Sunday, October 20, 2013

Giving it a (Pinter) Rest...

During a discussion on transparency tonight at small group, we discussed how people often exaggerate themselves to others. I immediately answered "by acting like their lives are one big, perfect Pinterest board."

I, of course, would be the THEIR I was referring to.

Like a lot of folks, I do surf sites like Pinterest looking for yummy recipes or decorating ideas. Sure I do. But I also admit to feeling the bombardment of how "pretty" my life should be. How organized my home should be. How coordinated my wardrobe should be. How clean my house can be. Those images feed into the part of me that craves acceptance and approval and any reason to not feel like a schmuck on a daily basis.

But that's not the real me. So, I think the best thing for me to do would be to create the Real Katie Pinterest board. Images divided into the same kinds of categories:  Housekeeping, Cooking, Wardrobe, Organizing, etc. Real-life images of my home would be posted. You know, like the ring in the boys toilet upstairs or the baskets of un-put-away laundry in my laundry room. Need socks, boys? Why look in your sock drawer when Mommy has these baskets downstairs conveniently loaded with your clothes. I know the socks aren't matched up but who can resist a little underwear treasure hunt every now and then, right?

And let's not forget about the real-life-Katie organization board. There's the picture of the empty boxes in the pantry floor so I'll remember which snacks we're out of (why make a list? A stack of empty boxes is so much There's the stack of items on my desk I need to file away and the drawers of my bedside table which contain random papers, magazines and an astounding assortment of pen caps that would rival any museum collection. Not that there are actually museum collections of pen caps but if there were, this one would rival it. You betcha.

Although the cooking thing is getting better, I won't even touch the real-life wardrobe Pinterest board as most of my clothes are sequestered in a storage facility waiting to be unpacked sometime before the youngins graduate high school.

The bottom line is that any picture of a cake that might have been made at 10:00pm the night before a fall festival is a rare moment in an otherwise unorganized and procrastinatory (is that even a word?) lifestyle. It will be the anti-Pinterest... designed to make you feel OH-SO-MUCH-BETTER about your own life.

Cause I'm me. In all my unorganized, undomestic, chaotic glory. It ain't pretty most of the time but its who I am.

So y'all excuse me while I go dig out some pajamas from the laundry room. I'm plum beat from all the sheer awesomeness I've exhibited today. ;)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Goin' Bananas for Some Dessert Y'all

Every now and then I'll actually tap into my southern roots and produce a meal of home-cooked veggies. Tonight it was slow-cooked Northern beans with ham, fried okra (thinly sliced and fried in cornmeal), marinated carrots and potato salad (both of which were hijacked from my inlaws' church homecoming Sunday). Oh and cornbread. Not Jiffy-type cornbread which is sweet and easy to make. Oh no-- the real stuff. (Insert me turning up my nose here. So much for my southern roots).

Although veggies are yummy and all, I found a new dessert recipe that is hands down, slap-your-Mama-or-someone-else-really-special-to-you good. I had to share the recipe because IT IS THAT GOOD. I stopped at one serving because I am Clearly A Picture of Restraint and Willpower but it is now sitting there atop my stove beckoning me, whispering to me in its sweet little cobblery voice to partake of just one...more...bite. 

But I resist. Instead, I race upstairs to the computer to share this recipe with you. Yes, folks, I am that selfless. Or full. OK, it's because I'm full. But, nonetheless, here's the recipe:

Banana Bread Cobbler
Banana Bread Cobbler

1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk (OK, I might have used half n half)
1 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 ripe medium bananas, sliced
Vanilla ice cream, if desired  (If desired?!! Oh recipe, you crack me up.)

1.  Heat oven to 375. Spray 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
2.  In bowl, mix 1 cup of flour with white sugar and milk with whisk until just blended. Stir in melted butter and pour into baking dish.
3.  In another bowl, mix brown sugar, the remaining 1/2 cup of the flour and the softened butter. Mix with a fork until crumbly, Stir in oats and pecans . Arrange banana slices over batter then top with oatmeal crumb mixture.
4.  Bake 50 minutes or until golden and bubbly (covering with foil last 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning if necessary). Serve warm with BLUE BELL HOMEMADE VANILLA ICE CREAM. (or whichever brand you prefer. If there is any other brand. I heart you Blue Bell).
5.  Say a silent prayer of thanksgiving that you read this blog post and made this dessert. Savor. Get seconds. Be happy. :)


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Science Project or Wednesday Night Supper: The Canned Salmon Virgin Speaks

I hate salmon.

There's no beating around the bush on this one, folks. It's just plain, well, YUCK.

However, my oldest child loves salmon and requested it for dinner so I broke out in a full panic. The only thing I could think of was this salmon croquette thingy that my Mom made when I was a child. Trust me, I can stomach just about anything if it's coated in some yummy bread crumbs so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

But that's when I made a startling discovery. The recipe called for two cans of pink salmon. So naturally I'm thinking I will be opening the lids to find fluffy pink chopped salmon waiting eagerly to be transformed into perfect little salmon cakes. 

Um, no.

The first line of the recipe should have tipped me off:  "remove skins and large bones from salmon."  HUH? I didn't charter a flight to Alaska and snatch this ingredient out of a cold stream... I bought two cans of the stuff at Kroger. Why is it calling for me to field dress the fish? I was bewildered. Then I opened the cans. 

:: insert gagging noise here ::  

From the top it looked like an organ contained in a jar in my 7th grade science class. But, then I dumped it into my mixing bowl. What awaited me there was part horror show, part organ transplant special on Discovery Health. The slimy carcass that awaited my attention in that bowl was horrifying. A slippery black and silver skin was dripping off an oily rounded blob of fishy smelling meat with little bones sticking out everywhere. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I had to be on camera. This was surely a prank. I opened the bulbous glop of meat to find a crumbly center "spine" that disintegrated into hundred of little bones with the slightest touch.  I do not remember my Mom dealing with this while the Carol Burnett Show played in the background. She made it looks so easy. Thinking about the meal tradition I was carrying on for my child, I perservered.

I guess it took me about 10 minutes to remove all the bones and achieve a bowl full of fluffy, pink, ready-for-breading salmon meat but it was worth it in the end. Once the patties were made up and breaded and sitting in the oil in my pan, I felt the presence of my Mom in an unbelievable way. Mashed potatoes and peas rounded out the straight-outta-1977 menu complete with a lime jello mold made my Jacob and me. She was very much there and it cemented my transition to motherhood as I imagined her standing at the stove making the same meal for me.

I still do not like salmon. But it was well worth a little bone-picking and patty-making to bring a smile to my child's face (and to see him clean his plate to boot!) Finding new things to cook every night has certainly been a challenge for this recovering restaurant-four-times-a-week gal but I'm pleased to say that Salmon Croquettes might have to make a return appearance. I may see if I can pay $10/can to start off at the pink and fluffy stage but hey it's baby steps!

"BONE" appetite, y'all.