Dear MF Diary, I Can’t Decide If Devotchka Is Disorganized Wailing or Made of Win

But I do know that it’s pronounced “My Crotch Ka.” Thanks, I’ll be twelve all day.

Let’s start with something gross. What do you know about tweedle beetles? When you bring home autumn fruit you have beetles in your eatles. When the air gets hazy, it can make you quite crazy. What to do? You can give them the paddle and let them battle in a bottle. This is a tweedle beetle battle bottle puddle trap.


At the bottom is a half-inch of cooking sherry and the Gnatocaust. Vinegar flies are capable of living off alcohol fumes, alas, so it is not enough to merely put out a bottle with attractant in it. Last year at this time I watched them sitting on the bottle’s lip, just taking little hits off the air and flying out again. So this year I devised…THE PAPER FUNNEL. And this, my fronds, is a better fly trap.


I have been craving English muffins, and wondering how hard it would be to make them, so I busted out Ye Olde Reliable Bread Bible. I love useful niche cookbooks like this. The Joy of Cooking seems too big at times, like the menu at the Cheesecake Factory. I pretty much only turn to it when I’m desperate. I used to have How to Cook Everything by Bittman, which mostly held up to its promise in the title, but most of my baked good results from there took ninty-eight years to bake and were leaden. I traded it with SeaFed so I could reclaim my beloved Betty Crocker cookbook I bought in desperation when I was eighteen and was suddenly tasked with getting roast beast on the table while my husband slaved away at his grow op all day. All he was using Betty for was the pancake recipe! Imagine that! Now I have my memories and my annotations back where they belong.

I was reminded this weekend why I rarely make scratch yeasted bread. The KNEADING. Ugh. I know there’s a bunch of sensual wackjobs out there who probably have “teh feel of bread dough in meh fingers” listed on their profiles to make them look all “in touch” with…something. You need not apply here, dough monglers. My current inanimate object husband is my bread machine, and I am not scared to admit it.

English muffin dough in particular is very sticky. I let the dough hook do as much work as possible. It’s also one of those snappy doughs, so as I was cutting the muffins, they were shrinking and deforming. Most of my muffins turned out kind of oblong. Whatever! “Rustic.”


Did you know that English muffins are pan-fried, like pancakes? I did not. I assumed they were regular-baked.


In the end, they looked goofy, but tasted delicious. The most time-consuming part was the pan frying. The recipe called for one of those mondo-griddles, which I do not own, so I was putting along with a twelve-inch cast-iron skillet. The nice thing is that once you get the heat just right, you can set them to go and wander off for a bit, since they take ten minutes a side.


I think my chickens are getting ready to lay. They have been having cackle parties in the backyard and Veronica is going really red in the face. A good sign. The youngest ones are now four months old, so in a month or so I should have action from all of them. Someone asked me if we were going to “make it” before egg-laying season ended, meaning that some birds go dormant with the laying in the winter. When I had chickens here before, I had eggs year-round. My first batch of birds five years ago were February or March hatches, and these ladies are April/May hatches, so we’ll see.


This is what I see out my window every night when I make dinner. Meat begzors! Unfortunately, they stand on the neighbors’ deck, so I sneak over there every day or two and sweep it off, so they can enjoy their deck without wanting to kill me.

14 thoughts on “Dear MF Diary, I Can’t Decide If Devotchka Is Disorganized Wailing or Made of Win

  1. The paper funnel works well, yes ma’am. I love seeing all the carcasses floating at the bottom of the bottle.

    RUSTIC TASTES BETTER! I yell this all the time when people complain about my deformed goodies. ;)

    I love that you just have random chickens in your backyard. They don’t let us do that type of thing ’round here.

  2. Anybody who says you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar has never really tried. I love your vinegar tongue and mind; I am your fly.

  3. Say, any chance you could post that English muffin recipe? They look pretty damn good to me.
    Also, in the “Me Too-ist” category, I have that exact same fruit arrangement – Bartletts and them one orangeish-yeller apples – on my table right now. Except in a different bowl. WE ARE TWINS! LIEK, SRSLY!

    (But not really.)


    I will hunt you down and email you. I scanned it for someone the other day. Hensperger recipes are looong.

  5. Dude, I may or may not want to send you an email (something short and stupid, mainly expressing my fan-dom) but I may or may not be too stupid to find the iasshole email address…

    Help por favor?


  6. Man, those stupid bugs have been crawling on me, and last night I dreamt that one was in my hand and I woke myself up by flailing that hand out and whanging it against the dresser next to the bed. Good job, dreaming self. Sleep paralysis? What is that?

    Those muffins look hellaciously tasty. I haven’t made yeast bread in twenty years and am intimidated to try it! I got yeast and everything, and then had anxiety dreams about cooking the bread in a post or kneading throw pillows into it. What the hell, brain? I should just suck it up and make some damn bread already.

  7. Wow, I can’t believe there’s a way to get rid of those danged flies. I just thought it was part of summer life. And english muffins are FRIED? No wonder I like them best. Who knew?

  8. Those english muffins look fantastic! Would you also email the recipe to me, purty please? I must bake them!

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