Monday, June 22, 2009
:in a Fat Albert Voice: HEYheyHEY!So, one of the things that the SoL lady ADORES is food. I'm not a morbidly obese woman with a bad hairdo that runs around in sweat pants all day. Not that it would matter if I was. But, food is important to me. Through food, I can make sure that my kid's bodies are all healthy and working the right way. And if you ask my children if they'd like a donut they'll say: 'No. Mama says, garbage in, garbage out.' When babies are born we eat. When someone dies, we share casseroles. When electricity goes out, when the ones we love are ill, during hurricanes and at every holiday, it is food that we share first, before anything else.
The simplest thing you can do for your family is to make something wonderful and have a seat and even if it means all you do is make fun of each other and laugh really loud as your grandmother berates every other person at the table for talking with their mouths full, with her mouth full, you are letting each other know that you love the people you're sitting with.
When the SoL lady was a child, her Mammaw would create masterpieces of meals with recipes that required a 600 degree oven with flame throwers in the door in order to properly sterilize the food she was about to serve her family. Because, there's E. Coli in them cookies!! Promptly at 6:00 p.m. every evening, the SoL lady's 2 brothers, 1 sister and both grandparents would sit down to enjoy green beans that we'd snapped on newspaper on the front porch ourselves, meat loaf with oatmeal in it, white rice and corn bread or some variation thereof. Mammaw always cooked it on Sunday and served the left overs through out the week. While eating, the delightful SoL children would scream at each other for smelling like things that Mammaw would then scream at us for talking about because it wasn't gentleman and lady like and as we laughed ridiculously loud Pappaw would jump up and holler that children were absolutely forbidden to make any sort of human motions, sounds or gyrations whilst in the presence of adults and we'd refuse to shut up and Pappaw would bellow again from his big wooden chair at the head of the table until his face would turn so red he'd get pissed off and stomp away to watch Murder She Wrote with his teeth bared and full of corn bread stuck all over them and the rest of his face. When Pappaw showed his teeth, you knew it was time to run. And so it went.
Through the years uncles and aunties would come and go at the table and arguments over politics with the one rogue family member who dared to be a Democrat would ensue, the adults would yell at each other over who's cheating at spades, our house keeper's voice gradually grew louder as the phenomenon associated with aging that causes one's ears to work less and vocal chords to work more took over and we constantly found new ways to annoy the living tar out of each other.
These memories have never left me and are vivid to this day as I approach 30, and I now absolutely require, in an age where McDonalds is no longer a treat but a requisite, that my family sit down and eat lest I should yell at them with corn bread stuck in my teeth.
Life isn't the same now as it was when I was a kid, but we must make allowances for the things that are good and right, at the cost of our current lifestyle if necessary.
So make dinner and eat with your family. You'd be surprised at how threatening your children at the dinner table with a fly swatter for telling jokes about vomit and not using their yes ma'ams can leave an indellible mark of love on their little hearts. ♥
Courtesy of Joy In My Kitchen, I've included a recipe for something way yum that you can throw in the crock pot and enjoy with your family sometime this week. Do it or I'll get mad and come after you.
Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
1/2 - 1 lbs of cubed, cooked ham
6-8 raw potatoes, sliced
1 C onion, chopped (divided)
1 C grated cheddar cheese
1 C grated mozzarella cheese
1 T olive oil (or butter)
1 can (4oz) of mushrooms, drained (may use fresh as well)
1/2 C chicken broth
1/2 C milk
1 T cornstarch
In a saucepan, saute 1/2 C onions with mushrooms in 1 T oil or butter until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add chicken broth and heat to boiling. Mix 1/2 c milk with cornstarch until well mixed, and add to the boiling mixture, stirring frequently until thick (about 1 minute). Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside. *
Put half of the ham, potatoes and onions in a crock pot. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and half of both cheeses.
Repeat layers. Spread home-made mushroom soup (in saucepan) over the top, completely covering the potatoes.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until potatoes are tender.
*Alternatively, you can use cream of mushroom soup from a can.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
To every man who drives the distance between California and Japan to collect his nieces on a moment's notice and raise them as his own, Happy Father's Day. To the uncle by marriage that sat in the delivery room waiting for his niece to be born and proudly held her in the palm of his hand when her father wasn't there; to the dads who don't hear from their sons for decades but embrace them as if they were still the tiny baby that they looked upon with tenderness and wonder at the day of their birth when that child shows up every few years for the briefest moment, Happy Father's Day. To the grandfather that calmly listens and explains with great patience how to make a peanut butter sandwich to his grand daughter on the phone when she calls in great fear because no one is home and she's hungry, Happy Father's Day. To the daddies that realized too late that they messed up and hurt their children greatly through long absences and lack of responsibility, Happy Father's day.
To every man that raises another's child as his own, wraps his arms around his pregnant daughter and tells her it'll be o.k. in spite of his own shame and anger in fear, to every man that pays the bills and walks away and comes back and sings songs to babies and embraces the sons of the single mom that lives next door, Happy Father's Day. And most especially, to the man that walked the SoL lady down the aisle when her own father was absent without reservation and instead, with the pride of a father who was escorting his own flesh and blood into marriage, the man who was a father to so many of the fatherless that went home to be with his own Daddy just two weeks ago,
Happy Father's Day.
RIP Mr. W., daddy.