Blogsam and Jetsam

Flotsam is the part of the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on the water. Jetsam is cargo or parts of a ship that are deliberately thrown overboard, as to lighten the ship in an emergency, and that subsequently either sinks or is washed ashore. This is my personal blog version of the above. Loot freely.

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Location: The Hinterlands, Upstate NY

I'm annoyed that the world is going crazier faster than it used to be. But it's interesting to watch.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Kicked Mom ASS Last Night...

...Lots of times you have no clue whether your Mom skills are anywhere up to par and lots of times you know they're NOT but sometimes you get it completely right:

Youngest Duckling has "share" day on Tuesday and we've been told a million times (with several years each of the older two kids' "share" days) that one canNOT share toys. So fine, we did favorite book, favorite transitional comfort object (yeah, I know--"toy" but everyone gets by with it early in the first-grade year) and the Kinder Ovo souvenirs ("Souvenirs" are fine but "toys" are not...it's a blurry line) and were coming up short on ideas.

Till last week. The kid's BIG Homework of the Week was to read a book with Mom or Dad then write down the title and author and three sentences about the book. Trust me, for a lefty first grader three whole sentences was TONS of work and we had to refocus several times. The book was the "Mom and Me" cookbook:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756610060/ref=pd_rvi_gw_2/002-1928503-7251211?ie=UTF8

It's actually a really good kid-friendly cookbook and one of the things that intrigued both of us was the "Perfect Pasta" which is pasta tossed with shredded chicken breast meat, broccoli, corn, a few green onions and a soy-sesame-honey dressing...the kind of food that's good hot, cold or at room temperature (which is kid-friendly of itself: never met a kid yet who liked hot food.) The recipe interested us both enough to copy it. (On the color copier that was magic to Youngest who was worried the printer had cut out the pages of the book and was much relieved to see the book still intact.) One of our three sentences thus became "We copied the recipe for 'Perfect Pasta'."

So over the weekend I figured that we probably ought to actually MAKE the "Perfect Pasta" particularly since BabyDuck had been running about the house with the two pages of copied recipe. Looked for the ingredients at the store on Sunday morning and then had a brainflash: "Wouldn't THIS make a great 'share' story? Sure it would...so let's have it on MONday night instead of some other night." Bought some chicken breasts and dragged them home.

Now some weeks the whole project would've gone awry then and there. The chicken wouldn't have gotten cooked or some other thing would be happening Monday night or Uncle Wiggly would've stubbed his toe...but not this time. Those chicken breasts went straight from the grocery bag into a pot of water with some soy and garlic to poach and be "all nice and weady" as Yan says. My little girl was MOST excited so we set out the ingredients for the dressing on the kitchen counter right then and she matched them to the pictures on the recipe all by herself.

Last night I deliberately left glass waiting at the office so I could be home in time for Youngest not to get all time-stressed: she's got her share of obsessive-compulsive traits too (and whereintheheck could THOSE have come from I wonder?!?) Once home we started in on the recipe...but not till I had the additional brainflash to photodocument the event and use the color copier I love so much to print out visual aids to assist the "share" story. Even the Older Siblings thought that was pretty cool and gave their highest praise: "Way to go, Mom!"

Youngest Duckling was only too happy to do the one job of the whole process I would've HATED namely hand-shredding the damned chicken breast. She was amazed to learn that you have to salt and oil the pasta water but figured out all by herself that "two cups" DOUBLED was "four cups" which brought back memories of my own kitchen experiences teaching me fractions way ahead of time. The four cups of broccoli went in with the pasta "for the last three minutes of cooking time" which she again correctly deduced would be 5:30. She mixed the dressing (two parts honey, two parts rice wine vinegar, one part soy, one-half part sesame oil as I recall) and was totally into the photojournalistic aspect of the production: made me retake a shot because the original "doesn't show all of my face."

We combined all the ingredients in "The Big White Plastic Bowl" (doesn't every family have certain bowls that automatically get used for certain kinds of food?) and she tossed with far more control than I expected. Her brother and sister even had a go at it but were charming in their own way by NOT wanting to get in on all the action. They LET it be The Youngest's show which I thought was right decent of them. BabyDuck set the table and served her pasta and we all thought it was pretty good although a bit on the bland side.

While everyone else was finishing their dinner, I put the camera memory card in the printer and spit out three separate copies of the recipe and three separate sets of the seven pictures we took: one for Youngest Duckling to take to school and one for each of the two grandmothers. Big Bad First Grader pronounced them "great!" and put them in her backpack. This morning I confirmed that she did indeed have all the pictures in her homework folder where they belonged AND that she'd done her REAL homework, which was circling plural words on a worksheet.

So for once I truly kicked major Mom ass...at least till I get home tonight and learn that the Universe managed to make this pride of mine go before some new and different fall.

3 Comments:

Blogger JoVE said...

Excellent mom stuff. I wouldn't kick Mom ass that well on more than the odd occasion either. Here's hoping the universe doesn't kick back.

October 24, 2006 8:47 PM  
Blogger SamD said...

Well, it didn't kick back on THAT front anyhow...asked Youngest "so how did it go?"

"Fine...nobody thought my sister Elizabeth was my brother."

After my initial "?!?" reaction I remembered that Eldest HAD been complaining "I look like a BOY!" about the one photo with her in it. Of course Youngest remembered too; she's the Empathic One of the three.

October 25, 2006 7:46 AM  
Blogger SamD said...

You will now kindly forget that I violated blogger confidentiality regarding Eldest Duckling.

October 25, 2006 7:48 AM  

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