Monday, October 20, 2008

Food, Glorious Food!!

Okay, now on to something we can all agree on... food and the fatty goodness thereof!

Yeah, yeah, I do my best to eat healthily. After all, I knocked off over 40 lbs back in '06-'07 and I'm not about to let my weight creep that high again. My knees were KILLING me! My joints appear to much happier when I'm more in the 150's range.

That said, there are some things I just won't cut out of my diet. I flatly refuse. For example, life simply isn't worth living to me if I can't have cheese. I know, I know, saturated fats, bad, naughty... well, tough.

Fat is a flavor carrier, and some fat in our diets is necessary. Now, perhaps not the amount of fat that I prefer, but all in all I think I strike a fairly good balance.

Then again, there are the days when I don't, like when I fix Super Taters as a side dish.

Grandma, aka Dad's mom who passed away this past March, is the one who brought Super Taters into our family. I think she got the recipe for "Gourmet Potatoes", as they were originally called before Dad and my uncle got their hands on the name, out of some magazine or cookbook written back in the glorious 1940's, before levels of cholesterol and triglycerides were measured on a regular basis. Let me tell you, they are TOTALLY teh awesome. I am so not kidding here. They are also utterly a heart attack in a casserole dish. Potatoes, cheddar cheese, sour cream, butter, chives... oh drool.

And just so I'm not alone in my addiction I'm posting the recipe. Have some, call your cardiologist, then give me an update ;)

Super Taters

6 medium potatoes (equals one 5 lb. bag)
2 cups shredded cheddar
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sour cream (room temp.)
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
other seasonings (I like the Montreal Steak Seasoning and extra garlic powder) to taste

Cook (boil) potatoes in skins, cool. Peel and shred coarsely. In saucepan over low heat, combine cheese and 1/4 cup butter, stirring occasionally until almost melted. Remove from heat and blend in sour cream, onions, salt and pepper. Fold in potatoes, and turn into greased 2 qt casserole. Dot with 2 tsp. butter. Bake 25 min. or until heated through, 350 degrees. Serves 8.

Note: shredding the potatoes is a total pain in the asterisk. I've found this can be somewhat mitigated by a) leaving out the peeling of the boiled potatoes, because the shredding kills the large chunks of skin anyway, and b) delegating the shredding task entirely to your scullery assistant while you do the melting of the cheese and butter mixture.

Oh, and for where you're to fold the butter, cheese, sour cream, etc. into the shredded potatoes? It's my experience that there's no spoon strong enough to stand up to the heft of these combined ingredients. Just scrub down your hands and plunge 'em in. An added bonus is once you're done mixing you get to lick it all off your fingers. Yay!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Note: Y'all, this post contains some potential hot-button issues. The point isn't to discuss the nature of sin, the point is how we as parents deal with things our kids bring to us. Full disclosure: socially, I am a liberal. So if you continue to read, please understand that my viewpoint is going to reflect that stance.

Enter the Gum Zombie:

"Mommy, am I gay? Because the kids at school keep saying I am. Just because I like a girl! It's just one girl... and she's not that big even."

Mournful face on the Gum Zombie ensues.

Look of combined horror and extreme amusement carefully stifled on the mother's face.

"No, sweetie. You're not gay. You're five."


And with that, the Gum Zombie skipped off merrily. Problem solved.

It's good to be five.


Being thirty-eight, on the other hand, and a mother, has a few screaminess inducing moments.

Arrrrrgh!!!!!! Good grief. I mean, I know at this point in young-people parlance that "gay" is the new "stupid", i.e., just insert "stupid" instead of "gay" in nearly any teen or pre-teen conversation and you'll have the same meaning. However, I am not to the stage yet where I can view this sort of thing with any degree of equanimity.

I honestly don't care in the grand scheme of things whether my sons are eventually attracted to girls or boys. I just want one of them to bring home a doctor to pander to my ever-increasing hypochondriac nature.

Oh, and I'd like them to be happy too. Ahem.

But facing facts, it's much easier to be "straight", so to speak, in our society. I don't want either of my sons to have to deal with homosexuality in a world that still on many levels would discriminate against them. It's not a choice, though... and so, like any parent, I just worry that my children will have harder situations to deal with than I wish they would have had.


Calling in the older son:

"Uhm, honey, do you know what "gay" means?"

"Well, I know that one meaning for it is happy. And it also has a bad meaning too. I mean, when I ask [the Gum Zombie] if he's gay, I'm just asking if he's happy."

Cue a rather smarmily-saintly expression on the nine-year-old's face.

Because, you know, Mommy was obviously born yesterday.

Cue exasperated inner eyeroll on the part of said maternal unit.

"Sweetie, another meaning for gay is when boys have boyfriends and girls have girlfriends. Asking your brother if he's gay because he likes a girl is just silly."

"Really?? Like instead of a girlfriend, a boy would have a boyfriend?"


"That's weird."

"No, it's just different."


And the nine-year-old wanders off looking vaguely puzzled.

It can be confusing to be nine.


Shoot, how else am I going to handle it? I think I did okay, with the exception of the fact that I'm now going to be That Woman Who Told Her Son What Gay Means Thus Enabling Him To Infect Our Precious Offspring With This Information.

Sigh. I give.