasize softball, so let’s leave it at that.

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Caution: Blogjacking in progress

By Laura Grimes

Quick. Mr. Scatter is on the road, so let’s post while he’s not looking.

Some people call. Some people text. I believe in the more sneaky form of communication — surprise blog posts broadcast to the world. Consider them entertainment and information all scrolled into one.

Dear Mr. Scatter,

What’s news since you left this morning?

Holy hot tub, I received an email with the below attached picture of a souvenir for the upcoming royal wedding (it’s good to have friends in low places). If you can’t tell, they’re tea bags.

Royal tea bags

Continue reading Caution: Blogjacking in progress