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What Your Holiday Greeting Says About You (Hint: Probably Bad Stuff)

I don’t know if you guys have noticed at all, but there’s a lot of pressure on everyone to not act like their normal jerk selves around the holidays.

From the gifts you buy your relatives last-minute at the corner gas station, to the party invites you choose to accept or decline based on the variety and amount of booze being served, to the mall parking spaces you steal from the handicapped, all of these seemingly inconsequential decisions you’d regularly make without second thought any other time of year are now major opportunities to come off looking like a thoughtless, insensitive Christmas jackhole.

Unfortunately, the same also goes for how you greet people during the holiday season.  Which is why it’s important—nay, imperative—that you choose your words wisely, because everyone is judging you by them.  And by ‘judging’, I mean ‘writing down your license plate number to report you to mall security’. 

Lucky for you clueless people, I’ve already taken the time to decode a few of the more common holiday greetings based on my personal experience with humans so that you know what you’re really saying from now on.  Granted, not everyone uses a greeting for the same reason, and I acknowledge this delicate intricacy by providing helpful variations.  Simply choose the one that applies to you.

So here goes:

“Merry Christmas!”

What You’re Really Saying: (a) “Merry Christmas–I hope you can appreciate the sentiment even if your cultural or religious beliefs happen to differ from mine!”  or (b) “Merry Christmas–Kiss my ass if you don’t celebrate it, sinners!”

“Happy Holidays!”

What You’re Really Saying: (a) “I hope you enjoy whatever religious and/or cultural traditions you participate in this month!”  (b) “I actually have strong religious convictions but would rather not risk facing some sort of makeshift mall Tribunal for crimes against  intolerance just because I dared to use a vaguely religious greeting in public.”

“Season’s Greetings!”

What You’re Really Saying: (a) “Being that I am politically correct to a crippling extreme, I find ‘Happy Holidays’ far too controversial for my taste.  On a side note, I enjoy wearing beige, patternless sweaters, refer to white people as ‘Caucasian-Americans’ and listen only to the jazzy, non-confrontational musical stylings of Kenny Loggins.”  (b) “Hi there!  I work for Hallmark!  Please stop me before I kill again!”

“Happy Kwanzaa!”

What You’re Really Saying: (a)  “I know for a fact that you celebrate Kwanzaa and wish to extend to you your traditional greeting.”  (b) “I know for a fact that I celebrate Kwanzaa and wish to extend you my traditional greeting.”  (c) “I don’t celebrate Kwanzaa and I’m not sure if you do either, but I’m just going to assume so anyway because of your ethnicity.  Feel free to punch me repeatedly in my silly, presumptuous face now.”

“Happy  Hanukkah!”

What You’re Really Saying: (a)  See above, except substitute”Kwanzaa” for “Hanukkah”.

“Happy Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year)!”

What You’re Really Saying: (a) See above, except substitute “Hanukkah” for “Al-Hijra”.

“Happy Boxing Day!”

What You’re Really Saying: (a) “I’m Canadian!” (b) “I’m Australian!” (c) “I’m from one of those other countries that celebrates kooky holidays!”  (Kidding, my Canuck/Aussie/other kooky country friends!)

“Festivus for the Rest of Us!”

What You’re Really Saying: (a) “I’m a sad, aging hipster unable to deal with my grinding progression into adulthood, so I bury myself in the stale witticisms of early 90s TV reruns.  By the way, what do you guys think’s going to happen between Ross and Rachel?”

“Yule Greetings!”, “Yuletide Cheer!”, or pretty much anything with the word “yule” in it.

What You’re Really Saying: (a) “I’m a character from a Dickens novel who’s somehow been magically teleported into this strange and impossibly modern era.  Won’t you please help me return to where I belong?”  (b) “I’m a pretentious asshat with a flair for theatrics and a crippling need to appear unique and unconventional, even at the expense of my own dignity.”

“Phyllis Diller is the Pterodactyl Queen!  All Hail the Flapjack Revolution!!”

What You’re Really Saying: (a) “I am completely batshit insane and will likely throw feces at you if you come close enough.”

So there you have it, folks.

I recommend you pick one of the above phrases and start practicing now.

Happy Phyllis Diller is the Pterodactyl Queen Day!

…And Then I Got In A Fight With Jesus.

So several years ago around Christmas I got into this insane argument with one of Justin’s aunts about charitable work.  Really.  It was crazy.  Crazy because this particular aunt IS the very definition of a charitable person.  Even her career – and that of her husband – is about providing comfort and support and a means for those less fortunate to navigate through this confusing system of ours.  She is compassion incarnate.  Or something.

So what was the argument?

It basically stemmed from the fact that I tied the act of giving to the idea of karma.


Allow me to explain.  We were talking about charity and random acts of kindness and such.  I said the beauty of any giving act is that while it certainly does some good for the recipient, it also instills in the giver a feeling of happiness, and… dare I say it?… pride.  And the reason this is a good thing is because this feeling is likely to inspire the giver to give again, thus perpetuating the cycle of good deeds and good feelings.  The design is flawless.

Or so I thought.

The problem with the correlation I made is that Justin’s aunt is devoutly religious.  She was deeply and personally insulted by my apparent insinuation that people only do good deeds in order to reap karmic rewards.  (And I assure you that is not what I said.)

Moreover, she would never dream of leading a charitable life simply because it made her feel happy.  (Again, not what I said.)

In fact, it was her duty as a Christian to help those in need.  (I can hardly argue with that, now can I?)

I tried to explain that I meant a nice “side-effect” of showing kindness towards others is the inevitable little warm fuzzy that nestles up in your face, your throat, your heart.  It can’t be helped.  It’s there, whether you want it or not.  And, whether you realize it or not, it encourages you to continue to feed it by doing more nice things.

What’s wrong with that?  Sounds like a win-win to me…

So you’re saying there is no such thing as a selfless act???


Of course not.  All I’m saying is if a “selfless” deed just so happens to make you feel good about yourself, what is so wrong with that?  The worst that could happen is it will inspire more selfless deeds.

Why do you think we like this guy on HGTV?

Mike Holmes

Or this guy on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?

Or this woman, doing what she does best?

Because they perpetuate the good.  But no one can say they don’t get anything out of it.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter why a person does something nice.  It’s just that he/she does it.

Which brings me to Part 2 of my personal Christmas reformation project.  Part 1 started here, when I realized there is no possible way for me to make everyone I love happy over the holidays.  Even so, I shouldn’t let that deter me from getting as much enjoyment as I can out of the things it will be possible for me to do.  Is that selfish?  Perhaps.  But I’ve noticed over the years that the happier I am, the happier it makes people around me.  Try it.  You’ll see.

My next selfish step (aka. part 2) was to get myself a Christmas present.  The gift of a warm fuzzy.

(Now before you stop reading because you’re afraid I’m going to ask you for money, don’t worry!  I know these are tricky times for everyone.  I will include a link at the bottom in case you are interested, but that’s it.)

In order to get my warm fuzzy, I made a donation to a charity I’ve read a lot about in recent months – one I’m confident will make the most of my meager contribution.  And trust me, it was meager.  And, just like I predicted, I now want to do a little more.

What I have decided is that no one will be buying me a wrappable gift this year.  I’m tired of trying to think of something easy and affordable that someone could buy for me that I couldn’t just as easily buy for myself (because let’s face it – no one I know really wants to buy me this, andMark Zuckerberg has yet to accept my friendship request on Facebook).  So if anyone asks, I will send them to my charity.  It will literally take them 30 seconds to buy my gift, and they can spend as much or as little as they’d like.  Then, if they really want to go above and beyond, they can email me ( or leave me a comment  here to tell me about it.  I want them to get the warm fuzzy too.

Everybody wins – and really, I don’t mind if they feel good about it.

I realize this is not a groundbreaking idea.  It’s not even a… um… ground tapping idea.  But it’s new for me.  And even if just one person gets me what I want this year (*cough*mom*cough*), I can honestly say that it will be the best gift I’ve received in a very, very long time.

To cross me off your Christmas list, click on THIS LINK to read about the GOD’S CHILD Project and then click the yellow “Donate” button.  You can also read more about the GOD’S CHILD Project on this website.

Don’t forget to send me an email ( or leave a comment on this post if you make a donation.  And even if you don’t make a donation but like the idea or are doing something similar, please share!

I Tart You.

Sometimes being part of the military means you can’t always visit family for the holidays.  But it also means you have family wherever you happen to be.  Thus, we celebrate Thanksgiving with other military families almost every year.  We can gather with friends, fry up a couple of turkeys, and everyone contributes one or two dishes.  It certainly beats cooking every part of the meal, and it’s definitely better than our Pizza Hut Easter tradition.


My contribution this year was a combination of 2 recipes:  Pecan Pie Tarts and Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce.  The tarts were delicious and bite-sized, and they tasted even better with this rich, creamy sauce drizzled over the top.

Since the sauce is supposed to be chilled, I started with that and made it the night before.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of whiskey

Easy peasy!

1.  In a sauce pan over medium-low heat, combine the first 3 ingredients and stir them constantly for about 20 minutes.  The mixture will bubble and thicken.

Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce

2.  Remove from heat, add the whiskey, and then put the pot back on the heat for another 5 minutes or so.

3.  Put in the fridge overnight to chill and thicken.  Doesn’t get much easier than that!

Now for the Pecan Pie Tarts.  I doubled the original recipe and used a bit more cream cheese than called for because I wanted to use the entire brick.

To make about 40 tarts the way I did, you will need:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped pecans

1.  Beat together the softened cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Then add the flour and salt, and mix until it forms a dough.  I used my hands for this part.

Cover the dough and chill in the fridge for about an hour.

2.  While the dough is chilling, mix the eggs, dark brown sugar, melted butter and vanilla extract together in a bowl.

I cannot tell you how much I miss my broken low-light camera lens right now.

3.  Chop up the pecans (even smaller if they came pre-chopped), and mix those in as well.

4.  Now comes the fun part.  Okay, it’s tedious.  Very, very tedious.  But it’s worth it, I promise!  Preheat your oven to 325-degrees F.  Grease 2 mini muffin tins (this will make about 40 tarts) and press the dough into the bottoms and sides of the greased cups.  Then fill each one with the pecan mixture to just below the edge (these will rise a bit, so don’t fill right to the brim).

5.  Then bake these puppies at 325-degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Cool them in the pan on a wire rack, and then pop them on out.  They should come out fairly easily if you greased the pan well.  When you’re ready to serve them, drizzle them with some of the chilled whiskey cream sauce.

Wow.  This sauce puts these things way over the top on level of divine, splurging deliciousness.  WowWowWow.

Now I realize this is decidedly Thanksgiving-y-ish food, but I could definitely see this whiskey cream sauce making a comeback around Christmas.  Even if I have to pour it over my sugar cookies.  Even if I just have to drink a bowl of it for breakfast.

Would that be bad?

Or bad in a good way?

Deck the Halls, If You Must.

Okay, I’ll admit it.  In case you haven’t figured it out already, I’m not one of those, “Oooh I’m SO excited that the holidays are almost here!!!” kind of people.  Which I realize makes me a bit of an oddity because I am (usually) a chipper morning person who enjoys engaging in social activity (with people I like).

Stipulations aside, I think being a socially-engaging morning person would normally also qualify me as someone who just can’t wait to dig out the ol’ Christmas decorations and tune the radio to one of the 24-hour holiday music stations and pull out my Frosty-the-Snowman-meets-Rudolph greeting cards to fill out, address and stamp while sipping hot cocoa and eating snickerdoodles in front of a crackling fire.

But I’m not.  In fact, the very idea – aside from the hot cocoa and snickerdoodles because those sound delicious – inspires a giant lump of un-enthusiasm to well up in my soul.

I think it might have something to do with coming from a broken family. (As a child of divorce, I’m so fortunate that I will always have that excuse to fall back on for any of my own personal failings.)  You see, no matter who we go visit for the holidays, there is always someone who doesn’t get a visit, and the inevitable guilt-inducing remarks are made, feelings get hurt, and rather than just enjoying the company I’m with, I end up worrying whether I’ve made someone halfway across the country feel isolated and alone by not gracing him/her with my presence this year.

And the thing that I (and apparently they) keep forgetting is that I have a guest room too, you know.

If you come visit me, I can pretty much guarantee a stress-free time.  The house may not be in perfect order and filled to the brim with Christmas decorations; I may not have 32 different varieties of fresh-baked Christmas cookies on hand; I may not be sporting a 12-year-old red and green knit Christmas tree sweater; however, your sheets will be clean and your wine glass will be full.  And against my better nature, I might even cook.  (Drink enough wine, and it will taste just dandy.)  If you want cookies, we can bake them together.  It will be fun.  We will have fun.  And we won’t stress if the cookies burn or the pups knock over my 3-foot-tall Christmas tree because c’est la vie, you know?

And if you don’t come visit, it’s no big deal.  I won’t make you feel guilty.  Why would I make you feel guilty?  That just means more wine for me.

But really.  Isn’t that the point?  Celebrating the life we have?  Sure, we can get all deep and thoughtful and say the holiday season is about giving, about family, about love.  Which is true.  But since we seem to have such a hard time with all that, let’s just take this in baby steps, shall we?

When you feel the holiday stress start to get to you because you haven’t finished gift shopping or the grocery store is all out of your favorite eggnog, here’s a revolutionary thought: enjoy it anyway. When it’s all over and you have nothing left but 3 trash cans full of multi-colored wrapping paper and a carpet full of tinsel, people aren’t going to remember that you had an $80 wreath on the front door.  What they will remember is whether or not you smiled.  Whether or not you laughed.  Whether or not they made you feel happy because they chose to visit you this holiday season.

Stressing during the holidays defeats the purpose.  Whether you live for the holidays or would rather crawl under the covers until tax season, they’re coming.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it – and it IS a choice – is to take a deep breath, another sip of spiked cider, and love the crap out of all of it.

It sure beats the alternative.

What Are YOU Thankful For?

Today, just like any other day, I’m thankful for the usual:  my family, my friends, my health, my home.

But I’m also thankful I’m not my neighbors.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cup of Excuses

I know.  You don’t have to say it.  Erin and I have been extremely neglectful keepers of the blog as of late.  In our defense, it is a holiday week.  That makes it easier for us to justify other things – things like eating, sleeping, and eating – as more important than blogging.

And I have actually been keeping pretty busy.  I have about a million and a half recipes to share with you, I took Christmas photos of my neighbor and her family, I put together a gift package to send to our friends in Costa Rica, I ate 2 thin mints and a baby carrot at the same time (I’ll let Erin tell you more about that one), I vacuumed up a GIANT monster spider this morning without soiling myself, and I’m thinking about painting the office (the room is cleared out and everything).  All of this has been interspersed with sporadic, semi-desperate attempts to bring my hard drive back from the dead.

No, I haven’t yet disposed of the carcass.  Psycho, anyone?

I’m also dreading the fact that I have to venture out into the world today.  It’s about this time of year when I like to hole myself up in my cave – not just to stay out of the chilly air, but to avoid all of the absolutely insane shoppers out there who come crawling out of their usual 9-5’s to wreak havoc on the outside world, shoving and clawing and scrambling to get the absolute best deal on the next tickle-me-sponge-bob doll while trampling Wal-Mart employees to death.

To death, my friends.

On the plus-side, I had an absolutely ethereal cup of coffee this morning.  I mean, I couldn’t recreate this if I tried.

Now.  If I can just make it through the next few days without getting trampled to death in a Wal-Mart, I will consider this yet another holiday success.

Turkey is a Narcotic

Well hey there, party people.

Man, do I suck at this whole commitment thing or what?

I just realized that I took off for several days without even telling you guys that I’d be gone or where I’d be going or what you said to make me leave.  (Seriously, you guys owe me a huge apology.  That shizzle was spiteful.)

Chuckles and I have been in North Carolina since Friday having an early Thanksgiving with the extended family and I’d meant to keep posting all the while but I’ve been gorging mercilessly on the top of the Food Pyramid (Hello?  Sugars and fats?  Did anyone pay attention in P.E. class?) for three days straight without exerting any physical effort whatsoever and now my fingers are too chubby to operate a normal-sized keyboard. 

So there’s that, plus the fact that (a) I forgot my camera cable so I can’t upload any pictures and (b) Chuckles just bought a new laptop and everytime I try to move the cursor using the mousepad, the *$#*?@ thing mocks, literally mocks, my efforts by either scrolling wildly to the very bottom of the screen or somehow shrinking the text size down to, like, microscopic and if I have to deal with this much longer my heart is going to stop busying itself with the task of trying to pump out the lard I’ve been feeding it and start doing the angry warehouse dance Kevin Bacon does in Footloose and then I’m going to keel over and die from a bad 80’s flashback and coming in to your living room to find someone on your couch keeled over a greasy laptop with a deep-fat-fried drumstick still hanging halfway out of her mouth is just not a pleasant Thanksgiving Day memory for any host to have, even if it did kind of serve me right because I’m the kind of crappy houseguest who doesn’t replace toilet paper rolls and eats the rest of the sweet potato casserole without asking. 

So like I said.  It’s hasn’t been the best circumstances to work under here, folks. 

And this is just the first Thanksgiving.  Chuckles and I will be packing up our stuff Wednesday morning and heading back to Maryland for Thanksgiving: The Sequel at our friends’ house on Thursday.

So, in between traveling and packing/unpacking and stuffing my face, I’ll try to crank out a few posts.  Don’t give up on me just yet. 

But in the meantime, hope everyone’s getting geared up for their own awesome Thanksgiving plans. 

And may God have mercy on our arteries.

I’m Only Mean to the People I Love

After much careful consideration and over 4 weeks home from Costa Rica, I’ve come to the conclusion that my friends must hate me.

I mean, why else would they be constantly bombarding me with environmental job listings, certification programs, grad school opportunities, and questions like, “What are you going to do now?” and, “Soo… what did you do today?” (always said with a sly grin because they know the answer is not, “Oh, I had a productive day at the office.”)

And really, there is nothing more humiliating than having to answer, “I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next – I’m still weighing my options” and, “Oh, you know… laundry, cleaned the house, cooked dinner…” when the truth is that I have no frickin’ clue what I’m going to do with my life and I spend my days trying to figure it out, writing, researching, weighing my options, and why are all of you rushing me??!!

Okay, in reality I know my friends are actually being helpful, giving me that nudge they know I need because they’re my friends and I deliberately surround myself with brutally honest people because I can’t stand it when anyone’s like, “Oh, you have all the time in the world to figure out what you want to do!” because we all know I don’t have all the time in the world because I’m 28, which isn’t old, but it’s kind of about that time where I should be figuring my sh*t out, you know?  So I know they’re on my side here.  They don’t want to see me fail.

Which is comforting.

And also a lot of pressure.  I mean, I created this opportunity for myself – this blank slate – and so far it’s been like I’m swimming against a rip tide of “shoulds” and “have tos” in search of the ever evasive “wants.”

Making the transition from a fairly successful, decent-paying job that fit my educational background to… whatever I end up doing, is easier said than done.  But let’s face it – now, when I no longer have that bi-weekly paycheck coming in – is not the time to freeze.  It’s time to press on, put myself out there, and avoid the need I feel to apologize for my self-invoked economic status every time it seems like someone looks at my apparent flounder with pity.

Because it’s important to remember that this isn’t flounder.  This is… something else.  It’s like my dad always told me – I might appear to be procrastinating to everyone else, but on the inside I’m constantly formulating plans, playing out hypotheticals, moving the chess pieces around.  It’s important to think before I act, because we’ve all seen how hard it is to jump the tracks once we get going in a certain direction.  I don’t want to make a habit out of this.  I want the next move to be right.

So bear with me, friends.  I haven’t fallen completely off the edge.  I just need to dangle here a bit before I take the plunge back into reality.  I’m lucky I can do that.

And in the meantime, I sure am glad I have you.

I’ve Found the Perfect Job for Me…

Dear Company Recruiter,

I am confident that I would make a highly-qualified addition to your dynamic team because I have spent the last 29 years being a foul-mouthed, mean-spirited, judgmental shrew who frequently makes fun of strangers and anyone else I deem unlikely or unable to retaliate.  I also can’t be left alone with cookies that aren’t mine, I talk loudly on my cell phone in public and I giggle when I see people trip.  I believe that all of these qualities prove that I am the unparalleled choice for carrying on your company’s proud name.

Oh, and something about family planning or reproductive health.  Or whatever.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Hugs n’ kisses,


Tuscan Soup for the Soul

You may have heard that I recently lost the contents of my hard drive and have effectively been working my way through bottles of red wine at a fairly alarming pace.


Okay… I actually did lose the contents of my hard drive.  Which sucked.  And I am going through bottles of red wine at an impressive pace.  But that’s not unusual.  In fact, I think I’m handling the loss remarkably well.  It’s like I’m on the losing end of a one-sided breakup, and I have to work my way through the stages of grief.  Plus, the red wine therapy contains loads of antioxidants, so it’s really a win-win situation.

First, I was in denial.  What?  You’re leaving me?  Yeah right.  I’ll call your bluff.  Go ahead and leave.  See what it’s like to spend a night alone.  You’ll be back.

Once the shock wore off, the pain arrived.  In waves.  I might’ve cried a little.  You’re really gone?  You just took all my pictures and left?  I miss your smell.  My world is so EMPTY without you in it.

But once I realized how ridiculous it was to cry over a piece of electronic equipment, I got angry.  Very, very angry.  I blasted the angry chick music.  I paid for YOU.  You owed me at least the courtesy of a WARNING before you went off and took EVERYTHING I LOVE away from me.

And I might’ve bargained a little.  Okay, okay, I’ll tell you what.  Just give me back my pictures, and I promise I won’t put you in the freezer again.  Just a FEW of my pictures at least?  Or maybe a page of my writing?  Anything?  Just give me something and all this torture can stop for both of us.  Give me just one picture of a monkey in a tree and I’ll give you a nice, warm bed in the TRASH CAN WHERE YOU BELONG. (I wasn’t quite over the anger stage at that point.)

And now I’m entering the stage of reflection.  I’m only just realizing the magnitude of my loss, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it hurts a little.  A lot.  And nothing you can say will make me feel better.  It’s just gone.

It’s times like these when I do what any normal woman does for comfort and support.  I’m turning to food.  The air is starting to turn brisk and the skies a little more gray.  Warm, chunky comfort food is the only cure-all – the only thing that will bring forth a warm, chunky Katie.

And since I just made chili this season, I started perusing the web for some more options.  Sausage.  Anything with sausage.  And I found this.

Spicy Tuscan Soup.

Spicy Tuscan Soup

And like any war-whithered woman post-breakup, I had to have some.  Now.

Here’s what I needed to make it:

  • You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette blasting background music
  • 1 pound Spicy Breakfast Sausage (I use Jimmy Dean’s Hot sausage)
  • 1 whole Medium Red Onion, diced
  • 2-3 slices Bacon, diced (I used 3 slices.  If you need me to explain why, then you really don’t know me like I thought you did.)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 whole Medium Potatoes
  • 1 quart Warm Water
  • 3 cubes Chicken Bouillon
  • ¼ bunch Kale, roughly chopped (I have never used kale before, either.  Don’t be scared.  And I actually have another recipe I’m going to try for the remaining kale from the bunch.)
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream  (This is breakup food, remember! Go with the good stuff.)
  • Salt And Pepper to taste

1.  Get your sausage cooking in a pot on the stove.  Once it’s brown, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pot and set it aside.  If there’s a lot of excess grease left in the pot, dump  most of that out and dispose.  (Whatever you do, do not dangle your hard drive by its USB cord over the pot of hot grease and threaten to drop it if it doesn’t surrender your pictures immediately.  People will think you are crazy.)

Brown sausage

2.  While the sausage is cooking, dice up the red onion, 3 slices of bacon and 3 cloves of garlic.  And SING that angry chick music.  Just don’t close your eyes – that’s not a good idea when you’re holding a sharp knife.  Add the onion and bacon to the (now empty) sausage pot over medium-high heat.  When the onions are cooked (translucent), add the garlic and cook for about another minute.

3.  While the onions are cooking, scrub your potatoes (you can peel them too if you’d like, but tater skins don’t bother me so I left them on).  Cut them lengthwise and then chop them into 1/4″ slices.  You can cut them even smaller if it floats your boat.

Sliced Potatoes

4.  Then add the quart of warm water to the pot with the onions.  See all those yummy brown bits on the bottom?  Adding the water will “deglaze” the pot and get all that tastiness worked back up into the soup.  And if you’ve lost all of your pictures from Costa Rica, you need those brown bits.  Also add the 3 bouillon cubes and the sliced potatoes to the pot.  Let everything simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are soft-ish, but not quite fully cooked.

5.  Finally, add the sausage, chopped kale, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and salt and pepper to taste.  It NEEDS salt and pepper.  Don’t skip this.  Just dip your special tasting spoon on in and don’t stop tasting until you get it the way you like it.  Even if you have to taste and taste and taste.  Let cook for another 5 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the kale has wilted.

Done!  Now eat it.

This hit the spot.  You know, that place on the inside of my upper thighs?  That spot.  And my love handles.  But it’s no big deal, because it’s almost winter and I’m getting over a loss.  I know this soup won’t bring my hard drive back, but it helped bring me to a place of peace and acceptance.

And the wine didn’t hurt, either.