My Freezer, My Friend

We bought a gigantic ham for Easter. It was so yummy. And there was a ton of it left over. We ate a lot of the leftovers on sandwiches and in a casserole, but I froze the broth/juices and ham hock.

We were at the end of our groceries on Thursday. (Payday is Thursday.) You know how it is. The cupboard has remnants of Raisin Bran, some cans of sweet potatoes and an empty box of rice. The freezer has small bags of nuts, empty ice cube trays, and the bowl for my ice cream maker. And my freezer bag full of ham! I diced potatoes and carrots and put it in the pot with the ham hock. We had a delicious soup Thursday night. I was making up for the fact that we totally had Pizza Hut pizza the night before.  But I’m back into the swing of cooking.  I’ll post about Sweet Potato hash next time. BTW, I didn’t even consider using the canned sweet potatoes, but I should have.

Ode to Sour Cream Potatoes

Also known as Funeral Potatoes, these are DH’s other love. Tonight, I made a casserole dish full of them and they are baking in the oven. This was truly a labor of love, because when I turned around after shredding potatoes in the mini-chopper, Farley was covered head to toe in yogurt. Funny thing is, I had been checking on him regularly. Every time I looked he was spooning the yogurt into his mouth like a good little boy.

So, I had to stop mid-prep to put Farley in the bath. He actually hates baths. He’s all boy. But Tori loves the bath, so as soon as she heard the water running, she started undressing. Farley refused to sit in the tub, and Tori was trying to push me out of the way so she could get in. I had to use shampoo to get the raspberry yogurt out, but I opted out of the conditioner. Yogurt is probably good for your hair, I don’t know. So I now have two kids in the tub, one screaming to get out, and the other one screaming because the first one is screaming. She started attempting to hit or squeeze him to make him stop. That only made him scream more. I finally got the yogurt out, and Bob, bless him, came upstairs and asked if I needed any help. So of course I’m going to say yes when he asks to skip Scouts and go to the park with friends. Anyway, he takes naked Farley downstairs. I hear the friends yelping in embarrassment. As if they’ve never seen a naked boy. Duh.

Now I’ve got to shampoo and condition Tori’s hair, because I just have to. It gets really tangled. I’m shampooing her hair, and listening to the ruckus downstairs. I hear laughing and squealing and random phrases like, “…needs a diaper!” “where are the diapers?”. So I leave Tori, go downstairs and find a naked Farley terrorizing the 12 year olds. I recruit Dale to stir the Cream of Chicken soup into the potatoes/cheese/sour cream mixture, change Farley who was accidentally put in a pull-up. Go back upstairs, finish taking care of Tori’s hair, and come back downstairs to put the potatoes in the oven.

Whew. I couldn’t have done it without my oldest boys’ help. Then E came home and I asked her to go check on sis in the tub. I hear, “Oh No! Don’t poop in the bath!” Aren’t you glad I already had my hands in the food?

Cooking Mistakes Ad Nauseum

Well, there was that one time when I was seduced by an attractive photograph of carrot soup. I tried the recipe, and I’m pretty sure it turned out. BUT; it tasted like carrots. Smashed up carrots. DH and I ordered pizza.

Then there was the night I started to make chili. I fried up a pound of ground beef. I triple checked the date, but it just smelled off. So I dumped it and started cooking up another pound of ground beef. And it smelled off. So I dumped it. I don’t remember what we had instead, but I’m sure it didn’t involve ground beef.

Only a few weeks into our marriage, I thought I would surprise DH with homemade fried chicken. I knew baked chicken takes an hour, so I fried it for an hour. Mmm, chewy.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. I’m sure my loved ones who read this will be quick to remind me of others.

Mama Hates Shortenin’ Bread

Now’s your chance to add your two cents. Which do you prefer when baking? You all should know me by now; I use whatever I have on hand, so if I’m down to my last stick of butter, I’ll use shortening. If I have margarine out the whazoo, I use margarine. When I’m feeling healthy, I’ll use applesauce, which is a pretty dang good substitute in most cases. Maybe not cookies so much, but cupcakes, definitely.

It’s kind of like, do you prefer heart disease or cancer? Butter=cholestorel, margarine=weird toxins.

I don’t bake often. It’s too complicated. But I love people who are great bakers. A friend made these brownie things the other night that had a layer of chocolate chip cookie on top and then chocolate drizzled on top of that. O. M. Gee. I had one and booked it out of her house before I embarrassed myself with longing looks at the plate of dessert.

One of my best friends of all time also happens to be a great baker. Coincidence. Anyway, she made these incredible sugar cookies every Halloween with some orange frosting and chocolate chips to make a Jack O Lantern face.  I made a pig out of myself every Halloween. She moved to Utah, so maybe I’ll lose weight.

My sisters are also wonderful bakers. I missed the baking gene when they were handing them out. I was probably oogling over the invention of Hostess Twinkies.

Now, I just pulled some sugar cookies out of the oven. Don’t get excited; they’re from a mix, and I used shortening. Normally I wouldn’t notice the difference, BUT I just made some on Monday night when I had plenty of butter. Wow…gag. At least now I know that I prefer sugar cookies made with butter.