Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Comfort and Boys
Last Tuesday, when I walked into Dolly's room to deliver her 5pm meds, I found her sitting in her cozy chair with a tissue over her face. She was crying.
I sat down on the ottoman in front of her, and between choking sobs she explained that her daughter was very ill. She'd been unwell for some time, and was on her way to the hospital.
Dolly felt utterly helpless, 97 years old and in a nursing home, unable to take care of her daughter.
I didn't know how to comfort her. I just put my head in her lap and let her pat my hair.
"I should be with her. She's my baby. She needs me."
"How old is she?"
"Oh, I don't know, late 70's I guess? 77. Yes. She's 77."
Dolly's baby is an old lady. And she was just as distraught as any Mommy of a seriously ill child ought to be.
There was nothing I could do, but I had to try to make her feel better somehow.
So I brought her a shot and a half of brandy.
This past weekend, we brought the kids to their uncle's 40th birthday party.
Owen's cousin Ned is almost 5. They are absolutely in love with each other; playing cars, superheros, hiking in the woods.
Their favorite activity? Wrestling. Despite their age and size difference, they are pretty evenly matched. They rolled around the floor, a tangle of arms and legs. Dramatic sound effects coming from both.
At one point, mid scuffle, Owen's hearing aid came dislodged from behind his ear. Ned noticed, released his hold on Owen's arm, reached over, and returned the aid to its rightful spot behind his cousin's ear.
And the wrestling match resumed right where it left off.
When I agreed to participate in Sherri's Fall Swap, I knew I'd never meet the deadline. Which was this past Friday. My package is done and waiting to go to the post office.
After I sealed it up, I realized I'd left something out.
It happens to be something I can share here.
Since the cold weather makes me crave all my favorite comfort foods, I will now share my famous Macaroni and Cheese recipe. I claim to be a terrible cook, I really am. But this is the one thing that I kick ass at. Nothing fancy here, just cheesy carbtastic perfection.
You will need:
2 cups Barilla Plus elbows, or penne, or those fun twisty things. Your choice. But I always use Barilla Plus, that way I can delude myself that this is a healthy meal.
Almost 2 cups skim milk. Just under the two cup line on the big Pyrex measuring cup. I only ever have skim in the house. My kids don't drink milk.
One brick Cabot Colby/Jack cheese. HAS to be Cabot.
One brick Cabot Sharp Cheddar cheese. Again, Cabot or you suck.
Twoish tablespoons butter. The real stuff.
Twoish tablespoons flour. Whole wheat is all I use for flour. Ever.
Crackers or bread crumbs.
Big bottle of wine. I prefer Pinot Grigio, but this can be chef's choice.
Got all that?
Ok. This is me, a couple Thursdays or Fridays a month during the Fall and Winter:
1. Pour glass of wine. Sip.
2. Fill pot with water and turn to HI. You know, shit's gotta boil.
3. While water is heating up, shred the cheese. I hope you have a food processor, 'cause doing it by hand is a pain in the arse.
4. Water probably not boiling yet, so grab a saucepan and put the butter and flour in, let butter melt while stirring with fork. This is called a roux. I only know this because Al makes me watch cooking shows.
5. Drain wine glass and refill.
6. Water might be boiling, if so, throw pasta in.
7. Pour milk into roux slowly, stirring all the while with fork. You're doing it slowly so no lumps form in the roux.
8. Pasta cooking yet? It should be by now.
9. All the milk should be in the roux now. Turn the heat up and throw the cheese in there. All at once. Go for it.
10. Just keep stirring. Just keep stirring. Just keep stirring.
11. How's that wine glass doing?
12. Pasta should be done. Drain it and throw it in a casserole dish. A biggish one.
13. Cheese should be melted into a creamy sauce. Have a taste. Yummy no?
14. Pour cheese sauce over noodles, stir a bit.
15. For extra white trashiness, throw in some cut up hot dogs.
16. Cover the whole thing with crushed crackers (Cheezits are ridiculous), or bread crumbs.
17. Bake in 350 degree oven for around 45 minutes or until middle is bubbly. You can let it go longer if you like the edges nice and crispy.
18. You should be done with your third glass of wine by the time it is done. You will be buzzed enough to not care about all the fat and calories you are about to ingest.
I finally got a laptop a couple weeks ago. Yes, I wanted a fun new toy, but I also wanted the kids to have more access to the computer. We brought the old desktop down and set it up in the play room.
We found all sorts of educational sites for the kids. It is cool to see Owen's computer skills get better every day. This morning he had the thing fired up all by himself. I never told him the password; he must have been watching closely while I typed it in. Sneaky fucker.
Anyway. Sunday night, I heard screams of laughter coming from the playroom. Al was in front of the monitor and the kids were rolling around the floor.
I'm glad Al has found some worthwhile content to share with the children.
Which reminds me.
Gotta check this thing for porn before Owen gets home.
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