My family wants sweet and sour chicken, black bean baos, stir-fried veggies and fried rice for dinner. Yuh, right.
It’s ninety degrees today. They’ll be lucky if I unwrap the popsicles before I hand them out.
I used to revel in cooking elaborate meals from scratch. Now I have menopausal ADD. Midway through the Sweet and Sour Chicken, I will notice my Vegan Crockpot Cooking book and switch to vegetarian chili. Or, I’ll do a load of laundry and forget that I was supposed to cook dinner altogether.
Pioneer Woman is not menopausal. It couldn’t be any more clear. She and all those other over-achieving bloggers who have made posting pictures —gorgeous pictures–de rigueur with their recipes, are just baffling. IF I made a gorgeous meal, I would not be able to snap a photo before my family stuck a fork into the Four-cheese Porcini Mushroom and Smoked Sausage Fettucine. C’mon.
Are these women really cooking for their families, or are they making beeeauutiful blog food, setting up lights and hiring professional photographers while their families eat Cap’N Crunch with Crunch Berries? … Hey, that sounds good. Maybe I’ll slice a banana on top if the weather cools off.
ADD Moment: Just checked my e-mails. Carolyn is still in Uganda. She says the food is great and that everything is mashed. Mashed beans, mashed nuts, mashed bananas over brown rice. Now that’s the kind of cooking I can get behind. Maybe I’ll mash the popsicles and say it’s sorbet.
And photograph it, too. Maayyyybe,
One of my daughter’s early teachers was called “Cupcake” (not to her face) by the parents, because of her penchant for celebrating every birthday, half-birthday, and holiday, including obscure-in-America British holidays, by serving fluffy cakes with gobs of frosting. She considered sugar to be, in part, a learning tool. It was quite effective. My daughter does not remember the storyline to The Lace Snail, which we read a gazillion times (it’s wonderful), but she still speaks fondly of London’s October Plenty. Attempts to form letters were rewarded with m&m’s or bits of red licorice.
Why am I thinking about this now, a few years after the fact? Because I just spent two hours learning how to make a radish mouse to entice my daughter to eat her veggies. Any veggie. A no-thank-you bite of cherry tomato. A snippet of gray green bean out of her Alphabet Soup.
For many years I was a sugar-free vegan (this was before Carolyn and I began entering the Pillsbury Bake-Off, I grant you) and regularly offered collards and kale to my daughter, who ate her greens with gusto. Oh, yes she did. In fact, her favorite breakfast was brown rice with butter, tiny minced carrots, nori seaweed and gomasio. And then…Cupcake.
I love you, Cupcake, I do. When introducing children to school, it’s a Jewish tradition to dot the pages of a book with honey so the learning will be sweet. My daughter’s books were smeared with buttercream; I suppose that’s close. And when she majors in British history I’m quite sure I will remember you fondly. But I can’t help the pang of regret and frustration I experienced when she saw that adorable mouse staring up from her salad. Raising it by it’s long radish root tail, she stared ambivalently awhile then asked, “Do I get dessert if I eat this?”
My next attempt will be carrot-cake oatmeal. I’ll post the recipe if successful.