Tag Archives: mom

Happy Birthday, Mom

I suppose it’s fitting to announce here, on this mostly-food blog, that today is my mom’s birthday.  After all, my mom instilled in me a great love of food.  When I was little, she used to take the time to make teddy bear bread with me, something I’ve tried to recreate with little success.  She taught me to only use the best ingredients and she has always put extra love in everything she makes.

My mother is one of the most generous people I know, and I’ve been blessed to have a lot of generous people in my life.  She is loving and kind and funny.  She also taught me how to celebrate your birthday all week long.  She is a lover of animals; I suspect in a past life she must have been a patron something of the animal world.  No animal in need will ever be turned away; sometimes not even the animals who need nothing.  I love that she has endless room in her heart to love us all.

Travis suspects our fur-filled household is my mother’s influence rubbing off on me.  He could be right.  All my life I’ve been surrounded by pets and I never understood how people could grow up without them.  My mom indulged just about every request I had as a kid – pet mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits.  A brief stint with parakeets.  Always dogs and then cats.  When I was in college, we visited a feed store and she walked out with a baby chick nestled in her scarf.  She used to really want a potbellied pig until she found out how large they really get.  Travis has learned not to let me near a potential pet by myself.

We live in a house my mom owns, paying rent to cover the mortgage and property taxes.  But she’s also indulged us with some pretty major house projects, taking the receipts as tax deductions for her “rental house”.  We keep a guest room clean and ready for her, but her visits are always so short and quick.  I have to plan very seriously for when she does fly in, because we usually only have one meal together and that meal has to be fantastic.

My mom used to tell me she was going to live forever.  I used to think she was crazy; no one lives forever.  Now she says she’ll be here into her 90s, which are happily many years away, and all I can think is that I wish she would live forever.

Today is my mother’s birthday, and I wish her every happy thought in the world.  I know she will be well fed on her birthday and all through the week.  Even though I can’t be there with her today, I know she is surrounded by people who love her.  And I will call her to tell her how much I love her, today and every day.

pets and dinner

I bet you think I’m going to talk about the difference between raising animals as pets and raising animals as dinner. Like, we have dogs as pets but would never consider eating them, but we also have chickens as pets – are we going to eat them? BUT! I was actually going to talk about Pets. And Dinner. Not pets as dinner.

Side note: While we do expect to eat the eggs from our chickens, we don’t plan on turning any of them into dinner. If one turns out to be a rooster, becoming dinner is completely dependent on T’s willingness to, er, process it. We could go either way. But we don’t intend to ever raise chickens for the purposes of eating them.

Here’s the pet update: the dogs are fine. The dogs are the same. Nothing ever changes with the dogs. We’ve watched our friends’ dog a couple of times and I’m happy to say that she melded into our dog-chaos perfectly. She even holds her own protecting treats and other doggy valuables. The cat is fine. She was getting kind of skinny for a while, so we started feeding her some canned kitten food in the morning. That kind of bulked her up, but now she expects morning breakfast (and gets very vocal if it’s not there) so I’ve just cut back the amount she gets. The chickens (because they are pets, really) are growing up quite quickly, but I’m happy to say that they put themselves to bed on a perch in their coop (if loose in their run) once it gets dark, so I don’t have to chase after them. They love grapes, mealworms, and crickets; they are undecided on tomatoes and cantaloupe. Corn is a winner, as are the parsley trimmings from the garden. I fed them steak trimmings the other day, but I don’t think they really went after it. I’m feeling pretty confident that Bunny will lay eggs; Buffy’s comb has started to turn a bright pink but her back feathers still look round and fluffy. I guess we’ll just have to see.

Now, for the dinner update. My mom went to Maine recently and, in return for watching 3 out of 4 dogs, she shipped live lobsters back. Not just for us, but for our friends, too! Nice, big lobsters – about 1 ¾ lbs each – all packed into a Styrofoam containers and checked as luggage. She was supposed to join us for dinner, but got waylaid in Chicago. Somehow, her checked luggage got out of Chicago to San Diego, though. It was my first attempt at cooking live lobsters, but it wasn’t nearly as exciting or dramatic as I’d been led to believe. I thought the lobsters would start fighting to get out or stick a claw out or something. Nothing. You toss them into boiling water, put the lid back on, then set your timer for 12 minutes. Come back, pick up a bright red lobster, crack the tail off, whack the claws, and get your melted butter ready. They were delicious! I even went through the tedious step of squeezing out all the leg meat. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to make a lobster scramble for breakfast. Leftover claw and tail meat got turned into lobster corn chowder… I suppose I could have saved the shells to make stock, but since I don’t even intend to make lobster bisque, I’m not sure why I would need quarts of lobster stock around. Chicken stock works just fine for me, thank you.

So, thank you so much, Mom, for the lobster dinner. It was delicious and we had a great time. I’m just sorry you weren’t there to dine with us. But, I’m glad you did eventually get into San Diego.