Posts Tagged ‘13-year-old’

Cooking with the Pilot

December 6, 2016

Wandering into the kitchen one morning last weekend, my hockey-playing, pilot husband, who is an exterminator and has a degree in Biblical studies, was vigorously chopping some food source in a frying pan on the stove. I mention his hobbies, schooling and his occupations to point out that he has no formal, or informal for that matter, training in the culinary arts. NONE! He is widely renown for his burnt grilled cheese sandwiches. So his attempt at cooking amused me initially. As I began to ascertain the situation at hand, I became highly amused…. blog-worthy-amused!

On impulse at Costco, my sweet husband, the provider for our family, purchased a skid of hashbrowns. Just look at how crispy-fried those salty morsels appear! He was probably salivating in the super store. Gluten free and 100% REAL potatoes. How could he go wrong?

hashbrowns-003

Kindly I explained that the objective of hashbrown cooking is to leave them alone so they can get brown and crunchy. Smashing them to smithereens won’t get the desired results. Previously I had cooked two boxes of said Costco bulk purchase, so I was quite well-informed on the procedure.

Peering into the pan, something didn’t seem right. The limp potato strips looked dry (and smashed.) Kindly I inquired, “Did you read the directions?” It was an honest question. As soon as my question was delivered, my 13-year-old daughter, who has been trained in our kitchen by my capable side, started laughing and pointed at her dad the I-told-you-so-finger-of-doom. Seems she already mentioned reading the directions to him. That’s my girl!

Rick, Mr. Master Chef, (term used very sarcastically) opened the little carton of goodness and dumped the freeze-dried potatoes in the hot frying pan. He realized something was off. His spidey senses alerted him to the need for butter. In went a dollop of creamy yellow goodness. Butter is the answer to SO MANY cooking situations.

THEN he proceeded to read the directions. And I’ll admit, the instructions for this delicacy are unusual. 1. Open carton and add hot water to the fill line. 2. Close carton and let stand for 12 minutes. Drain well.

Uh oh.

Things were off to a poor start. The pan he had chosen was obviously too small if water was to be added, so he switched to a larger pan. (The only reason I know this is because I discovered a small frying pan in the sink with the remains of burnt freeze-dried potatoes stuck to its non-nonstick bottom.) It was too late to add water to the carton full of spuds, so he added water to the frying pan full of crunchy strips and butter. It said HOT water, so the stove burner was turned to HIGH, obviously. Just like whipping up a grilled cheese sandwich to quality blackness.

Disclaimer: my daughter filled me in on this whole process after the fact so this is all hearsay.

Okay, thinking he was good, he went back to the directions. 3. Preheat a large, non-stick skillet and 2 TBSP. oil over medium-high heat. So, FAIL on the non-stick part. Next oil was poured over the soggy white, limp, smashed potato strips. Doesn’t this make you want to have some???

This is when I wandered in… to witness the mutilation of the oily, half-saturated delicacy. Kindly I probed to see what oil he used. There are four oils in my cupboard: coconut, olive, sesame and vegetable. He had a 75% chance of success. Again, my daughter who loves home-ec informed me in a Dad-is-so-busted tone, “He used butter from your bowl. The one you measured to make cookies.” Ooooh, there are several things that could make this mama go all kinds of crazy on you. Using my softened butter that is measured in a bowl for baking is one of them. And she knew he knew better! That’s my girl. Again the finger-of-doom was pointed at the perpetrator.

It’s doubtful if he ever did read 4. Fry on one side for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Kindly I offered to show him how to divide the pan of scrumptiousness into thirds and flip them to golden brown perfection.

Surprisingly, they tasted okay.

The moral of the story is: When at first you don’t succeed, fry fry again.

Or: Touch mama’s measured butter and die a slow death of much pain. (Kindly I let him live.)

It’s Connie’s Fault

March 30, 2011

Connie is my friend.  We’ve been friends since we were single and had no kids.  Now we have eight kids between us. (This may seem like a repeat of the last blog, but the ending is even better!)  We have many similar addictions, including but not limited to: collecting Fiestaware dishes, garage saling, loving a blue and yellow kitchen, chotshky old quilts, re-upholstering furniture, gardening, homeschooling, scrapbooking, playing games, framing pictures of our kids and she is the one who introduced me to Goodwill.  (Even before Darla!)

Goodwill logo

That’s all well and good, but Connie also introduced Larisa, my then 13-year-old non-thrift-store-shopper, to Goodwill and boy, did we have a laugh-til-you-cry time of it! At the mention of a Goodwill store, Larisa’s lips turned up a bit, like when you’re smelling a distasteful odor, but you can’t quite figure out where it’s coming from.  She had never shopped at a USED clothing store.  She was grossed out at the thought of wearing pre-owned clothing.  You would have thought we told her that we were going to pick through a garbage dump in Mexico!  So we made the most of it. (I’ll admit that I originally fostered the same feelings and lip-curling, but I had been won over by this point in time.)

We were heading to the mecca of recycled merchandise with Connie and her three daughters who were quite accustomed to shopping at Goodwill.  Larisa’s lips were stuck in the “bad smell” position.  Larisa started asking questions like, “Do you try on the clothes in the store?” (…. and the F U N began…..)  I don’t quite remember which of us gave the terrifying answers to Larisa, but we all joined in the mortifying fun without cracking a smile! 

Us: “Yes, but there are no fitting rooms.”

Larisa: “Then where do you try them on?”

Us: “You try them on over a bathing suit.”

Larisa, horrified: “WHERE?”

Us: “Right in the aisles.”

Long pause for embarrassing mental images on Larisa’s part.

Us, reassuringly, “Don’t worry, we stand close and make a circle around you so no one sees.”

Another one of us:  “Didn’t you wear your bathing suit underneath your clothes?”

Larisa: “NO!!!”

Us: “Don’t worry, we’ll get you one there, so you can try on the clothes.”

Larisa: “…. um….  ewww…..”

And we let her believe it all until we were in the store and she saw the dressing rooms.  It was priceless.  To this day, when we are heading to Goodwill, with Connie and her girls, or Darla and her girls, we ask Larisa if she has on her bathing suit so she can try on the clothes.  Bwahahahahahahaha!

Larisa has come a long way… last weekend, she wasn’t impressed when I ventured off to TWO Goodwill stores without her… on 50% off day!!!  So she jumped in the car and went by herself!  Thatta girl!

Spit Wads…. Again {sigh}

March 31, 2010

Sadly, my boys remembered their father’s example from six long years ago regarding the making, aiming and firing of spit wads.  Just Great.  I’m not sure what restaurant we were in when the boys each pilfered extra straw “guns”.  Regardless, the slimy ball wars continued for three days and I keep throwing away any straw I find.  On Sunday night at a concert at church, they actually pulled the straws out of their pockets and started gumming up some paper.  Militant mom confiscated all weapons before havoc was had.  I haven’t seen any today…. day five, so maybe we’re over this annoying ammunition activity.  Here’s hoping!

On Sunday, the height of the spit wad wars, Keeve had a friend over and they, along with Austin, went out front to spit at each other.  That’s really what it is.  Gummy, chewed up paper towel balls fired at one another, but “not at their heads”, so I’m told. 

My dry and thirsty plants in the front yard were calling to me so I ventured out-of-doors to relieve them and happened on the spit wad war.  To my surprise, my five-year-old nephew was also “playing”.  Before I made myself known, I secretly listened to the verbal exchange and rules that were being made.  Here’s how it went down:

5 yo:  Hey, guess what! Can I play with you guys?   (He says GUESS WHAT before every sentence… to keep us guessing.)

13 yo: Sure, you can be the target.

(Laughter by two 11 year olds and the smart alec 13-year-old.)

5 yo:  (naively, cluelessly) Ok, what do I do?

13 yo:  You just run around.

5 yo: (innocently, trustingly) OK!

Enter: Mom… and Auntie Linda, as the case may be.  I see the 5-year-old start to run away from the older boys as he says to me, “Auntie Linda, Guess what! I get to be the target!……… OWWW!  Something hit me on the back of my head.  I felt that!” (turning and glaring at the older boys.) Back to me with joy and glee in his big brown eyes, “They are letting me play with them!….. OWWW!” He reaches up to his neck and pulls off a slimy ball of gnawed on paper towel.

Being the mom, I gave a few pointed instructions… to the older boys and then went to water my parched posies. Raising boys is so FUN!

Side note: a nameless son of mine went to sleep over at a friend’s house yesterday.  He had packed a small bag… really small, so I asked what was in there for his overnight adventure.  “A clean shirt and shorts,”  he replied proudly.  That may seem all fine and good IF YOU’RE A BOY!  “Did you pack underwear or socks?”  “NO!  (with an amazed and shocked tone at how stupid my question was) I’m only going for one night!”  The caveman.  Who raised this kid of mine?  Positively Cro-magnon…. the same scivvies and socks two days in a row!  More than likely, he remembered to put straws in the bag.  Sheesh.