Wordless Wednesdays

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Art of Generally Paying Attention and A Most Rewarding Salsa (or two)

I am a firm believer that one of the greatest skills you can cultivate in your life is the art of generally paying attention to the world and people around you. Not only does this bode well for functioning decently as a responsible human being, but my, oh my, does it make life far more amusing. Steve is often amused at how easily amused I am when I relate stories to him from my day with the kids.
Me: "AND THEN...there was this man in a white van with a HUGE white beard! It was FANTASTIC!!"
Steve: "Um. Okay, Mary."

Does this make me a simplistic person? THEN SO BE IT. You could miss out on a tremendous amount of marvelous things if all you strive to do is wildly careen from one task to another on your already-insane to do list. Slow down. Just sayin'.

And now for something completely different. Story time!

I went to Target the other day BY MYSELF (with thanks to my mother in law), and although I did my utmost to not waddle across the parking lot, I doubt as to whether I succeeded or not. My mission was simple: a new water bottle for one of the kidlets, and a basic t-shirt for myself, due to the embarrassing fact that I had spilled iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts all over the front of my shirt in the car. AWESOME. I normally wouldn't have bothered, but I had to hit the grocery store after Target, and I was a bit of a coffee-scented mess. I waddled to the maternity section and found a decent plum-colored t-shirt that looked absolutely NOTHING like a maternity shirt (why. must. everything. be. skin. tight.), but I knew that resistance was futile, so I threw it in the cart and went on my penguin-esque way. I was nearing the end of my quest, and made a quick stop in the party supply section to pick up some plates for my youngest son (3! On Monday! I WEEP.) Two young ladies walked past me, then proceeded to have the following conversation VERY LOUDLY in the next aisle:

Girl #1: "Oh my gosh; I just saw ANOTHER pregnant lady!"
Girl #2: "Wow, that makes, like, FOUR pregnant people we've seen today!"
Girl #1: "Yeah, and this one's about to pop, too!!"

They walked out of the aisle and were continuing to talk about this while looking directly at me. I threw them a look that said,"I'm pregnant. NOT DEAF."

Good. Grief.

I waddled as indignantly as I could out of there, bought my stuff, changed into my "maternity" shirt, and then spent my first two children's college education at the grocery store. It was a good day. The End.

And now...

Because if you're still reading this, you've been terribly patient with me...

For this, I give you salsa.

TWO. Salsas. Salsi? Oh, dear.

I went craving-crazy the other day and re-created a delicious, super-fresh pineapple salsa I had at Urban Burrito in Asheville, North Carolina when we went to visit my sister at the end of May (more of that adventure to come!!).

I rarely just throw a recipe together. I am fiercely devoted to recipes and measurements, but this just kind of happened. And it HAPPENS (bwa ha ha) to be delicious.

Pineapple-Cilantro Salsa
By Mary J. Johnson, expert imitator of penguins

-One medium-sized pineapple, diced quite small
-1/4 c. chopped cilantro
-1 small green jalapeno pepper, diced very small
-1/4 c. red onion, diced very small

-Prepare all ingredients, then combine in a serving bowl. Allow salsa to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the flavors develop and meld. You can certainly enjoy this with your favorite tortilla chips, but this would also be wonderful spooned over some grilled chicken. 

After such a sweet and light salsa, you might feel the need for something a little more savory and spicy. Allow me to introduce to you...

My Mom's Hot and Zesty Salsa
From me mum.

-1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained.(my mom always used Rotel brand, and I use it, too)
-3 large cloves of garlic, peeled
-A small handful of cilantro
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

-Place all ingredients in a mini food processor, and blend, blend, blend! If you do not have a mini food processor, you can certainly chop up the garlic and cilantro quite fine and stir it into the diced tomatoes and chiles. It will just be chunkier than the food-processed version. This salsa really shines when served at room temperature. My mom made this quite often for football games and other gatherings. It really is my favorite tomato-based salsa. It is HOT, and the the kick from the chiles is a bit delayed. Be warned! :-) 

One more thing:

Dear Target,
Your summer bowls are thrilling to my soul. Thank you for being awesome. 

The Penguin Woman.

Get outside. IT'S FINALLY SUMMER!!! Even in Wisconsin! I took the flannel sheets off my bed! Triumph! Oh, and Happy Father's Day!


  1. I love this. And I'm so glad we have retained our joys of ridiculously small ridiculous things. Hahaha

  2. I'm also obsessing over your simplistic layout. I want to change mine.

  3. Aw, thank you! I feel like life would be pretty empty if you couldn't find joy in the little things. And thank you on the compliment of the blog layout! You know me, I love clean and simple.