Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

This Mama’s Rules

November 29, 2014

I got to thinking the other day, because that’s what Mamas do. And I realized that every Mama has her own set of rules that her kids are VERY familiar with and can quote back to their Mama. Here are a few of my own examples:

1. “Do not put your bum where food goes.”  Translation: do not sit on the kitchen table or counters. Ewwww.

2. “Don’t shoot your mother.” This one goes without saying. It doesn’t matter what you are shooting: nerf guns, bb guns, rubber bands, the kitchen sprayer, spit wads, the hose, darts…. etc.

3. “You can go play in the wilderness if three of you go together. That way if one of you dies, one can watch the body while the other runs for help.”  Self explanatory.

4. “The loudest child sits in the back seat of the van.” Also self explanatory.

5. “If you ‘call’ something, you don’t get it.” I.e., “I call the front seat.”  You’re now in the back. “I call the last piece of pumpkin pie!” One of your siblings will now enjoy it.

6. “If you put restaurant left overs in the fridge without writing your name on it… you may as well kiss it goodbye.”

7. “If you are in the kitchen and the trash needs to go out, it is YOUR turn to take it out.”

8. “Ask dinner guests three questions about themselves and then you may leave the table.”

9. “Always look people in the eye when you speak to them… and SMILE.”

10. “If and when you say ‘I’m bored’ I will find a chore for you…. every time.”

They are straight forward and have worked for years.

What are your personal rules???

Christmas Creativity

January 3, 2012

My sister asked me to make an apron for her in April or May.  She sent me a picture of what she wanted…. black with tiny polka-dots and a few faint ruffles on the bottom edge.  Black didn’t seem practical for baking…. flour, butter and sugar will show up like a fly in the milk.  But black and pink are so cute together! I’ve been wanting an apron myself for quite some time, so the idea appealed to me.  My sister-in-law, Jennie, came for a visit in March and brought me beautiful Beatrix Potter Benjamin Bunny fabric…. perfect for an apron for a Miss Potter super-fan!

June rolled around and we were off to a cabin for vacation.  Before we left I gathered fabric, ric-rac, ribbon, thread and I found a pattern that looked fairly straight forward.  The creative juices were flowing…. but sewing time didn’t present itself at the cabin.  Bummer. 

December rolled around and my sister was coming for Christmas!  I had great expectations, but I didn’t actually get the apron sewn before gift giving commenced.  It was more of a last day of December gift.  She loved it and so did I.  I just had to share how cute it turned out.  Now hopefully I’ll get mine done before next Christmas baking season!

The Play Kitchen is DONE!

January 3, 2011

I discovered this great vanity bench at Goodwill back in the summer.  I don’t understand how Goodwill prices their furniture.  They are WAY too expensive for being in a second-hand store.  Thankfully I was there on 50% off day.  It was still too much, but I had visions of grandeur in my head for a play kitchen for Nora.

For several months I gathered the pieces as I found them…. kitchen sink… stove burners… flower hooks.  I sanded and painted and sanded and painted.  I added a shelf on the support bars underneath, perfect for dishes and cups.  Then I was browsing play kitchens on google and came across several kitchens that had ruffle curtains!  Oh my word.  How adorable.  So, back to the craft store for darling fabric.  I originally planned to put the curtains on dowels, but then I couldn’t figure out how to make them sturdy enough for a vigorous seven-year-old cook.  I ended up putting a strip of wood over the top edge of the fabric and hammering tiny nails all the way across.  Hopefully it will hold through many days of cooking and baking and washing dishes.

Nora loves it, but she did tell me that it is a little too short for her.  She seems to be managing just fine!

Uuuuugh x27

April 3, 2010

Glory be!  It was wash the floor day today, which always brings joy to my heart because it is not my job while my children still live under this roof.  My 16-year-old daughter, bless her heart,  was sweeping the tile in preparation for mopping adventures when I remembered that I had seen something on the floor between the side of the fridge and the cabinetry that was a milky-yellow, semi-liquid, mysterious substance.  If you have ever seen Buckley’s Cough Syrup… LIKE THAT except a little more yellowish and thicker.  True confession time:  The first time I noticed it was weeks ago… but Mrs. Procrastination + Mrs. Hates Cleaning = It can wait.  Stop judging me.

So I pulled out the fridge from its cozy spot only to be met by the most disgusting slop of a mess I have ever witnessed outside of murky swamps in Florida in 1986.  It was not only yellow… but black and green and dark brown… and fuzzy and liquid and stiff……    Did I mention that the automatic ice maker stopped producing ice?…… come to think of it…. about the same time the yellow goo peaked out from the side of the fridge.  I’m still in a semi-gagging state just thinking about that being in my kitchen.  I apologize if you’re reading and eating.  To clean the grimy pile, and I do mean PILE, it took a broom, a dustpan, a razor scraper, lots of paper towel, a rag, lots of soap and water, and finally bleach.  It’s still not totally clean, but I’m not sure it ever will be.  I could only hold my breath so long and I wasn’t about to risk passing out on that mess.

Of course, my beloved husband is away from the house… so I called Dear Ol’ Dad and he stopped by to take a peak.  He fiddled, asked for tools, paper towel, a knife and then he left.  He wasn’t sure if he fixed it or not.  We’re waiting to see if more puss oozes from the back of the fridge.

I did feel semi-better about cleaning the floor under the fridge, even though it requires more attention before the fridge gets tucked back in.  Then I thought of the stove that hasn’t been pulled out of its hole for YEARS, and what must the tile look like under there????  I just can’t bring myself to do it today.  Mrs. Procrastination is back!

Before you pass judgment on me, when is the last time you pulled out your appliances and cleaned the floor????

Raising Tamale Awareness

June 21, 2008

Here is my friend Suzi and I on the Tamale Line.  I got this bright idea to have a tamale cooking day… and wanted someone to join in the festivities and raise tamale awareness, so I coerced my dear friend into joining.  We figured on making 150 little wrapped bundles of corn dough and chilies.  We borrowed four steamers (already had two).  We gathered the ingredients and set aside Friday, June 20, 2008 as our inaugural Tamale Day.  Let me just say, I had many warnings from concerned friends that it is an ALL DAY job… and we proved them right.  We started at 10:30 am and finished at 6:45 pm… exhausted.

Many valuable lessons were learned yesterday over the savory chicken tomato sauce and the corn husks.  Suzi unknowingly took the job of grinding the corn kernels and cornmeal… unbeknownst to either of us, it was a 3 hour job  with a blender.  We think it might be a one hour job with a food processor.  (Mental Note:  add food processor to my Christmas list.)  And the soaking, washing, rinsing, removing debris and silk from the corn husks was also a time intensive task.  I’m not sure how that could be prevented or improved upon.

At 2:45, when we hadn’t even started assembling the tamales… we looked at each other with weary faces and I asked, “What are you thinking?”  Suzi’s answer was priceless.  “I feel like Ethel  when Lucy talked her into some scheme and it turned into a huge affair that neither of them expected.”  And we laughed as our hands were shoveling corn and pushing husks.

We picked two different recipes, Green Corn Tamales  and Shredded Chick Tamales, but we never even made it to the dough from recipe #2.  Recipe #1 produced so much masa that we didn’t need the other.  We wrapped and tied and steamed and taught the kids how to wrap and tie and steam.  We converted the “Song that Does Not End” into the song “The Job that Does Not End,”  And sang it until we were almost as sick of it as tamales.

I was happy when I awoke this morning knowing that there were 70 tamales in my fridge, but relieved that yesterday was over.  Whew.  THANKS, SUZI!  ¡Usted hizo un gran trabajo!