Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Fallen off the face of the earth
No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth LOL! I have literally been too busy to blog. Can you believe that? How can that even be? But it is true. A quick run-up. Good Friday Went to my parents house to "make easter bread". This entails a family recipe and an entire day of mixing, kneading, waiting for things to rise, baking, and washing more bread pans than you can shake a stick at. How much bread? Well, 60 cups of flour....does that say something? I forgot my camera so no pics of us in baker mode. But I did manage to bring home one souvineer: Somebody visiting their neighbour across the street backed straight into my car. Not the best easter present, but at least she came and knocked on the door. A lot of people would have taken off. Not impressed about no fault insurance and having to pay the deductable (I don't want to take anybody to court for that, it would cost me more in lost wages and expenses) but I guess that is life. Saturday Back to mom and dad's to colour eggs. Yes, we are adults and we still colour eggs with our parents. At least now we have children so can use them as an excuse ;). See, the eggs we colour today are chilled overnight and we have them for easter breakfast. Practical. See? Over the years we have made many an egg-colouring convert. They all start off with "colouring eggs is for kids, I stopped doing that when I was 8". Then we convince them to make ONE. "If you don't make one, what will you eat tomorrow?". This turns into making as many as they plan to eat. Then soon, they make a couple more. The next thing you know, they are drawing bunnies and using complex dying techniques (like clear crayons and multiple dips). We are like the borg of dying eggs. Sunday Morning Ah yes, Easter Sunday. Normally it is breakfast with my family and dinner with his. But for various reasons, Easter Sunday was all my family this year. DD got up to find the Easter Bunny had made a visit. Quite thrilled about the bike, she was. No candy from the Easter Bunny. Last year she got (and I am not kidding, we added it up) 30 pounds of assorted chocolate and candy from family. We decided that the Easter Bunny could get away with bringing a few small toys and books in this house! Early in the day we had a breakfast of boiled eggs, ham kolbassa, easter raisin bread (baked by yours truly and dad), and other assorted goodies (bacon, ham, fruit, and so on). We do "a thing" with the eggs. We call it egg fights. I will let you form visions of us pelting each other with hard boiled eggs for a moment here. Actually, it is a much more genteel activity. One person holds an egg end up. The other holds their egg one end down, and taps the egg of their opponent. One or the other end will crack. Then it switches, the hitter becomes the tappee. The goal is to have an egg with at least one undefeated end. Of course, that is assuming you are not hungry. If you really want to eat the goal is to get both ends cracked so you can have your breakfast. You go person to person until you are defeated, and they continue on in your place. What do you mean, why not just grab an egg and crack it on the table? Where is the sport in THAT? Over the years various tricks have been tried. Dying an unboiled egg (the shell is much harder but when you lose, you LOSE). Covering the ends in various substances (layers of crayon, paint, stickers, nail polish). Sneaking in a boiled duck egg. That sort of thing. Have I mentioned yet that we are nerds of the highest sort? When we were younger, it was a rule that we could only play eggs that we intended to eat. White AND yolk. That choking yolk! We loved the white, but that yellow ball in the middle was a problem. We were not allowed to waste it. You might get lucky and pass one off to dad, but how many yolks can one man eat? No wonder the guy has heart issues and clogged arteries, it was the yolks! No, we had to find a better way to rid ourselves of the despised object so we could fight another egg and eat another white. There was rolling them under the couch. Crumbling them into potted plants. The ever popular flushing them down the toilet. The dog could only eat so many before throwing up yellow sludge on every bed in the house so we used that one sparingly. Now that grandchildren are involved (and we all know that grandchildren get a different set of rules than children in a family dynamic) we no longer insist that they eat their yolks. At least I don't insist DD does. I noticed my youngest niece carefully hiding a yolk under a pile of egg shells, so another generation of yolk concealers lives on. Just a note, that trick wouldn't have lasted a minute with my mother. She inspected every shell bowl before tossing them. After all that, we gave the kids their easter gifts (nothing big, chocolate bunnies, skipping ropes, pails and shovels, that sort of thing) then parted ways for a few hours before dinner. We came home so I could do some cooking ahead for Monday and DD could get a bit of rest. Sunday Evening Back to mom and dads for dinner. Ham. Two kinds of meat balls. More kolbassa. "Party potato casserole" (hash browns, canned soup, and cheese basically). Lasagne. Again, being a nerd, I brought green beans and carrots. Sure I was the only person who took any, but I get some points for bringing them, don't I? My grandmother brought her famous cabbage rolls. I have not tasted one of her cabbage rolls in ten years. All the meals where they are a mainstay, I forfeited to DH's family when we got married. And there is no asking that one of grandma's cabbage rolls be set aside, either. There would be bloodshed! I swear I had a tear in my eye while I ate. This may be grandmother's last batch of cabbage rolls (arthritis, knee problems, cataracts, and so on) which made it even more touching for me. Yes, I get emotional over food LOL. Not sure what was for dessert (I don't eat dessert) but I hear that there was a lot of choice and it was all very good. Monday For some reason, Good Friday is a holiday here but Easter Monday is not. Well, if you are an autoworker it is, but they get all the good holidays. So DH was off, and invited his entire family to our house for dinner. Let me just say, that this means 9 people including us so it's not like a whole busload of people. Living at home we often cooked for more people than that for a regular weekday dinner. BUT. Monday and Tuesday I was scheduled to be IN THE OFFICE for meetings all day. Not working at home, but in the office. How was I going to get the house ready and cook food with the schedule we had all week-end AND work out of the house that day? Several late nights cooking ahead, that's how. I made a minute by minute reheated and duty schedule for DH to follow Monday. And it worked out really well! He followed the schedule pretty much to the letter. I basically walked in just in time to slice the ham and dish out a few things before they arrived ready to eat. I have to applaud DH, the house was clean, DD was dressed and pretty, and everything was heated according to my instructions. He did an excellent job. His family is not a fan of my cooking, and normally just picks. But this time, they licked the platters clean! 7.5 pounds of ham, a whole chicken casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy. Again, nobody touched the veggies or the salad, but we all know they have to go on the table LOL. After they left, we figured it out. THEY THOUGHT DH COOKED THE MEAL. They weren't afraid to taste everything because of a pre-conceived notion that I was going to hide some strange spice in there. You know, like garlic ;). We also made bunny cakes (a cake round sliced in half and stood up, covered in cool whip, with paper bunny ears). They kind of looked like something out of a "When bunnies go bad" documentary so it is best not to show a picture. Tuesday Back in the office to get the life sucked out of me in one long meeting. I forgot how these meetings are soul draining, mind-numbing experiences. That is enough about that. Tuesday evening I spent cleaning stuff up, doing laundry, and carting my daughter around the city before falling into bed and sleeping so hard that I snored.