Archive for November, 2010

…and the glow is fading…

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Lost a little of my grateful when my son finished breakfast by announcing, as he was rinsing his breakfast dishes, that he was hungry. “Can we have lunch now?”

It was almost eleven o’clock. We crashed this morning, after getting home at eleven last night. (Traffic turned the 45-minute drive into two hours thanks to multiple accidents on our freeways, including one apparently caused by people driving too quickly and carelessly immediately after the traffic jam caused by an accident. People are brilliant.)

“You can have lunch at noon,” I said, figuring that even Veggie Growth-Spurt Lad wouldn’t be up to that.

Oh, but he was. And after I spent almost half an hour last night moving things around and throwing things out in order to make room in our refrigerator for all the food it took me two days to cook, I Have No Survival Skills casually asked me, “Which one is the sausage pie?”

(For the record: it’s fake sausage. It’s really good, and you can enjoy it without prompting your veggie friends to make ghostly oinking sounds.)

It used to be that I would make the meal and clean up after the meal just in time to field a request for another meal. Now he can’t even stay fueled up long enough to survive the dishes getting washed. I remember feeling hungry all the time at this age, but that was because I was surrounded by anorexics of all ages and I wanted to fit in by starving myself. I’m glad he’s hungry because he’s growing and healthy and not being warped by creepy societal values — but one hour? Seriously? That’s all I get?

Share the gratefuls.

Friday, November 26th, 2010

At the end of a work-intensive but satisfying Thanksgiving, I’m happy that:

1. Everything I cooked turned out fine, even though I tried several new recipes. (The pie turned out to be the pumpkin with the chocolate-chip-cookie crust. Life-threateningly good in every sense.)

2. Once again, I triumphantly demonstrated that a Thanksgiving dinner can be vegetarian and not only kick arse, but be homey and yummy and have diners reminiscing pleasantly about childhood feasts.

3. The four hours I spent driving to and from my in-laws’ home, though differing significantly from the anticipated one hour forty five minutes, gave me the chance to put a four-hour dent in my listening-to-the-last-Harry-Potter-novel project. It’s just possible that I’ll actually finish the book while the movie’s still in the theater.

4. My son was consistently cute and helpful.

5. My husband will probably not have to go back to physical therapy in spite of a neck-jolting near-collision last night.

6. I’m too tired to type any more, and I get to sleep in tomorrow.

Hope your day was full of gratefuls, too.

And speaking of weird food…

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

…okay, I’m taking a different direction on the Thanksgiving pie thing. This is not a time to improvise, especially when we’re talking about the most important part of the day. I mean, this is dessert we’re talking about here. And I have so much else going on that I absolutely have to have a recipe to go by.

I found a couple of ideas online that sound killer good. I know this isn’t up there with that I-know-it’s-a-hoax “vote to see if we have our baby or not” debate; but it’s far more pleasant, so please take a moment to cast a vote.

The first is what looks like a lovely, elegant classic pumpkin pie with chocolate chips. I would probably stuff it in an Oreo crust:

http://www.thursdaynightdinner.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=79:chocolate-chip-pumpkin-pie&Itemid=64

The other is a pumpkin pie made with a chocolate-chip cookie crust. Homemade. Seriously.

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/11/cakespy-pumpkin-pie-in-a-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe.html

So whaddaya think?

Scary sweet stuff

Friday, November 19th, 2010

For the second year in a row, I can’t find a pie recipe I clipped a million years ago. I didn’t clip it from a newspaper or magazine or anything respectable like that, where I might be able to track it down. It was one of those Godawful recipes that you refuse to show anyone, no matter how much they beg, because you don’t want to admit even to your closest friends that you might serve them something in which Cool Whip features as a main ingredient.

For the record, this was Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin Chiffon Pie. Which sounds wonderful. And tastes wonderful. And features such crimes against humanity as instant pudding mix and the above-mentioned Cool Whip (or, as we call it in our house, Petroleum Product Creme). You don’t have to apply any heat or thought to this monstrosity. You beat some “ingredients” together, add the all-important chocolate chips, and throw it into an Oreo crust. (That last part was my idea.)

I may be able to fake it. Frankly, I can’t imagine anyone complaining if I get anywhere near the target. I can’t imagine them having the nerve to complain even if I’m pretty wide of the mark, since I’m not only cooking the entire meal and transporting it to my in-laws’ home, but I’m making some awesome from-scratch Thanksgiving eats for Veggie Lad and his father Adult-Onset Allergy Man.

Let me just kvetch about those guys for a minute. When my son was about four, his dad was hit with a hideous lung infection. It was as if his entire system hit reset afterward. Everything he ate felt like an assault, and was treated accordingly.

Before we had any idea of what was going on, my husband had racked up allergies to:

Peanuts

All fruits

Tomatoes (to you science nerds: yes, I know tomatoes are considered to be “fruit” by some people. We’re not talking science here. We’re talking what the hell I’m supposed to make for dinner. Please shut up.)

Avocado (see above)

Chocolate

Coconut

Vinegar

Alcohol

Buttermilk

Sharp cheese

Fermented anything of any kind

Thankfully, the peanut allergy went into remission after about a year. Doubly thankfully, because like many people, my husband suffers from the kind of allergies where you don’t have to ingest the food in question; you just have to be around it. So we’d spend the weekend at the hospital because while my husband was in the elevator on his way home late Friday afternoon, someone would open a Snickers bar. Just as a for instance.

The other allergies are still running strong. At least we’re past the stage where, for about a year, I had to cook everything fresh for every meal, because leftovers counted as fermented food so far as his system was concerned, and that triggered the Red Alert.

About this time, my son confessed that eating meat made him cry and could he please be a vegetarian.

For everyone who’s told me that my son’s vegetarianism is a stage: That “stage” has lasted about nine years now. If that’s a stage, so’s life.

I’ll have some serious rhymes-with-itching to do about allergies and the public’s response to them in a later posting — although I do have to say right now that if someone’s allergic to something and you take it personally and/or decide they’re being a drama queen, I hope that the next person the Adult-Onset Allergy Fairy decides to hit with her wand is you.

For now, I’d love to circle back to the topic of Scary Food. The pie mentioned above obviously won’t pass my husband’s allergy barrier. In case you’re feeling sorry for him — okay, go ahead; but spare some sympathy for the only person in this house who can cook. Because he gets pretty good food every day that specifically won’t kill him; and he’ll have a gourmet-quality home-baked pecan pie all to himself this coming Thursday. It’s the only Thanksgiving-type dessert I can think of that won’t kill him, and he adores pecan pie. And he’s the only one who does.

The rest of us will be eating Suburban Trash Pie. There. I’m out of the closet.

Anyone else want to come out and tell us their favorite scary ingredients and/or recipes?

That magical time of year…

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

…when I run around the house turning clock hands and punching buttons, screaming, “DIE, DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME! DIE!”

Before I adjusted our chronometers, I skipped into the kitchen this morning to make special killer pancakes in honor of the day, stopping every now and then to crow, “The clock is a lie! Bwahahahaha!” Strangely enough, my husband and son — both of whom play Portal, and who are the ones who introduced me to the phrase “The cake is a lie” in the first place — found this only mildly amusing. Though they did eat the pancakes, so I don’t know what they’re griping about.

Stop Daylight Saving Time. It’s that simple.

It doesn’t save energy. I don’t know how to embed links in words, as I’ve seen so many magical bloggers do; so let me just throw some links your way (or you could just take my damned word for it, already):

http://www.timeanddate.com/time/dst/daylight-saving-debate.html

http://www.savings.com/blog/post/Daylight-Saving-Time-Disadvantages.html

http://www.mainstreet.com/article/lifestyle/daylight-saving-time-haters

And as for the idea that it literally saves lives by reducing traffic accidents: First of all, that may not be true, as the articles in question point out. Second of all — has anyone bothered compiling statistics of traffic-related fatalities in the week after Daylight Saving Time is reversed? Nobody seems to have checked that, even though every mother’s child of us hits the road and immediately starts cursing like land-locked sailors as the sun stabs us in the eyes during rush hour. Because, you see, we didn’t have the chance to adjust to the gradual, natural, seasonal shift of the angle of the light.

And as for all of you self-righteous airheaded morning people who chirp “But I love Daylight Saving Time!” at me every damned year — you know what? I love a lot of weird things, too. And you don’t see me inflicting them on everybody else in the country.

“We get a whole extra hour of daylight!” these dimwits blither on, oblivious to the fact that Daylight Saving Time kicks in in the summer. You know — when the days are getting longer all by themselves. You don’t have to &*#! with the clocks for that.

And if this really is “Daylight Saving Time,” why can’t we take those hours we carefully saved up and pour them into winter, where we could really use the extra light? “Oh, don’t be silly,” DSL lovers say. Silly? You’re the one who thinks you can work magic by switching the clocks twice a year.

Seriously. Just cut it out. Now.

The clocks will tell the truth for a few months now. Wouldn’t it be great if they could be this honest all year round?