Monday, March 23, 2009

Another Sunday dinner

This time I made the time honored Sunday Chicken so that the world would continue on its customary rotation. Still things happen proving that its not because I didn't make the aforementioned chicken. Still, I am told that it would have been much worse had I not made the chicken. Whatever!

We had a lovely Saturday morning attending my nephew's 1st Communion. It was a very nice ceremony. I got a great picture of him and his cash gifts that's hysterical!

After that we hurried home to change and head back out to a track meet that was interrupted 4 times by rain. At one point hubby and I ran to the truck and sat there for over half an hour waiting for it to stop. the fifth downpour made them call it off. So, all that running around and getting wet and waiting for nothing. Oh, well.

Sunday I got to sleep in (10 o'clock!). I started laundry and at one point noticed 19s light was on. I opened his door to get dirty clothes and noticed he wasn't in bed. HUH? How did he leave and I didn't see him? I see his comforter on the floor and start walking over to pick it up and put it on the bed then I realize he's under it! on the floor! Why is he sleeping on the floor when he has the newest and bestest mattress in the house? Befuddled I turn off the light and close the door. 16 sees me and wants to be sure that he didn't wake him. He was trying to be quiet. I tell him he's sleeping on the floor. Huh? Why? I don't know. Look. I open the door and turn on the light. He see him. We retreat and he asks me why is he on the floor? I don't know.
The morning continues with breakfast, laundry, menu planning, grocery lists, online banking, a call to my brother and 16 returns from mass announcing he's going to the beach. Wait, I have been waiting for the car to run my errands. Are you taking the car? Well, if not you have to drop me off at a friends house right now they are waiting for me. I grab my things and we get in the car. We soon discover that I left my wallet at home and only have 2 loose dollars to give him to go to the beach. He goes anyway, hoping to borrow what he needs from others. So, I have to return home to get my wallet and go visit GM. As I am ready to head back home, 19 calls on hubby's phone because he can't find his phone and can't log in to his laptop. We have no land line in the house so he's basically cut off from civilization because he won't use the desktop because he says its too slow. He was actually knocking on a neighbors door to ask to use their phone when hubby pulled up and saved the day.
We go to his girlfriends workplace to borrow her phone because gratefully she has the phone # of where we think the phone is. Bingo! It's there, thank God for small favors. He goes to pick it up while I continue on the house chores but not before he enlightened me to the fact that he slept on the floor because it was hot and the floor is cooler than the bed. Go figure! We still can't get the laptop to work and so I enlist friends who are more computer savvy than I and hopefully today we get it fixed. I also had a new keyboard ordered for it because he's missing the i key and it a very common letter in the English language, in case you didn't know. It's even used 3 times in his password which was a pain in the butt without the key.
I had made another flan to see if I could get it right before he left and we tried it after dinner. I nailed it. Delish! We also had tres leches which friends brought over and 19 loves. So, I made the Sunday dinner, enough to include girlfriend who didn't join us for dinner only dessert which gave me leftovers for lunch today. And 16 didn't grace us with his presence for dinner as he had dinner with his beach friends.
We hung out after dinner catching up on 19s friends from grade school to find out that many of them aren't doing so well in college, some are drunk most of the time, some he says are doing drugs and one of them is pregnant. It was a bit of a rude awakening. We even dug out a yearbook to make sure we knew who we were talking about and 16 found a picture where 19 looked like the actor from the slumdog movie which he afterwards went to see with his girlfriend.
That was I am told a good Sunday that would have been much more gone awry had I not made the Sunday chicken. Gimme patience.

Friday, March 20, 2009

30 years!

When did I become old enough to say "I haven't seen them in 30 years!"? I mean that means I am over 30 and over 30 by enough years to remember something happened before then. When the hell did that happen?

I had lunch the other day with a woman I hadn't seen in 30 years! We caught up on the entire family and I found out that her mother just turned 100! Holy Crap! 100 years old and still going strong with her memory intact. Her son is now an actor. Maybe you have seen him. Laz Alonso.

I just tried to insert a picture here but apparently I don't know how.

Anyway, it was a great lunch. She brought pictures of a red carpet movie opening she went to and it was great to see her hamming it up.

Then last night I found out that a girlfriend's second son is now driving! He has his learner's permit. OMG! He's too young for that. I'm getting too old too quickly! OMG! When did this happen?!

Last week they took an hour, this week 30 years! OMG! Gimme patience.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top of the morning to you, and the rest of the day to yourself!

There is absolutely nothing Irish about me. I'm sure we'd have to go back to the beginning of time to trace any roots even remotely near Ireland. Yet, somehow, today everyone has a little bit of the luck 'o the Irish in them, don't they? I remember in grade school going around pinching people if they didn't wear green. My kids both had the same Irish teacher for 2nd grade and she taught them (read: us) this Irish blessing which still makes me smile and think of her.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
I am making Irish Soda Bread this evening to go with my Carne con Papas because well, we live in Miami and that how we roll. Cubans did not melt in that great 'ole melting pot of the USA, we prefer a kaleidoscope, always able to show our colors. Today just has a bit 'o green in it, just for fun. Enjoy your day! Here's one I remember from my childhood.
May good luck be your friend
IN whatever you do.
And may trouble be always
A stranger to you.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Q: How many things can go wrong with one dinner?

A: As many as possible.

Sunday dinner was supposed to be some favorite Cuban dishes for 19 because he's home and doesn't get to eat this when he's not here. Fine. He's only here for a couple of weeks so I invited some friends (who are like family) over for dinner to make sure they get to see him since schedules are complicated with such a short visit. Fine. So far, so good.

The menu is decided. Boliche (essentially a Cuban Roast), Red beans, and Flan for dessert. Fine. Everyone likes that. It's all good. Well, the snafu is that 16 likes to have baked chicken on Sunday. We have it so often on Sunday that it's been dubbed Sunday chicken when prepared this way. According to him the world alters its rotation when Sunday chicken is not had. Puleeze! It happened once but that was just coincidence. At least until yesterday.

I made the flan on Thursday. I had made 2 one to take to SIls on Friday and one for Sunday. Ahead of the game. Woo Hoo. That's like such a rarity all in itself. I was very proud of myself. Dessert for Sunday was all set. When we tired it on Friday night it was good but not great. The consistency a little off, a tad overcooked. Oh well. Sunday's might be better since it was made in a different mold maybe the cooking time will match up with that mold. We'll see.

It's Saturday. I am going to make the beans. Why so early? Because they beans are always better the next day so, I figure lets make them ahead of time. Fine. It's a slow process. I make my MILs recipe. Hubby and I have a small taste once it's done and it is fabulous. I'm thrilled with the outcome. It has tons of meat and squash in it, its delicious. Great. I put it in the fridge overnight.

So its Sunday. I only have the roast left to make. No problem. I have made it dozens of time. This should be the easy part. I also eventually need to reheat the beans which I take out of the fridge and place on the stove for later. We had bought a large roast. This is made in slices in a pressure cooker. Cooked low and slow to be fall apart yummy. As I put it all together, I tell hubby that I need a bigger pressure cooker that it barely fits in there. I start doing house chores while the roast cooks. Suddenly from the bedroom I smell something. Run to the kitchen. Somehow, magically because I certainly don't remember doing it, the beans were on HIGH and at a rolling boil! OMG! I take it off the stove and they are stuck burnt to the bottom of the pot. Crap! Who did this? Questioning everyone got me no where other than starting 16 on a tirade of I told you to fix Sunday Chicken.

At this point 19 tells me his girlfriend is coming for dinner too. Great. I mean it is great but man do I have dumb luck or what. First, it's only her 2nds time over for dinner and its the exact same menu, down to the dessert. Second, the first time the beans were over cooked and had almost disintegrated this time they are burnt. She's going to think I can only make one thing and I really can't even make that well. Ok. Fine whatever. It will be nice to have her over. More funny stories to look back on later which I am beginning to think may be my purpose on this planet.

When the time came for the roast to be done. I open the pressure cooker and it's not fall apart good. Of course. I think it's because the pot is not big enough and it didn't have enough space to do its thing. I remove the potatoes that are super done. Add some more liquid and turn it up so that it pressurizes again hoping the extra time will do the trick. I won't tell you how many times 16 has said the words: Sunday Chicken and I told you so.

My friends brought Cuban bread and fixins for a salad that I prepped and we set the table. OK. Dinner should be ready now. I am really not happy with it. The beans burned and I know the meat is going to be so so and the flan who knows. Whatever. Dinner is ready! And I screech! The rice! I forgot to make the rice. Everyone starts moaning. (I've done this before.) We're hungry, everything is ready and now we'll have to wait 1/2 hour for the rice. Forget it. I am going to dash to the corner where they sell food-by-the pound and buy white rice. 19s girlfriend is not here yet, we have some time, my girlfriend and I go to the car, 19 stands at the front door shaking his head at us like he can't believe we are ditching them in their hour of need. We park at the place and they are picking up the outdoor set up of tables and chairs. I yell, OMG I think they are closed. I ask the man as we approach. Not yet he tells me. Thank God for small favors, I think. I tell the guy at the counter I need white rice for 10 people. They really don't have that much left. I'll take it all. He packs it up. Then we see the baked chicken. I buy a piece for 16 because, I think it will be funny. We tell the cashier about the dinner snafu as I take the price off the pack so hubby doesn't see how much I paid for rice. Everyone laughs because I clearly exist for their amusement. As we drive back home, I think of my grandmother who used to buy/order the food from the restaurant and put it in her pots and let everyone think she made it. As we pull up to the house girlfriend's car is there. Can't put it in a pot now and let her think I made it when she sees me walk in with it. Failed ya grandma - sorry.
So now we start plating dinner to be served. The burnt beans, the not falling apart roast with a sauce that's not saucy because it has been cooked down so far and over-reduced, the store bought rice and the pretty salad. Whatever. I don't even care anymore. I'm barely even hungry, let's get this over with. The ribbing continues with the kitchen gods not being happy because this isn't Sunday chicken. Add to irony that had I made that girlfriend would have tried something new made by me. We relive that previous fiasco when Sunday chicken was not made. We laugh a lot. The food all tastes pretty good. There's plenty of flavor it's just not right but memorable to say the least. And now for the flan. I flip it onto the plate. And we all agree it's good but slightly overcooked. Shocker! :)
I think we had fun. An instant classic moment. One they will rib me about for many years to come. But I think next Sunday we'll have Sunday chicken. Where's that camera? I promise you, I'm not making it up. Gimme patience!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coming home!

My baby is coming home tonight for Spring break. YEAH!

There will be lots of cooking in my future for the next few weeks because my eater will be back. I already started last night making 2 flans. One to take tonight to my SILs for the family dinner and the other to keep at home for the weekend.

In my near future I see....boliche, frijoles colorados, picadillo, oatmeal cookies, lentils, carne con papas, and anything else he might request.

Should be fun!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Prize Patrol or Mr. Brown

GM called me yesterday very excited. She had amazing news. I wasn't going to believe. So, I asked her if she found a bag full of money or won the lottery. She laughed in a strangely giddy yet conspiratorial way and told me "Not a bag of money but beautiful shoes!"
Now it was my turn to laugh. I ordered them. I told her when I saw her on the weekend that I would. I told her when they'd be delivered. I had even spoken to her in the morning to see if they had arrived. She doesn't remember. That was sad and had me shaking my head but then you have to go with what you are given. You know make lemonade out of lemons and all.
She was laughing and Woo Hooing about these shoes that a very nice man brought to the house just for her. She didn't recognize him and didn't know who he was but she accepted the gift. She has no idea how he knew she needed shoes and much less how he knew what size to get her but they are BEA-U-TI-FUL! and she doesn't have to tie them because they have a sticky strip that the caretaker showed her how to use (yes, Velcro). She was so excited, her sneaky laugh was infectious. It's even making me smile now thinking about the conversation. I totally just went with it asking her who the guy was, did she get his name etc. I almost fell off my chair when she told me that one of the men who lives in the home who barely speaks any English yelled at the man as he got back into his truck "Who you!?" and he answered, "Mr. Brown". I started crying I was laughing so hard with her on the phone. Mr. Brown bought her a pair of shoes! So guess what? She told me I don't have to get her shoes anymore. Gimme patience! but hey, she was happy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oops! He did it again!

Hubby messed up - again! He bought a couple of lottery tickets the other day but he bought the wrong ones - again! They didn't win. Not even a couple of bucks to pay for the tickets themselves. Of course, he blames the error on me because I told him to buy the tickets. That's not true. I simply explained that for sure we won't win if we don't buy a ticket. He bought the WRONG tickets - again!

And so, I am still working...we still have a sons will have student loans....we have debt...all because he didn't buy the right tickets - again!

Gimme patience ;)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Do you know what time it is?

For the love of Pete, give me back my hour!

We Sprang forward yesterday and I want my hour back! I hate this time of year, when we change times. This whole transition week because that's how long it will take me to figure out the time of day. One measly hour you say shouldn't affect me so much. WELL! It did. It does. And it will do it again in the fall only then I still will not like it because it will be the fabulous 25 hour day and I will not do great things in that additional hour oh so generously granted.

Back to yesterday. I was co-hosting a Gold Party at a friend's house. Which meant leave things up and running at my house for the sick husband and 17, take munchies and wine and go be hostess with the mostest at a friend's house. Sounds easy. Yeah, I thought so, until the powers that be stole an hour right out from under me.

I knew this was going to happen when I went o bed on Saturday. I'm not a complete idiot (just read, don't argue here). When I woke up my cell phone was on my nightstand and I checked the time there thinking it would be the only reliable source. It should auto change. Fine. 7:10. I slowly get up, go out to the living room, find some mindless entertainment on TV and head to the kitchen. The time on the oven matches the cell phone. Impressive, hubby must have changed it before he went to bed. Cool. I mix a dip and put it in the fridge to chill and start the coffee. I gather the serving trays I am taking to the party and pack up the wine. I start slicing the cheese and laying it out on a platter. I have my first cup of Joe, lounging on the sofa watching a cooking show. I've got plenty of time. I think I may have even dozed off for a minute or 20 because I don't recall the entire recipe. As I stretch and sit up, hubby walks out and plops on the sofa.
H: Did you make coffee.
I made American, I'll make Cuban now.
H: You realize, that's not the right time.
Huh? What do you mean? As I check my cell against the oven.
H: It's an hour later. Remember, the time changes today. It's actually 9:45.
WHAT?! No, the oven's right, it matches my cell.
He clicks and shows me the time on the TV. 9:47. He stole an hour! Poof. It was gone. CRAP! I'm leaving at 11:am. Now, I don't have time for everything now. I was going to leave 17 his waffle batter mixed, leave Hubby dinner seasoned and ready to stick in the oven, I still had to shower and and there was other stuff that was getting muddled. So, after cursing at my phone and wasting 10 minutes re-setting the time. I went to shower and left Hubby making the Cuban coffee. I didn't make the batter or season the chicken. I had my cafe con leche (more caffeine was a priority) and gathered my things to go to the party.
The party was a success and the lost hour was a topic of conversation throughout the day. I was not the only one struggling with this. Others had missed mass, and overall spent the day running late.
After the party a friend and I decide to go eat Indian Food at a local restaurant the doesn't open until 5:30. We have time to kill before it opens. No problem. After we find the place we'll find another place to walk around and chat. We ended up just sitting in the car chatting. We are watching the clock in the car. Her car. Finally, it's 5:28. We get to the restaurant and I expect to be one the first people there. The restaurant is half full. When I return from the ladies room my friend tells me. You realize we sat in the car for an extra hour. It's 6:30. HUH?! there it was again, an hour stolen. Poof. Gone. She goes on to explain, we watched the car clock that wasn't reset. It didn't occur to either of us to check our cells or her to check her watch (I don't wear one). Amazing. We are both astonished by the sheer dumbness of this. It's too funny. You can't make this up. She calls her husband to tell him because he's at home waiting for us to take him dinner. Well, dearly we'll be an hour later. He has no words, his response and commentary was "Ughhhh!" When I tell me husband on the way home, he laughed heartily and tell me I'm a dumbazz. Nice, huh. Not that I was thinking I was so brilliant at the moment.
It's a good thing I had a nice happy day, chatting with girlfriend, making money at the Gold Party and having Indian with a friend because otherwise it really would have been a sucky day.
Why so we have to spring and fall forwards and backwards with the time anyway. Does it honestly serve a purpose anymore, other than frustrate the hell out of me for 2 weeks of the year? Gimme patience!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I have always been told that I was lacking in faith by the religious teachers I had growing up. That was because I would ask questions. LOTS of questions. To the point when most of them couldn't answer them and would answer with - You just have to believe, that's why they call it faith. Naturally, this only exasperated me more. Again, not getting into that here.
Despite all of that, for whatever reason I chose to send my children to parochial school. I won't go into all of the reasons here but I can assure you guilt is not one of them. I don't have the Catholic guilt you hear about, probably because I don't have enough faith. Whatever.
Anyway, we are in the time of Lent that has food restrictions of not eating meat on Fridays. This would not be a sacrifice for me because I enjoy seafood and would like to eat it at home on a regular basis but hubby is not a great fan and so I don't make it often. that is except during Lent. We do fish on Friday's mostly, I think, because of hubby's guilt. He's the one who brings it up. This year for the first time, my kids are joining in. Both of my children went to services on Ash Wednesday and went to mass last Sunday - on their own. I have not taken my children to mass since 16 graduated from parochial school in 8th grade (3 years ago). I have been to mass and so have they but not a required event on a specific day. I was surprised to hear that they both happened to decide that they need to go back to the church. They each separately told me that they found it comforting. 19 actually told me that he felt like he "...found something that had been missing..." and 16 said he thought it would help him "...get it together..."
It made me feel good that they had something (their religion/church) to do this for them. I believe that's a good thing and I hope that it will give them years of comfort ahead. I have many issues with the Church but I am glad that my children have had a positive experience with it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Giving (up)

That's the theme this month for NABLOPOMO. I'm not participating for the month but I am going to leach the topic.

There are a lot of ways this could go especially with that up in parenthesis. This being the season of Lent and all, may people are in the sacrificing mode. When I think of "Giving Up" I think of Sister Naomi. Poor Sister Naomi, now I feel for her. Then I just plain hated her. Yes, mother, I know hate is a strong word that should never be used. You always preferred when we disliked something/one a lot v. hating . But I plain hated Sister Naomi that Freshman year of high school. She's the whole reason I wasn't invited back! It had nothing to do with me, it was her and her nit-picky ways. But I'm over it. Really, I am. Sister Naomi taught is Fr. Religion, Spanish and was my dorm monitor. Honestly, I don't know how her red hair didn't turn white on our tour there. I know it was red because one night we caused such a ruckus she came running out of her room and her habit wasn't quite right and we saw her red hair - shocker, I know. What does this have to do with giving up!?

Sister Naomi would walk around and whenever she heard any of us fussing, fighting, or huffing about anything she would waive her hands at us up in the air and say "Give it up ladies! Give it up to save those poor souls!" You see, the ONLY thing I remember about Fr. Religion class was learning about all the poor souls of unbaptised babies sitting in purgatory waiting. Just waiting to get into heaven. These would be all the aborted babies and all the stillborn babies and all the babies that died because their mommas abandoned them. She would frightfully explain to us that it was to no fault of the children that they had to suffer so. It was all because of the parents' lack of faith. So, we had to offer up/give up all of our suffering for the repose of those babies souls so that through our suffering we take on their burdens and they could get into heaven.

Can you imagine? I was what, 13 years old picturing a waiting room the size of the heavens full of babies waiting to be let into heaven. Eventually, I thought about it and would question her to the point of exasperation Why would those children be punished so if it wasn't their fault and our God is all-loving and merciful. I didn't understand and have never been able to reconcile this concept. Even my mother would tease me about it when she wanted to push my buttons. She'd tell me to give it up for the babies and I would roll my eyes at her and we'd laugh. Even in the end when my mother was in the hospital dying. She told her best friend and I that she prayed everyday that God give her one more day of suffering this horrible disease in the hopes that it would spare a child from the same suffering. And I quipped back at her what about all those babies? We laughed until we cried and tried to explain it to her BF in between fits of tears and laughter.

Honestly, between Sister Naomi and the priest who later taught my religion class senior year, who told me that I was going to burn in hell for eternal damnation (I don't even remember his name!), I don't' know how I didn't convert to something else. Lazy, I guess, just didn't want to take the time to look into anything else. So, there you go Sister Naomi, I know we gave you h-e-double l that year. Sorry we put you through it. I'm sure you have long since passed on and are probably rolling over in your grave. Just give it up for the babies, Sister.