I learned to cook from my mom when I was quite young. Good, basic, midwestern comfort food. Things like goulash, tuna casserole, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, fried chicken.
Thirty-some years later, my cooking is very different than when growing up. It is still with many fresh ingredients, albeit things my mom never had access to. The fresh herbs, new fruits and vegetables, leaner pork, and fresh fish from around the world lend themselves to much different menu choices. I make my own pesto, and keep avocadoes on hand for fresh guacamole. I make my own spice mixes, have three kinds of salt in my cupboard, and a bottle of olive oil always at the ready.
The impetus for this reflection of my culinary history and current practices was what I made for supper tonight. We had fish tacos. Yes, fish tacos. I know to some of you reading this, that is no big deal. But we live in the beef-producing capital of the U.S., and my efforts to cut back a bit on our red meat consumption could be considered anti-American. Nevertheless, I took a chance. I seasoned and cooked the fish, mixed up some lime/cilantro crema and fresh guacamole, and heated up some taco shells and tortillas. Then I called Greg to come fix his plate. He asked me what we were having, and I told him. "Fish tacos?!", he asked. "How long have we been married? Have I EVER ordered FISH tacos?" I laughed and gave him a hug - "Live dangerously", I replied. (And we've been married just shy of 26 years, and no, he's never ordered fish tacos.)
So, he made himself one of each, a soft taco and a hardshell. He added salsa and the other condiments I had prepared. Then he feasted. Yes, feasted! The fish tacos were a success! He's taking the leftovers for his lunch tomorrow, and I've been given the go-ahead to make these again.
I have to say, I loved them. And the lime/cilantro crema will be a staple whenever we have Mexican food from now on.
So I challenge you to "live dangerously" and try something new in your menu - something you never thought about eating before. You just may end up feasting!
Meanwhile, I have a huge mess to go clean up in the kitchen - that part has never changed. :o)
Take care of your teeth, children, or you shall have a root canal...(This picture doesn't really represent my dentist - he's a kind man. It does represent how I feel about going to the dentist. Weird juxtaposition, I know.)
I don't really like to go to the dentist.
I like my dentist, but if I only ever saw him at Gas 'N Shop getting a cappucino, that'd be okay. For 25 years, I've been seeing him once a year for a check-up and a couple of fillings. Small fillings. I have really good teeth.
Except for one.
That one has been the bane of my existance for about 9 months.
Today, we surrendered.
I have to admit that the rumors about root canals and pain, not true. I didn't have any pain during the procedure, and just a bit of tenderness tonight.
For me, the real trauma is the paralyzed half of my face for hours after. I keep feeling like I have to apologize for my mouth not moving. Of course, that would sometimes not be a bad thing, having my mouth not moving . . .
Boys don't ever really grow up, do they? Here he is, my 23 year-old man-child and his newest toy. He brought it over to show us. A child must know ownership before they can share, and since he just bought Guitar Hero this afternoon, I'm not sure the rest of us will get to play... :o)
Edited to add: I just got a try and it turns out I'm more of a "guitar zero" than I am a guitar hero! Oh well.
For the past few years, Greg has sent me a sweet floral arrangement for Valentine's Day. Delivery was bungled a bit yesterday by the florist, but I did finally get my flowers at the theater after I got to work. Customers commented on what a sweet husband I must have. Of course I agreed. :o)
Each year after Christmas I leave up a small tree for a few months. During January it is decorated with the crocheted snowflakes Mom made for me, and some other snowflake/men ornaments. In February it is adorned with hearts, in March and April it gets Springtime and Easter decoration. I don't have lots of these decorations, but try to add a little to each theme every year.
Here is the Valentine's tree this year. A few of the ornaments were gifts from some friends I've met through an email list.
The cross-stitched hearts are from Grandma & Grandpa Regier's 50th anniversary celebration. We stitched a heart for each family member with their name and birthdate on the back, then hung them from a tree. Grandma kept that tree in her living room, then each time a new member joined the family, another heart was added. When Grandma moved to the nursing home, each family got their hearts. I have my family's and Arlan's, and they make decorating for this "Hallmark holiday" a little more meaningful. These ornaments are the reason I learned to do counted cross-stitch. Aunt Kathy got the patterns, and each family made their own hearts. Mom had moved to California by then, so it was up to me to make them for our family. I wasn't happy, thinking counted cross-stitch was going to be tedious and difficult. Turns out I loved it and cross-stitch became my biggest hobby for many years.
Living the good life on the Great Plains with my family. Blessed to be able to watch my grandchildren grow. "Someday" is not on the calendar and we need to live life right now. Do what you want to do, make memories with your family. Live well. Laugh often. Love much. That's how I try to do it.