Monthly Archives: September 2006

Topic of Conversation While Driving to Soccer Practice

Overheard while waiting in line at the McDonald’s drive-thru:

Hannah’s Question for Her Siblings: If you were on a plane filled with snakes, would you jump out of the plane and die, or stay and let the snakes kill you?

Disclaimer: No, I have never mentioned Samuel Jackson, and I have no clue why Hannah is thinking about this.

Hannah: Jump, cause I don’t want to get bit by a snake. EVER.

Sam: Stay on the plane because I get to keep the whole can of apple juice.

Abby: I’d rather jump because I think it would be a cool experience before I die.

Should I be worried? Or impressed, because of the high sick-and-twisted factor?

I’m leaning toward “all of the above.”


Random Scene From Motherhood

So I’m standing at the school bus stop this morning; the bus is due any second.

1) Bus pulls up to the curb; I hear the following from my lovely nine-year old daughter: [SFX]: Ahhhhh-chooo!!! Then, a plaintive “MOMMMM!!!!”

2) The space between Abby’s nose and upper lip is completely covered and dripping with the gooey, disgusting result of her giant sneeze. I note with horror that the bus door is open; she must get on now.

That’s right, I forgot Motherhood Rule #1: Have Kleenex on your person at all times.

3) I wipe her face with the only thing available — the formerly clean sweater that I have been wearing for six minutes.

Thankfully, it’s a cardigan.


Mmmmm, soup

It is fall, and that means that I must make large vats of soup. It’s a compulsion, but a beneficial one, so I haven’t sought treatment. When the tomatoes and basil are fresh from the garden, preferably still warm from the September sun… I could eat the whole dang pot, blow up Violet Beauregard-style, and die a happy, if slightly alkaline death.

My mom gave me her favorite soup recipe years ago. I make it every fall, and always intend to freeze some so I can eat it in the winter and remember how sweet the garden beefsteaks were. Problem is, it never makes it to the freezer because it doesn’t stay in the house long enough. I have attempted this recipe with hothouse tomatoes when the soup-craving voices in my head demand it in January… but it’s not worth the trouble. Different food group, entirely. Make it now, and it’s bliss in a bowl.

Tomato Basil Soup

3 TBLS butter (I mean, right there, how can you go wrong?)
1 large yellow (vidalia, if you can get it) onion, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, shredded
2 stalks celery, sliced
6 large ripe tomatoes; peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Dash cayenne pepper*
1 1/2 cups rich chicken broth
Salt, to taste (I didn’t use any)

*I opened my cayenne pepper jar and discovered that tiny (and evidently, heat-loving) bugs had converted it into a townhouse, so I used a couple shakes of tabasco sauce instead. Tastes great (less buggy.)

1) Melt butter in a soup pot or 4 quart saucepan. Add onion, carrot, celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until veggies are soft.

2) Stir in tomatoes, basil, sugar and peppers. Boil, stirring frequently. You may want to close the doors and windows at this point to prevent the neighbors from sniffing around. Cover, reduce heat, simmer until very soft, about 10 – 15 minutes.

Okay, so I’m a tomato geek, but this color blows my mind.

3) Put the soup into a food processor or blender and puree mixture until smooth. Return to pan, add broth and salt, to taste.

Serves 6 – 8 1.

Post-food processor. The “before” picture looks prettier, but the flavor’s in the blending.

Let’s Give It Up for the Baristas

I love venti, all-ice, half-caf Americanos with skim milk. Translation: four shots of espresso over ice. I go the half-caf route, because I love the huge 24-ounce cups (go figure, because “venti” means 20, not 24) but really don’t need to subject the world to the horror that is me on four shots of espresso.

It’s the socially acceptable, liquid equivalent of eating a fistful of coffee grounds. Yum.

I apologize for the Starbuck’s commercial. I can’t help it if I love them.

4th Grade Announcement

The child formerly known as Abby would like, henceforth, to be known as Abigail. That is all.

Ever So Briefly, Hannah Considers Vegetarianism

Every kid has a favorite food. You know the stuff I’m talking about: Cheetos, cotton candy, Cocoa Puffs. Hannah would trade them all in, every time, for an egg and cheese sandwich on a toasted bagel. Preferably with bacon. Occasionally, I’ll treat her to a run through the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru, which always results in repeated, grateful exclamations of “Yummy!” and “THANK YOU, Mommy!” from the backseat. Hannah didn’t even know what bacon was before she had one of these babies, because the stuff I cook at home is usually of the turkey variety.

Today we went on a mission to find soccer cleats. Since a) it was lunchtime, and b) I was really jonesing for an iced coffee, Hannah got her Sunday wish for her favorite sammich.

She snarfed down the first few bites, then abruptly stopped, and looked at her lunch.

Hannah: Mom?

Me: What’s up, Hannah?

Hannah: Did this bacon come from a pig?

Uh oh.

Me: Yep. Meat comes from animals, Hannah. Why, does that bother you?

At this point there was a long, long pause from the back of the car, so I started planning for the impending food strike. I began making a mental list of alternate protein sources, in case the conversation went in that direction.

Dead air. Then:

Hannah (to her lunch): Sorry, Piggy, but you’re just too delicious.

She ate every crumb.

My carnivorous seven year-old poses with her new cleats and official team jersey.