Memorializing and a quiz

Memorial day is a funny day to celebrate.  People died, that sucked.  But, nonetheless Vivien greeted us in the morning, “Happy Memorial day!”  It was a day off for her and the opening of her cousin’s pool for the season, so it was a happy day.

Later a big table of family and friends went to Campanile for it’s annual Memorial Day BBQ insert shot of me shoving pork ribs in my mouth, had I thought to take a picture).  We had three departed dads between us.  We toasted them.  My father was in the service during the Korean War.  He never left Virginia, but knowing my dad I bet he saw action!  ( ba- dum)

Sometimes there is almost a moment where you forget your loved one is dead.  The  next moment you think it can’t be true.

The food of course was great and I’m picking the rib meat out of my teeth still ( well, I ate leftovers for lunch).  My contribution to the dinner was making a Quiz for the diners.  I love games and I thought I would share it with you.  It’s from a variety of sources.  Answers below.

Have a good week.

1)These three holidays are tops in BBQing.  Please rank from 1 to 3

Memorial Day
Labor Day
4th of July

2) Decorating soliders graves took off during which war?

3) Memorial Day was declared a Federal Holiday under which President?

Grant
Wilson
Roosevelt
Nixon

4) The United States Naval Academy is located in what state?

Maine

New York

Maryland

Virginia

5)Their motto, “Semper Paratus,” means “always ready.”

Marines

Coast Guard

Army

Air Force

6) In which war did Deborah Sampson disguise herself as a man so that she could go to battle as a solider?

 

7) What is the Maximum Number of Dependents (under the age of
18) that one is allowed to have in order to enlist in the U.S.
Armed Forces?

8) Whose picture is on the Purple Heart medal?

A) President Lincoln   B) An unidentified soldier   C)President Washington
D) The First Secretary of Defense
a) One    b) Two    c) Five     d) No Maximum

9) In which war were tanks introduced?

10)
Which Country introduced them?

11)
What was the nickname of the B-17 in WWII ?

 

Answers below

////////////////////////////////////////////////////

1) 4th of july is number one, then Memorial, then Labor

2) civil war

3) Nixon… 1971 it became a federal holiday

4) Maryland

5) coast guard

6) Revolutionary War.  I was fascinated with her as a kid.  My mom use to take us to the Sisterhood bookstore in Westwood.  I bought a book called “The Secret Solider“.  How Debra Sampson disguised as a man fought the British.  She was found out when she was shot and they ripped off her pants to give her medical treatment.  She was cool.

7) 2

8)  Washington

9) WW1

10) Britain,  most people guess Germany, but there tanks were not great

11) The Flying Fortress

 

No tears meatloaf

A couple of days ago I mentioned how well my meatloaf when over in my house so I thought I would share it with you. Since if the lack of it drove my daughter to tears I’m must be doing something right.  Maybe as a cook, but not as mother.

Needed:

one pound pork sausage ( or you can get ground pork and add garlic, salt and fennel)

One pound ground beef ( The fatter the better.  A store near here has 27% fat ground beef, perfect)

One egg

Splash of water

salt, pepper

1/2 onion, chopped

1 big or two small cloves of garlic, chopped

One carrot, diced.

1 tablespoon of butter

1/3 of breadcrumbs ( I use store bought.  Homemade are great, but I’m not that ambitious)

1/3 cup of ketchup

I always mean to have worcester sauce in this, but haven’t yet and it’s worked out well, so maybe I’ll let go of that dream.

Here is how it all comes together, the food and the family.

 

Mad dream

You know those dreams that seem so real they are hard to shake?  Last night I had one and I was going to clobber my husband in the morning, except that Rex’s body was half draped across his. Nice the boy protects his father.

I get up hours before Mark does so I had had coffee and breakfast and was able to calm down enough to tell him about my dream.

“We didn’t have any kids yet and you hadn’t lost your money yet. We had just gotten married and where staying a fancy hotel, but you also had an Asian girlfriend.”

Mark, ” I like where this dream is going.”

“No, it was a terrible dream, because on our first day of marriage you told me that tomorrow me and your young daughter-”

“Daughter?”

“Yeah, Oliver was a girl.”

“Named Oliva?”

Exasperated, “She didn’t have a name I was just going to have to mind her while spent a night with your Asian girlfriend.  I was fuming and you didn’t see anything wrong with it.”

“I have a lot of nerve.”

“Yes, you do.  I was bathed in expensive clothes and jewelery and then it occurred to me that I could leave you.  I didn’t have kids with you and I would leave you.  I walked in to the closet where you were and told you so.  You still didn’t get why I wasn’t okay with this arrangement and then I screamed, “who do you think I am ___ ____”  I screamed the name of a women my father had a very icky relationship with that adversely affected my family of origin.

“You were really angry.”  Mark said.

Then I let him have his first cup of coffee.

On the way to school Vivien asked if I had put the meatloaf I had made for dinner the night before in her lunch as she had asked.

“Oh, sweetie, daddy ate the last of it.  But, today is taco day!” normally a winner.  Not today.

“Waaa, I wanted the meatloaf!”  I had a brief thrill that she was so excited about my meatloaf.  But, she was now spiraling down a sensitive little girl path that meant dropping her off at school would not go smoothly.  I called Mark.

“You ate all of the meatloaf, right?”  He had.  The phone was on speaker so he could hear the sobs.  Yes, he had actually done something wrong for real. Well, eating dinner in his own home when he is hungry might not qualify, but it would have to do.

I assured her I would make the loaf of wonder again tonight.

As good as it is, I hope it doesn’t give me bad dreams.

MORE inappropriate sandwich shape

My mind drifts as I make my kids sandwiches for their school lunch.  I started off thinking I would make a little girl sandwich.

 

But, then I keep going.  What if the girl then stuck her finger in an electrical socket?

 

 

Or, when she grows up, goes to college and parties a little hard.  This would be her sleeping off a bender.

 

At least I did stop myself from making a sandwich that showed what that girl did that night and with what!

 

 

 

Should kids go to Hooters?

Recently a mom friend told me that before an action movie that she was taking her sons to they would eat with friends at Hooters.

What?

“Yeah, some people have a problem with it she said.  But, my kids ( about 7 and 9yrs) like to play the basketball game there and they eat the food.”

“Well, maybe they don’t notice the girls in the tight t shirts.”  I said trying to be knee jerk supportive.   Then I thought of how early guys have told me they began masturbating.  Farrah Fawcett posters, etc.   But, hey, that’s not bad, part of life, right?

Now, I know I wouldn’t take my daughter into a Hooters because I don’t want her to get the message that she should be an ornamental woman.  There are enough messages of that left all over the world for her to see, so I’m not going to accelerate that.

I’m also a food snob, so I would have to be roadtripping for hours, super hungry and have to pee to go into a Hooters solo. Chicken wings, burgers formulaic food is not my bag.

But, would I take a boy in there? NOW ( National Organization for Women for those of you who weren’t brought up going to their rallies as I was) takes issue with Hooter’s catering to kids.  The business model of Hooters, is pretty crass.  Do men and boys like sexy girls?yes.  Should that be stopped?  No.  But, I would very uncomfortable being with my son in that atmosphere.  On Parent Dish I found out that they have Hooter gear for kids! Blech.  A parent who would buy their little girl a Hooters shirt might be a candidate for a visit from child protective services. (Check out this photo from Esquire.  I hesitated to even share, except it was already posted.  My compromise is not putting it here.)  Young boy does not look happy at Hooters.

Okay, sorry, my hippie feminist upbringing that strives to be non judgemental was just trumped by my hippie feminist upbringing side that use to spell women with a “Y”.   I think I would rather take my son to a lesbian, socialist coffeehouse than a Hooters.  Than I’m at least supporting a small business owner.

 

 

Brussel Sprout breakfast

I’m a Brussel Sprout fanatic.  Side dish with dinner, a lunch salad with smoked trout.  Now, it’s even part of my favorite breakfast.

What you need for this:

2 eggs

Brussel Sprouts – 2 chopped lengthwise

onion- 2 tablespoon, small diced

cooked bacon – 1 slice into lardons

dried oregeno- pinch

salt and pepper

Half and half- just a splash

Cook the bacon till crisp, chewy, set asidein the bacon fat saute the onions and  Brussel Sprouts.  Takes a little longer than my usual left over from dinner broccoli, but if I have made lunches the night before I have time.  both should get softer and carmelize.  Add Salt , tiny bit.

Reduce heat and crack the two eggs right in there. Add a pinch of dried Oregano. Get your fork and start swirling.  Most people over cook eggs.  When almost done, just soft add a tablespoon of half and half.  Turn off the fire, put the bacon back in and fork it up in the ( hopefully) iron pan.  Quickly plate, little freshly ground pepper at the end.

Rex likes to climb up on the counter and “help” which is tough when I’ve moved the hot pan portion of cooking, but I make things up or he has a fit.

Like most of my creations, it may not be pretty, but it’s tasty!

 

 

Fish Night : cooking for the family

Here is another of my super simple and tasty meals that can be made well even if there are interruptions, which with a house of kids is about as common as an avocado going bad before you use it ( how did I not see it there?).

Petrale sole, caught wild, bought fresh so I had to make it within a couple of days of buying it.  Rice, and salad.  Does it please everyone in my family? No, Rex won’t eat fish or salad. So he got hot dog, grapes and rice.  If he was a baby I’d call that meal “choking hazard delight!”

Our family this night was myself, Viv, Rex and our neighbor gal pal ( 10 years old) Gracie.  She is far less picky than my kids so she is a delight to feed.

First, I make the rice.  Much to Chef Husband’s chagrin I, like my father before me, I love the rice in the bag.  Sorry, rice is my Achilles heel and I can’t take the time to spend 40 minutes making the kind of rice he does.  Boil in a bag of salted water and then after I drain it stir in a bunch of butter.  The kids love it, and darn it is tasty.

Meanwhile, I take the fish out and lay it on a paper towel.  Good to get the moisture out and let it rest. It’s pooped.

Then set up my work station. Flour, egg mixed with a little milk, breadcrumbs with dried oregano.

The fish goes in the flour first.  Then the egg, then the bread crumb.  After that trip through three bowl lane the fish is tired again and needs to rest.  Back to a paper towel while it all sets.  It works out better this way.  ( note: Rex’s dinner is ready to go nearby)

Then I go to the garden and pick our lettuce. Our best crop of 2012.  Wash and drain it. drizzle a little ranch dressing on it because universal truth everyone loves ranch dressing.  I’m not kidding around with oil and vinegar, little bit of ranch, not a ton, and my daughter eats salad. 

I get the plates and forks ready because the fish takes no time to make.  I heat up the pan on low with olive oil, place the sole in the pan with a little chunk of butter. Not to get all Paula Dean, but butter does make things better.  Everything.

Then I go to the backyard and yell for Gracie and Vivien to come in for dinner.  Each side of the fish takes one minute.  No more.  I ask the girls where Rex is.  They go to get him and as I am about to put the next fish in the pan I realized the yelling for him has gone on to long.  I turn off the pan.

“Where is he?”  I yell out.

The girls say they don’t know.  Visions of him hurt and unconscious in the yard  cause me to run out of the house into our back, back yard ( it’s long and large). I scream his name with no response.  Then  I find Rex looking downcast, sitting by himself by the fence in the wood chips.

“Rex, are you feeling sad?”  He nods his head. I think I know what happened.

“Do you feel like the girls left you?”

“Yes, I want to play.”

“But, I called you into dinner.”

“But, I want to play.”

“It’s still early and dinner won’t take long.  Then you will still have time to play, okay?”

“Okay.”  I pick him and we walk and I explain to the girls that they need to be like the Marines and not leave a man behind.  Always bring him up with you when you come in.

Now, they are all at the counter and I make the rest of the fish.  I serve them the salad, chopped, rice and fish. Then I finish making my portion of it all and by then Rex is done and I sit down to eat ( three seats at the counter).  They had juice, I had a French Rose.

The girls clean their plate and then ask for more rice.   Success. 

4 pieces of fresh petrale sole

1/3 cup of flour

one egg

1 tablespoon of milk

salt

pepper

1/3 of a cup of breadcrumbs ( store bought)

a couple of pinches of dried oregano

olive oil

1 table-spoon of butter per two fish

inappropriate sandwich shapes for kids

In my quest, like many parents, to keep my children interested in that thing called eating I have tried on occasion to form food in fun ways.  Astronaut carrots, deforested broccoli, you know the usual.

As I was taking my pizza cutter to shape a sandwich for Rex today I had the impulse to make really inappropriate sandwich shapes.  Here are are some of my favorites:

A gun

Devil, but it didn’t look devilsh enough, so I thought I would try the crazy anti semite leader of Iran Ahmandad..whatever and add coffee grounds for his permanent sort of beard.  This was not my finest.

I was more pleased with my next creation, Crime Scene House

By the way, Rex picked up the gun sandwich and the barrel went limp.  ”Momma, it broke.”  Yeah, there is a reason sandwiches are  NOT shaped like that.

What kind of sandwiches do you make your kids?

Great recession food humor

Now, I’m getting my groove back humor wise.  .  The great gift of comedy is lifting your head up out of the gutter of your dark thoughts. Or to put it another way, get over yourself.

Here is a good stab at some recession vocabulary from another site.  My favorite is DUPPIE, depressed urban professional.

Today I’m thinking of combining my interest in comedy with my husband’s, and by extension myself, interest in food. How about recession food?

Foreclosure Chile– eat it fast before it’s taken away from you.
food

Short Sale Short Stack — you sell your pancakes to the person next to you.

Toxic Asset Meatloaf –this will turn you into a vegan

Pork ala Ponzi — you eat this in a room that you have to be invited into.  The sauce is Mad-off of other people’s food and you must first give your own food, before you get a serving.

Double Dip ice cream — coated in chocolate and regret.

Glass-Steagall of red wine — it will numb the pain for a minute as think about how this was Clinton’s greatest failure, not all that seamen nonsense.

Sub Prime meat — what public school kids are served at lunch.

European Contagion Cheese — runny and smells, but paired with a dried apricot on a smal wheat round goes down nicely.
food
lil’ Fannie Mae Cookies — do you have the income to cover this? Maybe you should rent a cookie instead.

Crudite default Swap — by the time the carrot gets to your mouth it won’t be worth much.
food

One perfect Egg

I have finally perfected my husband’s wonderful olive oil fried egg.  Obviously, others have made this, but it was new to me when Mark first made it for me years ago.

Now, it’s great with a little romesco sauce on top of it.  It’s nice on top of a crispy corn tortilla with a slice of jalepeno jack cheese. But, all that is beside the point if you don’t get the egg right.

What you will need to make this:

One medium to large egg

olive oil- about 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup depending upon the size of your pan.

kosher salt

Ideally, an iron skillet

I much prefer cooking with these.  I feel like I have more control over the temperature.

Make a shallow pool of olive oil. The egg should “swim”, but not be submerged by the oil. You might think, this is too much, it’s not.  Put the flame on low.  Don’t crank it or it will smoke.  Let the oil heat up.  If you put the egg in too soon it won’t work.

Drop the egg in. Hear the crackly of egg to hot oil.  Have a large spoon handy that you can bast over the yellow part of the egg.  This will create a thin white top on it.

Don’t cook through, the egg will be running when you eat it.  The edges of the egg are crispy and brown.  Remove from pan ( takes 2 to 3 minutes to cook).

Sprinkle with kosher salt, eat asap.

Enjoy.
egg