The Lexingtonienne

August12th

2 Comments

Happy Thursday! Fun stuff today. The humble blog here garnered the attention of fellow blogger (and fellow Lexingtonienne) Holli, who so kindly requested an interview with yours truly. Be sure to check it out on Holli’s blog, A Wondering Spirit, which is really funny, relatable, and a truly delightful read. Thanks again, Holli!

Also, thank you for your kind and supportive comments to yesterday’s post. I was nervous y’all would think I was a stingy old grump (well, those of you who really know me know that I am – haha) because new moms are supposed to be all aglow with naive excitement. I was afraid that expressing anything less than that would be met with judgment, but I went for the honest version anyway and can’t tell you how much I appreciate your awesome responses. (That said, I can’t stop looking at her precious little face on the 4D ultrasound photo. Melt.)

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On to today. As I may have mentioned a time or two :) I’ve been working out like crazy at Bar Method, trying my best to maintain some sense of control over the whole “weight gain” part of pregnancy. I love being in that studio. Unlike the rest of the world, the Bar Method instructors don’t treat you like you’re made out of glass just because you’re preggers. In fact, they work your sorry butt OUT.

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And much to my utter shock, I’ve noticed muscle tone in my arms that I don’t think I have ever had in my whole life. This is a welcome sight, since pregnancy has a tendency to make your upper arms very large and very flabby. For someone like me — for whom visible muscle tone doesn’t come easily in the first place — pregnancy is a one-way ticket to the dreaded Lunch Lady arms.

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Remember that sketch with Adam Sandler and Chris Farley on SNL? Sandler sings a heartfelt ode to that daily distributor of Salisbury steak, the ever-present symbol of your school days — the Lunch Lady. Farley, needless to say, dances around as the Lunch Lady, complete with plastic gloves, hairnet, and appetite-suppressing mole. Here’s a link.

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Keeping a watchful eye on my upper arms has gotten this “Lunch Lady Land” song playing in my head on a loop.

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Which turned out to be a lucky thing, as I was mulling over what to do with all the unused leftovers in our fridge from the family cook-out we hosted this past Sunday.

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Uncooked ground beef. Onion. Bell peppers. Fresh tomatoes from Cousin DJ Blista’s garden. An entire, unopened package of hamburger buns. What to do with it all?

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And then I heard Sandler’s voice echoing in my head with his gravelly Lunch Lady Land chorus: “Sloppy Joes! Sloppy, Sloppy Joes!” Totally.

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Inspired by leftovers and my upper arms, I give you:

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NON-LUNCH LADY SLOPPY JOES
Adapted from the Joy of Cooking

1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound or so ground beef (doesn’t have to be exact)
1 fresh tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped (you could also used canned or even leave this out)
1/2 C beer
2/3 C barbecue sauce*
5-6 dashes Worchestershire sauce
Salt & pepper to taste (I went light on salt and heavy on pepper)

Hamburger buns
Butter

Heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add about 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil, or enough to coat the pan. Add onions, celery, and bell peppers, stirring often. Salt & pepper to taste. Cook until veggies are softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 more minutes. Transfer veggie mixture to a bowl and set aside. Add ground beef to pan, salt & pepper to taste, and cook over medium-high heat until browned, breaking up with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add tomato and stir together. When beef is browned, drain off any excess fat, then add veggie mixture back in, combine thoroughly. Add beer, barbecue sauce, and Worchestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover partially, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, or until the sauce is thickened.

When you are ready to serve, heat a separate skillet over medium-low heat. Add a pat of butter. When it melts and sizzles, place the halves of your hamburger buns facing down in the skillet and cook for a few minutes, until the buns get nice ‘n’ toasty. Remove to plates, add Sloppy Joes, and serve.

*Joy of Cooking said to use chili sauce. When I looked up their chili sauce recipe, it started with 14 pounds of tomatoes. Haha! Oh, Joy. I think barbecue sauce is a far more reasonable — and just as tasty — substitute.

Here’s to lunch ladies everywhere,
Hannah

P.S. Happy Birthday, Casey! Your arms are very toned and not at all like a Lunch Lady. :)

2 Comments

  • Comment by Jenny Lind — August 12, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

    A. Your arms look AMAZING. B. I/We will continue to work your firm (Affirmed by hubby) booty OUT. C. I want that for lunch NOW.

  • Comment by casey (aka sister-in-law) — August 12, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

    Thank you for the birthday and arm shout-out! And an extra thanks for the to go “food” from my favorite restaurant. xo

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