The Family Of Foodies

When our kids come home from college for a visit, suddenly our kitchen is bursting with the smell of my freshly baked banana bread with raisins and chocolate chips, soon afterwards dark chocolate brownies are left to cool waiting for me to slather on the thick, creamy dark chocolate frosting.

Their dad and I have both gone to the supermarket to stock up on their favorite foods, they could stay four weeks, even though they are only here for four days or is it one day? It doesn’t matter. We pack the leftovers so the kids can take them to share with their friends.

 

I stood in the freezer section getting frost bite while choosing six quarts of ice cream, all different flavors.  We have Ben and Jerry’s Coffee, Coffee Buzz, Graeter’s Black Cherry Chip,

 

Graeter's

Graeter’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Black Raspberry Chip, and Chocolate, Chocolate Chip. We also have Mango Sorbet, Blood Orange Sorbet and Haagen Daas’ Pistachio ice cream (which to me, is a great disappointment, vanilla with a couple of shelled pistachio nuts in it. I won’t buy it again.) Any suggestions of another brand of pistachio ice cream?

 

 

 

 

 

We have rainbow cookies, molasses cookies.

 

 

amaretto cookies, and of course, Double Stuffed “Oreos.”(Thank you, Nabisco)

 

We don’t live like this all the time, believe me, we only stock up when our college kids come home to visit. Our daughter’s description of the ideal break is: “watching, (streaming episodes) of her favorite television shows on her computer and eating her home-cooked favorite foods and I quote.” Isn’t that what coming home is all about?”

My husband made a delicious eggplant parmegian/ parmesan, I made guacamole, and a tomato, mozzarella, olive oil, basil salad, we had

 

English: Guacamole in a bowl. Photograph taken...

 

chips, pizza, huge salads, creative salads with lettuce and arugula, cranberries, goat cheese, string beans, grapes, and cucumbers (and anything else I found) with no meat (for our daughter “the vegetarian.”) Yes, she DOES get plenty of protein, she never liked meat and never ate it as a baby. I’m anticipating the questions that will follow…

BOTH of my grown-up children came home a day early as a surprise and I consider myself deeply blessed. I am truly grateful to be able to have one night together with my whole family, where we eat will be up to them, with our approval, and bound by price range and affordability.

Tonight, we will eat leftovers with no complaints and if there are complaints, that’s okay, the only other option is…no other option. I do regret how lenient we were with our children when they were small. I felt like a short order cook, a grilled cheese for one, spaghetti with meatballs for the other….the things you learn in hindsight.


We all make mistakes as parents but if that’s the worst mistake we made then I think we did pretty well. We have super nice, polite kind, kids, independent, loving, street smart and compassionate. What more could a mother and a father want? NOTHING.

Are they perfect?  No.  Are we? Heck no. Do we wish they would change certain things?  Sometimes. No, I am NOT going to argue with you about this!! (you- know -who) I know that they wish the same for us. We’re a family, we all need to work together. Every single one of us needs to learn how to compromise and accept not always being right. Accepting someone’s difference is harder than deciding to disagree. Respect another person’s position without judgment. Try.

What would you rather be, a very old friend asked me thirty years ago, right or at peace?

My answer thirty years ago was” right,” I changed my answer in the years to come. The kids will learn that, in time. Or, they won’t. That is entirely up to them. It took me a long time to see it, peace wins for me now, every single time.

We all grow-up, we make mistakes, we fall down, we get up and we fall down again. Children, like adults, learn, from their mistakes. Let them make them.

When our kids went back to school a few days ago my husband and I went right back to eating very simple meals. Scrambled eggs with cheese and toast, pasta with meat sauce, home-made pea soup, chunky with carrots, ham, spices and a salad and french bread. A roasted chicken, rice and freshly cut vegetables with a yogurt dill sauce. After dinner, we often go upstairs, lie on our bed, watch our television set with a small (ok, medium) bowl of ice cream in our hands (with rainbow-colored sprinkles for me) to watch the Jimmy Fallon show from the night before. A simpler life, quieter, we accept what we have, what we can’t change and that’s okay. Love what you have today, understand and accept that you will see your children less, yesterday is gone and we don’t know what the future will bring.

Enjoy the moment. Be Thankful. Breathe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My OTHER Stomach

DID ANYONE SAY DESSERT ???

Peeps, work with me here, I am telling you a very big secret. Not many know about this but it is a very easy concept. Forget about anything, anyone else has told you, especially your doctors. They don’t teach THIS in medical school because they don’t even know about it. But, I do and I know it well. I have taught my family and they went on and taught their most trusted friends. Be careful with this most amazing gift. I am telling it to you because of my deep love for my readers.

Most people apparently feel that they have one stomach. Most medical people would agree but I beg to differ. Growing up with a Viennese father and a German/French mother we never had dessert. Dessert in our home was jello or social tea biscuits or those pressed, break your teeth hard raisin or prune bars that I haven’t seen since the sixties. My father would make up things called “concoctions”  for himself with bananas, ice milk (sherbert?) applesauce, sprinkles, canned fruit, yogurt and whatever else he could find. Example something like below but much higher:

"Dessert pour une personne"

“Dessert pour une personne” (Photo credit: Maxime FORT)

When I became a mother, things changed. I didn’t want my kids to have to go to other people’s houses and search/sneak through their closets and take delicious snacks ( like I did.) No, I wanted to be the provider of the snacks. In fact, my friend Debbie’s son, Michael,  called me “The Cookie Lady,” a name I wore with great pride.

In my house sweets were NOT banned but limits were set. Some of my children’s friends would come here with an organic apple and then gorge themselves full of Oreos or Chocolate Chip cookies. I didn’t judge AND there was always fruit on the table along with the cookies. I gave them choices…

In short, when you are full with a meal you can always have dessert. Always. There is a different pouch for that: The Dessert Stomach. It is there for a good reason, because in my family now, there is always room for dessert. Always.

No matter how full you are, no matter if you think you can’t eat another bite, just rest for a minute, look at the dessert menu and order. As soon as your dessert comes, your dessert stomach is happy to oblige. In our family we have 2 chocolate lovers and two

cupcakes

cupcakes (Photo credit: stu_spivack)

vanilla lovers, although I can go both ways.

We always we end up buying one dessert ( or two) and sharing them. Dessert (or D as we call it) is love to a higher power.

So next time you order dessert, don’t feel guilty, you are not over eating, you are just trying to fill a bit of your Dessert Stomach. Don’t say it timidly, say it with confidence and power. Most of all, say it convincingly. I bet they have never heard  of the “Other Stomach” Theory.

Feel free to tell them.

PS this is not meant for after lunch ( I got into trouble that way) it is only for after dinner. Trust me on this.

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Plinky: What Vice Would YOU Give Up?

  • Vice, Be Gone
  • No, No, No!
    old fashioned chocolate cake, sweet revenge patisserie
  • If I had to give up one MAJOR vice, I would have to give up sugar. SUGAR? Yup, cake, cookies, chocolate bars, ice cream, baked goods, candy, (what? No more Chuckles candy?) chocolate, chocolate and chocolate. I would cry without a piece of chocolate or coconut cake,(oh fine, ANY cake) chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies too. Sigh, I’m good with Oreos as well (I did notice they now have sugar-free Oreos).I’m sure I would lose a lot of weight if I did this but is it really worth it? I don’t want to give up sugar and I don’t want to eat it in excess (ok, that’s a plain bold-faced lie) but I would be very unhappy if I had to give it up….My physical is coming up soon, I believe they test for diabetes. I would get used to it as we all get used to new things but I certainly would NOT be pleased. Who would? Giving up sugar? Scary thought and major ouch. Please don’t make me give it up, pretty please with Truvia on top?

What Is Your Favorite Cookie? Plinky Prompt

COOKIES AND MILK
  • My Favorite Cookie
  • COOKIES ARE LOVE
    This is such a “ME” type of question. Having grown up as a child with only Social Tea Biscuits (we didn’t know other cookies existed until we had play dates with friends) and the occasional hard prune or raisin filled flat cookies, (I don’t remember what they are called but definitely can recall how they looked) things were different when I became a parent. We have had (okay, still have) Oreos, Chocolate Chip, and various other types of cookies in abundance at our house.
    My personal favorite (if I had to choose) would be soft oatmeal raisin cookies. There is nothing more comforting to me than those; anything that has raisins in them gets my vote. Runner up, soft, sugar cookies. Believe me, it’s not that I would say no to any cookie offered to me (Ginger Snaps are a distinct third) but I would have to say that having grown up on Social Tea Biscuits, (which are simple and fine) all other cookies ( uh-oh, forgot about Fig Newtons and Rainbow Cookies) are welcome in our house. When my son was 3 he had a friend named Michael and I was known to him as “The Cookie Lady.” I wore that honor with pride…..I still love cookies, especially when accompanied by a glass of cold milk.

Rx: Ginger Snaps

ginger snaps

Image by sweetbeetandgreenbean via Flickr

I have self- prescribed a new medication that treats many of my annoying illnesses, my arthritic hands, my painful legs and general muscle and joint pain. You can find this medication at some drug stores and every grocery store. You don’t need a triplicate, you don’t need a physician’s signature and no one will think you are crazy if you fill this prescription; they will not look at you crossly if you double the amount. You don’t need to plead with your Doctor or Specialist and you don’t have to see their withering looks when they deny you the medication.

My new drug of choice, are ginger snaps. At first, I bought them on a whim. Then, seeing the improvement in my mood, I bought them again and I think they help more than the other six or seven medications that I am on for Fibromyaligia, or Hashitmoto’s Thyroiditis. Nothing else seems to work so I may as well get enjoyment out of this prescription.

I don’t have to eat ginger snaps on a full stomach or two hours before eating: there are no instructions. I eat them when I want. More importantly, I don’t resent this drug for not working as much as I do all the others. They are not covered under my insurance plan but that is alright, they are reasonably priced and always available. They are my treat after long days trying to adjust to a new, busier schedule. My husband is working full-time now while I am still feeling my same old, tired, achy self.  I have tried the generic brand instead of the name brand and I am completely satisfied with either choice.

The first bite, those of you with (TMJ) might think about putting the cookies in the microwave, for a while before digesting.  Nuke to taste. Or, just suck on them for longer joy and satisfaction. You can also dunk them in a lovely cup of Earl Grey tea, milk or coffee. There is no real overdose danger except your pants might feel a bit snug if you eat the entire box in one night but that side effect has never been reported (and who would report it??)

It stands to reason that this particular drug, unlike Oreos, Milanos, Twinkies, or Chocolate Teddy Grahams, is a guilt-free treat. My point is, I feel like they are entirely medicinal. My stomach feels soothed, my mouth has something to crunch on that is not  boring old celery and I get many different taste sensations in one bite. The first bite fills you with a very hard crunch, be wary of any loose teeth you may have. The “ginger-esque”  burn comes at the end: during and after your last swallow. The only problem I see with this medicinal treat is that they are highly addictive so make sure you have a box or two extra, hiding in your pantry or medicine cabinet.

I pretend/know they are healthy and I don’t even look at the calories, fat grams or carbohydrates. Here is my theory:  if they are not sweet, they are definitely good for you. If anyone else has down the same medical research on this drug or any other, I’d love to hear about it.