Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do You Prop or Not? BAAAD Mother

A good friend came over to my house this week- with her baby. She was busy while she was here (okay, she came to swim) and decided to prop up a bottle while swimming so her little cutie would be happy and she could swim for ten minutes. But apparently, she was a little embarrassed. MY baby is turning 14, so I have been out of baby culture for a few years (only a few. we treat him like a baby)

Friend: I'm actually a little embarrassed, I bet you never propped.
Me: Huh?
Friend: propped! propped! You are so the type not to do it! I bet you never did it with your kids!
Me: Did what?!?
Friend: You really don't know what I'm talking about? Propping! Propping your bottle for your baby!
Me: You mean, like propping up the baby's bottle? When you can't hold them? like now, when you want to swim?
Friend: YES!!
Me: Oh! you mean because they could choke if the hole of the nipple is too big, or they will get very gassy because if the liquid isn't tilted all the way to the top of the bottle, the air pocket grows and they gulp more air than milk?? that's why it's bad, I mean not bad, but not the best thing to do? right?
Friend: I have no clue what you are talking about
Me: propping up a bottle so a baby can drink!
Friend: it's not about the baby drinking or choking or gulping too much air. who cares about that! it's about propping up a bottle! Propping!
Me: Um, this a "thing"? it actually is a thing with a name? like, do you nurse? or, do you eat gebroks? do you go to the country for the summer? do you send your kids to overnight camp? do you "prop"??
Friend: you sound a little hysterical
Me: sorry. tell me about this new propping concept
Friend: well, it's like this. I met a friend who saw me with my baby and she said, I can't believe your propping, aren't you embarrassed, to be out in public with your baybala in the stroller propping!!
Me: um....I am really sorry, but this is actually an activity that is viewed as wrong?!?
Friend: Propping is what you do when you can't hold the bottle. what mother isn't available for her baby? what mother can't do a natural thing like take care of her own baby?

if this seems like we were going in circles, we were.

My friend is chassidish. and apparently, with the chassidish women, "propping" is something they are very judgemental about.

I actually meant this to be a funny post, but as I write it and read what I am writing, I am deciding it is not funny. it is so, so sad. A woman comes to swim in my pool and doesn't want to pay for a babysitter, so she brings her baby in the carriage, props up a bottle and feels guilty.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Boiled Skin for Dinner

So DIP2, who is now MD (married daughter) had a slight dinner emergency. So she called me;

MD: hey ma, the chicken cutlets I have in the fridge for dinner tonight smell funny
ME: uh, how do they taste?
MD: GROSS!! I am not tasting raw smelly chicken cutlets!
ME: ok, ok, chill. are they slimy? do they smell chickencutlety? Or stinky, like a chicken coop?
MD: I dunno, they! and Hubby is coming home in like 40 minutes! any ideas?
ME: um, you can come over here and get some stuff!! I just defrosted, well actually, like ten minutes ago, took out a tray from the freezer and put it on the grill! It should be ready in like ten minutes (as long as you eat the outer regions, the middle is still frozen stiff).
MD: what is it?
ME: pepper steak! Yum! meat! your Hubby likes meat, no?
MD: He doesn't like leftovers
ME: hey! this is from HIS wedding! from the AMAZING shmorg! good once, good twice! who wouldn't like that??
MD: come on, ma, I'm married like three weeks, I don't want to serve leftovers! and they aren't even mine!
ME: (not willing to argue that technically incorrect point). okay, gotcha. you gotta serve something he'd like. I'll check for chicken cutlets.

I then run to the freezer drawer and move aside and shift around and fling about 12 ziplock bags with
-frozen peanut butter cookies
-3 frozen chocolate crinkle cookies, leftovers from what was sent by my sister in the midwest for -my new nephew's shalom zachor then used for the shabbos kallah
-a frozen fish fillet
-melted and refrozen ice cubes (homemade icepaks)
-some loose ice cubes
-havdala candle (somewhere someone once said havdala candles drip less if you freeze them. they do not drip less. they leave black ash in my ice cube trays. people think they are drinking icecubes with fresh herbs. disgusting)
-frozen cranberries
-frozen, defrosted, refrozen, refrosted blueberries. I think. it's the only purple thing in there.

ME: okay, sweetie, I found chicken cutlets! your'e in luck! It's a big bag, though.
MD: okay, I only need, like, two.
ME: no problem!! I will soak them in hot water then boil them for like five minutes and you can pull off what you want! you can fry them. oil hides all taste.
MD: fine, I'll be right over

when she arrived, she prodded the frozen mass in the pot.
MD: uh, the outsides are white. they look like pale skin. feh.
ME: slice off what you want.

I can't believe that I actually encouraged my three week married daughter to use one of my tricks that took me years to develop. hope her Hubby liked his supper and doesn't read this

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Cooking

My goal this summer is to use up all the food in all my various cabinets, as well as all frozen food in both freezers, and have cleansed cabinets, freezers, fridge, and digestive systems by September.

The problem is that the people who live here are less than thrilled by my clever dieting/frugal tactics.

DIP is thin, and loves carbs. Preferably the white type.
YBS-NOT is too busy being active outdoors to notice no food. Until ten p.m. when he eats anything with salsa. And leftovers from plates left out on the counter. There is always a lot of noise when he returns to the kitchen after his sporting, swimming, and disappearing activities. The ball game is on at full blast, the microwave is beeping, fridge banging open and closed, and occasionally something falls and breaks. Usually a jar that has briny smelly liquid in it. Or I smell a sickly sweet scent, and I see him roasting marshmallows over the open flame.

So far suppers this week have been BBQ hot dogs, BBQ hot dogs and chicken, BBQ chicken. Tonight was Main Course Leftovers From The Wedding, round 1. This past shabbos dessert was Leftovers From The Main Course round 3. (a LOT of runny chip cakes to get rid of). YBS already took four trays of Leftovers From The Shmorg back to yeshiva, and I foolishly thought it would last him a few weeks. He put all four trays out on the table one night and the starving bored chulent eaters polished it all off.
Tomorrow will probably be Contents of Mysterious Zip Lock Bags, round 1. The problem is I am going to have to wait until they all defrost to figure out what they are. I have some categories already to reduce the intrigue of what we will be eating:

bony things
reddish things
possible soupy things (those take up the whole bag, and are usually ridged on the bottom of the bag, indicating a liquid that froze over the bars of the freezer shelf)
whitish things: This one is a real challenge, and quite exciting and high up on the Unknown Mystery Food scale. white can be fish fillets, cream cheese frosting, old whipped whip cream, or partially cooked chicken cutlets. They become partially cooked when I take them out of the freezer 8 minutes before I need to serve them, (because I took out a different whitish bagged thing which turned out to be devil dog filling) and dump them into very hot water. quite untasty.

Of course, on occasion, any item in a zip lock bag can look whitish, because if the bag wasn't sealed properly it develops a crusty almost glacial beauty. Kind of like the Cave of Crystals in Mexico or wherever.

Next I will move on to my cabinets. Baked ziti can really be any pasta at all. So all the mostly empty lasagna noodle boxes will be removed from the cabinet, and I will break up all those pieces into macaroni sized portions. How elegant.
Every rice type item gets boiled altogether. If they look too different, I will throw them all under some bony thing from a zip lock bag, cover it with the combined contents of the half empty salsa/tomato sauce/pasta sauce/mustard containers and jars and cans.

I may even serve a savory concoction of herbs and spices. no more bland food around here!!

lastly, an ambrosial soup cooked with all the canned fruits and bumped objects in the fruit drawer of the fridge.

you're all invited, I will reach my goal much quicker

Monday, July 5, 2010

Profiling is a Good Thing

I had a nice little chat today with the mother of a friend of DIP1. She said she does her shidduch research differently than I do. Considering she has four daughters married and I have one, I ruminated on that for a while. She also has a much larger family than I do, older kids, and I think she is a very articulate and intelligent woman.

So of course I started second guessing everything I do to find out about a potential suitor.

i have actually never heard that a boy is ugly, obnoxious, unliked by friends, missing most minyanim or sedorim, not nice, nasty to his parents, shunned by family, resented by co-workers, you get the idea.

However, I do ask a lot of the typical type of questions. And then I listen to How they are answered, and What Is Not Said. And I totally stereotype- I will assume a certain haskafa from his home if he attended a particular school or yeshiva. Doesn't mean we write him off if he is not the standard model we think we are looking for, but there is some value to profiling.

And still nothing is a guarantee.

One Woman I Know (based on her comment she was demoted from Acquaintance) told me "your daughter goes out to much. I only approve two or three guys a year". How idiotic. Does she think her 25 year old daughter appreciates that??

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What No One Told Us

(Disclaimer: We are thrilled our daughter got married. We love our son-in-law. We are grateful she found her Ezer Knegdo. This is not a complaint post at all.)

No one told us that the most stressful part of making a wedding is...... finding gowns- IF you want a color besides white, off-white, or black. Which I don't think are colors. But Jewish rental places do.

No one told us about the endless lists and lists and shopping and returns.

I guess it's a good thing that everyone focuses on the fun, and the planning, and the excitement, and the wedding.

When you lock up the front door at night and you know that all those who now live at home are in- and one isn't.

How you are still on a high from a beautiful and fun wedding, from the simcha, from knowing you have a wonderful son-in-law who is good to your daughter and whom she is crazy about - but-

No one told us how great the void is when one of your children doesn't live at home anymore.