Splitting Out Bons: My Kids Said the Damnedest Things

The little angels …. College Girl and Miss Peach

Yes, “damnedest” is a word; I looked it up.

 Making my way through one of my piles o’ stuff that threaten to put me in the lead as the next “Hoarder“, I came upon a box.  It was filled with stories and artwork produced by College Girl and Miss Peach when they were young.  Specifically preschool through second grade. “Oh, how sweet”, I said to myself as I opened the box of memories.  Then I remembered. 

This box contained all the evidence of a group gene fail. Yeah, yeah, every family has the funny relatives and ours isn’t short on them.  Some of my California cousins have amazing tattoos, they live in California, duh!  And my hilarious cousin, MSuey, worked at a bingo parlour on an Indian reservation one summer.  And I did have an uncle who thought Beach Blanket Bingo was a porno movie.  But never in my wildest dreams did I consider that my darlings would publicly expose us as lunatics so early in the game.  Guess it was that family mantra, “Oh well, what the hell!”, combined with a strange sense of humor, a cup of spill-your-guts any and everywhere, gallons of high drama, and an upside down take on most everything.

 Preschools LOVE to hang kids’ art all over the walls. At one parent function, we all admired the childish masterpieces created around the theme, “What are you thankful for?”.  Amidst all the adorable, loving tributes to mommies, daddies, flowers, babies, puppies, and kittens – both daughters – independent of each other and over two separate years – answered this sweet question with the exact same words:  “I am thankful for fried chicken.” Granted, there were a few other strannge tributes such as, “I love $$$”, “I hope my dog never dies”, and “I saw a rock sink”, but really, FRIED CHICKEN?  The darlings had a definite food vibe going; each had recipes published in a local magazine.  Peach’s concoction, Fried Shrimp Soup, consisted of some shrimp, vegetables and hot water, cooked for 10 minutes and then “stored for a day you need it.”  CG and her friend came up with a recipe for French Toast; the ingredients were “stuff you sprinkle, lots of bread, and 4 oil pours. Say the blessing.  Cook the bread for 8 minutes at 12-degrees.  Sprinkle stuff on it.  Put in 2 oil pours.  Even if it doesn’t taste good, the dog will eat it.” YUMMY!

When Peach was in first grade, her story was posted  – again on the wall – for Parent’s Night.  She wrote an essay about her senses which began and ended with, “In my home, I can smell bread and perfume and dirty socks.” A proud moment. 

Her Mother’s Day composition was published in the school newsletter. She said, “I think my mom is the greatest because she has two jobs and two little girls.  She wears funky fashions from all over the world.  She has a very messy closet but that doesn’t matter because I love her.”  This one also liked to answer the phone.  If the call was for me, she would say, “My mom is having a nervous break” and hang up.  She was absolutely correct.  But if Miss Peach was opening up our can of worms for the world to view, College Girl slashed the tin in half and threw the contents as far as the eye could see.

 Her preschool story of life with Mom was succinct:  “My mom lies in bed and watches TV all day.” (This was NOT true, I was working my ass off; I don’t think I even saw a TV that year).  Her recipe for – uh, fried chicken – was printed:  “Get a chicken from the store, heat it in the microwave and eat it.”  Obviously, not homemade as mom lies in bed all day. 
 Just yesterday, College Girl had her first article published in the same newspaper where my first piece was printed.  She was paid, I wasn’t. Nevertheless, I’m proud of her.  She’s come so far since she authored an essay on Thanksgiving:  “It was the feirst thacksgiving and the tercee was so bony that you cood not tack a bit to it witout splitting out bons.”
 Oh well, what the hell.  So what if we are genetic malcontents, branded for eternity as a pack of fried chicken-eating, TV-watching, bedridden maniacs.  We will be remembered as the colorful relatives, just sittin’ around splitting out bons.
 Could be worse.  Right?

Heavy Breathing in Crazyville

Silly stuff around here. My mind is running about 110 mph – nothing new, but don’t even know where to start.  Probably with a list, sooooo predictable. Or not.  Only want to focus on what has amused me since last post. Focus –  I throw that word around liberally. And we’re off…..

  • I admit, I am a Grey’s Anatomy person. Do not jack with me when that show is on.  Especially during the TWO-HOUR-SEASON-FINALE.  My Cooking Partner failed to see the importance of this event; as my eyes were glued to the screen, he starts off with a “state of the union” address.  WHAT?  A MAN WANTS TO DISCUSS RELATIONSHIP??? DURING THE MOST SHOCKING GA SHOW EVER???  I knew he was bored and just trying to get my goat (metaphorically speaking – don’t have a goat).  I shut him right up with two points.  A.)  I was in the same situation – in a hospital with a shooter who walked right past me and opened fire, killing a nurse. That awful revelation only made him more determined as he believed it was bad for me to “relive” it.  I lived, damn it, let me watch this show. If the state of our relationship can’t wait two hours, there ain’t no relationship. But he persisted so I had to pull out B.) “I have watched stupid “Most Dangerous Lobster Fishermen From Hell” about 20 times because you like it.  And I didn’t even talk during the commercials.”  That got him.  After he said, “It was King Crab.”  Whatever!!!!!
  • Trying to get rid of excess, I put some books in a garage sale.  One particular title was, “How To Get Pregnant” (a very old book).  A bachelor bought it for his coffee table.  Is that the best bs or what? 
  • Was scheduled to read to my daughter’s third grade class yesterday.  Took them cookies and passed around embarrassing photos of her, instead.  The class was adorable.  They asked the dreaded question, “How old are you?”  Only because they are too young to be math wizards, I replied, “How old do you think I am?”  First answer, 28 – nope.  Second answer, 40 – nope.  Third answer, 30 – WINNER! Extra cookie for the boy in the back!  Hahahahaha!
  • Class also asked me about Miss Peach’s sister, College Girl.  Poor College Girl, when she was little we called her Cousin It/David Letterman.  She had a beautiful lion’s mane at age 3; she would wake up shrouded in hair and wander around like that until someone would have mercy on her and part that stuff.  She also had a rather sizeable space between her front teeth, hence David Letterman.  She is not scarred for life, she still has a beautiful lion’s mane and can part it herself and her front teeth cozy up to each other.  College Girl’s mother was/is MESSED UP.
  • The tribal drumbeats began early this morning.  College Girl was in tears because she HAD to stay out until 2 this morning and was at her babysitting gig at 6:45 am, then she had to move, then she had another babysitting gig.  Miss Peach called seven times, she rolled in at 3 am.  I still don’t know what she was said.  These girls need some serious time management techniques. College Girl called back this afternoon.  She scored a queen-size bed with all the linens and a set of silverware from the morning gig.  All is not lost.  Never was.
  • Engagement party last night, kitchen shower at noon today.  Really fun to see old friends as well as Miss Peach and her gang.  I swear, time flies.  They were gangly, goofy, not- as- sneaky- as- they- thought- they- were teens; now they are gorgeous, confidant young women with the world at their feet.  I love this.  Miss Peach breezed in to the shower looking a bit green around the gills.  Maybe that was why she called me seven times.  Do I look like Dr. of the Overserved? Methinks, NO!  Been there, done that, slept on the tile floor. Bleck.
  • Cooking Partner brought me a bunch of beautiful pink peonies.  He knows which side his bread is buttered on.  All is forgiven. Am such a pushover.  Sometimes.
  • Made the easiest sweet for the shower – really.  Go to the store, buy the little square pretzels, a bag of Rolos, and some whole pecans.  Turn on oven – 250-degrees.  Put foil on cookie sheet, put pretzels on cooking sheet, unwrap Rolos and put one on top of each pretzel.  Pop in oven for 3 minutes. Take out, smush pretzel on soft Rolo, then pop cookie sheet in refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.  Instant turtles.  All gone.
  • Dumbest definition of word for the day:  meantime – “from now until something else happens”.

Excusez-moi! This is too random, even for me. Off to screw head on straight. Or not. 


Almond Ecstasy

Nirvana on a plate.  Reading blogs the other day, I stumbled upon teaandscones. She had the most delicious cake in her post, Swedish Visiting Cake.  Of course, she gives all the credit to Dorie Greenspan for the recipe.  I just could not resist baking it asap.  Now I will eat it asap.  If you’d like a bite, well, I’m sorry but you’ll have to bake your own! 


My first Swedish Visiting Cake

Austin Ann’s Chicken Enchiladas

Picky, picky, picky!  That’s me when it comes to food.  These enchiladas are the best I’ve ever tasted.  They are also the richest. One of the greatest features of this recipe is that they can be frozen half way through preparation.  Instant dinner party.  The recipe says 14 enchiladas. My experience is more like 21; it never hurts to have more tortillas on hand.  Literally.  Muchas gracias to Austin Ann – a great cook and even better friend.  I would add photos, but am still challenged there; will overcome soon.  Enjoy!

14 flour tortillas                                                        

4 whole chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

2 T. butter                                                                    

1 large can green chilies

1 onion, chopped                                                       

1 large tub (12 oz) cream cheese

1 large package shredded Monterrey Jack cheese                        

 1-1/2 cups whipping cream

Boil chicken and shred into pieces.  Set aside.  Saute green chilies and onion in butter until soft and translucent.  Add cream cheese to this mix and stir over low heat.  Assemble enchiladas with this mixture and the shredded chicken.  The enchiladas can be frozen at this point.  When ready to cook, cover the enchiladas with the cheese.  Pour whipping cream over the top.  Bake at 350-degrees, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.  They will be slightly brown when ready.

*Not a low-calorie dish – Ha!

Cheese Soup, Mother’s Meat Loaf & Best Pasta Salad

Just found the cookbooks I started when I was 22.  I love these recipes.

I never order cheese soup because I liken it to eating a bowl of chile con queso. This soup is not heavy at all, light broth, spicy and so great with crusty French bread.  It’s fast to make and delicious!

Cheese Soup (serves 4)

8 oz Cheez Whiz (really); 5 large carrots, grated; 1 medium onion, chopped; 2 green onions, chopped; 3 cans chicken broth; 4 T. butter, cayenne, dash or two or cayenne; 1 t. prepared mustard; pepper.

Saute carrots and onions in butter.  Add rest of ingredients and simmer 30 minutes.

My Mother’s Meat Loaf (this is damn good)

2 lbs. ground beef; 1 package Lipton Onion Soup mix; 1 t. pepper; 1 egg; 3/4 c. Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing, crushed; 1/2 c. tomato sauce.

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly.  Shape into a loaf. Put in loaf pan. Top with a strip of bacon and the remainder of the tomato sauce. Bake at 350-degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

My Favorite Pasta Salad Ever

12 oz pkg small shell pasta;  1/2-3/4 c. vinaigrette (I use La Martinique French or Girard’s Champagne); 1 c. Hellmann’s mayonnaise; 3 green onions, chopped; 1 small can sliced black olives; 1 T. salt; 1 t. pepper; cayenne to taste, 1 lb. shredded white meat chicken or 1 lb. cooked shrimp.

Boil the pasta per instructions on package. Mix the vinaigrette and mayonnaise.  Add the pasta and marinate in refrigerator for two hours. Add other ingredients. Mix thoroughly and add a dash or so more of the vinaigrette.  Probably serves 10.

Lasagna for Anti-Lasagna People

I’m sure I’m one of the few people in the lasagna-eating world who wouldn’t order it in a restaurant and cringe when it’s served at a dinner party. Yuck. I hate sweet tomato anything. I had a lifelong ixnay on all things lasagna … until my friend, D’Anne, made it. It is utterly delicious, I swear. I’ll post other recipes that are really good; for example, last night my cooking partner fixed an outstanding chicken picatta while I baked bread. Woo Hoo. But I digress – here’s the recipe. Bon Apetit!

1 lb. lasagna noodles

1 lg. bag shredded mozzarella

1 lb. cottage cheese

3 T. freshly grated parmesan

2 T. chopped parsley


1 lb. ground beef

1/2 lb. pepperoni (I use turkey pepperoni)

1 lb. ground mild Italian sausage

2 T. olive oil

1 c. chopped onions

1/2 c. diced celery

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 16 oz. can tomatoes, drained

1 10 oz. can tomato puree

1 16 oz. can tomato sauce

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 can beef consomme

1/3 cup red wine

1 t. soy sauce

1/4 t. Italian seasoning

1/8 t. pepper

1 T. tabasco

1 t. garlic salt

Brown beef and sausage in olive oil for 10 minutes, then add onions, celery, and garlic. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Add tomato puree, tomatoes, and tomato sauce, mushrooms, consomme, wine, soy sauce, pepperoni, and seasonings. Simmer 30 minutes.

Cook noodles in beef broth. Grease a 13×9 pan and an 8×8 pan. Spoon a light covering of meat sauce in pans. Layer with noodles, meat sauce, mozzarella, and cottage cheese, then repeat layers at least once if not twice based on supply. Top with parmesan and parsley. Bake at 375-degrees for 50-60 minutes. Yum.

*I use “no cook” lasagna noodles and they work just fine.

*This meat sauce is not sweet – it is salty. It is a good thing.

*If the top browns too fast, put a sheet of foil on top and continue to cook.

*I will share any and all recipes except for my Bitch Grits.