Good Eatin' 

Unreal tastes gourmet Ozarks cuisine and uncovers a strange collection — all from the comfort of our bathrobe.

Weren't no possum nor muskrat described in the new Restaurant Recipes of the Ozarks, which come last week in the mail. Not even a 'coon! And the plain English — Lordy! That was a struggle for this here peabrain to digest.

But we done some kitchen testin' anyways, and translated our fav'rite vittle — Famous Dave's Twice-Smoked Orgasmic Ham (from Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que in Branson). It rose to the top like Granny does during Gramps' Friday night "preachin'". We sho' do hope you 'n' your'n enjoy th' selection.

Famous Abner's Twice-Smoked Orgasmic Ham

1 smoked, bone-in ham, 12-15 pounds
Pineapple slices
Whole cloves
Maraschino cherries

Glaze:
1 cup frozen tangerine juice concentrate
1/2 cup French Pommery mustard
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 cup all-fruit apricot preserves
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

Fahr up yo' grill 'n' use th' indireck method of slow-cookin'. Sco' ham in a crost diamond pattern, as enny fool kin plainly see. Stud th' ham wif a boatload'a whole cloves. Smoke at 225 degrees fo' 3 hours. Remove ham an' place on a sheet pan, as enny idiot kin plainly see. Secure pineapple slices an' cherries wif toothpicks. Combine glaze fixins an' mix up but good, then slather that ham like yer life's ridin' on it an' bake in a 350 degree oven fer an hour'n a half, brushin' on more glaze ev'ry twenny minutes. Take 'er out and let 'er set 'nuther half-hour, then tuck in.

Killin' the pig yourownself enhances the orgasm. So will the Peckerita (from Peckers Gourmet Grill & Bar in Lake Ozark): two ounces tequila, half-ounce each triple sec, Razzmatazz raspberry liqueur and lime juice, plus three ounces cranberry juice. Serve over ice.

Good eatin', good drinkin', good lovin'!



Dress Down for Success

Back in 1998, when Jeannine Clontz became a virtual assistant — a.k.a. stay-at-home secretary — the Arnold resident had to assume unbecoming tasks such as hauling toilets to construction sites. These days, with about 100 clients, she's much more established: Clontz can wake up, plod to her home computer and send out birthday cards for one customer, then order calendars for another. She recently penned a book, Entrepreneurial Freedom: How to Start and Grow a Profitable Virtual Assistance Practice, and last week she was promoting the fifth annual Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Day. Mark your calendars — it's February 12, a birthday shared by Abe Lincoln and Unreal's grandpa.

Naturally we picked up the cordless and gave Clontz a jingle.

Unreal: So you're encouraging people to play hooky on February 12 and start new businesses in their bathrobes?

Jeannine Clontz: Absolutely.

How?

Well, there's a lot you'll find on the Internet — of course, you have to be careful with that. Then there's our book.

How many people will be wearing their bathrobes to work on February 12?

Gosh, I hope millions. It's a nationwide event. It is registered nationally with — what's the name of the place? There's a place where you can list national holidays.

How much more money can you make in one day working in your bathrobe as opposed to, say, Armani?

Hmm. Well, I can really make the same amount. As long as I'm working in front of a computer and not in front of a video phone, I can get the same things done for the same price.

The video phone would be distracting.

Absolutely.

I wonder if Abe Lincoln ever worked in his bathrobe.

[Laughs] It does make you wonder, doesn't it?

I'm wearing my bathrobe now.

All right! I love it.

Are you?

No, I'm already dressed. I have a luncheon today. But when I start my morning, I'm still in my nightgown. I have a client for whom I clean out the junk and spam from her e-mail before she gets to her desk at seven.

What are you wearing right now?

Um, some slacks and an animal-print shirt.

Leopard?

Yes! Is that video phone on?

What color slacks?

Black.

What color hair do you have?

Brown.

Short or long?

Short.

How old are you?

Fifty-two.

Do you have a Web cam?

No.

Damn. Do you foresee a working-in-your-lingerie day in our future?

No, but doesn't that sound like fun!



If You Knew Suzy

Suzy Crancer has always loved junk. As a little girl growing up in Webster Groves, she'd go through other people's garbage on trash day, picking out stuff she calls the "flotsam and jetsam" of American culture: brochures from paint stores, wallpaper catalogues, suspenders.

A diehard thrifter, she has accumulated collections of treasures from pantyhose packages to clip-on ties to cookie jars shaped like mushrooms.

Last summer Crancer decided the time had come to sell some of her junk. The problem, she discovered, was that she couldn't bear to part with any of it. Instead she memorialized it in an online magazine, luckyfindgazette.com, which she has been publishing since October.

There are eyeball rings, hotel ashtrays and owl plaques. Owl plaques! Unreal had to track her down.

Unreal: How many owl plaques do you have?

Suzy Crancer: I have nine, but they're mostly in boxes. I don't put everything up. I just hoard it. That's why it feels good to write about it. I mean, what am I doing with all this stuff? I've got to do something with it.

Did you do any writing before Lucky Find Gazette?

When I lived in Boston, I used to write for punk-rock fanzines, and I put out three of my own. This is sort of a continuation of that. But I'm not a punk rocker any more. Now I just listen to Dean Martin.

Is it hard to move around in your house? Do you have storage issues?

Believe it or not, I'm actually a neat freak. My house is very clutter-controlled. Luckily, we have a big basement.

What's your favorite kind of junk?

I love old wrapping paper with neato designs, and old fabric. It's basically design-centered. The cooler the graphics, the more I like it. It seems like past decades had better graphics, although today graphics are getting better. For a while they were fully blah. But basically I just like things that make me laugh, and junk does.

What kind of junk makes you laugh the most?

Well, it's hard to pinpoint, but, like, mushroom cookie jars: They're these '70s things from Hell, but when you get a lot, you have a collection.

Do you use them for cookies?

Oh no, I can't see doing that. It would be like pulling a cookie out of a rotten log filled with toadstools. It's not very appetizing. I just keep them in the basement.

What do you collect that most people wouldn't even want to look at?

Probably mushroom cookie jars.

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