Saturday, January 23, 2010

An unexpected day

My horoscope today said not to sit back and wait for people to come to me but to go out, take a friend to lunch or for a walk, etc. Well, it turned out to be just the opposite. Jordan called about nine, said Jacob's play date was cancelled because he had a slight cough and fever and could they come about eleven to play so she could get out of the house--I swear that's what she said, but she denied it later. I rushed to two grocery stores and was home by 10:30. Jordan appeared with Jacob, his overnight suitcase, pillow and backpack, so naturally I asked if he was spending the night. She said no, but gradually it turned out he was spending the afternoon--she was going to console a friend in trouble and Christian was going to a funeral. So Jacob and I had the afternoon--he was lively and very hard to get down for a nap, but he finally slept two hours, woke up saying he was sad because he didn't feel good, gradually brightened when his mom got here and gave him Motrin. By 6:30, he was swinging from the rafters--and my planned day of working on my second novel was gone (more about that another day).
At lunchtime, my brother called. They were in town and wanted to take me to Carshon's, my favorite deli, for lunch. I had to decline since Jacob was eating his "awful waffle" and I was in the midst of tuna fish. But I really really would have liked to visit with them. If it ever happens again, I'll ask if they have a grandchild's car seat in their car.
Finally Jacob and I each got a long nap, and then I cooked dinner for his parents. He asked me to cuddle him, and I said Iwould in a minute--I had to go start the dinner. So when I came back and asked if he wanted to cuddle, he said, "No, you go cook the dinner some more."
I fixed a favorite of mine and Christian's--German potato salad. The original recipe, found I don't know where, called it Polka Dot Salad, because you cut hot dogs up in it. I've never done that, but did tonight--good Hebrew National dogs.
The potato salad is easy, partly because I buy canned sliced potatoes--cheating, but they hold up better than potatoes you cook yourself. Fry three or four slices of bacon until crisp, remove and drain, and saute chopped scallions and celery in the grease (I can't believe I'm using bacon grease this week when I decided to devote myself to Weight Watchers). Add three Tbsp. flour and stir in; then make a sauce by adding 1/2 parts water and cider vinegar (I think I usually use half a cup of each). The sauce was too thick tonight, and I added a bit more, in proportion. Add 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (which I realized I forgot tonight and kept wondering why it looked so pale). Dump in two cans sliced potatoes, the crumbled bacon, and sprinkle with parsley. If adding hot dogs, grill them first (Jacob doesn't like charred hot dogs--thinks they're dirty!) and stir them. Heat until warm and serve. Add some canned green beans--which Christian and Jacob love and I can barely tolerate--and you've got a yummy dinner.
I've been fixing this since my kids were little. Not too many years ago either my niece or nephew tasted it and said, "I remember when you used to cook this." It really is good!

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