Monday, November 2, 2009

Mama's Hands Are Never Empty

An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.
~Spanish Proverb
Inspirational Song
Simple Gifts
Dianne Schneider

All She Had

Mom stayed an extra night so she could give me her full day yesterday. You can now see the floor of my closet! Sounds like I'm 8 years old, doesn't it? Who else could I count on to come help me sort a messy closet, but my mother? She also ironed some of my jackets. We were so tired that we ate smoothies for dinner!

I called Mom at the end my work day today to tell her how my lunch of Butternut Squash & Mushroom Risotto was with my side of Broccoli Rabe (good!) and for us to exchange once again to each other our thanks for the weekend.

After dinner I called my sister. My sister doesn't drive. She drove until my niece was born 26 years ago, but she stopped then and hasn't driven since. Every now and then she needs my mom to pick her up from school (she's a teacher's aid). Today was one of those days.

As I was talking to my Sis, she said, "You know mom can't see me without bringing me something." Do I ever know this! "So when I got in the car, do you know what she handed me?"

"What?" I said.

"A baked sweet potato." I started howling.


"She said she looked around and didn't have anything else but a sweet potato, so she baked it for me."

I was still laughing--loudly. "Did you eat it?"

"No, she said it was to add to my dinner."

"I bet she thought you'd eat it right there in the car. You should have eaten it!" I said.

"Only you would think this was funny." She told me. I think it's delightfully funny, guffawing til you cry funny.

And the sweetest thing ever.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cookin', Cleanin', & Poodles

The family - that dear
octopus from whose tentacles we
never quite escape, nor, in
our inmost hearts, ever
quite wish to.

~Dodie Smith

Inspirational Song

Sweet Southern Comfort
Buddy Jewel

Cookin' With Mama
My mom came to spend Halloween night with us. She only lives 45 minutes away but it's kind of unusual for her to come to our house without an occasion. It wasn't Halloween that brought her, though, it was the fact that she felt like I needed help. She knows I work late (I sometimes call her from my car when I'm leaving working after 7) and she said she wished she lived closer so she could help me cook ahead and bring me food.

So on Thurs. she called to see if I "wanted" her to come up and help me cook some meals ahead for the week.

Now many, many times Mama's idea of meals doesn't sync with what I need to stay on track. But this time she was really trying. She brought this sheet that a doctor had given her of meals for a week to stay on 1800 calories/day and we picked a dinner recipe that she liked.

We haven't eaten it yet (we will Monday or Tues.) but it looks good and it wasn't hard (not just because Mom basically made it!).

Asian Chicken & Cabbage

Heat 2 tsp of peanut oil and saute chicken breast strips (we just cut 2 small breast halves into pieces) until cooked through.
Remove chicken.
Add ~2 cups loosely packed napa cabbage (or savory or regular green cabbage) to the heated skilled with ~1 cup pea pods (I prefer sugar snap peas over snow peas), add 1 small can water chestnuts (drained), salt & pepper, and 2 cut scallions.
Saute until cabbage is wilted.
Add chicken back to veggies.
Add light soy salt to taste.
Add 1 small can mandarin oranges. Heat through.
Serve over brown rice.

I also roasted some beets. I'm going to heat some OJ & other items from a recipe later to put them in. And I bought broccolini, Brussels Sprouts, and asparagus, along with 5 kinds of winter squash: delicata, acorn, butternut, an orange one that had "red" something in the name, and a funny shaped green one that I can't remember the name of --starts with a K. When I cook 'em, I'll let you know.

My plan is to bring 2 or 3 vegetables for my lunch during the week. Last week I cooked some Brussels Sprouts with shallots & bacon & a tad of vinegar & brought small amounts as a "side" to my lunch--they were yummy. I know a lot of people don't like them, and I've gone through spells where I don't either. But if you cook them right (don't boil them or overcook them), they are good.

Mom wants to help me sort my unbelievable messy closet, which I've complained to her about. Part of its disasterousness is because I can't fit into things and I already have tons of clothes I can't fit in in the attic in 2 big "hanging" boxes and also in the "TV room" closet. It's funny how quickly we want to get rid of fat clothes but how long we will hang on to smaller clothes.

I've been putting off the closet organizing because a) takes forever and b) it's a way to deny how huge I am. I'd show you pictures but it's unfathomable even to me.

Mom brought her miniature poodle, Buddy. He looks like the "before" to our goldendoodle, Yeats. Buddy is ~7 years old, so the old guy, but the little guy. It's a hoot to watch Yeats lie on her belly to try to entice Buddy to play. She hops all around him, but she kind of "nips" at the top of his neck a lot which worries us a bit, but Buddy doesn't seem to react. I think they are having fun, but Mom & Hubby get concerned if either of them make noise. Sounds like playing noise to me. . .

I may try to get some pics later. . .I'm not sure I'll be able to capture the most delightful part of their antics.

(I love waking up with light outside! But don't talk to me around 4:30!)

[I just realized if I changed the order of the words of this title. . . it would sound some kind of horrible Halloween witch's brew!]