First, in a series:
“MOM, DID YOU WASH MY BATMAN SHIRT YET?!?”
So I’m writing a cookbook.
It’s not as exciting as it sounds, but it’s been a very personal and meaningful project. It’s a self-published family cookbook, like those that everyone submits a recipe to at a family reunion.
This one, however, is slightly different. It’s a four-generation cookbook, with recipes from my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and myself. I started collecting recipes at the end of last year, before my great-grandmother died.
I stopped working on it for a while after that. But it keeps coming back to say, “This is important. Do this.”
So I have been. For a few minutes every night, after the noisy one is in bed and my grading is done, I pull out my piles of recipes and transcribe them. I try to figure out what cooking in the 40s must have been like, when recipes called for oleo and #4 sized cans.
There’s the canning recipes from my great-grandmother, the gelatin recipes from my grandmother, and the crockpot recipes from my mother.
And there’s my obsession with butter.
So I’m working on it, slowly. It’s no food memoir (as much as I love the genre), but a family history of everyday food, of everyday cooking. I guess it could be a memoir, one of a love for family, a love that provides meal after meal after meal, for years, for decades, for four generations.
So I’m writing a cookbook. And it’s important.
So Nate’s hungry. I have bathroom cleaner up my elbows, I’m sweating, and he’s hungry two hours before lunch. We JUST had breakfast and he’s insistent.
I say, “Can you please wait a little longer? I’m kinda busy right now.”
But no, he can’t. He goes down to his room and starts sobbing, the suffering kind of sobbing that a mother can’t really ignore.
“Nate! Why don’t you go downstairs, get a chair, and use it to get the banana chips out of the pantry. You’re big enough to do that.”
He slowly goes downstairs, sniffling. You’d think I starved him on purpose. I hear the sound of the chair dragging across the kitchen floor - he’s found the loot.
Later, I realized that the bag of banana chips isn’t out. “Where did you put it, Nate?” I ask, fully expecting the answer to be that it’s in his bedroom or hiding behind the curtains.
“Oh, I put it away, Mom. I only wanted one.”
I found this book at the library today and grabbed it, and I’m so glad I did. Two chapters in, and I’m completely hooked. I laughed at a charming conversation between the main character, Calpurnia, and her grandfather.
“What are you studying in school? You do go to school, don’t you?
“Of course I do. We’re studying Reading, Spelling, Arithmetic, and Penmanship. Oh, and Deportment. I got an ‘acceptable’ for Posture but an ‘unsatisfactory’ for Use of Hankie and Thimble. Mother was kind of unhappy about that.”
“Good God,” he said. “It’s worse than I thought.”
This was an intriguing statement, although I didn’t understand it.
“And there is no science? No physics?” he said.
“We did botany one day. What’s physics?”
“Have you never heard of Sir Isaac Newton? Sir Francis Bacon?
“No.” I wanted to laugh at this ridiculous name, but there was something about Granddaddy’s expression that told me we were discussing mighty serious business and he would be disappointed in me if I didn’t take it seriously, too.
“And I suppose they teach you that the world is flat and that there are dragons gobbling up the ships that fall over the edge.” He peered at me. “There are many things to talk about. I hope it’s not too late. Let us find a place to sit.”
Narrator: And Buster went to his job as a dishwasher.
Buster: This is great! We’re like slave buddies! [giggles]
A mashup that was just waiting to happen.
I’ve never really done Lent until this year. Some of my friends have given up television, facebook, or sugar. But it meant nothing to me.
Somewhat on a whim, decided to try it this year. I decided to give up mindless internet surfing, which always takes the form of facebook, pinterest, and news sites. These are sites I automatically go to (my fingers do the thinking for me) when I’m “done” with the rest of the internet (twitter, reader, email, etc.). They’re like cheap candy.
So I installed Nanny for Google Chrome and it totally works. To change any of the settings you have to type in the world’s longest captcha (no pasting!) - it took me four tries when I was figuring it out.
As this isn’t a facebook and pinterest-focused fast, I still interact somewhat using my phone or when people talk to me. I’m not about to give the interactions up (I still don’t think they’re “fake”). I’m just avoiding the control+T disease when there’s nothing else to look at.
Also, this whole Sundays are feast days when you’re supposed to be fasting idea is awesome. I didn’t know that until I was an adult. Now, Sundays are so much more fun! ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIAAAAAA!
Ultimately, I plan to never be an evangelist for the “evils of the internet” and how women who really value their families shouldn’t be online since it’s “wasting their children’s life away.” I think that’s bullshit. Does anyone else see the irony in those preachings? Ever notice that they come from? The internet! That lovely, fun-filled place where these women are making a living telling people how to live off of it? It’s just crazy.
The internet is awesome and I don’t see myself falling out of love with it, ever. The point is, for me, is to move on when it’s time to move on. If I’m done and just looking to kill time, I will be happier if I get up and go do something else. It has little to do with duty or obligation or guilt, but realizing that life is fuller when it’s both online and offline.
Besides, I get more reading and creative stuff done, and I REALLY like that.
POTUS hair through history:
and of course, FLOTUS hair through history:
“In truth, we don’t need “feminism” in order to champion the full human rights of women. We only need the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because we live with the global reality that women are regularly treated as second class citizens, we must contend clearly and vehemently that the gospel of Jesus proclaims that women are fully human, equal in worth and value to men.
But until the day when the church is known for championing the rights of women around the world – until the day when our passion has caused “Christian” to become synonymous with “passionate about the full human rights of women” – let’s quit fighting against the word that most people of my generation already define that way. Let’s give up framing feminism as purely an enemy.
I’m a Christian. And until the day when the world automatically understands that to mean that I believe in the full humanity and personhood of both men and women, you can also call me a feminist.”
As a grammar teacher, I really liked this classroom valentine’s idea that I found on Pinterest. I’ve actually used Mad Libs in school, so I know this will be a hit, at least with the youngest classes.
All I bought were pencils and a thick book of Mad Libs found at TJ Maxx. Then I rolled them up, wrapped them in appropriately colored contruction paper, and sealed it all with washi tape. Lastly, I tied on shipping tags and wrote a punny sentiment. Later, I realized it would have been funny to diagram the tag’s sentence like we do in class, but oh well. There’s always next year.
All in all, I’m happy with the way they turned out.
My first Thanksgiving dinner:
- roast turkey breast with onions and rosemary
- balsamic mushrooms
- Grandmother K’s frozen fruit salad
- cranberry sauce
- dinner rolls
- apple pie
- chocolate truffles
(Everything was delicious and I was so proud of myself, even if it was only for three people)
(to be repeated, ten times an hour)
Mommy, when will be old? Will you die tomorrow? When will I die? When will I be a daddy? Will I be a daddy when I’m married? When did you get married? When you were married, did you have a cake? Mommy, how are babies born? How do they get in their mommy’s tummy? That’s gross. Why is it gross? Mommy, tell me again about the Children’s Crusade? What day of the did the children leave? What day of the week did they get back? Did they die? When will I die? Is it bedtime yet? Mommy, how many more minutes until bedtime? It is bedtime yet? How long is ten minutes? Is it bedtime yet? But why it is bedtime nooooooowww? Mommy, can you fix my pants? Mommy, I’m not tired. But Mommy, why do I have a nap? Do I make you tired? Mommy, when will you die? Mommy, how many books I read during my nap? A big book or a little book? How many little books? Only one? Can I take my pants off? Can I have a toy? Two toys? Just one toy? Mommy, is it snack time yet? Can I eat now? I don’t want peanuts, I want ice cream. I know you have ice cream you’re hiding. Mommy, why can’t I have your ice cream? But I like ice cream. Mommy, I love you. What can I play with? BUT I HAVEE NOOOOO TOYS. Mommy, can I play with my blocks? Mommy, can I move the chairs? Can I have your blanket? Why not, Mommy? Blankets aren’t for wearing, they’re for playing. You’re wrong, Mommy. You’re mean, Mommy. What day of the week is it? What number comes after eleven? What number did you get married? What day will you die? What number is Daddy? When I get big, will I be married too? Why does your head hurt, Mommy? Do you have to go to the doctor? When will you be old and die, Mommy?
Dear Lady at Walmart,
THIS is why I told me son to stop talking. Your concerned stare does not faze me. He is not suppressed or even hindered in his curiosity. I answer all his questions, but the 100th time he asks me the same question in the same 24-hour period, I have a right to say: SHUT UP ALREADY.
That’s why we play the quiet game and it works. So mind your own.
(apologies to a very good blog for my title)
With a four year old and a nearly-seven-years-old marriage as part of my everyday life, you’d think I’d be used to adulting by now.
Every now and then, I do something that makes me think, When did I become so effing grown up?!
A few months ago, I disposed of the very ancient fire extinguisher that was in the house when we bought it. Nothing here has been replaced since it was built (and that includes things like toilet caulk - yuck), so I went to Home Depot and bought one. Then I put it in a easy to reach place where most of house fires happen - the kitchen. Take that, adulthood!
After Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, I decided that I didn’t want to be stuck in a dark house with said four year old and that I needed to put together a true emergency kit. I bought a waterproof bucket, several cans of tuna, and two bags of fruit leather. I then made lists to add to it for the next several weeks to spread out the cost so I wouldn’t totally blow my food budget. So prepared, right?!
We have two cars, now, which is pretty new. I was shifting some seasonal stuff out of use and pulling out some winter gear, when I noticed that we only have one snow brush/scraper. So I went to Target and bought another instead of buying some really cute Christmas ornaments I wanted. Who is this woman?!
Can I have my adulting badge now?
Daniel, looking very cold at the Manassas Battlefield National Park this week.