How To Eat a Prick-Headed Monkey

My brother Tyler is going to demonstrate how to properly eat a prick-headed monkey. But first a few prick-headed monkey facts.

-First off, nobody knows why they are called that. They are three cornered pies filled with currents and citron, there are absolutely no monkeys involved.

-Second, nobody in our family that isn’t a direct blood decedent of Gramps actually likes these. There are those that will eat them, but nobody else loves them.

-Third, those of us who love them really love them.

-Fourth, we only make them at Christmas time.

The first thing to do when eating a prick-headed moneky is to find other prick-headed monkey lovers to eat one with you. Three people is the optimal number though two works as well. This is important because the first key to proper prick-headed monkey consumption is to con someone else into cutting it. I divide and you decide has never been more important than in prick-headed monkey division. The pies are nominally triangular in shape and must always be divided into three pieces (I don’t know, it’s tradition, just go with it okay?).

In this instance my mom divided, now she’s pretty good at prick-headed monkey division ( This is a skill, you try dividing a lumpy triangle into three equal parts, it’s not as easy as it seems.) but there was still a large piece. Tyler and I thumb wrestled for it. My brother has thumbs like a gorilla- he won. You can see him here with his rightfully gained largest piece.

This is of course exactly why you want three people to eat it with. Tyler would have had no fun gloating over the largest piece without the other two of us there. This is also the time to take pictures to send to those family members who aren’t able to join in the feast so that you can hold it over their head that you are eating fresh out of the oven prick-headed monkeys and they are not.

Sorry Uncle Jim, we know you are recovering from heart surgery and that’s why you couldn’t be around but there is actually no one else in the world who would want to eat these so these pictures were for you. Notice how Tyler is gazing fondly at his biggest piece before he takes a bite.

In the following picture you can see how Tyler is clearly enjoying his own piece while at the same time mocking ours. Because dough balls.

If the person who made the prick-headed monkey did a good job the filling will be all the way to the corner. If not, the corner will be nothing but a dough ball. To finish off the proper way to consume a prick-headed monkey you must stay on alert for dough balls in the corners. Then, if you made them, you should deny their existence and attempt to prove that you had a current in the very furthest corner of your piece. If someone else made them however it’s best to claim that your corner was nothing but a dough ball and completely terrible.

Even with a dough ball there are those of us who know that prick-headed monkeys are never terrible and, like Tyler in the picture above, we are already plotting our next piece.

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How To Have A Date With Three Young Kids

After Jane was born John and I struggled trying to figure out how to get out and do things together sans children, we had this vague memory of things called “dates” and we wanted one.  Then we realized that really all we want to do is eat dinner together, talk and possibly watch a movie and that we can do all of that at home, so we started date night. It has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

Here is how we manage having an adults only date night with three young kids, minimal expenses and no baby sitter.

Step 1: Pick a Day

Pick a day. We picked Friday. Our rule is that we have a date on Friday if we don’t have other plans, but we don’t turn down other plans because of our date night. This has had us having at least two a month if not more. Just about perfect for us.

Step 2: Make a Plan

John and I like to cook so our date night revolves around cooking and eating with an occasional movie or game of Bannanagrams afterwards. But this is your date night, plan whatever you like! You don’t have to make a plan in advance but I can tell you from experience it’s more enjoyable if nobody has to go the grocery store at nine at night.

Step 3: Put ALL the kids to bed

Now is where I can hear the whining and the excuses about how late this is going to get. But I feel I can guarantee you a few things.
1)If you have young kids you haven’t got any sleep in the last few years anyway. You are already perfectly capable of going on less than optimal sleep, don’t pretend you aren’t, I know you are.
2) No matter who you are, you’ve stayed up too late for less fun or worse reasons than having a date with your spouse.

So, suck it up, have Diet Coke/coffee/whatever, and get all the munchkins sleeping!

Step 4: Get ready

Sometimes getting ready is putting on sweats for a comfy night of movie watching but it’s way more fun to get ready as if you were actually going out on a date. You know, shower, shave, make-up, clothes without unidentifiable splotches on them. This will seem silly, all the way up until your spouse gives you an “approving” look, then it will be worth it, trust me!

Step 5: Don’t do ANYTHING else!

It’s the hardest part. Try to forget you are at home, which if it’s anything like mine needs someone to work on 7,000 small and large projects at any given moment, and don’t do any of them.  You are on a date. This is not dinner and quick change a load of laundry. This is not dinner and pick up the house. This is not dinner and checking e-mail. This is not dinner and texting. This is not even working on a fun project together. This is a date. Please feel free to redirect your spouse if they get side tracked. Give them a drink to hold, distract them with a kiss, whap them over the head with a newspaper, whatever it takes. My favorite strategy is to eat by candle light, it cuts down on the amount of mess you can see making it much easier to ignore!

Step 6 Enjoy your date!

I know that there have been Fridays nights where one or the other of us was crabby or unenthusiastic about getting things rolling at the beginning of the night and yes there are times where crying babies have to be put back to sleep or kids come down looking for the bathroom, and instead of busboys we do have a kitchen full of dishes waiting for us in the morning. But I also know that neither of us have ever regretted anything other than the consumption of too many adult beverages with our adult dinner come Saturday morning!