Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Saga of a grandmother--and a neat recipe

It's been a while since I cooked a big dinner on a weeknight for family and then got a six-year-old ready for bed, with full directions on what to do the next three mornings. But Jacob is with me for three nights--his parents are off to Mexico to celebrate his father's big 40 birthday. I will send him to day camp (right across the street from me) tomorrow and Thursday, with full instructions about packing lunches, what time he has to be there, all that good stuff. Sheesh! You'd think I've never done this before. Friday, his paternal grandparents will take him for the weekend. I'm actually excited about having him for three days and have arranged a full social schedule--tomorrow night I'll fix spaghetti for friends (much younger) who have a four-year-old who Jacob adores. And an 18-month old, which means we have to clean up all the tiny Leggos, etc. Thursday night my good friend and Jacob's Aunt Betty will come by and we'll go out for dinner. Jacob has chosen Mexican. But that night we also have to pack, bathe, etc.
I don't use the crockpot as much as I should but early (really early!) this morning I followed a recipe (which turned out to be more complicated than I thought) and put pork chops on to cook all day. A trick I learned: when they're through cooking, strain the broth off and put the solid things (minus bay leaves but mostly sliced onion) in the blender and puree. Then add to the broth and thicken with cornstarch. The onions gave the gravy a sweet taste. Had lots left over so I froze it for a soup base this winter.
But I also fixed Louella's Rice, of which Christian ate three helpings and declared he'd rather have that than birthday cake. Simplest recipe in the world. Mix:
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup minute rice
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 4 oz. can green chiles
Bake @ 350 until bubbly
In between all those chores, I had breakfast with a friend, wrote 2,000 words, did my yoga routine, partially carried a 55 lb. dog up and down the two steps to the yard twice--and got a much-needed nap. What happened to the simple life, living alone and peacefully writing?
I am worried about Scooby. He keeps his balance pretty well in the back yard because he can get traction on the ground. But his legs splay out on my hardwood floors, and I have to hoist his back end up. And he is terrified of those steps--begins to shake when he gets near them. It's a week and a half since his "incident" and they tell me it will get better. He is better, but not nearly as much as I'd hoped. Yet obviously tonight, he wanted to come in--did not want to be left out. And he plays with the little dog when he's outside. Not ready to call it quits.

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