Friday, December 31, 2010

Peace, Love and Bacon Grease

My name is Kathryn Joanne Wenzel Sullivan-Howard and I am a big fat hypocrite.  Whew, I feel much much better now. 

Why?  Because I don't eat pork for many stupid and made up reasons.  Jesus didn't eat pork.  Yeah and he didn't eat shrimp either bitch and you wolf those down like a whore at a oyster shooter contest - oh and speaking of . . . . .   OK OK I love shrimp and oysters and lobster!  YES!  guilty.  I just don't like pig.  I just don't.  I HATE HATE HATE HATE (did I say hate?) ham.  I will eat it if my life is in jeopardy OR a family member fixes it and I have nothing else to eat except bread which I also can't eat.  I just hate ham.  and . . . . . and . . . .. wait for it. . . . bacon.  yeah.  I personally don't like bacon.  I'M SORRY!  I know that's like the next cool OMG cover it in chocolate and everyone will order it or wait deep fry it and serve it with a side of gravy - oh it's the next greatest thing.  . . . . sorry  - I don't like bacon sam I am - I just don't like pig. 

I don't like pig ribs don't like ham don't like deep fried chitlins.  . ,. . I just really wish Jesus had sent ever last freakin one of them over the cliff . . . sorry . . . . I don't like pigs.     BUT but but but! .  . . . .  wait for it . . . BACON GREASE is the nector of the gods for cooking.  And I use it with wild abandon!  I LOVE BACON GREASE!

Wow I feel so releaved to be unburdened of that.  I use every last bit of bacon grease that my children hungrily consume.  I am so fine with making bacon for my family - hell yeah - I get what's left.  I actually made 3 lbs one Sunday just to see how very much could be eaten in one sitting.  Yes - it went!!!  3lbs  - 3 kids!  Now I am well aware that three pounds of bacon does not equal three pounds of eating - but the grease alone kept me cooking for weeks.  I am such a guilty girl.  I confess.  Nothing rivals bacon grease for savory cooking.  There just isn't anything.  I eat bone marrow on a regular basis so I know from yummy fatty goodness and I'm sorry - bacon grease is the shit!  It just is.

SO here we go - hash browns in bacon grease.

This is so much easier if you actually MADE bacon - like five minutes ago so the pan is still - like hot - and full of - like bacon grease - (sorry - was just talking to like - my daughter!)

so if you Were NOT just doing the bacon = you need a f' ton of grease = I mean a lot - in a BIG skillet - heat it up - if it's not already and put in your shredded hashbrowns - and then cover.  and turn it to low.  and cook for 10 minutes then totally flip and do like 5 more minutes.  Give to Trinity and watch her smile :D

Beef Roast with beer - braised in BACON GREASE
Tonight' dinner started in BG.  I started the bottom round roast (3.5lbs) in a lot (okay a ton) of BG and then set in the 250 oven for 6 YES 6 hours with 2 beers - 1 lb of baby carrots, an onion - 1 lb of mushrooms and a few stalks of celery.    Mom marveled at the tenderness of the roast.  I told her it was the pure sweetness of the cook :D - but we all know it was the bacon grease.  I may just render it into perfume.  hmmmmmmmmmmm.  I do have a book coming out - hmmmmmm  tell me I don't have a best seller with the bacon grease essence - what have women said for years?  Men are . . . .?  finish my sentence with three letters that start with P and end with G . . . . Right.  Nuff said.  Rub bacon behind your ears and they will follow you home.  Unless you are Kosher and then well . . . . oye  - I can't help you.  :D

Happy New Year Ya'll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mud pie

I have discovered that I write in mud.  I deign to imagine that I write with the cunning and care of a diamond cutter - a master sculptor - cutting away what should not be there - preserving only the smallest - the very essence of what I am trying to impart.  I would love to think that I am immensely eloquent and that every phrase and turn of my words is simple and precise - like a haiku.

Spy a winter tree
with just the few leaves clinging
for their own sad life

I am neither that haiku (though I think is nice :D) nor that tree!

No, I am a freakin Mardi Gras parade!  Too loud - too weird (at times) and over the top pretty much most of the time!  I write with the mud theory - if I throw enough - some has got to stick.  If I just keep writing - (just keep swimming) - just keep writing something somewhere in the cosmos will notice and all will be well with my soul.  I talk too much - usually OVER people and I really really do try not to do that- since it IS so very rude - it's just that if we are having a really great conversation I am so excited that you are talking to me and I want you to keep talking to me so I try to jump in and keep it going.  I do try to regulate the talking out of turn since I am SO much more mature now that I am 41 rather than just 40!  Really.  

But I just have so much to say and it's in crazy staccato bursts of excitement.  I really need to say what I need to say so fast because my ADHD (okay I'm just HD) brain fires on 6 million cylinders!  It's a good thing I type fast since most of this would be lost!  But I do wish I could be a more spare - reserved - mysterious person.  I'm just not.  I'm out there - want to know something private?  Just ask.  I'll share.  My book is WAY WAY open.  Not sure that's the way it's "supposed" to be (my therapist sister says I have Boundary issues - ya think?) but that's me.  Don't think it's going to change since it really doesn't bother me much.  But I say when you are bugging me now and really don't care what EVERYONE thinks about me anymore so I'd say PROGRESS in that area! 

Back on topic now - see - too many thoughts - really need to be more focused - now, where were we? . . . . .  MUD right then, MUD!

Mud for me is such an amazing thing.  It's a medium - it's a substance - it's creation.  God made Adam from it.  I certainly won't stand in those shoes - but if you grow things out of it - you get it.  It's everything and nothing  - it's dirt.  It's perfect and filthy.  It's what we came from and where we go in our physical form.  It makes perfect sense I would use it as a metaphor!  What I have to say is so basic on myriad levels yet the sum of the parts isn't always so easy.  OR clean.  Life is messy and dirty.

So I guess the mystery for me is what I am going to do next.  I'm pretty sure my husband never knows what it's going to be  - but he loves me and is along for the messy ride. 

Though I may write with mud - I try to be more clear - but there is nothing quite like the classic mud pie! 

A bucket of dirt
pie pan
one child that will need a good dipping after!

Put water into the bucket of dirt slowly - don't add too much - no one likes a too wet mud pie (DUH)
when it's the consistency of a mud pie - put into the pie pan and let it bake in the sun.  Lay on the grass and watch the clouds.  Decide which one you like best and watch it blow across the sky.  Do it again.  Watch the cloud shapes change as they move.  Close your eyes and imagine floating up into the clouds.  Open them and see if your pie is dry.  If so, great.  If not, great.  See if you can get a younger sibling to eat it.  Get hosed off in the yard.  Get the sticks out of your hair.  Chase the dog around the yard.  Come in the house and decide to take a hot bath with bubbles.  Smile.  Well done.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

wow life is weird

so - if you know me personally - sorry :D  you know I am writing A book not just a book but a BOOK a book of ME!  Smarmy and crafty and all things goodness and Katie and Light.  Okay that's not true since there will be bondage wear.  BUT well,, it's going to be full of good food, craft and much mayhem.  Watch for it.  I promise if I have met you and broken bread we will be having fun in the future!  I am counting (ok that's a stretch) on being somewhere near you to promote this!!  I am going to be doing the whirlwind tour but If I know you I will do my bestest!  If there's some crazy craft you want out there I will totally give you credit for - bring it folks I have my 30 so I am ready for this folks but looking for an add on :D

Friday, December 17, 2010

When life gives you beer . . .

make a beef roast.  Okay so "life" per say did not technically GIVE me beer - I purchased it.  But Roger wanted to have some friends over (okay so Roger did not technically WANT friends over - I hounded him like a whore from hell until he relented to have a party.)  AND from said party we not only had some gorgeous valances that yours truly sewed  (:D)  but some kick ass Sam Addams Winter Lager just freakin sitting on my kitchen floor (in a bottle in a box - not actually ON the floor - cuz well that would be gross right?) So in a fit of "I need to use this beer" moment I made probably the best beef roast on the planet that has been served in my house.  Yeah there's a qualifier for you!!!!!!!

So when life or a party gives you beer - make this. 

3+ lbs bottom round (don't we just like our bottoms round :D)  I know I do - love you Roger!!!  :D
Okay so if you got a bigger roast you may want a bigger quantity of beer.  up to you so go with me here we have fluid cooking action - no real rules in my kitchen except I am PRINCESS (THE mom is the Queen mother AND that's another post ALL the hell together!)

2 bottles (yeah 12 oz each) a lager - dark - Guinness is fine (yeah it is fine! brilliant even!) I had Sam Addams Winter Lager and it was yummy good.

16 oz chopped mushrooms
1 green zucchini smallish
1 package of baby carrots
1 head of garlic
1 bunch of green onions or 1 med onion
 half a stalk of celery (or as much as you want to put into something)

here's what I did.

Take a good roasting pan and turn it up high and put a small amount of olive oil in the bottom and get yer meat ready (I love saying that) brown it on one side and for goodness sakes don't poke it - just brown it.  both sides really good.  we are looking for the maillard effect  - probably spelled wrong - like I care? - it works.  PUT browned meat into a 350 oven COVERED all ALONE for 30 minutes (or more whatever here - I was putting henna on my hair - much more important :D) so from here we want to deglaze the pan that the meat is currently in - MOVE THE MEAT (again fun to say) to another resting pan BUT DO NOT STAB YOUR MEAT :D - tongs are much nicer -  we don't want to have yummy goodness spilling onto the world and not where were we ultimately want it!

SO put the beer into the roasting pan and stir like hell - add at least 16 oz or more of water to help and get all of that stuck goodness off the bottom - add part of the other stuff and then the meat and then the rest of the veg and then put the cover back on and stick it back in the oven for at least another hour. 

LET IT REST for 15 minutes before taking the cover off.  then have some fun

I made baked potatoes for the R and the Queen and cubed steamed sweet potatoes for ME and creepy  okra and yellow squash only for the Queen.

This is amazing for so many cheap cuts of meat that can be made into "butta" if you cook them right.  You need to just do the low and slow method but adding an alcohol component takes care of the flavor element as well - don't be scared - just try it.  I used a super cheap roast so it wasn't like a $50 tenderloin I was messing with - this was a $3 a lb bottom round!  Experiment - but use some knowledge so you don't mess it totally up!  Have some fun folks!

And for those who don't know how to make a perfect baked potato - here ya go - 450 for an hour and DON'T poke it or cover it in anything - trust me.  It will be milky smooth in the middle!  Go for it!

Smile and the world wonders what the hell you are up to . . .  right :D

Friday, December 10, 2010

Can you say Fight Club?

I made Christmas Soup for Family tonight.  The Kids of course rejected it sight unseen because I said they "had to!"  Really?  so the mommy pulled rank and said, "fine, then you go hungry!"  Yes I expect social services to call since that is technically child endangerment - what with the carrots and celery and sirloin OH and the onion.  The stock that has been slow cooking for 2 days with the marrow is just too much I know - these kids really?  anyone? - if you think you want them and would be killing them less than me - call me - we can maybe work something out . . . .

Well,  I can't speak for past relation (hey Tim!) - I just know that it tasted really really good to me this year. The fact that I jacked it with an amazing marrow bone I roasted and then put in the stock and the 3 lbs of really good beef roast.. I am a super picky carnivore who really hates to eat out since someone else is touching something I am consuming. That takes a lot of trust. Have you seen FIGHT CLUB? Don't stick your stuff in my soup!

I have had friends and family jack me up because I really hate to eat out - okay yeah I'm cheap - but it's for multiple reasons - I love to cook - It really really really really is not a bother for me to make you XYZ - really - unless I'm on death's door? - hungover? (not really an issue) or sick ?(again not an issue) or pms "ing"(yeah you might want to just burger king the day sorry this is real) it's good - I got this.  BUT I really don't like restaurants.  I love chefs.  I do.  But food and I have issues.  I am allergic to most of it.  Does that mean I don't like it?  HELL NO!  BUT I also know food gets jacked up at the nicest of places - I have seen it happen - Yeah - I worked the food world - I was just the BarTender but did I see the stuff go in the stuff - YES - Yes I did.  Yes. It does happen. 
It happens more than we want to think. I hate restaurants. a lot. I trust me. Short of pulling an Uncle Ted and only eating what I kill . . . ( I would so do that if I had a million plus bucks and a lot of time - hey TED - call me!) but since I have less than an acre and "dog" really isn't my meat of choice - it's the store as my "range" but sorry I really really really truly sincerely LOVE TO F"N cook! I do - not kidding - love it! I don't do it for a living so maybe that's why I pull it off - but hey whatev!

Anyway - I enjoy cooking-  prep - searing - smelling - tasting the whole process from the store = smelling the stuff to the actual finished product that feeds the ones I love - it's FUN! I even get up extra early to watch Good Eats (Alton - you know you want me - you know you do  though I liked you with a little more meat on you!) and figure out what I am making for the up-coming holiday - party - whatever event!
I love cooking - eating is not so much the thing for me - it's kind of secondary.  I like to cook for those that can enjoy.  I can taste but not eat most of what I make.  I'm like the kid at the peanut allergy table - I hate to dis everyone for my issue - but really I can't - but hey - you can.  The difference is - it won't kill me!!!  Nice difference I think!
So for this particular evening - the jury is out.  Grown ups 3 kids 0 but Trinity was at a birthday party.  If I spin it that we (the cool people - aren't the cool people always WE?) win if she likes it!  I guarantee that YES it is good.  Okay all messing asside it really is good eats.  It just is. It is a family "it's not Christmas unless . . . . " for me and doesn't involve Chinese Food or a Movie (though I love Jews) it just is.  This is December.  It's cold here and I can put the HUGE VESSILE outside. Gotta love free storage!  Alton is in GA - doubt it's that cold there - though maybe tonight!  Sorry - WI makes Christmas great and living suck!  Just sayin. 
So to all a good night.  I have valances to sew and staple to boards because I certainly can't have people over if I haven't at the very least decorated.  I am learning the SOUTHERN way of things.  I have pretty much redecorated our entire house in 3 days because we MAY (may) may be having 5 people over from Roger's work.  Maybe.  OH MY DEAR SWEET JESUS!  AAAAAAAAAAA!  
So let's just say I haven't slept in 3 days and my nerves are raw.  But there will be good eats at the Howard home and there will be pretty curtains and valances. 
I will be posting soon about my recent discovery on fitness.  It will - okay maybe - be interesting.  stay tuned.  I have ideas and issues.  (yeah really I know you are thinking it!)  I am nothing if not a lab rat with red hair.  I do it for you because i care :D ttnf!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

memory - (or smells like family spirit!)

okay so a lot of folks have given me crap about the Christmas Soup post.  YEAH it tastes like a memory to me and crap to everyone who doesn't remember it as "familiar."  Thought I was clear on that.  I posted it to, well, post it.  It was a memory.  Like um okay - can you tell me how much better a hot dog that your dad bought you from the ball park that one game he took you to that you caught that fly ball and . . . . okay.  really?  it's a hot dog.  in a bun.  from someone at a hot dog stand at a ball park. BUT IT TASTED BETTER because it was a memory.  My Christmas Soup is the same damn thing.  If you were not part of the family circa 1985 forget it.  My ex wouldn't touch it if his life was on the line.  And it wasn't.  Frankly I hated this shit as a kid.  It was the part between the sorta cool night church stuff and the morning of presents.  It was like the purgatory of foods.  And I know that I will have some sort of heinous thing to go through for saying that, but it's true.  I hated that crap.  BUT.  and here's where the grown up in me stands up and says "who we are as adults is based on what we choose from our childhood to move on with" I choose Christmas Soup.  Me. alone.  No other sibling from my family chooses to make this for her (his) family as a tradition. It really truly dies with me.  A family tradition decades old - dies with me.  If I don't pass it.  Now really - whatever?  really? who cares if it does.  Well.  Here's something for you.  I lost this recipe.  I actually lost (if you read me (yeah right) about 2500 recipes.  This being the one that made me physically sick.  My mom scanned it - but not BEFOE I SCANNED THE INTERNET for this.  Surely we could not have the patent on this . . ... . yeah.  We do.  It's a Katie Korn origional.  And ends here if I don't share.  So turn up your nose if you will and I know you will unless you do as I do and make it rock with marrow bones and good yummy sirloin and such.  Okay so this is my torch.  And carry it I will but you all know that you had gma's with goodness that until today you maybe took for granted.

sorry - feeling all "pretty in pink" nostalgic - (watch it again) family is important.  okay vital.  no matter what.  sometimes they are all you have - or in my case all you don't have.

it's outside resting from my stove.  Christmas Soup.  I need it for it to be Christmas.  Jesus wasn't born in December.  Sorry.  It's a fact.  But we celebrate nonetheless.  Santa doesn't come down chimneys and I never once lied to my kids - but the things I know to be true . . . Jesus was a real person and He did what HE said He did.  And what I say I mean.  I don't lie.  Family.  It's all we've got.  Be real. Say sorry if you mean it and feed your people well.  Be nice on purpose! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Persimmon in the Cold

It's cold here.  Now.  I mean just NOW.  It was freakin 65 degrees until I went home to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.  I could bitch and complain (like they are different?) but secretly - in a place I don't really honestly talk about - it should be cooler (okay cold) at Christmas.  There I said it.  My name is Katie and it should be cold at Christmas.  Gah, what the hell am I saying?  I should be lying on a beach in Australia where it's stupid hot  - drinking a mai tai  - for Christmas, but unless that was a once in a life time Christmas extravaganza - That is NOT Christmas!  Christmas TO ME - is - wait for it . .  . . Cold.  It just is.  SO that said - some secret part of me is satisfied.  I can nest and cook (wait, I do that every damn day!) and decorate.  I am - for now - at peace.

BUT - it gets better.  There will be guests.  At my house.  YES!!!!  Roger invited his co-workers for a brunch appetizer party!!!!  True - there may actually have to be football involved - but I can deal with that since I get to ENTERTAIN.  GROWNUPS!!!  For the first time ever in this house there will be adult beverages served to people I am not married to, am, or technically related to.  Peeing myself in happy anticipation I am!! 

So - because I actually don't want to scare these nice people who don't know me (and do know Roger - and are still coming! Sorry lol) BUT - I do want to cook my little heart out so I am thinking.  And will probably be sewing curtains in the next day or so.  Sorry.  It's what I do.  Hmmmm Theme.  Menu.  Beef Heart and Marrow bones . . . . . Shhhhh Don't tell Roger.  I'll be nice.  I promise. 

So that brings me to Persimmons.  Show of hands - who's had one?  Yeah - the dork in the back.  Thought so.  They are so yummy and delicate. Like a sweet tomato without the seeds.  I put them in my salad with tomato and onion to balance the sweet savory yin and yang.  No one but me knows but anyone who's had a salad from me just gets that sweetness and thinks it's good.  PLUS the other name for Persimmon - the Asian name - is FUYU.  My daughter and I just burst out in "FUYU"  when we want to make the other laugh.  Say it like the Samurai Chef.  It's funny.

Persimmons are tricky fruit.  I say that because I've had a bad one and it was like licking every bad dry wine concentrated essence!  Persimmons have tannin.  If they are not ripe they suck.  BUT the nice part is they ripen nicely and are still yummy even if after the fact.

Honestly - I hate to say this but here's my recipe since it's so stupid easy - but just put a ripe AND THE KEY IS RIPE persimmon in your green salad.  You won't be sorry.  It just adds that thing that you have been missing.

I will have other persimmon recipes to follow but they are way more complicated and I want you to already love the creature before I make you jump through hoops to do something lovely with it. 

You will have to trust me on this one.  They really are lovely.  You won't go wrong.  Try new foods.  There are so many really amazing things that you just need to open your mind and step out of your comfort zone and try.  I mean - gosh - what's the worst that can happen?  You don't like it?  Or you just might.  New is good sometimes - well, actually - a lot! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Soup and other lost things

So, I lost a recipe book.  No big deal right?  Okay so this particular recipe book had my Grandma's recipe for Christmas Soup.  In her handwriting.  Stained recipe card and all.  Okay so it was actually a binder that contained about 2,500 recipes I had amassed over my 41 years of life.  gone.  I was sick.  Then pissed.  Then on a mission to find it.  Now just sad.  Cycles of grief and all.  I won't be great.  But my mom scanned the one recipe that I know my life would not be good with if I missed.  Okay - Christmas Soup.  I'm pretty sure when my book gets published (click click - there's no place like home etc.) okay f'n wishful thinking this will be clear but  - Okay so I WAS NAMED AFTER THIS PARTICULAR LADY!  This is Grandma Katie's Christmas Soup.  I had Glad's (her fav flower) at my first wedding!  YES this is a big deal! 

My family is a freaking messed up crazy sandwich of love and goodness but Christmas brings out what it does in most of lower middle class America - all the nuts in the fruitcake!

My family had 3 traditions.  Church on Christmas Eve and Day, Santa, And Christmas SOUP on Christmas Eve before Church at my Grandma Andersen's house.  Now WHEN I say this was not something at the time I looked forward to I am not exaggerating.  We (kids) hated Christmas Soup.  It was icky and had dumplings that had WHITE RAISINS in them  and no meat and CELERY!  EWWWWWWWWWWW  but the up side was olives that fit on all our fingers and a white table cloth and Heck - it was Christmas so no matter how bad this was it was CHRISTMAS and there was a pooping doll in our future!!!!  For sure!

So for this memory you have to add in - it's the late 70's (yeah hot fashion scene!) early 80's - bad decorating all around.  It's Winneconne Wisconsin - mecca of all things Wall-eye and not so clean!  I can't say as a very educated woman I can actually make sense of this - but it's a memory for me no matter the reason or source. 

So here's what I have - The Soup of Christmas in the house of Andersen from Winneconne WI originally from Denmark though I doubt it since this recipe is NO WHERE on the Werld Wyde Webb (yeah I looked) so my guess is it's a Katie orginal.  I somehow embrace that.  I make shit up as I go along as well.  Yeah, It's mine.  And those that follow.  I choose to believe that some day kids - folks - people who knew my people will be looking up my Caribbean Chicken cuz that shit rocks . . . . just sayin.  Good is good folks - Christmas or not. 

Christmas Soup in the house of Andersen

2 10oz cans of bread crumbs (plain)
8 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 package of white raisins (in the name of all things holy leave them the hell out!) just sayin
some salt (lol - a pinch) my gma was funny too!

okay so you actually know what a hazelnut is?  didn't think so!  LOL okay so roll into tablespoon portions.
This makes a F! ton!

Soup.  Now here's where the creative part comes in.  My mom (Lord love her - I am So SOUTHERN!)  adds way more beef and good stuff - I remember my G'ma's being just a clear broth with a few carrot whispers and maybe a hit of celery and you were really a big winner if you got a smattering of beef in your bowl!!!  Memory is a fickle bitch.  Maybe I'm over simplifying - maybe.  Doubt it.  I am making it with 5 f'n # of Sirloin.  A # of marrow bones and more good stock than anyone should have in a soup.  I'm making it Katie style.  Me style.  This came from Grandma Katie.  And I'm Jacking it up a bit.  Or so.  I'm on it and makin it good.  I'm having my girls roll the dumplings (WITHOUT THE FREAKING RAISINS!) not just cuz I can't eat them but ewww? Helping cuz? - helping equals ownership.  I'm all about it.  If they help they may just try it.  maybe. 1 onion, 1 lb of carrots chopped 1 lb of celery and a bit of garlic (yea that's me) in a HUGE POT OF WATER!  When all the soup cooks add the dumplings and cook the hell out of them.  This soup took my family a few days to make.  I think they just let it all sit out.  I prefer to not kill anyone with bacteria so I do it all with refrigeration and stuff but well, there's that.

 I have a complicated family life.  Duh? who doesn't - life is messing bring tissue - but mine?  all levels are messy.  I tread lightly often - Christmas this year is especially messy since I'm not at home for the first time in 41yrs and my kids are away from their dad.  It's painful and weird. 

I embrace painful and weird with as much familiar as I can.  Soup.  What is more familiar than soup?  Especially when you are named after her?  And don't put dates in your chocolate chip cookies?  (love you mom!) (Okay so read my book to get that reference!) Sorry.  I love Wisconsin (and the people) People from Illinois (hate the state - and Sandy! -sorry, I mean I pray for her!) VA all around I love it but it's windy and cold this last week.  Trying conditions (MOM!) and stuff make it hard.  I need love and warmth and friends and family.  I have none.  But I have voices and soup.  I hate to be all trite here.  It really is hard being away at this time of year.  Traditions are all we have.  I have found myself wanting to go back to the WELS church for it's traditions - that's how bad I am missing people!  So try the soup - use a ton of water (that's significant as well) with the marrow bones.  Boil the dumpings in the soup - and tell me what you think.  You won't remember what I remember but maybe you'll think of me.  Or create something of  your own.  It's okay traditions are fluid if you keep doing them. Someone has to start them somewhere. 

So enjoy this soup if you are so inclinded.  It's kind of like the SNL episode where the Pawn Shop gave sentimental value to items.  It's so good - because - it's my Christmas Soup and I'm named after Grandma Katie.  Duh!?!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

old vs antique

There are things I have noticed spending time with my newly acquired MIL who will soon be 94 years old that there are very very profound differences in preference.  I hate Jello.  I do.  My kids would eat the finger jello I made for them only if I spent 8 hours making it in 6 different rainbow flavors and it stood up to 150 lbs per sq inch!  If you put walnuts and celery and mayonaise in it - I would need to be 40 days starving in the desert before it would cross my mind that that was food - and even then I would choose the crickets.  Live.  Sorry.  Preference.  I hate that shit.  She is completely baffled why it is not the first food I want to rub my face in every morning!  It sits - as she slowly eats a tablespoon a day of the 45 gallon tub she made awaiting my return from our Thanksgiving vacation home to my parents.  BAFFLED she is that I don't want to bathe in it!  UGH - There are walnuts.  And celery.  Now I like celery - Not so much the walnuts.  BUT it's jello.  UGH!

But it's really not about the Jello.  It's about acceptance.  It's about who we are - in time - and who we want to be with and be connected to.  I won't lie.  She's hard.  She was a spoiled brat.  And still is.  At 94 (almost) she's a spoiled brat.   I really don't mean disrespect - it's just a fact.  She expects to have her ass kissed and her stuff taken care of.  If she helps with the slightest thing she wants full on THANKS.  I wasn't raised that way.  If you helped - you were lucky you had someone to help.  I remember being hungry.  Not just as a kid.  I remember being poor.  Shit, it was yesterday!  That stuff stays with you.  I was never a member of a country club (not that I would mind you - but just saying)  She's had a pampered life.  Good for her.  That I don't have a problem with - it's the carry over - the entitlement that frankly pisses me off. 

I have a nephew from my first marriage that was born with a silver entitlement in his mouth.  He lived his entire life (and still probably will beyond that) expecting the universe to give him something he did not earn - work for - or enter into - but just was his because he DREW BREATH!  I never ever got that.  He was a pretty much waste of O2 as far as I could see.  DID freaking nothing for his mom - did nothing to earn  a dollar or help in any way - but HE WAS OWED THIS HUGE DEBT FROM THE WORLD AT LARGE!   I was like "huh?"

I went to college on almost 95% me.  Yes my parents paid $3000 for me to go to a private college.  And I am so thankful for that.  BUT the other 37,0000 came from my hard work and effort.  My husband's kids walk around with their hands out like dad is a wallet.   Sorry.  My dad was (is) a great guy always offered a spare $20 when he had it  - which was every time I saw him - but I never ever saw him as my ticket to ride.  Not so much Roger's lazy POS's!  They are more like their mom than him. SHOCKING I know.  So - I'll let this end here before I totally piss off the universe with my tirade.  Let it just be said.  Parts are parts and people are people and there are brats that are 94 and good people who are 6.  It's who you are and who raised you. 

Finger jello that takes too f'n long to make but my kids will eat!  Take a small quart container and do a smidge at a time of each color


do a package of each with only half of the boiling water and none of the other water
mix in a separate container and then add an hour or two at a crack

the longer it takes you to do this the better!

pudding in between is cool too!  looks like layers between the colors :D