Sunday, July 02, 2017

A disreputable relative…and a cooking adventure

If you know much about me at all, you know I’m inordinately proud of my Scottish heritage. I’m a registered member of the MacBean Clan—my maiden name was MacBain. You also know that I’m a staunch progressive liberal, lifelong Democrat, and appalled by our current administration and Congress. Today, on Facebook, I read that Donald Trump is descended from the MacBains—you can imagine my horror. Someone poohpoohed that, saying everyone knows the Trumps are from Germany. Not so. His father’s people may be German, but I just read an article that claims his mother came from Scotland as a young woman—not, as he claimed, on a vacation but as a young, poverty-stricken woman seeking work. She apparently found it, and a rich husband. God bless her for that. Sorry about her son. But do  you suppose his notorious greed and acquisitiveness is simply a manifestation of good old Scottish penuriness? Nah, I don't think so.

But this Facebook posting (which could be a joke, but I suspect not) drew MacBains out of the woodwork. Years ago I was told by a Scotsman that we were one of the lesser clans—you’d never know it by the responses the post evoked. And they ranged all over, from “Yippee! I’m related to the president” to “Every family has its black sheep.” Enough said about my response, except that my son-in-law laughed heartily and said it was the ultimate irony.

On a happier note, I cooked a full dinner in my tiny kitchen tonight—well, I did ask Jordan to boil noodles, but I made chicken in a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce and wedge salads, mostly because I had a head of lettuce to use up. The chicken sauce was flavorful but more like a thin gravy than a creamy sauce. I think Christian had the right idea when he used cream of mushroom soup with his pot roast the other night. We may talk about avoiding processed food, and it’s one of my big themes, but those soups make wonderful sauces. I’m toying with the idea of trying it again but making a white sauce and flavoring it from there.

I sort of devised my own recipe for blue cheese dressing for wedge salad. All the recipes I saw called for buttermilk, which I love but didn’t have. One called for a quarter cup red wine vinegar and a startling teaspoon and a half of sugar. I combined equal parts mayo and sour cream, added white wine vinegar (all I had) and a generous pinch of sugar to round it off—but not anywhere as much as that recipe called for. Plus, of course, lots of blue cheese. Got raves from my two guests, Jordan and Christian, and there’s enough left over for another wedge salad for me.

My family was out of town overnight last night, so no church this morning. Home alone, I got an amazing amount of work done. A good day. The week looms empty—Jordan has lots of social obligations, since Jacob is with his other grandparents—but I know somehow it always fills up. I’m a happy camper tonight.

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