Don’t let Gordan Ramsay into your kitchen

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Okay, to clear the air and be upfront, he can come into MY kitchen anytime.  Not only is he a hottie, but I am not the best cook, and I’d be glad for some assistance in that area.  From a hottie.

I’ve been watching Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares for a quite a while – both the UK version and the US version.  I’m a huge fan of The F Word.  I even tune in now and again to Hell’s Kitchen (although honestly, they seem to be a worse bunch of chefs than I am!).  And he seems like he knows what he’s doing.  Ramsay seems like he knows what he’s talking about, and he’s got successful restaurants of his own under his belt.

Right?

Well, not entirely.  His empire has been crumbling as of late, and rumors have circulated that the Ramsay enterprise is in dire financial straits.  There have been reports of him having to sell personal belongings – a la Pawn Stars – to pay off debts owed and taxes that are due.

So I started looking into some of the restaurants featured on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

Gone.  More than half.

Not that they wouldn’t have closed anyway – although there are some restaurant owners who have blamed the famed chef for their ultimate demise.  But whatever business plan Ramsay has to get these mostly Mom and Pop restaurants back on solid ground doesn’t work for them – and evidently, it doesn’t always work for Ramsay, either.  Three of his restaurants closed within a six month span in 2008, and in recent days, he fired his father-in-law (who was chief executive of the chef’s company) and two other family members.

He has just written an open letter to his mother-in-law, essentially begging her to resume communication with his wife and children following his in-laws’ decision to halt all communications with Ramsay or his family.

Until he puts his business and family lives in order, I’m not sure I’d want him handling the sharp knives in my kitchen.

Would you?

Hoarding, what’s that?

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You guys are going to think I like South Park.  I don’t.  I hate it.  But my husband loves it.  Occasionally, he thinks the episodes are so funny, I’ll forget that I hate it and be rolling on the floor with him in fits of hysterical laughter.  While I thought the Jersey episode last week had some humor in it, this was not the case this week.  South Park made fun of another show I know – Hoarders – and there I was at midnight being forced to watch it in the style of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange by my husband.

In the opening scene, Stan gets a note from his girlfriend and a visit by Dr. Chinstrap, a hoarding expert, there to help him clean out his locker.

That turns into a meeting with the school guidance counselor. Mr. Mackey is surrounded by stuff, and doesn’t know what hoarding is. “Hoarding, never heard of it m’kay”

In a dream regression Mr. Mackay goes to his childhood. Apparently he and I have a lot in common, m’kay?  We both had LiteBrite and we both enjoyed watching Zoom – the original.  Do you remember how to get in touch with them?  Before email?  Because I can sing it in my sleep – and evidently, so can Mr. Mackey.  Write Zoom zee double o emm Box 350, Boston, Mass 02134 – send it to Zoom.

The final insults come from Freddy Kruger and Woodsy the Owl.  I’m lucky after watching this South Park episode that I don’t have nightmares that need exorcising.  I’ll never be able to look back fondly on my memories of Woodsy the Owl again.  Poor Mr. Mackey.

In case you missed it, you can catch the full episode http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s14e10-insheeption#w=10.20.2010&before

Does anyone watch South Park?  I mean, those of you with two or more brain cells to rub together?

Muff Cabbage – what it is and when to say it

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South Park did a spoof episode on New Jersey. Being from New Jersey, here is the guide to all of those phrases used in the show, what they mean, when to use them, and when to smack your kids for using them, even though they heard it from you 2 minutes earlier.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret – Jersey has a huge identity crises.  We’re not sure if we’re East Philadelphia or Southern New York.  I’m from “East Philadelphia” – or South Jersey – so most of my slang comes from Philly.  Therefore, I eat hoagies and say wooder (water).  If you’re from Southern New York – or North Jersey – you probably eat subs and say woodah.

How many of my friends look like Snooki?  Yeah, I have a couple.  Do I know as many Jersey people who look like stereotypical Jersey people as you see on TV?  No.  Although I have spray tanned.  Once.

How many of my friends could be on Real Housewives of New Jersey?  Yeah, None.  Most of us are REAL housewives, meaning we’re lucky to find two clean articles of clothing in the house that belong to us, and those two pieces are probably stretch pants and a sweat shirt.  We do not hand over $100,000 cash for furniture, and I can honestly say that I have never flipped a table.  Wanted to.  Didn’t.

Muff Cabbage – never used it, never would use it, and yell at your kids right away if they do use it.  You can probably figure out that this is slang for a very private part of the female anatomy.

Cabbage – Money, or this cool fall plant we put in our yards in New Jersey in the fall and winter
Guide to muff cabbage from a Jersey Mom

It’s a Jersey thing – No, it’s not.  If you hear someone from Jersey saying it’s a Jersey thing, they’re trying to account for rude or obnoxious behavior.  We do have some of those types of people here.  We don’t like them any more than you do.

Downashore – Down the Shore – it’s where we flock on summer weekends – not to the beach, not to the boardwalk, we go Down the Shore.

Hoagies – sandwiches stuffed full of lunch meat (deli meat for those of you not from Jersey) and cheese, lettuce and tomato, and all sorts of other stuff.  If you are REALLY from Jersey, you know there’s only one good place to get a hoagie – the place you go (we go to Carmen’s in Bellmawr – and so does Big Daddy from the Food Network)

Gravy – the red, delicious, tomatoey goodness that you put on top of macaroni (pasta) for Sunday dinner

Blow Out – No, not something that happens to your car on the Parkway, headed to AC (Atlantic City).  Blow out is what you do to your hair (or your hair dresser does to your hair) before a big night out.

Smush – Smack your kid in da back a da head – this is Jersey Shore guido for having sex.  I don’t know anyone that smushes – they all pretty much do it using the old fashioned phrases – all of which you should smack your kid for saying.

There are a ton of other Jersey slang phrases.  You might have to come see us to learn some more.  Chances are, though, if you’ve heard it on the Jersey shore, you probably won’t hear it from normal Jersey boys and girls.  After all, they cast of the Jersey shore aren’t really from Jersey.