Posts tagged ‘food’
This year for Thanksgiving, we’re hosting my parents, Nice-Nice and her husband, Renaissance Woman and her husband — and the Happy Mathelete and her husband and kids are stopping by afterwards. For the second (or maybe third?) straight year, my parents will be here for Thanksgiving but not Christmas, so we’re opening presents early. My kids are getting a Wii. I have given up — or maybe I’ve just recognized that I’m having a baby and will be trapped nursing on the couch or in My Chemical Romance’s battery charger and want to keep them relatively docile and incapable of burning down the house. So they’re getting a Wii. Also, this means I’ll be able to cook in relative peace!
My portion of TG is turkey, gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Renaissance Woman is making broccoli casserole, sweet potatoes, and cranberries. Nice-Nice is making rolls and pie. This may sound like a ton of food for eight adults and six kids (most of whom don’t actually eat) but I’m worried it’s not enough. I was raised Jewish after all; I really love you only when I try to stuff food down your throat 24/7.
The turkey is coming from Creekside Farm. We were invited to view the turkeys before they were processed but I thought that might be a little traumatic so I said no. In a nod to my heritage, I’m using the recipe “Homestyle Turkey, the Michigander Way.” Is there a more dorky word than Michigander? I’m not sure. I used this recipe last year and it was awesome — same free-range turkey although from a different farm. The only thing that went wrong was that my parents transported the turkey from my house to Wii’s house, and in the process managed to get turkey all over their relatively new car interior, which was mostly cloth. It smelled, and cost a fortune to get it all out.
- 1 (12 pound) whole turkey
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 cups warm water
- 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
- 2 tablespoons seasoning salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Rinse and wash turkey. Discard the giblets, or add to pan if they are anyone’s favorites.
- Place turkey in a Dutch oven or roasting pan. Separate the skin over the breast to make little pockets. Put 3 tablespoons of the butter on both sides between the skin and breast meat. This makes for very juicy breast meat.
- In a medium bowl, combine the water with the bouillon. Sprinkle in the parsley and minced onion. Pour over the top of the turkey. Sprinkle seasoning salt over the turkey.
- Cover with foil, and bake in the preheated oven 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C). For the last 45 minutes or so, remove the foil so the turkey will brown nicely.
Gravy is Easy Turkey Gravy
- 5 cups turkey stock with pan drippings
(10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup— I MAKE THIS MYSELF FROM SCRATCH.
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Bring the turkey stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in soup, and season with poultry seasoning, pepper, seasoned salt, and garlic powder. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer.
- Warm the milk in the microwave, and whisk in the flour with a fork until there are no lumps. Return the gravy to a boil, and gradually stir in the milk mixture. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Be careful not to let the bottom scorch.
Green Beans are Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole. My Chemical Romance is not happy that I’m not using the recipe on the back of Camp*bell’s Cream of Whatever Soup, but I refuse to cook with anything that includes Partially Hydrogenated Heart/Brain Killer anymore. He claims he only eats Partially Hydrogenated Heart/Brain Killer once a year — at Thanksgiving! — but I put my apron down.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup sour cream
3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained— I USE ORGANIC FROZEN GREEN BEANS
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat.
- Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.
Stuffing is Slow Cooker Stuffing (I’m trying to save room in my oven)
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
12 ounces sliced mushrooms— I MAY SKIP THIS; MUSHROOMS ARE NASTY.
- 12 cups dry bread cubes
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram — I’m borrowing this from someone…
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 1/2 cups chicken broth, or as needed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, mushroom, and parsley in butter, stirring frequently.
- Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Pour in enough broth to moisten, and mix in eggs. Transfer mixture to slow cooker, and cover.
- Cook on High for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to Low, and cook for 4 to 8 hours.
Mashed Potatoes is going to be really unexciting — my dad likes very bland food, so I’m not going to put anything fancy like the aged cheddar cheese with garlic that I just got at Cost*co last night that is so freaking delicious I could die — I’ll add it to mine.
Day Before Mashed Potatoes (although mine will probably be “Day Of” Mashed Potatoes. I have made potatoes the day before and you basically end up re-cooking it anyway to get it creamy and hot, so there’s no point.)
- 9 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer potatoes to a large bowl, and mash until smooth. Mix in the cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder, salt, pepper and butter. Cover, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
- Spread potato mixture into the prepared baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven about 30 minutes.
Now I’m hungry. I just made a quiche with broccoli, bacon, and the above-mentioned Cost*co garlic cheddar. I made two so that I can stick one in the freezer.
… after playing around with ripping it off from several different other quiche recipes.
Yes, it’s for a quiche. A vegetable/cheese quiche. If you succeed, your quiche may look like this (only maybe not quite so yellow/green. I’m still not great with my new Nikon D3000 camera.)
Pre-made crust (I use Wholly Wholesome or Trader Joe’s brand)
1/2 onion, chopped
whatever vegetables you have on hand
1 container Boursin cheese
dash of salt (I skip this because I am an “over-taster,” according to My Chemical Romance. And he is a “person who is going to have a heart attack at age 40 from high blood pressure issues due to excessive salt intake,” according to me.)
Preheat oven to 375*F. Melt butter in a saucepan on low/medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook slowly until onions are soft and translucent. (Do not burn! It makes your whole house reek! And then you’ll wonder if you — and therefore your unborn child — are inhaling carcinogenic burned-pan smell and maybe you should start over with an entirely new pan. And then you’ll remember this is your fifth kid, and you probably did much worse with the first four.) Add veggies and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add boursin cheese and cook until melted.
In a small bowl, beat eggs and milk. Pour a small amount of eggs/milk into pie crust. Cover with the veggie/cheese mixture. Pour the remainder of eggs/milk on top.
Bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Every Friday night, My Chemical Romance goes to Nerd Night; Animal, Mineral, The Informant, and My Masterpiece watch a movie, and I have my girl friends over for Friday Night Jugs.
I have no idea how FNJ officially started. I love playing cards — my parents are actually professional card players, so games are part of my vernacular – but I refuse to play with My Chemical Romance because he is smarter than me and usually wins, and I’m a sore loser. Wii, on the other hand, is more my intellectual equal — at least when it comes to cards. Wii’s husband works very late most nights, so we were probably hanging out on a Friday night with our kids and they were bogarting the TV, so we decided to play cards like intelligent adults (SNORT).
Then we invited Nice-Nice, because she lives very close to me now, and she brought her baby, E, who still refuses to eat anything that doesn’t have Nice-Nice’s nipple attached to it.
I think next we invited Renaissance Redux — there! You officially have a nickname, RenRedux! I’ll explain it later — and Das Goofendorfer, both of whom have nursing babies.
In fact, everyone but Wii is either pregnant or nursing. I do not think she feels left out, though. She did nurse for four straight years.
Finally, Wii brought in The Mathlete, because we needed someone smart. She has the youngest baby, less than three months.
Occasionally we have She’s Super Sweet, and once we were graced with Six Degrees of Lora. She’s a photographer and everyone in the crunchy community “knows” her.
There are a few rules:
1. It’s always at my house and I make the best food. It’s at my house because four kids — and a half — trumps two (the next closest), and those two are Wii’s kids, who can hang with my kids if her husband isn’t home. Everyone else has not-quite-mobile babies. Also, Nice-Nice, RenRedux and She’s Super Sweet live very close. So it’s easy to get together for a game of four.
I make the best food because… I just do. Last night I cooked baked potato skins (sans bacon), mashed potatoes (made from the insides of the baked potato skins for Nice-Nice, whose baby doesn’t tolerate cheese), and black forest chocolate cake with overly-sweet vanilla frosting that I’d made for Nice-Nice the day before, when she watched my kids. Prior to that, I spent a few weeks experimenting with various deviled egg recipes.
I love cooking for FNJ because they appreciate my food!
2. When we have food, it stays in the kitchen.
This rule was instituted after a game-less game week in which we brought the food into my dining room and rather than play cards or games, we all stuffed our faces and yacked like girlfriends do all night. Wii said it was because the food took up the table, so we didn’t have any room for games.
3. Nice-Nice finds something offensive.
Nice-Nice herself isn’t actually offended; she merely points out that a certain phrase, gesture, word, look, food, child, joke, story, name, picture, internet site, magazine, book, movie, article, or Face*book game could be considered offensive. And how.
4. We offer three invitations to Friday Night Jugs; if you are invited and turn us down three times — without good reason — you are crossed off The List.
Honestly, I can’t see why anyone WOULDN’T want to come back after they attend once. The Mathlete drives over 25 miles one way for FNJ. Because it’s that awesome
I love Friday Night Jugs. It’s very refreshing after a long week, to hang out with my girlfriends. I look forward to Daylight Savings ending, when I can put my kids to bed even earlier and get more girl time!
1. Organic Milk. 2%.
This isn’t that weird — except for the fact that I’m craving non-raw milk right now. Maybe it’s the consistency of raw that is turning me off. The first few cups of raw milk are practically cream; the last few cups are like drinking skim ::vomit:: Sometimes the place I buy my raw milk runs out, which is how we’ll end up with a gallon or two of organic, and I’m totally hoarding it.
I just finished Orange is the New Black and it was the best book I’ve read in a long time. Which is really saying something when you consider that I probably read two books per week. Another recent nonfiction winner? Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth. I’m on a wait list for the Oprah bio; I can’t wait for that one either. Along with The Imperfectionists, which is supposedly creative non-fiction.
I love to cook, that’s not a secret. Baking has never been my thing because it’s so scientific; you really can’t play around with it. You can see or taste if you put in too much flour or not enough baking soda *Not that I would ever do that. Perhaps baking is appealing to my current control-freak tendencies, leading us to #4…
Yes, that evil witch with her stupid fairy wings and lace-up shoes — and her ridiculously clean house. I’m trying to form a long-lasting relationship with my “swish-and-swipe” routine. FlyLady is probably improving my marriage: she has taught me that expecting My Chemical Romance to do all the dishes is futile; six people plus a Dog Without a Downside use more plates and bowls than one person can keep up with. Even when using that modern convenience called a dishwasher — and we always use a dishwasher. I am morally opposed to washing dishes by hand. It is perhaps the one way in which I’m totally not-crunchy.
5. My Sixth Sense for Pregnancy
Recently I’ve noted that two women were pregnant long before they even announced it. One, I realized it on the very day she peed on a stick. Another was from a Face*book status. I thought it was abundantly clear to everyone who read it, but so far I’m the only one who has even guessed. Clearly I’ve got some ESP going on with my fellow breeders.
Oh, whine. If I pick up one more book that involves a “birth gone wrong” scenario, I’m going to live webcam my homebirth so that people can see that birth is normal. Seriously, even that bestseller that I waited on a library lists for months for, The Postmistress, somehow brought in a HORRIBLE TRAGIC BAD BIRTH STORY. The most frustrating thing is trying to find a book that (1) is well-written (2) doesn’t involve HORRIBLE TRAGIC BAD BIRTH STORIES (3) is well-written. Seems like you get either well-written or you get normal birth/no birth.
2. My therapist
Actually, I love her. Possibly too much; I want to know how much longer therapy is going to continue. I started seeing her because I needed a note from a psychologist clearing me for weight-loss surgery; two years later I’m skinny and still problem-plagued. At least in my mind. But having a therapist is a bit of a crutch for me: I use her to gauge where I am, and I need to trust myself to gauge where I am. She says I’ve made progress. Eh, I probably have, but who’s to say I wouldn’t have progressed on my own without her and her $10 copay?
3. Pregnancy brain
What was I just typing about? Where am I? What time is it? I got on this computer to do something, and now I find myself doing something completely different with absolutely no recollection of what I am supposed to be doing, and a vague sense that I’m forgetting something important when I go out in public, like my purse. Or a bra.
4. The Library’s New Hours
Or lack thereof. Due to city budget cuts, my local library is currently open four days per week, two of those days only until 5pm. All I want to do is read (nonfiction; or well-written fiction about non-breeders) and I get agitated when I realize it’s going to be three days before I can even browse paperbacks again. The next closest library is 20 minutes away.
5. The Heat.
GO. AWAY. Seriously.
Dear Dr. Gagner,
It’s me again, the girl who had OBAMA written on her arm in permanent black marker on the day you performed my surgery. In my defense, it was election day, and I was a proud absentee voter. I’m sure you remember how the anesthesiologists whined about my arm being “unsterile” (their word) and threatened to leave me awake while you rearranged my intestines. In fact, that’s probably why my recovery was so freaking painful that I had to all but pay the nurses to score me some dope on a street corner since mor*phine is clearly a total waste of time. Why not just some tylen*ol? UGH.
Anyway, Gagner, I just found out I’m pregnant. I’m 11 weeks. This will be #5 for me and I’m planning a homebirth.
I assume that as a non-American doctor, you are enlightened enough to realize that homebirth is just as safe as hospital birth for low-risk pregnancies. I realize I’m not quite low-risk, but my labs look good and I’m continuing my supplements and eating every ounce of protein that isn’t physically nailed to the ground. I’m even back to drinking those absolutely disgusting protein shakes. SHUDDER.
I’m seeing an OB along with a homebirth midwife, and having growth ultrasounds done every eight weeks to make sure Tax Deduction (due in December) is growing properly despite my malabsorption. If he or she is a little smaller than the four older ones — or at least has a slightly smaller head — I won’t complain. Honest.
Any other suggestions? – Skinny pregnant Mommy Soup
Dear My Chemical Romance,
I love you. Clearly even after four kids we can still find time for each other, since I’m pregnant and all. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I think sometime between January and when I took the kids to Disney World and ended up needing ass surgery, and you had to come rescue the kids and me and drive us home and I took too many painkillers and threw up in a paper bag in the car and the bag tore open and the dog licked up all the vomit and you and the kids gagged and insisted we drive with the windows down despite the fact that it was 45 degrees outside. I’m feeling much better now — and I still love you!
I’m very sorry that the health department wants to shut down our kitchen because it’s “toxic levels of nast.” I’m also sorry that you had to go commando to work twice this week because the laundry isn’t done. (Next time try borrowing a pair of my underwear!) Thank you for coming home from work early because I was having afternoon sickness — and bringing Kris*py Kre*me! Thank you for yelling at the kids when I was too tired to do so and could only wave my arm weakly at them while narrowing my eyes and trying to give THE LOOK.
I hope that in a few weeks, when I’m in my second trimester, I will have some energy back. Until then, I will buy you more boxers this weekend.
xoxox Mommy Soup
I didn’t have “colorectal surgeon” in my cell phone contacts until after I lost 130lbs. Prior to that, my only experience with a proctologist was watching Katie Couric’s colonoscopy on the Today Show.
I had other issues though, at nearly 275lbs. Mostly that I was exhausted and depressed, and self-loathing. I tend to be harder on myself than I am on others; you might be fat because of bad genes or a really stressful time in your life or a medication that causes you to gain weight but I was fat because I was lazy and had no self-control.
The most difficult part of the decision to have weight-loss surgery was flying the surrender flag. Choosing to have bariatric surgery meant that I had failed every diet-and-exercise-lifestyle-change-program on the planet. I was not ever going to call Jenny (again). I was not ever going to attend another We*ight Wa*tchers meeting (again). I was throwing in the towel instead, and throwing in my lot with a surgeon whose specialty is rearranging the intestines of the morbidly obese.
I had a Biliopancreatic Diversion with a Duodenal Switch on November 4th 2008, election day. (I woke up from anesthesia and asked, “Who won?” and when my mom said “Obama,” I replied, “Really?” and fell back asleep. She claims we had the same conversation eight times. I don’t remember.) I had my stomach cut and a portion of my small intestine moved and connected near my pylorus and duodenum; I no longer absorb much fat or protein in my meals.
My lowest weight, less than a year after surgery, was 129lbs; I’m now between 135lbs and 140lbs. I wear a size six.
When I was morbidly obese I used to think that thinness would cure all my problems. I knew in my rational brain that it was a fallacy, but it seemed like my problems always came back to my weight: I avoided intimacy with my husband because I felt my body was disgusting; I avoided making friends because I didn’t feel worthy of friendship; I rarely played with my kids because I had no energy to do so; I spent too much money buying clothes I hated because I couldn’t shop at normal stores and instead went to Lane Bryant; showering several times a day caused a high water bill; our energy bill was even higher because I was hot and kept the air conditioning going most months of the year.
The surgery and subsequent weight loss did solve some of those issues: I am intimate with my husband, in more ways; I have a lot of friends; I have the energy to play with my kids; I can buy things off the clearance rack at O*ld Na*vy; I usually shower only once a day day.
(Our energy bill stayed high because I was freezing cold all winter.)
However, more intimacy with my husband does not mean my marriage improved; I would not have friends who are fat-phobic in the first place; having the energy to play with my kids is not the same as having the desire to play with them; I still wear the same type of clothes I wore before (shorts or jeans and a solid-colored tshirt or long-sleeved shirt); and there are new problems.
That caught me off-guard. There are new problems.
I could not imagine a size six would have problems. Apparently I was sizist; what possible problem could one have when one fit into an airline seat properly and only needed to shower once a day? What else was there to worry about?
But as I typed the words “colorectal surgeon” into a search engine for the first time, I had to admit, even thin people have problems.
Since that first time, I’ve seen the proctologist three times; recently while on vacation with my kids and dog in Florida I had to have anal surgery. My insurance only covered 80% of the procedure, leaving me with a hefty out-of-pocket bill – and having to purchase a plane ticket to Florida for my husband so he could drive us home. I had taken our four kids (and the dog) by myself on vacation; I thought I’d recover quickly and still be able to drive us all home on my own. I was wrong — the surgery was intensely painful — and I couldn’t drive for days. It’s been nearly two weeks and my butt still hurts. This is a problem.
The issues for which I needed a colorectal surgeon are because of my surgery; specifically how my gut reacts to its new arrangement and how I treat my tender, rearranged intestines by what I eat.
There are other issues, too, daily issues: I do not have much good bacteria in my intestines, and bacteria are very useful to a colon. Just ask the gastrointestinal doctor; another new one on my speed-dial since Obama was elected. Even though I eat yogurt daily, and take a probiotic, sharing a bathroom with me isn’t fun. If you do a search for “Duodenal switch” and “bathroom issues” you will get a million sites. Maybe even my blog.
The leftover skin – the skin I swore I wouldn’t mind, because who cares, it’s just extra skin! I’m not going to worry about that when I’m skinny! – migrated to my mid-section and most days that I don’t wear mom-jeans I look pregnant. I have been asked by well-meaning strangers when I’m due – this means that not only do I look pregnant, I look pregnant enough that total strangers think it’s socially acceptable to ask me about it.
The first time someone asked, I was deeply offended and proffered a very snarky reply; the most recent time, I simply said I had a stomach condition that causes severe bloating. Combine extra skin in the mid-section with a body that lacks the hips to hold up pants; combine the occasion bout of bloating with not standing ramrod-straight all the time and you get me, looking like I’ve just finished my first trimester.
I was wrong when I thought being thin would solve all my problems; it solved some, exacerbated others, and created new ones. There are benefits to physical smallness: I love buying clothes off the rack; I love my underwear drawer full of size mediums and my cute bras. I feel great: I can run around like never before and jump on the trampoline with my kids, and my treadmill is no longer a towel holder. My self confidence has increased dramatically.
But in return, I’m married to my Biliopancreatic Diversion with a Duodenal switch; it’s with me every second of every day, and unlike the days of diets and exercise this has changed my entire body forever, I can’t ever throw in the towel on my own body.
In several easy steps:
1. Decide to make favorite dish — Shepherd’s Pie — for monthly local midwives’ luncheon.
2. Chop onion in beloved, beloved – beloved I tell you — food processor, which I received as a baby shower gift when I was pregnant with Animal and Mineral. It’s small, but very efficient. I use it mostly for chopping onions, but as you know, I like cooking with onions.
3. Saute onions with 3 tablespoons of butter, over low-medium heat. Note that recipe says “until onions are tender, approximately ten minutes.”
4. Go to bathroom. Get involved in good book. Read for approximately eight minutes.
5. Come back to kitchen and find that onions are BLACK AND SMOKING. Shriek loudly! Take pan off heat and stick it in sink — and here’s where the story takes a very dark, twisted turn into tragedy — not realizing that the food processor’s plastic top is underneath the smoking pan.
6. Quickly grab another onion to chop in the food processor. Note that the top of the food processor is missing. Scan the kitchen, and then, with a feeling of dread, realize that it’s beneath the still-burning hot saute pan. And that the plastic has twisted. In such a way that it will no longer fit the top of the processor.
7. Take out cutting board and begin chopping onion by hand, unsure if crying onion-tears or mourning loss of beloved beloved – beloved I tell you — food processor.
8. Debate how to tell My Chemical Romance that I’ve killed the best kitchen utensil we have. Seriously. We don’t have sharp knives, an electric can opener, or even a salad spinner. We don’t have a Kitchenaid Mixer. We have a small, yet efficient, food processor. Had.
I used to spend approximately half of My Chemical Romance’s paycheck at a large warehouse-type store.
I looooooathe driving to multiple stores, so I filled my house with store-brand everything, from paper towels to crackers. You would not believe how many items come in warehouse store brand.
And then things changed. First, we watched a documentary on W*l*Mart called The High Cost of Low Prices, and stopped shopping there completely. (Thus, the move to Kirkl*and, which may or may not be better.)
Then My Chemical Romance became interested in growing his own vegetables. Soon we had a beautiful organic garden, and slowly — really, really slowly; like at the pace of a dying tortoise — I started incorporating greens into our food.
Then I met my friend Wii, who is very particular about what her family eats. Nothing with high-fructose corn syrup, nothing partially hydrogenated, no trans fats, and a variety of other rules that can be summed up best in Michael Pollan-speak: Eat food.
I can’t say for sure whether or not I wouldn’t have needed weight loss surgery if I’d learned to eat real food sooner; I can only say I feel better when I eat it, no matter what I weigh. Learning to eat real food has been a gift.
However, this whole real food thing means I spend my weekends driving all over Charlotte and Fort Mill to buy my family’s food.
In my utopia, where things like anal fissures don’t exist, there exists one store where I can buy an entire (grass fed only) cow, mechanic towels, c*ttonelle wet wipes, handmade organic tortillas, organic bread, chocolate chip cookies, Che*rios, Wholly Wholesome pie crusts, frozen organic vegetables in bulk, organic chicken, printer ink, crayons, raw milk cheese, organic fresh produce, Tri-Spy, tshirts, organic canned chicken, legos, spices, pasta, Tom’s of Maine flouride-free kids’ toothpaste, raw milk, underpants, Duke’s Mayonaise, kids’ craft supplies, and my often-obscure vitamins, like Tender Dry A in 25,000 IU tablets.
That is seriously my utopia. I call it “Cream of Mommyland.”
Instead, I buy certain things at certain stores: bulk organic meat and frozen vegetables (and Cheerios) at C*stco; bread/cheese/cooking/baking ingredients at Tr*ader Joe’s; produce and toothpaste at E*rth Fare; the rest at my local T*arget, which has a large variety of organic items.
I buy 1/4 of a grass-fed cow every few months from a Cow-pool. I use a DivaCup and cloth pads (also known as “mama cloth”). I buy my vitamins from Vitalady — who carries the most obscure vitamins for the post-weight loss surgery set — and Vitacost, which is somewhere in North Carolina, so they deliver fast.
And I dream about my store that carries everything from grass fed cows to cray*la.
Actually, I kind of hate Lortab, that pain-relieving piece of crap.
I used to love it — I had some leftover from my weight loss surgery, and once in a while when I had a reaaaaaaaaaaaaaally bad back ache or headache I’d take one and drift off into my purple-land of joy.
Meanwhile, now that I need Lortab in order to function without shrieking in pain, it’s kind of a downer. No purple. No flowers. No bliss. Just absence of pain, and the ability to sit down properly. Humph.
Here are some things I do like:
1. I like onions. I think this proves that I’m truly a chef; I don’t really like onions, but I appreciate the flavor they bring to my cooking. My Chemical Romance is like Pavlov’s Dog when it comes to onions sautéd in butter. He says the same thing every time, with great shock and reverence: “What smells so GOOD?” I tell him it’s onions (just like I told him the day before and the day before that, and it’s like he doesn’t believe me or something; he is always so surprised that it smells so good).
Onions sautéd in butter is the basis of nearly everything I cook. Soup, chicken of all kinds, shepherds pie, even hamburgers. I don’t like them. They make me cry. But I appreciate them.
2. Comfortable shoes. Usually ugly ones. If a shoe is cute and supposedly comfortable, it’s not. (See: my Dansko clogs that I got for Christmas and ended up hating because they were so uncomfortable, and re-selling on eBay.) I’m talking UGLY comfortable shoes, like Tevas.
I first noticed Tevas when I was a teenager; they were the ugliest things I’d ever seen. They’ve only gotten worse with time. They only look appropriate if you’re like rappelling down the side of a mountain or something, wearing (useful) khaki shorts that have lots of pockets and a tshirt. And even then, I’m thinking, “OMG, take those off as soon as possible,” and shuddering. Meanwhile, I now officially own a pair, after borrowing my mom’s while we were at Disney. They are hideous. They do not go with anything I own. Anything. Their only slightly redeeming quality is that they showcase my pedicure.
3. Talk radio. I have satellite radio in my car, and I’ve always enjoyed music. The kids bop along, sing along, and I can “rewind” their favorite songs. (By the way, I never listen to kids’ music. My kids like U2 and Train and Gavin DeGraw.) But when I was driving to Florida and they were watching VHS tapes — yeah, my car is old school and has a VHS player in it! — I listened to talk. I listened to Dr. Laura berate the moronic idiots who call her so they can be berated for being moronic idiots. I listened to Faux News station, for a laugh (recent headline: “No, the head of the RNC was NOT at a strip club, despite being identified as being AT a strip club! How dare the democrats even suggest such nonsense! Just because he was IDENTIFIED as being at a strip club, doesn’t mean he was actually AT a strip club! And by the way, even if he was, there’s nothing wrong with that — unless the democrats go there!”)
I listened to Alexis Stewart, daughter of Martha, swear a lot and talk about how just because she had an abortion when she was 15, she still deserves to get pregnant at 45 when she now really really wants a baby, for fuck’s sake. (She does like to swear. And whine.) And I listened to my favorite, Rosie Radio.
I love Rosie O’Donnell. I think she’s fantastic.
She’s brutally honest about very emotional issues — I have no doubt she’d be as candid as I am about my ass pain. She’s almost hypersensitive, she’s aware that she has a zillion and four issues, and she’s very open. I dig her. I’m sad that I can’t listen to Rosie Radio much when my kids are in the car — I’d miss half of what she says — but listening to her was fantastic.
ETA: I just discovered that Rosie’s new girlfriend, Tracy, is a DOULA! Love!
Tonight’s dinner, courtesy of AllRecipes.com is Shepherds pie. I’m having a mashed potatoes craving.
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 carrots, chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Mix in butter, finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.)
- Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until clear. Add ground beef and cook until well browned. Pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add ketchup and beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Next, spread a layer of mashed carrots. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.