Posts Tagged 'food'

it’s not broken, just unmeasured

I guess I should have started a cooking blog or something.

Well, let me clarify:  one of those ones where all the things that aren’t supposed to happen…happen. I’m not someone you should ever take lessons from when it comes to the kitchen and events that are logically expected to occur there without incident  (exhibit a, b…I’m sure there are more). Things go very unplanned and off course and not measured in my kitchen. 

Granted that’s not always a bad thing.

“How much XYZ spices did you put in here? It’s really good!”

I have no idea?

Annnnnd there goes another amazing recipe unrealized and never to be exactly replicated because I don’t measure. I mean I guess I am pretty okay at cooking things. I can whip up dinner no problem these days.

Really it’s the baking where things go wrong.

Probably because I don’t measure. Damn that baking powder blowing up my cookies to the size of muffin tops or damn the whatever it is that happens when they end up so flat the chocolate chips are like giant mountains over a prairie terrain.

Chemistry. Mocks me every time. 

But measuring….measuring is such. a. pain. It means I have to actually get those little spoons out and find the right one and then two different things need the same amount but now that particular sized spoon is dirty and those spoons really are the worst dish ever to wash..save maybe cookie sheets because I’ll be damned if I somehow don’t turn the pan the wrong way and water either gets all over me or all over the counter.

I’m all about less dishes. Save the water. Avoid a mess. Whatever. Just no measuring. I guesstimate. Eyeball it. That pile I poured looks like abooouuut tablespoon. We’re good. Moving on.

Also about those spoons I don’t even like? I think we have five different sets. It’s probably so I didn’t have to wash a set in the middle of a project. But then that means there are multiple sets to man handle later and so really nobody wins.

And oh the irony….we BOTH still prefer to use the original set.

Anyway, so funny enough, the other day we were making tacos and I had taken out all of the spices and was putting them in the pan with the ground turkey (none of that packaged seasoning stuff here…making your own is so much better!) and I looked at Tim and said, “I don’t measure, just so you know.”

He just kind of nodded his head all Oh-I-know-and-there-is-no-sense-in-explaining-the-reasons-why-we-measure-because-it-falls-on-deaf-ears-I’ve-learned-to-pick-my-battles-and-this-is-one-I’ll-never-win-I’ll-be-over-here-saving-my-sanity-and-preparing-myself-to-choke-it-down-thankyouverymuch.

I continued about my extremely scientific ways, i.e. Eyeballing, and no one really says anything more about it until we sit down to eat. 

And then it happens. 

After Tim takes a bite, he is all, totally unprompted, “These are honestly the best tacos ever. The flavor of the meat is AH-MAZING.

Excellent to hear, dear husband.

She Who Does Not Measure will just be over here, doing what she does, damn all the spoons.

this is why I have food issues

Okay, so I have this thing with food that I buy and like to eat. It can be summed up in three words:

DON’T EAT IT.

I think this stems from back in the day when my thing was sour cream and onion chips (which I don’t even like anymore). My mom would buy them every so often, and by the time I went to have any, they were gone. Thanks a heap, family.

And now, I will demonstrate to you why I still have these issues in my life, in one scene:

[This morning, after Tim left for work. His breakfast? A giant bowl of cereal of my favorite, organic mini wheats]

Me: I’m definitely buying you your own box of mini wheats. The box is half gone from your one bowl!

Tim: It was opened before I got to it…didn’t you already eat some?

Me: I had one bowl yesterday with maybe 15 pieces. Not even enough to fill a small bowl.

Tim: Ok. So half gone not entirely all my doing. Maybe 3/4 my doing.

Me: I barely made a dent. I’m getting you your own.

Tim: Ok. That will work. Then I can eat yours when I am done.

End scene.

it’s rolling away!

So, let it be known that we bought a $20 watermelon the other weekend.

Yes, you read that correctly.

A twenty dollar watermelon.

Twenty. Dollars.

An entire Jackson dedicated to a single piece of fruit.

Since moving to Arkansas, we have had to drive basically an hour both ways to the grocery store. Where we live has exactly zero options for organic produce. I know. I’m so annoying. Just buy the other kind. Except, I can’t. Now that I know what I know about GMOs and what we are doing to our food these days…it actually hurts my soul to buy any produce without a 9 in the front of its little fruit code. My bananas? 94011. So, we drive every weekend to the only – and I mean only grocery store with a decent selection of produce that is within close proximity. Why not Whole Foods, you say?

I think the closest Whole Foods is two hours away.

We live in the sticks, you guys. At least when it comes to healthy eating options.

Anyway, on one such trip to said grocery store, I let Kellan pick out a watermelon on the way in. They were in one of those giant cardboard bin things and the kid loves watermelon. It’s only good in the summer. Who am I to deny him?

We go about our business buying the remainder of what is on our list and finally get to the checkout. The girl behind the counter was brand spanking new. She had the cheat sheet explaining how to scan everything literally two inches in front of her face and was struggling with how to do the watermelon, so she had to save it for last so she could ask someone to help her.

Finally, whoever was in the checkout counter next to us told her what to put in and she did while Tim, watching the screen to see how much everything is, sees the watermelon price pop up, looks at her and goes, “The watermelon is how much?”

“Twenty dollars.”

Tim: “Twenty dollars?” Obviously he’s sure she punched something…multiple somethings…in wrong.

“Yes sir! Twenty dollars!” She says with a smile. Because I guess this is a normal occurrence here. Twenty dollar watermelons.

Tim looks at me, his eyes about to bug out of his head like what in the world kind of watermelon is this?!

I just look back at him completely innocent all I have no idea. It’s organic? (But seriously that’s ridiculous for a watermelon).

Me: Do you want me to put it back? (This is always the response when the husband is about to have a coronary over the price of anything. You’ll see why…)

Tim: No.

Me: Are you sure?

Tim, through gritted teeth: NO.

Tim was not going to be shamed by a watermelon.

Right before Tim lifted our precious cargo into the cart, the guy waiting in line behind us looks at him dead in the eye and says, “better savor it, man.”

****

My story was actually going to end there, until our watermelon drama continued today. Except it wasn’t twenty dollars. Instead, it was poorly secured (read: not at all) in the back of my car. I have a Highlander and if your groceries aren’t properly stowed, they’re going to roll around everywhere.

Somehow, the watermelon Kellan and I bought today managed to escape its little nook and was rooooolllling all the way to the left and then rooooollllllling all the way to the right every time I turned a corner, all the way home.

When we made it to the garage, I took Kellan out the the car and then opened the back hatch to get the groceries. The watermelon was right at the edge, basically about to fall onto the bumper.

Before I could load my arms with all the bags of groceries my arms could possibly carry and do the grocery bag shuffle to the house – because that’s what you do when you have a toddler – I went to unlock the door and put my purse on the counter. Past experience has taught me not to have a locked door and a million grocery bags. New moms take heed.

Right before I went inside, I hear this dull thud. In that moment I knew. I knew what had just happened.

Kellan! Did you crash the watermelon to the ground?? The hard, cold, concrete ground….

The response was a very happy “Yes!”

“It’s ruined!” I yell back.  I know this because just a week or so ago, a watermelon fell out of the back of my car and when we got it home, it was completely ruined inside. You’d think I’d learn to strap that baby into the seat by now.

I put my purse down and turned back to go to the garage to survey the damage when I hear a panicked Kellan yelling, “Oh no! It’s rolling away! Oh no! It’s rolling away!!!!”

In the ten seconds it took me to put up my purse and make it back out to the garage, our watermelon had managed to find its way out of the garage to our downward sloping driveway and tried to make a run for it.

Where is it? I asked Kellan, between fits of laughter. I knew that in his mind, he had just made the biggest mistake of his life. He crashed his watermelon to the ground (haha! Look at what I did!) and now, now it was paying him back. Cause and effect in the greatest of lessons.

There! Down there! In the road!

We have taught Kellan that the road is for cars and if one is coming, we move to the grass because we have no sidewalk here. He knows the road is no place for a kid or a watermelon to just casually meander.

Kellan points frantically to the gutter all the way across the street, looking at me like, “Why are you just standing there and laughing, mom? This is an emergency! The watermelon! It’s rolling away! It’s in the road!”

 

 

sold a bag of…beans

I had dinner at a friend’s house the other night. It was just Kellan and me, along with my friend, her husband and their kid, who is about 6-7 months older than Kellan.

None of that is really all that important to the story, other than to know that we were all there together and that my friend is just as type A as me. Also, she does not like messes. AT ALL. I cannot stress that enough. NO MESS or else she goes crazy.

Kellan is a super messy eater. I mean, a bib is a requirement or else a full on outfit change will be needed. Sometimes a bib cannot even contain the mess and we have to put on a new outfit despite our best efforts. I have found a pea inside of his belly button and cheese in his diaper, and yogurt dries on body parts like cement – FYI.

My friend’s child takes after her mother. The bib? Just for decoration. If a teeny tiny spill happens, the kid will not stop talking about it until they can clean it up. They as in the child.

During dinner, their kid did not hesitate to point out all the bits and pieces and giant chunks of food that Kellan had dropped thrown onto the floor.

We had lasagna, so you can imagine what that was like for He Who Has Never Eaten Lasagna…look at all the layers. of. fun!

It was really good lasagna, so I have no idea why Kellan thought it was better on the floor…oh. Wait. Food is not just for eating when you’re a child. I am not sure when the switch happens in your brain that says DO NOT WASTE versus the one that’s all, “Hey! Neat! Did you hear the noise that noodle made when it hit the floor?! I wonder what broccoli sounds like?” The second one sounds like it would be way more fun, actually.

After dinner and the hose down of Kellan and a three foot perimeter around his high chair – which wouldn’t have been *that* messy, except….when my friend asked if I could bring his high chair, I was really proud of myself for remembering to put it in the car. And then when we sat down to eat, I went to grab the tray that attaches to the….oh. The tray. That is still at my house. The thing that contains a lot of the mess. Yah. Forgot it.

So, right. After dinner, my friend’s husband started showing me all of these tiny tomato plants that he was growing. When I say tiny I mean each was a little dirt ball had one thin, frail green shoot poking out. The dirt was in the form of a tiny pot…except without the actual pot. I’m not really sure how that all works but it is an important detail to remember: press formed dirt, no walls to contain it.

My friend is not fond of these plants because apparently they take over the house every spring and are dead before summer is over.

He had nine of the tomato plants on a plate that he had placed on a window sill behind their couch in the family room. I wasn’t paying any attention to them, really. My friend had left the room for a minute and I was sitting on the floor, also in the family room, playing with Kellan.

And then it happened.

Friend’s husband, who was sitting on the couch, picked up the plate of tiny plants – without pots – and started looking at them and then proudly holding them up, as if on display, all, “I have nine of these. I plan on sharing them with….”

He never got the rest out. It’s like all of a sudden one of those dirt pods realized it no longer had to confirm to its shape and it was all, “FREEDOM!”

And then it spontaneously combusted.

He looked up at me, frozen, still holding the plate, like “What. Just. Happened?”

I started laughing all, “Guess you only have eight to share, now.”

That must have jump started his brain because he quickly started picking pieces of dirt off of himself and the couch, saying “don’t tell her! I don’t want to get in trouble!”

My friend comes back and joins us at about that time and I tried to stop laughing and keep the secret. I really did.

But…seeing her sit on the floor with me, her back to ‘the incident’ – completely oblivious to her husband behind us, frantically picking up dirt, trying to be discrete at the same time, was too much.

I lost it. I was laughing without being able to explain why while my friend is staring at me all, “What is so funny?”

Finally, her husband fessed up and told her he made a mess, because I was unable to contain myself.

Sorry about that, husband to the type A wife. I tried.

Then, as I was leaving, I am treated to a story about beans. Apparently, during a recent Whole Foods shopping trip, friend’s husband decided he wanted a bag of a 15-bean mix from the bulk department. You know, the self serve section where you control the amount of product you buy?

Except, he had a slight issue with that concept and ended up with waaaaaay too many beans. So many beans he had a third of a gallon ziplock bag full leftover that he had no idea what to do with.

So, what’s a man to do who had already offered me bean soup with dinner (I thought he was joking) and whose wife had tisk-tisked the fact that they bought entirely too many beans and what are we going to do with all of these?!

I’ll give them away, he says.

As I was handed leftover lasagna to go, I also had a bag of beans shoved into my arms while I’m told of a great 15 bean soup to make and the husband saying, “See? I told you we’d get rid of them!”

Way to sell it, buddy. I’m super excited about this bag of beans, now.

My friend chimes in all, “Yah! I’ll send you the recipe! You can even put a ham cock in it!”

A……what?

I look at her and then look at her husband, who is looking at me like another plant pod had just exploded.

“Ham hock, honey. It’s ham HOCK.”

*****
And a footnote: I text her later all, “I was laughing about the ham cock all the way home.”

Her response?

Yah…I guess I don’t know my meat.

the grocery store takes on a whole new meaning with a kid

There are many, many, mannnnnny things that now make sense to me pre-child that are now crystal clear.

Like when I’m all, “Nobody touch me for five minutes! Including you, animals! I’m touched out. I’ve reached my maximum touchability. No more touching!”

Or how I told Tim the other day that the reason I think I’m so tired is because I am no longer able to zone out, Earth to Jessica style. I’m always ON. On on on on on. On.

The other day at the grocery store, I was pretty much running up and down the aisles, trying to get everything on my list. Kellan was ready to go and though he wasn’t crying, the urgency in his vocalizations and his throwing everything – toys, snacks, sippy cup, apple we had yet to purchase – out of the cart was enough to signal to me that the happy time meter was just about up.

Now, I always have to make a list when I buy groceries. Well, technically, this is nothing new. I’ve always made a list…who can remember a weeks worth of food plus weird random ingredients for a new recipe and household items?

If you’re all, Uh, ME. I can,” then you A: probably don’t have kids and/or B: may want to call somebody who tracks that kind of talent. You’d be a hot commodity.

Anyhow. Pre-Kellan, I would usually have the mental wherewithal to remember a few things not on the list that I had forgotten to write down.

Now?

If it isn’t on the list, it isn’t happening.

My brain is only partially paying attention to what I’m supposed to be grabbing off the shelf and mostly trying to make sure I pick up what Kellan decides should be on the ground, feed him a snack, oh, here, have some water…no? Well, here’s your toy…look! Balloon! You’re right!…No, we cannot grab glass jars from the shelf…wait. I forgot baby yogurt…Yes! A balloon again!….Here, have another cracker…please don’t throw the cracker on the ground…where did your toy go…why is your shirt wet?…Yes! Balloon!…I don’t know why the store puts balloons everywhere, either…what are we waving at?…oh! hiiiii giant stuffed animal on top of the dairy coolers (??)…what am I looking for again?….Your water? Ok, here it is….Where was I?…Right! Where is the yogurt…

And while all of that was happening, I overheard a mom who was wrangling her two kids say, “Just wait! Stop. Let me think for a minute.”

Before Kellan? I would have thought she was coo-coo.

Now?…I totally underst….where is your sock?…here, try playing with this….hi, balloon!…where is that damn yogurt?….

oh the days

The other night, we went out to dinner since Tim had gotten home early. Going “out to dinner” is completely different than it used to be. We eat in shifts. One person entertains, the other shovels food down as fast as they can eats, and then we switch.

Right after our food came, Kellan became restless and whiny and since I had ordered a salad versus Tim’s hot sandwich, I took the first “entertaining” shift and decided to take him into the bathroom for a quick top off. i can’t feed him a la boobie in public anymore because every two seconds he pops off and looks around.

I’m not really one who wants to flash an entire restaurant, so, to the bathroom we go.

And yes, for those of you wondering, most times I have to sit on the toilet (pants on, though somewhere in my brain, a little voice always says, “something isn’t right, here…what if I have to GO??”) because most places do not have any other options. Anyhow, Kellan and I are doing our food train thing and someone else comes in and goes into a stall.

I wait for common and expected noises.

And I wait.

And wait.

And wait.

All of a sudden, I hear, “Hey. Do you have an extra name tag?”

I look down at Kellan like, “we have a lot of things in here but none of which could really be considered a name tag…”

The conversation continues, because she’s on the phone with someone else who works at the restaurant. My brain, however, took slightly longer than usual to realize this. The processing time seems to lag these days, and it gets exponentially worse the later the day gets. And it was around 5pm. By that point, it is usually done processing anything.

And this girl was, unfortunately, out of luck in the name tag department (the kitchen staff didn’t have any extras, either, FYI).

When we got back to the table, I was all, “There was this girl in the bathroom who was totally stressing because she forgot her name tag. Oh, the days where all I had to worry about was remembering a name tag! Why did I ever think life was complicated?”

And then Tim, not missing a beat, was all, “Oh the days where all she had to do was remember a name tag and she couldn’t even get THAT right.”

Touché.

of course we talked about the worms

First: my life has been taken over by Christmas. That’s where I’ve been. Wrapped in tinsel and paper and running around like a crazy person.

Second: if my in real life friend reads this, this is to you: all in good fun…no offense meant and we still love you…both. Always. Thank you for giving us a good laugh – we needed it – and this only makes you that much more fun.

So, the other night, Tim, Kellan and I had dinner at a friend’s house. Let’s call her B. And her husband – we’ll call him K. And their kiddo will be N. I’m not divulging names since they aren’t mine to divulge…

Anyhow, so, dinner. It was pretty inauspicious. Pizza with ground turkey tomato sauce and boiled artichokes. Kellan and N had peas, too, but Kellan was more interested in dropping and placing his food everywhere except his mouth. Their floor, table, chair, probably wall…all got a special pizza sauce treatment.

I don’t like leaving messes. B doesn’t like messes, period.

You can imagine the horror that went through my brain when she was like, “No. Don’t clean it up!”

And inside I’m like, “BUT. BUT. BUT. MESS!!!!!!”

Then B was like, “It’ll be a good lesson for all of us.”

BUT!

K ended up cleaning the Kellan mess.

Wait. I’m getting way ahead of myself, here. Waaaay ahead.

During dinner, conversation somehow turned to how B got worms for K for a gift.

Yes. Worms.

Real, live, squiggly ones.

They live in the basement and eat leftover food and make compost.

I’m not even kidding.

I’m pretty sure they don’t roam free or anything. B wouldn’t be able to deal with that – nor would I. Worms give me the ebee geebies. Shudder.

B had to take delivery of them worms (oh, yah. You can ship these puppies.) and about had a panic attack because WORMS. The first set didn’t make it – the “move” from wherever they came from was too stressful (I cannot believe I’m using “worms” and “stress” in the same sentence). The second group seemed to survive, I guess, because as we were all putting our artichoke leaves into a bowl, K was all, “I wonder if my worms will like these?”

(that’s how the conversation started, by the way. It’s all coming back to me, now)

Tim and I looked at each other and then looked at B and then K like, “WORMS?”

That’s when K explained the delivery story and compost, yada yada yada.

As B was about to pick up the bowl of artichoke leaves to set aside for the worms, K was all, “Wait…no. I don’t know if they can eat all of that…and besides, I’m not sure what they’ll like…”

We don’t want to stuff them. Or give them something that they will reject. Travesty!

Then, in the middle of the worm shenanigans, Kellan decided he was DONE WITH DINNER and I had to take him to the sink, food falling off of him with every step.

The rest of the evening…wasn’t about worms…though as we were leaving, Tim was holding Kellan and K was upstairs in the loft area that overlooks the downstairs, getting a bath ready for N (their kiddo). Tim started doing a slow wave all, “Goodnight…gooooodniiighttt…..gooooodniiiighhtttt!” and then K stopped and was like, “Isn’t that from the Sound of Music?”

Tim: Yes!

K: I’m not sure what is more disturbing. You singing that or the fact that I knew what you were singing. Let’s never mention this again.

(oops?)

So, on Tim and my way home?

Of course we talked about the worms.

Tim was all, “Did you hear K when N was trying to help and put pieces of ground turkey into the artichoke pile?”

Me: No?….

Tim: Oh, right. You had already gotten up. First, he decided to take N’s leftover peas to give to them worms. Then, as he was picking them out from the pizza pieces on her plate, N decided to try and help and put pieces of ground turkey into the worm food pile and K was like, “N! No! No! The worms are vegetarian! They can’t have turkey!”

This, coming from the same man who received a grain mill for Christmas so he can make beer.

Tim is going to join in on that bit of fun, though, because what guy doesn’t want to MAKE BEER?

Also?

Let’s go back to the worms for just a second.

Someone on this planet one day was like, “Hmmmm….I think I want to sell something on the internet. What should I sell? What should I sell?…Hmm…I KNOW!”

WORMS!

And then there they were.

All wrapped up on B and K’s doorstep.


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