Friday, February 22, 2013

I was going to write ...

... about my funny looking pancakes. There's a picture of them taken at Mom's house on Flickr and I feel like I used to be able to put a picture from there into a post but I was unsuccessful. I was able to add it as a post. It's below this one. I didn't realize how blurry the TV screen was looking at it on my phone. So I fooled around with the blog template and it's better but not exactly what I want yet. I keep having the same experience over and over as I play with my web stuff. A program tells me it can't do what I'm asking it to do but it doesn't say why. I got the Kristina picture more or less where I want it. I got the share buttons back. But now all the side bar stuff is at the bottom.
The thing about my funny looking pancakes is that they come out that way because I cook them in a pan and the batter spreads out and meets creating a flat line at the intersection. So they're round on one side and then triangular-ish on the other. If I'm very careful and make small enough pancakes I can avoid this but I am not always careful. I want a griddle. On my stove. Or at least this one. But I don't make pancakes often enough to justify buying one. Mom has one but it's on top of the cabinets and I couldn't get up there.
I never feel like making them in the morning. It's another thing I will do if there is someone else around. At Mom's I made the batter the day before. A double batch. I put a bunch in the freezer for her. I do that for myself sometimes. I made them last night. I ate a couple as I went and made one slightly larger with the end of the batter. It was nice and round. I ate it. I now have three containers of pancakes in the freezer.
I can't stop tweaking the template. But I have in fact written about my funny looking pancakes.

Happy Martin Luther King/inauguration pancakes.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mommy Food

The beet and artichoke salad with black been soup.
I think I do a fair job of cooking for one but I am always more inspired when cooking for someone else. Maybe inspired isn't the right word. It's just that there are days when I don't want to cook but if someone calls and is coming over a switch gets flipped. I want to cook for them. These yearly extended visits with Mom always mean lots of cooking. But cooking for Mom is limiting. All she wants is soup. I can put a protein, a carb and a veg on a plate and she'll go on and on about it being so much food! I can put those same three ingredients in broth and she might have seconds. No matter how she protests about the amount of food she always has room for desert. And several sweet snacks during the evening. She isn't interested in trying anything new and once thought a roasted beet and artichoke salad was "too weird".

She loves the soup I make. She praises me and tells everyone how great my soups are. Meanwhile I'm thinking of all the things I might do if I were not so constrained.

Her thinking is bent from years of dieting. She binges and purges. She's been on so many liquid only dietsin her life. I remember her sitting at the dining room table sipping from a can of some liquid diet thing. She doesn't purge much anymore but she talks endlessly about how fat she is. She really isn't. After I'd been there a month people were telling her that she looked like she was losing weight. She checked and had lost a few pounds. She wasn't happy because it was only a few pounds.

I do like knowing that I'm feeding her good food. Then the holly-daze began and there were cookies, candy and such.

When she's here we go to Debbie's Mom's house for dinner and lament our lack of leftovers the next day. This year Mom invited friends and I cooked. She wanted sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Not my thing but I made them. I insisted on mashed potatoes and gravy, which was a fight because it was "too much". I made green beans and brussel spouts. Mom made cranberry sauce and a mince meat pie. Her friend brought a cranberry salad. I bought a legless turkey because I wasn't paying attention in the store but it worked out. We had versions of the dinner for days afterward, which more than made up for our leftover deprivation. I had enough turkey to freeze.

A few weeks later my cousin decided to come visit on his birthday. He intended to take us out for dinner but I didn't want to miss my opportunity to cook for him and his partner and brother (also my cousin). I roasted a beef tenderloin. Made mashed potatoes, asparagus and biscuits. I made an apricot and cherry upside down cake, which I try to do every year because it's Mom's favorite. It was fun and appreciated. 

I baked fewer cookies than I usually do but I made several different kinds and we had fun distributing them to Mom's neighbors. I insist on good food for the actual holidays. We had clam chowder on Christmas eve but I got sick on Christmas. We had Campbell's chicken noodle that night. I crave that soup when I'm sick. Made me sad though. I had purchased  scallops, which I tossed in the freezer.

Debbie sent us her caramels and brittle and a variety of caramelized nuts rolled in cocoa powder. Mom bought me a box of Sees. Mom used me as an excuse to buy a lot of stuff. I don't actually like boxes of mixed truffle candy that much and I can't eat much sugar in the coarse of a day. I'm really only interested in chocolate. But she buys it all "for me" and eats most of it. I think she did gain weight but really, it's the holidays. I am always annoyed by diet talk but during the holidays I am completely intolerant.

I made the scallops for New Years eve with pancetta, mashed cauliflower and asparagus. I made cinnamon rolls at some point and waffles and pancakes. When January arrived we were back to soup. I left her with a freezer full of soup, chicken stew, macaroni and cheese, spinach lasagna, pancakes, waffles, corn muffins and biscotti.

She really never liked to cook and now she hates it. She makes very good whole wheat bread in a bread machine and she makes good blueberry muffins. Every Sunday she made us poached eggs on English muffins and Morning Star sausage. She took me out a few times. I had more iceberg lettuce in three months than I've had in decades. I had a pretty great hamburger at Five Guys. Great is a relative term because if I had to choose between five guys and not fast food type burger I'd choose the latter but it was OK. They pile so many French Fries in the bag it's impossible to finish them. Interesting experience.

I've been home for two weeks. Haven't cooked more than a scrambled egg. I've been eating delivery and sandwiches. It's been good. But it's been cold and I find myself craving red bean and kale soup. Ah well. Soup is good.