Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Return of the Native

The happy event that I am preparing for is my son’s arrival home from college for fall break!  Alas, Older Daughter will not be able to come home, because she is on a different schedule.

I need to stock up on his favorite foods, which include cinnamon sugar on waffles and peanut butter and jelly.  Pumpkin bread is the only vegetable he will eat, unless you count pasta made with Ragu sauce.  All served with a big glass of milk.

This is the child who has said these things:

Me, issuing instructions on making dinner:  “Son, get out the leftover chicken and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes.”

Son:  “I assume you want me to turn on the microwave?”

* * * * * * * *

May 10, 2014
Me:  I hate Mother’s Day.  It’s just one of those made-up holidays.

Son:    I thought it was in the Ten Commandments.    You know, “Honor your father and mother.”  That would make it one of the oldest holidays of all.

Me:  Yeah, well, it doesn’t say “Honor your father and mother on one Sunday out of the whole year.”  You have to honor them every day, “So that you may live long in the land.” 

Son:  It doesn’t say that, does it?

Me:  (I arise in indignation, to look for my Bible to find the exact quote.)  Yes, it does say that.  I’ll show you.

Son:    Are you going to get the original tablets?

* * * * * * * *

I was repacking stuff from my purse into a smaller purse, in preparation for a Mother’s Day outing.  I said out loud, “Do I need my calculator?”  Son said, “No, you have me for that.”

* * * * * * * *

In his late teenage years, my son seems to be a bit prone to ear infections.  When he came back from college in May, he got another ear infection.  We were talking about his ear drops. 

Common Household Husband: “That stuff is just made of ascetic acid.”  (pronounced “ah-SEH-tic.”)
Son:    “Dad.  It’s not a-seh-tic, it’s ‘acetic’.” (pronounced “ah-SEE-tic.”)

Husband :  “No, it’s ascetic acid.”

Son:  “That would be acid that’s reclusive.”

* * * * * * * *

I went to the bank and the grocery store with the Common Household Husband  and Son. 
We went to the bank because Son had to make a deposit.  I said, “Can Dad and I stay in the car, or do you need us to come into the bank with you?”

Son said, “Is it against the law for me to leave my parents in the car while I run errands?”

* * * * * * * *

We are all looking forward to his arrival.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Photo Guessing Game

Every day this week, I checked my blog to see if I had written anything.  I was not too surprised to find that I hadn't.  I’ve got plenty to tell you, but not enough oomph to write it down.  

I'm feeling kind of like this plant, which I
have repeatedly forgotten to water. Usually
it looks like Audrey II.

Instead of words, I will give you this photo guessing game.  Here are some things I purchased/made recently, in preparation for something that is going to happen next weekend.  Can you guess what that event is?

Plenty of cinnamon (we were plumb out). The one on the left
is mine.  The one on the right is for The Event.
Jif Creamy Peanut Butter and large jar of Ragu sauce.

Two boxes of frozen waffles

Pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, safely
tucked in the freezer until The Event.  

The label "Very Well Done" on that pumpkin bread is not a bit of self-congratulation by the cook (me) but a reminder that I left it in the oven a bit too long, so I shouldn't serve it to the Queen,
should she happen to grace the Common Household with her presence.

Not pictured, but also crucial to the event:  a gallon-sized jug of milk.  

While yinz are guessing, I will gird my loins and try to write a real post.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Looking Up

Taking the advice of Rabbi and Pastor, today I walked in the park and looked up.

Rabbi had suggested that one good way to live includes paying attention to the details around you, and appreciating those everyday things.  Pastor had suggested that one good way to live is to acknowledge the good gifts God has given us right now, rather than waiting for that supposedly better thing in the future.

I took my camera to the park and pointed it up.  Today the weather was superior, with abundant sunshine in this cloudiest of all places, truly a gift.  Looking up, I saw shapes and colors and fractals everywhere. 

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
    let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.  -Psalm 96:12

Extraordinary everyday gifts.

Friday, October 10, 2014


This kind of weather leaves you expecting Professor McGonigle
to show up at any moment.
It's a foggy day here, which  matches my mood today.  Yesterday I had a good, productive day, though, so I'll just have to push forward now, while remembering yesterday.  I have a lot of words in my head, but they are refusing to become coherent, so I leave you with these photos.

I do love fall.  It is a good day to have soup.

Kwanzan cherry tree in the fog

Oak leaves and grey sky overhead

Kwanzan cherry leaf - a bright spot

A ghost of the maple tree, behind the cherry tree

The lilac  blesses us with color again

Snapdragons still tenaciously hanging on

Note of celebration that I left for Younger Daughter,
who faithfully arose at 6 am while I slept and
dreamt a strange, strange dream

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Not Your Grandmother's Kugel

In the days of the ancestors, it was decreed that the whole people should gather in a solemn assembly to celebrate the Lord’s creation, and to begin the Days of Awe. 

And the Lord said to the people, “Thus shall you celebrate:  by preparing a sweet mixture of eggs, sour cream, sugar, wide egg noodles and dried fruit of the vine.  And you shall call this mixture noodle kugel.  From this day forward you and your children and your children’s children shall partake of this meal.”

And the mother-in-law said to the daughter-in-law:  “You shall make my noodle kugel recipe, for there is no other that will please my son.  I have decreed it.”

And the daughter-in-law undertook to do as she was instructed to do.  She approached this task with joy, saying, “At last, a Jewish recipe that does not involve chopping everything into little bits or cooking a hunk of meat for hours.”  But lo, her mother-in-law’s recipe for noodle kugel listed not all of the ingredients.  It was not clear if it required ½ an ephah or ¼ an ephah of sugar.  It gave not the baking temperature; neither did it tell the type of baking pan to use.

And so the daughter-in-law set out to gather unto her all manner of noodle kugel recipes.  She took butter of kine, egg of chicken, cream of sour, wide noodles of egg, and brought forth a fine noodle kugel in a lordly dish.  And she saw that the thing pleased her husband.

As the years passed, the daughter-in-law began to be horrified at the fat content of the noodle kugel and at the vast quantity the recipe made. The heart of her husband was not well within him.  Seeking to do her husband good, like a merchant ship she launched forth and communed secretly with Google to find a healthier and smaller recipe.

And so, at the beginning of this year 5775, the husband spake unto his wife, saying, “Lo, the high holidays are upon us.  It is my fondest wish that we should have noodle kugel during this time of festive convocations.”

And so she girded her loins with strength, and assembled lower-fat ingredients; she set to cooking.  Eating not the bread of idleness, while the noodle kugel was baking she went outside and raked a multitude of leaves to the top of the hill.

Looking well to the ways of her household, she served the noodle kugel.  And lo, her teenaged child arose up, and called her blessed; her husband also, and he praised her, saying, “Now this is the only dish which is not made better by adding cream of mushroom soup.  Many daughters-in-law have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all." 

Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that maketh a good low-fat noodle kugel, she shall be praised.

                                                                                        - The Book of Comestibles 31:10-31

     Noodle Kugel 

Makes one 9x9 square pan.

     1 cup cottage cheese (lowfat is fine)
     1 ½  cups (12 ounces) sour cream (lowfat is fine)
     1 ½ Tablespoons milk
     3 eggs, beaten
     1/4 cup sugar
     ½ tsp. vanilla
     ¼ cup raisins, or chopped apple, optional – I use both
     8 ounces wide egg noodles
     cinnamon and sugar for topping (mix together 1 Tbsp sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon)
     ¼ cup corn flakes, crushed

Grease a 9x9 square baking pan.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cook the egg noodles in a large pot of water till tender. Drain.

Meanwhile, mix in a very large bowl the first 7 ingredients. Combine with the cooked noodles, and turn into the baking pan.

Top with some cinnamon and sugar, and also some crushed cornflakes if you like. Bake in a 350 oven for about 45 – 60 minutes. Cut into squares to serve.

Makes 12 servings.

(If you use 1% cottage cheese and low-fat sour cream, each serving is 5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.)