The Way We Cook

Just as I suspected. Those small lumps are my breasts. Good news, pure and simple. Something I could have told them for less than 3 grand.  But there’s going to be payback for going after the Divine Ms. S in that last post: can you spell f-i-b-r-o-i-d-s?  Finally. A way to lose that extra 5 pounds. My father had a very good theory about doctors; if you’re well enough to get to one you shouldn’t go. It sets up a bad pattern. He was right. But I have been persuaded that just as my children weren’t coming under their own steam, neither is that great change to Kathryn Hepburn-ish elegance minus the raging hormones I so long for. We (and I use the community we; not that any of you are coming along) have now begun making the rounds of doctors and ultrasound machines. You know, it’s a cruel trick to slather gobs of warm soothing gel about a body, roll a ticklish sonar device around in it and then leave the room just as that gel turns to frozen super glue. Cruel. Really. But enough about my gelatinous torso and innards. It will all be fine- just a period of high maintenance. If my body were a car now is when I might consider looking for a new model.

Did anyone do linkage on my last post? I don’t think so, or surely someone would have commented on the First Place National Latin scholar in a kiddie pool full of jello…(actually, Jen and Keri drew wonderful jello wrestling graffiti on my Facebook page…) You know- what can I do? I lost all control with that one when she started wandering buck naked across the street to swing on her belly in the bucket swings in the park at 18 months of age. I suppose if she were like the screaming, tantruming five year old who taught 213 passengers on the red-eye from Oakland to Chicago the other evening that they, too, could be capable of murder- a sobering realization- I would have smacked her down long ago. But what does she do? Seriously? She just has too damn much fun in life and it’s hard to be ticked off with someone for that, especially if no one is getting hurt and the rest of her life looks upright and responsible.

She got back from Africa and a best friend since middle school popped down for a visit and then "we were walking down the street and some bouncer guy at a sports bar offered us 50.00 to jello wrestle." They negotiated for 50.00 EACH, called in some friends and made a sticky evening of it. Imagine my sense of enlightenment when I looked at the photos and realized that my feelings of impropriety and outrage were actually jealousy and vicarious pleasure. Sigh. Meanwhile, Caitlin coaches National Academic Games and will finish up at U of M; the Snarl is a barista, concierge and nanny for the summer and returns to finish up with a dual degree in the Honors College in Environmental Policy and Linguistics. These last couple of days she’s been entertaining me with stories of her attempts to potty train one of her two year old charges. She says she asks him frequently if he wants to try and he says no and then, 7 seconds after he’s soaked his training pants, he announces that he "wants to try." Life is like that; timing is everything.
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Today is "roll day" at work for Rich. I think they actually have a french name for it because their parent company is, well, French and it’s always been tradition that someone bring in the croissants to work on Fridays. No one else is working. (she makes a joke out of bad grammar. snort, snort.) At Rich’s place, it’s evolved into a competition to see who can do the best breakfast with an electric griddle and a microwave. This makes sense, since it’s a bunch of competitive young people engaged in sports related things. Rich, as the oldest of the bunch (they call him Dr. Seuss) has to rise to the occasion, so he’s making crepes and mimosas.

Really, we stayed up late and under close supervision mr. "where do we keep the forks?" learned to make and assemble his  breakfast and he just this minute headed out the door with tupperware containers full of ingredients.

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Basic Crepe Batter from Julia Child’s The Way To Cook:

3/4 cup cold milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp orange liqueur, rum, or brandy
1 cup flour (scooped and leveled)
5 tbsp melted butter

Blend at high speed those ingredients in order, refrigerate overnight in a container with a screw top you can pour from, shake ’em up and you are good to go. These do just fine on an electric griddle or the heated bottom of a cast iron skillet- your choice.

Mix:
1/2 pint ricotta, 2 small pkgs of Boursin herb cheese, 1/2 cup fine shred Gruyere, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan until creamy, adjusting ingredients so you have an easy spread at room temperature. Store.

Saute:
4 links sweet Italian sausage with basil, removed from casing, crumbled and drained. Store.

Saute:
2 fine chop sweet red bell peppers in 1 tsp fine olive oil and a pinch of Italian seasoning. Store overnight in closed container; they taste precisely like roasted red peppers for this use.

That’s one crepe recipe. You make the crepe, spoon on a large spoonful of cheese mix, top or not with a spoon of sausage and add red peppers. Roll, eat.
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Mix:
1/2 pint ricotta, 1 pint mascarpone, 6 (count ’em! 6!) tablespoons high quality Mexican vanilla) and one 4 second spritz of Redi-whip real whip topping from the spray nozzle refrigerator cans. Work ingredients until light and spreadable. Store. (note that this has very little sugar at all- just from that spritz of whipped cream- so it’s not real sweet and you can definitely taste the vanilla.)

Wash, dice 2 quarts of strawberries. Store. Wash, toss together 1 pint blueberries, 1 pint raspberries. Store.

Crack open your best homemade raspberry jam (or use what’s left from Better Than Sex Molasses Cookies where you could have substituted REGULAR molasses for sulfured molasses) and stir in a Julia Child portion of Cointreau or whatever sweet thick liquor you have lying around going funky (by now, it’s clear to you that we don’t use recipes much…). Should be somewhere between jam and sauce. Store. (that is not a picture of these exact crepes. These crepes I’m writing about here are better.)

Make the crepe, spread on the mascarpone mix, dribble on a spoonful of raspberry jam, roll closed. Top with fresh fruit and whipped cream.Crepeslo

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It was our fourth anniversary yesterday (He: "Does it feel like it’s been that long?" Me: "It feels as though I’ve known you forever."). Because I was already downtown seeing the doctor we had gone out for a lovely long lunch of crab louis salads at Joe’s Stone Crab. Complaints about q-tips to the contrary, we’re not big on predictably scheduled gifts and we just got back from a nice long weekend in Napa. But cards are important. After the crepe making he came around to ask me if, by some accident, he had already given me this card he had picked out long ago for our anniversary because it "was absolutely the BEST card ever and I was saving it and saving it." I said no, I didn’t think he had given it to me yet. He looked disappointed and went back into the clutter of his office and then a few minutes later he came out triumphant with a truly great anniversary card. It’s a photograph of two young grizzly bears hugging each other with great affection and very long claws. That’s it. I love it. He then announced that his anniversary gift to me is for me to teach him how to cook ten perfect meals and then I can ask him, ten times a month, to cook one of those meals. Unlike the card, this may not be so perfect. I have to think about this. As I survey the kitchen this morning…
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Typepad’s spell check wants to change "mascarpone" to "mescaline." I suppose you could use a pint of that instead. It’s Friday. Friday! That reminds me! I have to swing by my best friend, Wende’s house! And she lives sort of near all my best friends, Raehan and Robin Andrea and Hoss and Babette and…here I come.

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20 responses to “The Way We Cook

  1. Well, we’ll all be over soon for some of your famous mescaline crepes! Vive la difference!

  2. I have a zillion things I want to say in response to this post, I don’t even know where to begin. My body is getting to that age too, if it were a car, I’d be looking for a replacement. Something energy efficient (enough already with the sweating and hot flashes), but also something I could drive around the country and camp comfortably in (built for lots of fun).
    Jello wrestling? Facebook? Snarl is back from Africa? Why did I think she was going to be gone for a much longer time.
    I love the hugging grizzly bear card. Yes, claws and all.
    Mescaline crepes. Two words I never thought I’d type together.

  3. Your Wende is a luv– she asked if she could read my blog!

    I am coming to visit you twice this month– I’m coming to BlogHer after all. But only the cocktail parties.

    I am the new Managing Editor over at Work It, Mom…

  4. Congrats all around. The good medical news, the anniversary, all that good stuff.

    Menopause is not for wimps, or old age as Katherine Hepburn said. I’m learning by doing as we said when I helped open a Childrens Museum and that was our slogan. I, too, will be happy to finally get to the part where the hormones calm down. My husband and son, no doubt too.

  5. Hey, I tried linking to that Jello clip, but it didn’t allow me entry.

    So glad all is well. I know people don’t like doctors, but as you say, when you reach a certain age, the maintenance is necessary.

    And happy anniversary to you!

  6. Its good to hear the lumps are only fibroids 🙂 Happy anniversary to you and rich!!!

    I hope all is well over in the windy city 🙂

  7. Good News indeed!
    And now I’m craving some crepes….

  8. I will gain 5 lbs. just looking at the crepes. Happy Anniversary and I’m glad to hear that the jello wrestler is home.

  9. I’m glad you got good news and the Snarl is safely home from Africa. Congrats to both of you on your anniversary and co-cooking lessons.

  10. Rich will never learn to cook if you don’t give him lessons.

    Wait! Make that, “get” him lessons. I know you’re wary of yourself.

  11. I might have to make the crepes.

    So wait…fibroids? That would be in your uterus, yes? (I typed “our uterus” by mistake. Am I over-identifying here?) So, does that mean that you will be having the same surgery that I am having this summer?

    I can’t see the jello wrestling pictures unless I have a facebook account. I’ll wait ’til one of my girls comes home and gives me her password.

  12. I love making crepes. They are so simple and so tasty and elegant, too.

    Mine don’t look that good, though.

    Glad the lumps are not ominous. My mom had fibroids, too, so I suppose I may have the same scare one day.

    For some reason, I don’t get spell check on my blogs. Don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I have a mac. Anyway, that’s one reason why I have so many errors in my posts.

  13. Sweets for the sweet!

    Congratulations on your bill of good health and your anniversary!

    Julia Child invented shark repellent for the O. S. S., too. It protected the explosives that were used to sink German U-boats during World War II.

    There is a wonderful alternative to western medicine regarding dealing with fibroids: YOGA!!

    There’s always room for jello.

  14. Oh, Happy Anniversary! 😀 I’m glad you’ve found Mr. Wonderful–as Rich truly sounds like a soul mate.

    And good news on the fibroids… I only wish you could have skipped the diagnosis part! Oof.

    As for the jello link: sadly, I can’t load it. I figured it had to be good, but alas, I don’t have a facebook account.

  15. The crepes look divine. That just may be the perfect midsummer treat for the family. Did they serve Jello shots at the bar??

  16. F-I-B-R-O-I-D-S …. Yes, I had a bunch of them too. So did my mom… and one was the reason Stephen was nine years younger rather than four years. I haven’t had the hormone problem since my big surgery… did the patch for a year and as it was so expensive and it didn’t seem to do anything… I stopped. No flashes or dashes… (so sue me)! I think it has something to do with fat content… I think there is enough stored in body fat to last for many years… at last, some advantage of being a full figured girl!

    My mom is apparently on her way to the hospital to have a scan on her leg. The swelling had been going down but was increased this morning so they are checking for deep vein thrombosis I’m sure. Will know more later.

  17. BTW at the “linkage” you have to log in and I have never been able to get signed up with face page… perhaps this is a good thing… the thoughts of Nyssa smeared with jello in a pit… well… I guess it couldn’t be much worse than her going to class in her pajamas or posing for pictures with panties on her head… never mind.

  18. Ok, so I officially have a complex. 😀

  19. Glad to hear those small lumps are fibroids. I can’t comment on anything else – the fruity crepe is on my mind. Mmmmmm.

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