Friday, August 16, 2013

Attack of the Cupcakes

I don't believe I've ever mentioned my escapades in the kitchen. I'm no Martha Stuart or Rachel Ray, that's for sure. In fact, most of my baking/cooking attempts are labeled with the word disaster at the end. Some of the highlights:

The Schnitzel Disaster of 2008
The Waffle Disaster of 2009
The Biscuit Disaster of 2009
The Waffle Incident of 2010- Not quite as bad as the Waffle Disaster of 2009.
The Potato Disaster of 2007 - This involved a microwave fire.
The Noodle Disaster of 2011- Where'd all the water go?
The Pancake Disaster of 2009
The Pound Cake Disaster of 2010- it weighed a whole heck-of-a-lot more than a pound

Those were the highlights. Cooking usually involves a fire alarm. I haven't made it through very many cooking attempts without a fire alarm going off. It's not cooking until the fire alarm goes off, at least that's what I thought while growing up watching my mom cook...

Practice makes perfect, right? God, I sure hope so!

Recipes and I don't get along very well. Recipes want to do one thing, I want to do another. Since I'm usually on a coffee (and coffee song) high, I'm usually able to rationalize why not to follow the recipe. And off into experimentation I drift. 

So what was I doing standing in the kitchen at an ungodly hour jamming out to Frank Sinatra, Tom Waits, and the Balkan Beat Box? I just couldn't resist a recipe for snickerdoodle cupcakes. Who could? I didn't know what a snickerdoodle was, but it sounded whimsical and fun, so I snickered and doodled it up. Turns out that snickerdoodling got a little more complicated than I thought when the recipe (there's that pesky business again) called for scooping balls of batter (batter can be balls?) out and rolling them in cinnamon butter. I have to make cinnamon butter?!? 

Um, I think not. So instead of rolling batter in butter, I decided to fill the muffin tins and pour cinnamon butter over the muffins. I stuck the butter in the microwave and zapped it fluid. It wasn't long before a funky smell permeated the air and a rumbling sound emitted from the microwave. I can't say I was surprised, but I really wasn't expecting the volcanic buttery eruption which I encountered. I guess leaving the butter lava in the microwave would actually be an easy way to butter my next meal. I'm sure I'm not the only one who despises working with butter. Such a microwave would allow a simple way to dispense butter on any meal. Where's a patent office when you need one?

Since I have no idea what snickerdoodles taste like, I can't compare and contrast. Considering my guinea pigs I mean friends haven't dropped dead, I think the recipe's a keeper. Motorcycle cupcake holder please! Ya know, so the cupcakes only attack my hips and not my riding time. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

To fish or not

So I thought that I would do something I haven't done in a while. Actually sit down in advance and plan out a route for a ride. The first time in a very long time where "in advance" doesn't equate scrolling through Google Maps ten minutes before rolling out. I am one helluva procrastinator. Six (going on seven) years of college didn't kill that habit. In fact, I think it made me a better procrastinator; I don't even stress out anymore when a paper I haven't started is due the next day. If that's not a blessing, I don't know what is.

It dawned on me that it had been quite some time since Blueberry and I have been to a particular lake near a particular small town in a while. The last time we were in that area, it was a tad bit chilly (40 degrees plus wind chill) and taking a frostbite detour just wasn't appealing. As I kept this destination in mind for a day, it wasn't long before I heard a rumor drifting through the grapevine purely by chance. 

Apparently, since the water levels have been so low fishermen aren't just catching fish anymore. Rumor has it that four dead bodies have been reeled. I wasn't too hot on fish, but in this case I think I'd opt for the (naturally) aquatic option. Since accidentally tying your body to concrete bricks is unlikely, it's highly probable that homicide is the case. Turns out that the folks living in that nice looking little town are of a violent sort. 

I don't know if this additional information made the idea of going to this lake any less appealing, but curiosity DID kill the cat... I also think it's safe to say that the small town won't be hiring me for any public relations work any time soon.

Due to the fact that my information did come through the grapevine, and I have no idea how accurate it is or if it was just some crazy story to get me out there stomping around in the mushy, low-leveled lake, I'm leaving the name of the lake and town a mystery; I did not find any information to back up this accusation. I did, however, find that they had a similar incident occur a couple of years ago where a fisherman caught more than he bargained for when he hooked a car containing a corpse. So maybe things are being swept under the water after all...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Speaking of Oompa Loompas

Just a quick update:

Oompa Loompas triggered an outing I meant to blog about a while back. For those of you who don't receive candy newsletters from those lovely little oompa loompas, I thought I'd share some information since a longer post about it won't be happening since someone is currently engulfed by Project (Color) Madness...

There's a tasty cholocate factory in the area. The next time you're in Davis, OK make sure you check out the Bedre Chocolate factory which is by the Chickasaw Nation welcome center. The chocolate is simply amazing (so much for that whole no-sugar thing). I personally recommend the espresso chocolate. Shocker, right? The original oompa loompas would be proud of the tasty treats the Chickasaw Nation conjures up. And, while you're on your way to buy some chocolate happiness, you should make a quick stop in Tatums, OK.

Tatums is a small all-black community which has been around since the 1890s. The community is one of thirteen still existing all-black communities. Back in the days before the great depression they had everything from a post office to a mechanic. They even had a hotel...because travel was so popular back in the 1920s. There are some neat remnants of better days still to be seen in Tatums. A silent movie called Black Gold was filmed in the town in 1928 with a big action scene taking place on Main Street (so I read). However, the only evidence of this are located in a museum in California.

Pictures from my trip will be uploaded to Wanderings of a Girl Ryder Facebook page.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Google Maps plans yet another ride

You know it's going to be an awesome motorcycle adventure  when the ride starts with a jump start. Not Blueberry, of course. After stopping by the store to buy some gummy worms (the early bird gets the worm and the early worm gets eaten), these early birds had some worms, jump started the companion bike, and rode off into the sunrise...well, rode off into the west while the sun was rising in the east. No need to get technical.

As we approach the unexpected town of Rocky, the excitement of the unknown is starting to show in my face as I pray the town is bigger than Cookietown. Please at least have a post office! It's in a slight curve of the road that I get distracted from my negotiations with the town-size gods when I spot a young man just sitting in the ditch observing passersby...not that there were any. If that unexpected sight didn't send my negotiations down the drain, it was the strong feeling of deja vu. I kid you not, it was not long ago that I curved through the curves of HWY 115 back when it wasn't under construction (okay, so maybe it was a while ago) that I saw a young man just chilling out in the ditch watching imaginary cars and me go by. I'd almost bet my IRA it was the same young man. You might think that's unlikely; 100 miles apart the same man sitting in the ditch. But, if I find myself on the outskirts of Rocky, why can't he? Plus, how many people can list ditch sitting as their favorite past time? Besides the fact that I was experiencing a weird case of deja vu, it may as well have been a scene from The Twilight Zone. There was this episode in the first season, I believe, where a woman drives across the country by herself. During her travels, she keeps seeing the same hitchhiker. Everywhere she goes, there he is. Just staring at her. Now, her hitchhiker ended up being the grim reaper so I'm hoping it's not quite like an episode out of The Twilight Zone. I probably shouldn't start and end my days watching Twilight Zone episodes...

Google Maps hadn't mentioned anything about a town named Rocky, but there we were in a small town with absolutely nothing besides a post office and four churches. Do I know how to negotiate or what? In a town named Rocky, I would have expected the theme song from the movie Rocky (the first one) to float down from hidden speakers on Main Street. How cool/odd would that be? God knows if I lived in Rocky I would have Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti blast upon those who ran over my trigger wire on Main Street. Make someone feel like they're in the Twilight Zone for a change. Of course, I had to wander the empty streets of Rocky. Even the churches were empty. On a Sunday morning! In Oklahoma! Blasphemy! Where's the Bible Belt hotline number when you need it?

The people (if there are any) of Rocky have a thing for little dogs. Not one Great Dane or Lab was seen. Millions of little vermin were spotted. Maybe the little dogs are from an unknown planet in outer space who landed, invaded, and annihilated all Rocky-ians. Good thing they didn't zap us, too!

It's taken me over four years to realize this: small town Oklahoma is closed on Sundays. No exceptions. What a Twilight Zoney trip it has been. As we enter the abandoned downtown of Cordell, not a soul was seen. The diner offering everyday lunch specials was closed. I guess their Sunday lunch special is to let people starve. Good thing for worms!

On the corner of Sayre and Sayre (okay, so it's not that small), you can find easy access to a five step program. All in one street corner! Five steps, you ask? First, when you commit a crime, the police will assist you (step 1). Of course, sitting in jail is no fun so you have plenty of choices to select your bail bond source (bail bonds men galore- step 2). Since there's likely to be a trial, a leech...I mean, lawyer will be necessary. Options for this third step exist, of course. You'll go to court in Sayre's fine court house (step 4). And, when the leech sucks you dry, and has coffee with the judge, you'll experience the fifth step of the program: Norfolk Correctional Facility. Sayre has a nice bank- just sayin'.

All jokes aside, going back to step four, this was the reason for my trip. Not going to court, I'd like to save that for my experimental years, but the Beckham county court house was featured in the 1940s Grapes of Wrath movie with Henry Fonda. I can't remember seeing a court house in the movie, but if the sign says so, it must be true, right? I do, however, remember an OKC milk truck in the movie. The coffee mentioned in step five would probably be had at the Brick House (...she's a brick...HOUSE) Coffee Shop off of Main. How excited I was when I saw that the little court yard with flowers, chairs, and tables was part of a coffee shop. It's like Pavlov's dogs; the idea of coffee starts conditioned salivating. I see a nice little coffee shop reflected in the window. How neat to find such a treat in a five step town! As little espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and iced coffee drinks are dancing around in my mind (and little muffins, too) I go to the door to find a heartbreaking sign on the door. "Closed on Sundays." Might as well add a sign that says "No coffee for you chump!" Where's the hospital for my broken heart? They probably don't have one since medical is probably available at step five.

Somewhere between Sayre and Altus, I lost my hair tie. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that just twenty minutes of wind and open hair can cause unimaginable painful tangles which take hours of patient combing to get undone. Ain't nobody got time for that, but I still like to avoid the ten minutes of hair removal by excruciating comb yanking. At the last gas stop of the 270 mile adventure, I searched my backpack for another hair tie since I usually have extra. Usually, but not this time. I really just need to attach a few to my handlebars. I did, however, find some combat boot shoe laces a mile long. How'd those get in there? I can't remember. So shoelace hair tie it was. After looping a quarter of a mile of shoelace around my hair, I tied it off and attached it to my shirt so someone's antenna wouldn't find itself with an Oklahoman for decoration.

Pictures on Wanderings of a Girl Ryder Facebook page!
This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!