Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Reason-al vs. Season-al vs. Lifetimers

It is officially fall, with a hint of winter, even. I was actually really chilly on the way to the gym this morning and regretted not wearing a warm jacket. And the heat in our building switched on, which is a sure sign of dipping temperatures. The weather change seemed to happen so quickly. I’m not complaining (yet) because I love the fall and love the chilly weather, but winter with toddlers in New York City is not going to easy, I fear. I look forward to snow days when I can put them in snow suits, because I feel like once they are layered in those puffy winter outfits they won’t be as fast moving. I am also considering custom-making ankle weights for them. They are too fast.

For someone who prides herself on organization, I am not terribly organized about the upcoming wedding. I have yet to reserve the gazebo; I have yet to figure out what to wear; and I haven’t even thought about pictures, video, etc. Time runs away from me at an alarmingly fast rate. I don’t know where the hours, the days and the weeks go, cliché but true.

And Nicole leaves for San Francisco this weekend and will be gone for a week. One week. Well, six days, but still, it is a long time.

Over the weekend, my friends threw me a mini shower, which was really a brunch with presents! We met at Max Brenners in the East Village. It was so much fun. These are people I have been friends with for twenty plus years. It reminds me of that quote about how friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. These are the lifetimers. It is amazing how we are all still close, even though we no longer live in the same town or play field hockey together or drive around aimlessly on a Saturday night. There is a part of me that feel like all friends need to be lifetimers like this, but I am slowly realizing that there is a place for reasonal and seasonal friends. For me, that is huge. Me, the one who hates to burn bridges and let friendships go, is starting to grow up a bit. But these are the people that I might end up living with a la Golden Girls 50 years from now.

What I really enjoyed was the portion of the brunch when everyone made a bead bracelet for me. They dropped beads onto a string while offering wishes, wisdom and advice. I am a sucker for that sort of stuff; symbolism is everything to me. That is why I love charm bracelets. I will be that (hopefully) crazy old great grandmother clutching my bead bracelet and charm bracelet in my knobby fingers, trying to explain it to my great great grandkids.

An interesting development: My children are products of the Advertising and Commercialization, despite my best efforts. Avery’s first word might be Abby, which is interesting since she has never seem Sesame Street. They have a hand-me-down book that features Abby, and she loves to read it, so that is where she got it from. The other day she starts saying “Abbb-hee. Abb-heee,” in context. Yesterday, She said “mommy,” but the refused to say it again when prompted, instead smiling devilishly. They both say Mama, but randomly. No dada, interestingly. They also say Gay Agenda (just kidding). They speaks volumes in babble, and recently their babble has rounded a decidedly enunciated corner. It is very cute. If I ask for a kiss, they usually shake there head no, but if I ask for a honk-honk, they oblige and pinch my nose. To sum up: No affection, but sure, they will squeeze my nose.

And random notes: In my attempts to stop buying processed food, I made stuffing from scratch and it is safe to say it was awful, epically so. Why do foods that are less processed and better for you taste so bad sometimes? I LOVE Stove Top, bit mine tasted nothing like it. It was so soggy that it was almost inedible, though Nicole ate most of hers and said it was nit bad, which means either she has gotten good at lying to me or she has really lowered her standards for my cooking. Maybe I need to try another recipe. Or maybe I just need to buy Stovetop and stop worrying that it will kill me. Despite that setback, I am attempting another recipe tonight that requires bread: Onion bread soup. It is such a good day for something like that.

I forget: Will a nonstick wok kill us?

Pictured above, the Lifetimers through the ages: Circa 1999, 2000-something and last weekend.


Lynnbug said...

A recipe for you:

Note: I am not a measurer

Cornbread Stuffing

Cornbread: 2 cups cornmeal
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk (or enough buttermilk to make the batter run like cake batter)

Pour batter into a hot greased baking pan. Bake until golden brown at 400 degrees

Let cornbread cool


Crumble cornbread
4 eggs
2 cans chicken broth (or you can make your own which is even better)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Pet milk
1 cup chopped onions (optional)
1 cup chopped celery (optional)
1 cup chopped cook chicken (optional)

Mix all this together - it will be runny like soup--pour into greased pan. A pretty deep one.

Back until golden brown. Can be served with or without gravy.

This is not like stove top but it is a good southern style dressing.

Lynnbug said...

I forgot to tell you about the spices--duh!

Salt and pepper to taste. Add a little sage--be careful with that. I do all this to taste--hence the no measuring. You can tweak all the ingredients to your taste. If you want the stuffing really moist--add more chicken broth, a little less moist--less chicken broth. For me--moist is better so dont be afraid of the mixture if it seems too runny. It should pour like cake batter for real. It will cook up really fluffy and tasty. NOT SOGGY!

jeannineomalley said...

I have almost the same recipe as Lynnbug (and funny, it is my husband's Cajun granny's secret recipe!) but we use the jiffy brand cornbread mix (not sure if that has bad stuff in it) and one bag of Pepridge Farms stuffing crumbs(again, not sure if it is just breadcrumbs or if it is processed), omit pet milk, but all the rest of the ingredients are the same. I sautee the celery and onions in a stick of butter, and also add a few green onions and some chopped fresh parsley. I know the condensed soups are super processed, and have left them out of the recipe in the past and it has been almost as good (just need extra broth for moisture). The addition of the stuffing crumbs gives it more of the traditional "stove top" texture, but I swear it is so much better than any other stuffing/dressing you have ever tasted. I usually boil a chicken with bouquet garni and veggies to make stock to use in the recipe and cut up the cooked chicken to add in.

We also are trying to live life with less processed foods, but you are so right, to get homemade to taste as good takes a lot more effort and with twin toddlers running underfoot, who has the time?

I'm doing a recipe swap with some friends now, if you'd like to participate let me know and I'll add you to the list. Who couldn't use more quick, healthy and tasty ideas for dinner?

Carey said...

Good job on the cooking!! (even if it didn't come out all that great!) You are right though - processed crap tastes so yummy. I think it's all the salt!

As for babbling... Hudson won't say mama for anything. Both him & Bennett say dada all the time. Kate though - she says mama :) No in context or anything, but it's interesting to say the least.

Malea said...

I was going to suggest a recipe for cornbread dressing ,but somebody beat me to it. I think you'll like it and can make it your dish of the Thanksgiving season:)And you can add things like osters to personalize it too.

amy said...

great pictures! i have friends like that and there's nothing better! i also have a hard time navigating the seasonal vs. life timers. i'm not a big fan of change either ; )

My BF is stringing a necklace that will be symbolic of our friends love & support for my wife at our baby shower next month during her labor/birth process. i think it's such a cool concept so was excited for you when i read that your friends did it for your wedding shower.

Kerry Lynn said...

I'm only plugging myself again because you still mention you haven't figured out pictures for the wedding yet.

Just trying to help you out!


Shereen said...

Perservere with the homemade stuffing. It took me a little while to sort out my recipe to mine and my family's taste, but now that I have, they turn their noses up at stovetop. Although my MIL has gone in the other direction, and buys only stovetop these days; she says she can't be bothered with the hassle. I'm starting to feel like homemade is some sort of phase that we go through. Does this mean we'll all be eating KD in our 80s? Shudder.

CD and SP said...

just use stainless steel!
a friend of ours is getting married in june and has some crazy fabulous photographer that we could perhaps get you in contact with up here if you wish it...