Hacked and Settling for Cauliflower

September 20, 2010

Some DoucheWhore hacked into my site this past weekend. Sarah, the brains behind my whole new WordPress operation, was MIA, running like Forrest and–apparently, if you can count on her Tweets–peeing in the forest as well. She was busy having a life (I know, how dare she?). I was lost in my own proverbial woods; computers and html and all that technical stuff makes me hyperventilate.

My hubs tried to help, but it was pretty apparent after a few hours that the battle was going to end: Spambot: 1,000,000. Team T: 0.0…Shit.

It’s weird how anxious I felt. And violated. And enraged. I kept wandering around the house, muttering, “Why doesn’t this happen to someone who is a dick?” You know,  to someone who doesn’t give to Unicef or adopt from the Humane Society or never carries spare Band-Aids?

Foul words *might* have been uttered over a matter of days (under the breath– I don’t think any virgin ears burst into flames).

“DoucheWhore” might have been my mantra for the weekend.

Strangely, as I was reduced to a puddle of rage and profanity,  a random memory of my sister bubbled up to the surface. Unlike a lot of sister memories, this one made me laugh, because it illuminates, in delicious detail, how differently we’re wired.

I was in middle school, rockin’ the shoulder-pad and glittery lip-glossed look, sitting at the kitchen table. I probably was doing homework of some kind; I always did homework at the kitchen table, talking to Mama as she cooked.

My sister breezed in, taut-muscled in her cheerleading skirt, and announced, “Someone wrote ‘Cindy H________ is a slut’ on the girl’s bathroom wall.”

I was horrified. “Ohmigawd! Seriously? Do you have any idea who did it?”

My mother looked over her shoulder briefly, went back to stirring sauce and said calmly, “It will blow over. Ignore it, dear.”

My sister rolled her eyes and looked at both of us as if we’d lost our minds. “No, don’t you get it?” she said, hands on hips. “I’ve made it. I’m on the bathroom wall.”

I just stared.

Speaking slowly, as if I were impaired, she continued, “POP-u-lar girls get on the bathroom wall.” And with that, she smiled, twirled on one heel and left the room.

Mama and I glanced quickly at one another and didn’t say a word.

I guess she had a point; I mean, why waste good wall space on dorks and losers? I’d never really thought about it before. Usually bathroom scrawlers were angry or jealous and took their wrath out via Sharpie.

My sister had been strategically plotting her ascent to popularity since sophomore year, when she didn’t make the cheerleading squad. She was, at first, crushed by the blow and howled in her room. A few days later,  she got wicked pissed.

My sister is not a person to piss off. She’s ruthless. Weeks after the cheerleading snub, I came across a list on her desk. At the top, she’d written: How To Get Popular. In bullet points, she outlined her plan for World Domination. People to befriend, people to distance herself from, parties to get invited to, boys to charm, clubs to join.

The girl had a strat-e-gy. She spent all year meticulously working her way down that list, and in the end, she won. Her junior year, she made the squad. She had all the “right” friends and a boyfriend to boot. But for some reason, she hadn’t really known she’d won until she saw her name and a choice epithet scrawled on a privy door.

I had to give props to my sister. It took a certain breed to see Victory in being called a slut. I knew I didn’t have that kind of mettle. I also knew that I’d never make the bathroom wall; I had “small potatoes” written all over me.

Which suited me just fine, thank you very much.

I wish I’d had my sister’s ability to make lemonade out of the particular lemons that landed in my lap this weekend.

As I was poor-me-ing myself to death on Facebook this weekend, a sweet friend said something to the effect of, “You just need to stay unpopular. Nobody bothers with you then.”

I’d love to think that I got spammed because I’m popular. But alas, I have Google Analytics and I know that I’m a really small fish in this pond. Numbers don’t lie (another reason I hate them). Actually, I’m fine with my numbers and I love my little blog, but I’m pretty clueless why I got hacked.

I guess I got hacked because there are DoucheWhores in the world. And who knows, maybe I did something stupid and caused this myself–I don’t know jack about computers. I also didn’t know jack about how to fix whatever broke my dang, almost spanking-new, shiny happy website.

I was wicked depressed all weekend, and when I’m depressed, I want carbs. Big, steaming bowls of carbs. Preferably with butter or cheese. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed with a bowl of mashed potatoes and forget this whole business.

Alas, carbs don’t lovva my ass. I was depressed enough; I didn’t need to be hacked and large. So in my addled state, I settled for Mashed Cauliflower and Cheese. I’d seen this recipe last week on the Food Network, and I thought it looked interesting. I’m not really a cauliflower lover, but watching Gina Neely inhale and swoon over her bowl of mashed cruciferous veg, I was almost convinced that it would substitute my beloved potato.

I ate a big bowl of Settling For Cauliflower (it’s pretty good, actually, although I’ll whizz all of the chunks out next time) and whined a little more and then got up off my pathetic duff and called GoDaddy. Luckily, they were able to fix me, clean things up, and sell me a convenient little tool that will hopefully prevent any further DoucheWhoring. Because I just don’t have the constitution for this kind of dramz.

Mashed Cauliflower and Cheese
adapted from Pat and Gina Neely
serves 4 to 6, or one hacked, depressed blogger

1 large head cauliflower, finely chopped (about 2 pounds)
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons roasted garlic*
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup evaporated 2% milk
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (Cabot or Cracker Barrel brand ONLY; otherwise, use full-fat)…I used white cheddar
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or parsley

Add the cauliflower to a medium-sized saucepan along with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the roasted garlic and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the milk and puree with an immersion blender until smooth (you may need a little extra milk, depending on how creamy you want your mixture). Mix in the cheese and taste for seasoning. Stir in sour cream and top with parsley/chives.

* To roast garlic, drizzle 5 or so cloves of garlic (don’t bother peeling it) with a little olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Cool; pop garlic out of the skin and mash with a fork.

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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda September 20, 2010 at 4:04 pm

I love how you take me on a wondrous ride from DoucheWhore hackers to cheese-y cauliflowers! What a fun read.

Back in my day, the words used to *memorialize* the popular girls were “b*tch”, “sl*ut” or the occasional c-word. I wonder what the kids use now; are they more inventive than my generation? Regrettably, I went to very smal all-girl schools so I missed out on the popularity 101 courses.

Sorry about the hack attack. What a pain.

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Donna September 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm

It’s sad that you got hacked, but you got a good story out of it. And your tags are funny, too. How many posts could possibly have low-carb sides and happy sluts?

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C @ Kid Things September 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Love your sign next to the mashed cauliflower. Glad you’re back up and running.

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Jana September 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I’m sorry you got hacked, but glad you’re up and running again. Eating cheese. It’s always important to have some cheese (or chocolate) when you’re down. And oh, do I know about carb fixes. I had pasta three nights this weekend. Crazy!

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ck September 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm

So basically what you’re saying is that I must have been SUPER popular in HS because I found “Cindy is a b*tch” carved into a picnic table at the Windmill? Hmmm…if I had only known you then. :)

So sorry you got hacked, lady. Those BASTARDS!

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TKW September 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Ck, love…you totally killed it on the pop-u-lar radar. They CARVED it? I stand in awe. That’s like the MVP of teenage envy.

ps: and yes, just because you share a name with my sister, I know you are far,far, better. Eh, Carton?

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Carol September 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm

If hackers just put that energy and knowledge to use doing something productive, wouldn’t be great? They could maybe come up with a cure for cancer or mashed potatoes loaded with butter and cheese without fat or carbs.

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Amy @ Never-True Tales September 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm

This post is awesome on so many levels. Firstly, I’ve been wanting to try to make mashed cauliflower. Secondly, your sister seems like a TRIP. Thirdly, I was recently hacked (at Pit Stops for Kids) and I felt the same way. I think I went through the stages of grief in one weekend (settling finally on WHY GOD, WHY?!) which is a far cry from acceptance. Someone did tell me that I should take pride in the fact that hackers only start to be a bother when blogs get bigger (but ugh…it doesn’t help much!).

Glad you’re back on track!

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Mrs.Mayhem September 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Oh man, that stinks about the spammers. They ARE douche whores.

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Stephane September 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Since you have declared the side-effects of popularity a non-issue, it seems to me there are two possibilities: either the hacker is a stranger and the hacking was not personal (which means there is nothing you could have done to anticipate or prevent it–kind of like a septic system run amok, or getting mugged in broad daylight) ~or~ the hacker is someone who knows you on some level, and is deeply jealous (a.k.a. s/he can’t stand it because you are so effing fabulous). I surmise it’s the latter because clearly, you ARE effing fabulous! Here’s hoping a roving swarm of lice makes its nest inside the hacker’s undergarments. Sending lots of wishes for serene thoughts your way.

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Jane September 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm

First – hackers are losers from hell. They are among the lowest on the spiritual food chain. (But you already knew that!)

Second? I LOVE mashed cauliflower. You rock!

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TKW September 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Stephane-thanks for making me laugh out loud tonight. I am mean enough to love the thought of a roving swarm of lice…in a hacker’s undergarments.

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Allison September 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I’m not a fan of cauliflower but this actually sounds pretty good.

I’m so sorry your blog was hacked. So glad it’s up and running again.

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Phoo-d September 20, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Hackers are definitely f’ing douche bags. Our websites are such a personal endeavor that it feels like a grade A violation when spammers get in the front door. I’m glad that Go Daddy helped you sort it all out! This sounds like a wonderful cauliflower dish. I haven’t branched out much beyond roasting cauliflower and need to give this a try!

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Emily Z September 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm

You are so awesome. Why do I say that? Because not everyone could take such a frustrating situation and turn it into such an entertaining and funny story. Believe me, if it was me, virgin ears WOULD burst into flames from the profanities. I’m sorry you had such a rough weekend but hopefully the Douche Whore won’t bother you again!

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Amber September 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I don’t really know how to say this…but wow. You just made my day. I’m pretty sure this post proves that you can make lemons from whatever the heck you experienced. Holy crap, I’m still laughing. Love you much.

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elizabeth September 20, 2010 at 7:55 pm

While you didn’t make lemonade, you did make a pretty tasty sounding dish out of cauliflower and cheese. And cheese, if not cheese AND carbs, is always an appropriate response to shitty treatment (such as hackers). So glad you have your site back under your iron fist! Long Live the KitchWitch Queen!

As for numbers–well, if you’re a small fish then I’m a freaking anchovy. At least I’m delicious to eat fried, however!

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Heather September 20, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Wicked walk down memory lane there! Having never even made the pencil written notes being passed during class I wouldn’t know what popular feels like. You, my dear, are incredibly popular in my book. Too bad a damn DoucheWhore had to go and prove it :(
And the cauliflower?? Even though mashed potatoes don’t like my ass I still would have snuggled with them. Cauliflower and I had a falling out many years back – a cauliflower cheese soup my mom invented… Just thinking about it makes me need therapy again…

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Cheryl @ Mommypants September 20, 2010 at 8:31 pm

If its any consolation, you weren’t the only one. Are you on godaddy? Because they totally got hacked. It was nothing personal – unless, you WANTED it to be personal, like your sister. I imagine having one’s blog hacked is like coming home and finding someone had broken into your house and pawed through your stuff. Totally icky.

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Cathy September 20, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Wow – it must be cauliflower season. I saw this other recipe and now I have yours! Score. Cauliflower is so underrated.

As for the hack, man it will all blow over. And, hush, you are popular. Good job.

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Barbara September 21, 2010 at 3:18 am

I know, not really funny, but as usual, you made me laugh. The sister story about her name on the bathroom wall practically did me in.
It’s a no-win situation…either you’re not popular (and won’t get hacked) or you ARE popular (you WILL get hacked.).
Anyway, boos and hisses on the hacker.
But I’m afraid cauliflower, much as I love it, would not have done it for me. Would have had to be ice cream!

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Bryan September 21, 2010 at 3:28 am

Hackers and all internet troll types SUCK. They should all be lined up for a good slapping. I am a carb craver too, however this dish may have done it for me, good job!

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Maria September 21, 2010 at 3:31 am

Yes, depression-induced carb cravings pave the way to hell and a fat ass! So sorry you got hacked, even sorrier that potatoes were traded in for cauliflower…However, didn’t I read in my “Those Calories Don’t Really Count, Volume 2″ that having your website hacked automatically negate the carbs in potatoes?

Hope things are better now and hang in there. No one wrote my name on a wall, and that’s fine with me…

((HUS))

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Maria September 21, 2010 at 3:32 am

Good GRIEF!!! I meant ((HUGS))! Why on Earth I don’t drink coffee before commenting is beyond me!

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Melissa September 21, 2010 at 8:02 am

Maria,
Friends should not let friends blog comment without caffiene. I do that ALL the time! :)

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Nicki September 21, 2010 at 4:45 am

Holy crap! I love the new word – DoucheWhore. Totally surprised one of my kids didn’t make that up (don’t ask or judge. Just remember most of my kids are college-aged).

You are the second person to talk about mashed cauliflower lately. I am going to have to try it! Sarah made it with feta which really moved me as I am a feta fanatic.

Just a word to you on your hosting company. Many people who use that particular company have hacking troubles. Good for you that they could help as many have also been told by the customer non-service people that they don’t have the solution.

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Jessica September 21, 2010 at 4:49 am

Hmmmm, that actually sounds lovely. Honestly, anything with sharp white cheddar cheese sounds lovely.

‘DoucheWhore’ – I love that, can I steal it??

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jessica September 21, 2010 at 4:50 am

Why do I always mistype my blog? Erg…

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Futureblackmail September 21, 2010 at 4:56 am

You are popular – I associate – does that mean I’m popular by association!?

Awe-some.

Glad you are back up and running. I’m completely out on this califlower thing – looks too much like oatmeal and that? Yuck.

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Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon September 21, 2010 at 5:28 am

Kitch, sorry about the hack job. When I think of reasons I shouldn’t go self hosted, this is one of my top ones. I’d have no freaking idea what to do and instead of doing something rational, like make “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Mashed ‘Taters” I’d be curled up in a ball sucking down a bottle of Pinot Noir.

BTW, we love mashed cauli at our house. I usually make mine in the food processor.

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Erica@PinesLakeRedhead September 21, 2010 at 5:37 am

If I were you, I’d blame the hacking on Rachel R.

And no thanks on the cauliflower. I would have gone straight for the potatoes.

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Justine September 21, 2010 at 5:54 am

Wow – this looks ridiculously good. I have cauliflower in my fridge that I usually just roast or throw in a curry but I think it’s time for something new. Except now I have to get the rest of the ingredients like the cheddar and sour cream. Is the evaporated milk necessary? Can I use (don’t kill me) 1%?

Anyway, your story is an absolute delight as usual. It makes me think, man, I really want to meet this woman. I have a feeling we’ll get along just fine. Anyone who is that creative with profanity has a special place in my heart :) Sorry about the hacking though. I’m with you on the carbs except, I also think to myself, last thing I want is to worry about X AND getting fat…

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TheKitchenWitch September 21, 2010 at 7:58 am

Justine: You totally can use regular milk. I just used evaporated because it’s a little richer.

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Sherri September 21, 2010 at 6:13 am

Such “douchewhoreness” spawned such a lovely story ;-). My daughter and I have both been hacked – on blogger and on Facebook. People are horrible – and… apparently have NOTHING better to do? Whatevah (inspired to tap my inner middle / high schooler by your post :-). Oh well – now we all get to have mashed up cheesey stuff to eat while we sulk. Thanks for this :-).

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Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 21, 2010 at 6:19 am

I wonder if your sister would be equally excited if the scrawling claimed she was a nerd, or a prude. Such traits don’t carry the same popularity as promiscuity.

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Gibby September 21, 2010 at 6:34 am

See, this is why you can never let your blog go completely down, because I have so much to learn from you. For instance…if my blog was hacked, I would turn to a giant bottle of wine, maybe one of those gross jugs that my grandpa used to drink, quantity over quality. You, however, turn to a vegetable. I need you, so hackers, beware!!!!!

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Suzi Q September 21, 2010 at 7:36 am

Yup being hacked is like having your name scrawled on the bathroom door. You’ve made it! You’r popular! : )

I’ve tried the mashed cauliflower as well, it’s okay I guess, sure isn’t the same as a potato though. The next time I make it I would add a potato just to get a bit more creamy-ness and you’re right about the texture- needs a bit of electric whipping.

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Evenshine September 21, 2010 at 7:40 am

DoucheWhore is my new favorite word. And I think you’ve definitely joined the ranks of the uber-popular….Twitter was hacked this morning…

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Velva September 21, 2010 at 7:45 am

Girlfriend, you have talent. This was a 3-way story that somehow all got tied together.

Sorry about the hacking-Yikes! I am not even sure how someone spams you. I think this means that you virtually have your name on the bathroom wall.

Seriously, you found comfort in a bowl of mashed cauliflower, you could do better than that (smile).

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tasteofbeirut September 21, 2010 at 7:59 am

I was savoring this post; not because I was glad you were hacked, heavens no, I hope it never happens again, but because of the way you wrote about your sister and mom. I could picture it. Love this sister who sounds so strong and determined and I would be like you, not one to care much for popularity and stuff. I admire people like her.
Love that cauliflower too, since I adore this veg that we make over her by frying it and serving it with a tahini and garlic sauce.

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Melissa September 21, 2010 at 8:04 am

I love that you have incorporated your real life, amazing recipes and curse words into such a wonderful blog! when I grow up I want to be TKW…

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Jennifer September 21, 2010 at 8:06 am

Bobette is a b*tch is still painted across the underpass on the road to our old high school. I don’t know who she was, but someone did not like Bobette.

Nowadays kids don’t write on the bathroom wall, they go to Facebook, and it is called cyberbullying. They times are a changing…

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Keyona September 21, 2010 at 8:51 am

I’m glad you got it fixed!

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theUngourmet September 21, 2010 at 10:35 am

I never got my name up on the wall but once in 3rd grade a girl dared me to write the F word on the bathroom wall. Stupid me. The instant I did it she ran out of the bathroom, down the hall and straight to my teacher. She tattled. I got the worst whippin’ of my life. I was so not cool!

I am so scared about this hacking business! Ack! I would completely freak out too. I’m so glad you were able to fix it.

I love the cauliflower recipe!

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Nancy C September 21, 2010 at 11:14 am

God, this was so much fun to read. Brilliant from start to finish. I love the business about your sister…I imagine your mother nearly had a heart attack listening to her.

Adore the recipe. Hate the DoucheWhore.

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Tiffany September 21, 2010 at 11:25 am

If you’re not popular, with 45 comments, what does that make little old me? ;) Glad you got it fixed.

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Liz @ Peace, Love & Guacamole September 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm

I got the heeby-jeebies just reading about the hacking stuff. I hate the technical details too!

And I’m so stealing your “douchewhore” word. Hopefully I get to use it soon before it slips out in front of the kids.

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Kristen @ Motherese September 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Face it, D, you’re one of the cool kids. And your sexy new blog design just makes you all the cooler.

Glad that the knights in shining armor were able to bail you out of this one.

(I love cauliflower, by the way, but Husband loathes it. It’s probably the one vegetable he won’t eat. Jerk.)

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gew September 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Damn those DoucheWhores!

On a lighter note, now you have me rethinking the entire bathroom stall wall that was devoted to me my junior year of high school. The adminstrators had to have it re-painted it got so bad. But I’m not sure it had as much to do with my own popularity as with my temporary association with a particularly rumor-prone young woman. Slut by association, if you will. Which is all rather ironic since the rumor-prone “slut” was actually a virgin, but since she had big boobs, she was automatically slutty, I suppose.

And I didn’t need no hacker to tell me how hack-worthy you are, my dear. But don’t let the DoucheWhores get you down!

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Eva @ Eva Evolving September 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm

There is too much to love about this post! The creation of the word “douchewhore.” Your sister’s reaction to being on the bathroom wall. And cheese. I don’t love cauliflower, but add some cheese and I’ll devour it. Perfect fall food. Yummm

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Ink September 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Love you. Love your site.

hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs

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Contemporary Troubadour September 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Popularity as measured by graffiti — I’d totally forgotten about this! I never made it onto a wall, to my knowledge, but I do remember how gross some of the bathroom stalls were at my high school. Which prevented me from reading much when I needed to use one …

I’m so sorry about the hacker. I say screw whizzing out the lumps in the cauliflower and just pour a steaming hot bowl of that goodness directly into the hacker’s lap.

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Corinne September 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Oh honey… that must have sucked royally.
And honestly? I love the phrase Douche Whore way better than Douche Bag (and I like douche bag an awful lot…)

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Maria @BOREDmommy September 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm

That sucks.
However, I don’t really know any small blogs that get as many comments as you woman, so maybe not so small after all?

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Privilege of Parenting September 21, 2010 at 4:41 pm

An interesting study tracked popular kids from middle to senior year in high school and by end of high school everyone still knew who the “popular” kids were, however, in private surveys it turned out that hardly anyone actually liked the popular kids. In our culture we confuse popular with being well-liked, when it’s more like being famous (even if none of us are quite sure why many famous people are actually famous, maybe they made a list with bullet points and followed their list, as a sort of social genius for getting attention, not necessarily for becoming people other people really want to spend time with and care about).

But then what do I know about any of this, never having made it to the bathroom wall either. In my Hollywood days people would talk about “selling out” while I would freely admit that I tried like hell to sell out and no one was buying.

I’m really sorry you got hacked, but I’d say you’re better than popular—you’re actually terrific, and your bounce-back from the assault is in keeping with your mettle.

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