A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over....

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Feet Are the Scars of the Soul and Other Blogging Nightmares

Dreams are funny things, aren't they? I've never been too interested in dream intrepretation, but I've had a couple recently that might be worth the effort. A couple of nights ago, I had a rather bizzare dream that included my daughter and her best-friend-since-childhood who is now married with children of her own. I'm so glad they are still BFF's even though the job of parenting keeps them apart a lot. As children, there were a lot of nights spent together at their respective homes, and they joined forces on many creative endeavors that still make my heart warm with the memory. Okay, back to the dream: we were all together just chatting away and this sweet young woman looks at me and says, very dramatically and with a straight face, "Feet are the scars of the soul." I do remember I was very impressed and immediately asked her if I could "use that" (somewhere in my dream mind thinking of the blog). Feet are the scars of the soul.....I guess it could take on some deep philosophical meaning if you thought about it long enough.

And a few nights later: my high school senior class needed to raise money and decided to do so by making a porno film. While in the light of day, the thought is cringe-worthy, in my dream, everyone was very cool about it and didn't seem the least concerned. We were matched up with our partners and with no rehearsing (thank goodness), no script (do porno films use scripts?), everyone went on their merry way to meet back later. Now, I started out as a high school student, but when it came time to meet everyone at the appointed place, it came to mind that I was no longer that young nubile student but more my current age with all the gravity-defying parts that go with it. I also realized as I looked around at the beautifully coufed, made up girls, I was the only one who didn't use the time to have her hair and nails done!! (Like that was the worst of my worries). I also recall the location of "my" shoot was to be in the pool which is really scary since I do not swim and whenever I have attempted to try, sink like a rock. High anxiety was starting to kick in so I was very grateful my granddaughter did a sleeping back flip and kicked me in the throat, waking me up. Close call and one dream I DO NOT want to know the ending. The intrepretation here would be very interesting, I'm sure, sort of like the dream people have of standing naked at the podium to give a speech. I just can't help but wonder what we were raising money for and what happened to car washes and Krispy Kreme doughnuts! (Hmmm, hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts - now that's something to get excited about!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Greetings! I have had the glorious experience recently of cooking for my two-year-old granddaughter, lovingly nicknamed "Toot" and not because she likes trains (although that is the reason we'll give her when she's older). It can be somewhat frustrating how quickly yesterday's favorite is now today's "NO!" but it definitely keeps me on my toes, or at the stove, as the case may be.

One thing she hasn't lost her passion for is anything pasta, but especially spaghetti, the messier the better. Truly, is there any more pleasing compliment to a cook than wearing the meal over such a smile?


1lb ground beef

1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 teas. minced garlic

1 jar favorite tomato pasta sauce

Dried basil, oregano, salt/pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

Spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained

In a medium large pot, brown ground beef with onions and garlic until beef is no longer pink and onions/garlic are soft. Drain grease from beef and return to pot. Add tomato sauce. Add water to jar (approximately 1/3 cup), replace cap and shake to mix; add to pot and stir well. Add additional dried basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. (Or no extra if you're happy with the flavor of the sauce). While sauce simmers and thickens (about 15-20 mins), cook spaghetti per package directions and drain. Add spaghetti to sauce and stir to combine. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and stir briefly to melt cheese. Let cool slightly for tiny mouths and serve - no fork needed! (We usually plan spaghetti night on bath night.)

What does your toddler love best?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Round the Kitchen Table...

Happy 2011 everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and the New Year has started out safe and warm and happy.

When I think of a "vintage" kitchen, it's not just food that comes to mind. I remember my grandmother sitting at her kitchen table the better part of the day starting everyday at 5:30 a.m. to prepare my grandfather's breakfast before he went off to work first shift at the mill. Breakfast done and he was out the door before 6:30 and once breakfast was cleared away, my grandmother began the daily ritual of preparing lunch/dinner. Grandad came home for lunch, which was always a full meal with plenty left to warm over for dinner.

As a young woman, my grandmother was hit by a car and ultimately had to have both kneecaps removed. I remember thinking of her and my grandad as Jack Spratt and his wife because my grandad was tall and slender and my grandmother was petite and as years of physical inactivity accumulated, somewhat wide. I can still see her walking around the kitchen table, holding onto the edge of the table from sink to stove and back again, doing what was necessary to prepare the family meals. Moving from room to room required crutches and later, a walker.

While she couldn't do much else, her handicap didn't stop her from preparing delicious southern meals daily. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, fried pork chops, gravy and rice (face it, folks, "FAT" is a bonafide food group in the South!) but always with fresh vegetables and homemade biscuits and something yummy for dessert.

The kitchen was her domain and friends, neighbors and family members spent precious time there, discussing life over a meal or a cup of coffee fresh and hot from the percolator.

When she wasn't at the table, she was in her favorite chair in the "den," the room right next to the kitchen, where she watched "her" shows. She did not miss General Hospital, for one, and she loved Wild, Wild, West. She called Jim West "Tight Pants," and coming from my soft spoken, white-haired grandmother, this was hysterical to us kids. Her bedroom was next to the den so while they lived in a two story house built in the 1900's, with a total of 11 rooms, she seldom went beyond those three connecting rooms. She didn't leave the house often, maybe twice I can remember, but she made the two-hour trip to see me married. A strong Christian, my grandmother was always a champion for the underdog and the one who taught me unconditional love. I still miss her.

So in honor of my grandmother, in addition to recipes new and old, sometimes we'll just sit around the kitchen table and talk, over a cup of coffee. Anything you'd like to dish about? Any relatives that made an unforgettable impact on your life?