I came home from a meeting the other night and was searching my purse for my house keys when this stopped me in my tracks. I have less than a year with her. That’s less than a year of coming home to see her pouring over homework in the kitchen. Less than a year of goodnight hugs. Less than a year of watching her grow up because she’ll be grown, sort of. My heart crawled up my throat as if to find voice to say time was running out. Time waits for no one.
Like every weekend in the history of weekends, we woke up Sunday morning to little eyes searching ours for any signs of life. Any parent can predict the question asked by children on your only days off, “Are we going to do anything today?” The answer came by way of a wish. “You know what would be nice, honey?” I asked. “Hmmm?”, he answered, in the middle of breakfast prep. “A little plastic pool, it’s such a pretty day out.”
One plastic pool later and you’d think we took the kids to a water park! We tossed around a wet tennis ball and laughed as the mist from the flying orb splashed us in the face. “Mist ball” Sommer called it. Sommer had a hard time catching and I think it had something to do with the pool being two feet away from her. She managed to fall in it almost every time. I got the orchard end of the field and Peyton got the jungle side. If there’s one thing I’ve been reminded of by this weekend, it’s that your time is more valuable than anything you can give your child. If you can’t afford that, you’ll never really be rich. Ever.
Since Honey made breakfast and lunch, it was only fair to let him sit dinner out. Do I hear an “awwwww”? I wanted to make something hearty, warm and comforting, so I chose Paula Deen’s recipe for beef stew. Peyton wanted to have a nice dessert and after some debating, we all settled on a matcha (green tea) cheesecake. You’ll find the recipe for the cheesecake in I Kusina. Hope you have fun making these meals, we sure enjoyed eating them.
This recipe is so easy and for people like me who don’t care for meaty dishes, it was surprisingly . . . well, it was meaty. Start by browning your beef in oil then pour in the water, seasonings, onions, garlic, bay leaves, everything but the carrots and potatoes, in the pot. Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Hmmm, what to do for 30 minutes? Wash dishes, blech. Let it boil first, then leave it at a medium to low simmer. I used carrots and potatoes, but Paula’s recipe calls for celery. You can use whatever you have in the fridge and just plop them in to the pot for another 10 minutes or until they’re as firm/soft as you want them. Save about a cup of the broth in a small bowl and add 1/4 cup of cornstarch to it, mixing it well so you have no clumps. Pour that into the pot and stir until it thickens. That’s it, pancit! This is seriously so good, you might want to make more for leftovers.
Dinner can get pretty loud at our house. Sometimes I feel like there’s a great big sign on my forehead that says ASK ME ANYTHING – ALL AT ONCE AND REALLY FAST! Tonight was no exception, the table was a stage and everyone was a comedienne.
Peyton: Who would you want to be stuck in an elevator with?
Honey: Think hard about this one, babe.
Peyton: A mechanic!
Me: A magician!
Hope: Magic is an illusion.
Me: A magician and my therapist?
Here’s another one…
Hope: Hey mom, you know what’s weird?
Me: When old people dance the jerk? When someone comes up to you and starts carrying on a conversation and you can’t figure out how you know them or what they’re name is. Oh, and also, why is it that….
*That awkward moment when your mom’s unmomlike behavior distracts you.
Hope: Listen to this guys. 007 and a Chicken are introduced:
“The name’s Bond. James Bond.”
“Hi, my name is Ken. Chick Ken.”
The laughter was the perfect condiment for a family meal. It makes it extra fun when you laugh so hard soup comes out your nose.
In our house, you have to do your reading. Doesn’t Sommer look thrilled? By thrilled I mean she would rather be bush-cutting in a typhoon.
Honey asked for dessert after I had made a wonderful shrimp soup in coconut milk for dinner. Oh what the heck, it’s the least I could do after he spent the.whole.day playing golf with my father. I’ll never know the depth of that sacrifice.
Everything’s a group effort in our household (Hallelujah!). Hope did ask if we could buy a dishwasher after having to take care of the dishes from dinner and baking. Silly Hope, this was all part of my master plan, have enough babies for each chore at home and never lift a finger again! (Insert evil laugh here)
- How awful would it be if we called it Thankstaking? (bondotmom.com)
- I Love You Very Mochi (bondotmom.com)
I think Food Network should start kicking things up a notch on Chopped. I propose Reality Baskets because the ingredients they lump together are already ridiculous enough that you might as well put them together with real life crazy situations. Like:
Mom Hasn’t Sent Money Yet Starving Student Basket: ramen noodles, peanut butter, beer, doritos, a packet of ketchup
My Government Values Me So Much Austerity Dinner Basket: canned tuna, instant coffee, corn pops, bitter melon, soy sauce
CUC Did It Again No Power Basket: hot dogs, kim chee, navy biscuits, mayo, oranges
Hanging On To The Floor At 3am and I’m Hungry Basket:spaghetti noodles, spam, velveeta cheese, canned corn, pork rinds
See, this is exactly why watching TV is bad for your imagination.
Not done yet.
What basket would you put together?
- The Ghetto Gourmet’s Guide to Cheap and Healthy Meals (pinkcollarghetto.wordpress.com)
- Instant Tuna Noodles (rainydayrecipes.wordpress.com)
The other day Hope asked me to help her with a project and I sighed and went, “Okay” because I thought it was going to be another four hours of helping her find allusions (why don’t they just say what they mean!). Then she said it was a cooking project for her Japanese class and I went, “Okaaay!” because I can totally do cooking projects. So, I found some basic recipes and we tweaked them to make our own. Since it was a class assignment, she’d also have to write about it, so I invited her to do a guest post right here on my blog. If that didn’t make her feel famous, I don’t know what will. I proudly bring you The Adventures In Mochi, by Hope Leilani, The Best 16 Year Old Daughter In The Whole Entire Universe (And Beyond). The rest of the writing is hers, except for the few spots where I butted in. That’s my prerogative as
the woman who suffered through water retention and morning sickness a mother.
Just made our entrance in Himawari, and on a quest to find the right rice flour, there’s so many to choose from! Trying hard to figure out what they mean, I’ve studied hard, but my Japanese is not that advanced yet.
Mochiko or Sweet Glutinous Rice Flour (1 box or 2 cups)
Green Tea Powder (3 teaspoons) – You can also use any other flavoring you want, we used red bean paste, strawberry jelly and green tea. To tint mochi, you can also use any food coloring. I wouldn’t do black, just a suggestion.
Water (2 cups)
1 Can Coconut Milk – or you could climb a tree, knock about two mature coconuts down, grind them, squeeze the milk out of them and viola! That’s what I thought, one can.
Potato Starch (only for dusting) – the mochi dough is stickier than fly trap adhesive, don’t skip buying this.
Sugar (1 cup)
Mmm, coconut milk. Island style mochi, gives it that coconutty flavor!
This is me (mom) and Peyton, I snuck this picture in because it’s frightening how much we look alike and how serious we look when we’re cooking. Believe me when I say we were really having fun.
Peyton Ha’ani! My beautiful little sister helps by stirring the delicious strawberry mochi blend. Thanks for helping my sis, instead of watching Nickelodeon!
Me pouring the red bean paste mochi into a pan, anticipating the results! I could already imagine how good it would taste.
This is me (mom) again. Hold the drumroll. That greased pan of mochi needs to go in the oven for an hour at 325 degrees first, Hope.
Okay, now the drumroll!
Ta-da ! Our finished masterpiece (It’s like riding a fluffy cloud through a colorful rainbow)
Yes, but before you eat this fluffy cloud, you have to actually dust it with potato starch or it will be icky sweet goo. Dust the top of the pan with starch, turn in over and dust the other side. You can either cut the mochi and redust all sides or you can roll them up in balls and dust again. Either way, you’re getting potato starch all over your hands and clothes, but it’s totally oishi. Enjoy.
My personal experience in making mochi was really cool! I had fun learning how to make it because it is my favorite Japanese desert and now I can make some for my friends and family to enjoy. I did it with the help of my mom and sisters, and it was nice to spend time together as a family. I want to thank my mom and sisters because I don’t know if I could have done it or I would have struggled without them. We got the recipe from the internet and worked together. Doing everything step by step and from scratch, is to me, better than just buying it because you can be proud of yourself for learning new things and doing it yourself. This motivates me to learn new recipes. The end result of the mochi was really great, and I was happy because it was my first time making it. We made three kinds, strawberry mochi, mochi with red bean paste inside, and green tea mochi. Now, I would like to learn how to make mochi ice cream. Thanks for assigning this project, Mrs. Peters, because I had a really good time and I got to eat yummy food afterward! ~ Hope
- M is for Mochi (Asian Style) (dietiscorrect.wordpress.com)
Zebras In A Jar
The only thing cornier than cake in a jar would probably be … I don’t know… meatloaf in a jar? That didn’t stop me! I’m fearless when it comes to cutesy desserts. I got thumbs up from honey and the girls who got to sample what didn’t go into packaging. Peyton said they were cool and even if they ended up tasting yucky, they looked real neat. I Love it!
What went wrong:
I used chocolate pudding because hey, it is a whole freaking individual portion I couldn’t bear the thought of feeding anyone that much frosting. The pudding was way too thin, mostly because I didn’t let it set properly. That’s because I couldn’t wait to see what it would look like all put together. I also never made the chocolate ganache I wanted to because I miscalculated how much space a cupcake takes in a jar. Bummer.
What went right:
I made a batch of simple white cake and substituted shortening for butter. See now why I used pudding? This made the cake super moist and fluffy. I also baked them in a cupcake pan so that it would be easier to cut them and fit them into the glass jars.
What I’ll do next time:
I’m dying to make something with jars and an old fashioned Chamorro dessert recipe. I’ve been talking about it for like, weeks. I can’t tell you what it is, but you’ll be the first to see when I do it. Somebody please have a party so I can bake again.
Honorable mention goes to honey for giving me the idea of the “tree” on top of the jar. He saved me from hours of having to cut faux leaves, which I was already doing to no avail.