Tuesday, March 25, 2014


One of the things I love about teenage daughters is that when they offer to cook dinner, they usually pull out a cookbook and try something new and exciting. Last night, Helen made this awesome French dish of chicken baked in a mustard-sauce "crust," served with a mustard-&-cream sauce over rice and roasted peppers. Not very good for the diet, but amazing on the tongue!

I'm a pretty boring cook myself. I have my handful of trusted recipes that I go back to week after week. Spaghetti, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, any kind of soup...I've fixed them so often that I no longer have to think about them, no planning ahead or special ingredients involved.

Poulet a la Moutarde? That took some research. And a detailed shopping list. And a lot of work at prep time. It. Was. Awesome. Thank you, Helen!

When the twins were babies, Steve and I had six children ages 7 years and under. A house FULL of little bitties. Steve was working as an intern at his first architectural job, which translates:  our family of eight was living on less than $20,000 a year. Money was like a Size 4 Spanx bodysuit on a Size 24 grandma.

My mother-in-law would buy these ginormous bags of oatmeal and 10-pound cans of peanut butter and bring them to our house when she visited. I think she single-handedly kept our family from starving during that lean season. Oatmeal for breakfast and peanut-butter sandwiches for lunch. And lots of soups for supper. Month after month after month. Not a particularly varied or appealing diet, but it sustained us!

Nineteen years after the birth of the twins, some of my kids still cringe at the mention of peanut butter sandwiches. And nobody asks for oatmeal for breakfast, ever, although I'll occasionally make a bowl for myself.

Come to think of it, I believe I'll go fix a bowl right now...


Anonymous said...

I remember the peanut butter! It came in silver cans. And how one month is was almond butter because that was just then hitting the shelves but nobody bought it so there was tons of overstock.

And I sort of like oatmeal now, if it is in sausage and mash. Oatmeal under fried sausages and onions? yum!


emily said...

Weird -- Dennis and i were JUST talking about this!

I do like oatmeal now.

And i like peanut butter.

But i NEVER eat sandwiches.