Over at April Showers, April says she blogs about “whatever,” and to that I say…whatever. Whether she’s blogging about her house, her sister, her kids or her vividly white childhood “Sally-do,” seen at left, April’s version of whatever is wildly entertaining. This fellow Lawrencian lives in an 1870′s American Foursquare, where she’s raising four kids with her “city boy” architect husband and a rotating cast of animal players. And she has something to say about marinated red beets. As a matter of fact, April’s got something to say about everything.
How often do you think about eating?
It’s not so much the eating that I think about as it is the FEEDING. I feed kids, pigs, cats, chickens and a dog all day every day. Food is mentioned constantly in our conversations.
Mom, Mom, Mom, I’m hungry.
Did you feed the cats?
Are we out of dog food?
What do you all want for lunch?
Can we have a snack?
Take these leftovers to the pigs. Did you feed the animals?
Do we have something to fix for breakfast?
Mom, can I make cookies? Will someone please get the boys something to eat?
Who wants to share the last piece of cake?
WHO ATE THE LAST PIECE OF CAKE?!!
Coffee craving? This may be shocking, but I’m not a coffee snob. I will tolerate just about anything dark and hot. But I don’t care for sweet coffee drinks, they make me feel sticky. I think flavored coffees are strange and those newfangled fake creamers with their candy-coated names are a crime to humanity.
Favorite hometown food?
Several times I’ve had to stop doing everything to go have the salad with marinated beets at WheatFields. Last year I ate so many beets that….that…uh, er, um, my bowel movements were red. Of course I was certain that I was dying and was saying to myself that my life had been good and I was thankful I wasn’t in any pain. Then I stopped eating beets and my poop turned brown again.
I’d like to bathe myself in the Mad Greek’s hummus but after talking about poop that doesn’t seem as delectable as I once thought, so never mind. My favorite local food is anything homemade at The Farmers Market. I love the turkey pies and the fresh lemonade.
Ever been served breakfast in bed?
Yes. My oldest son made me breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, my 3-year old was sleeping with me at the time and he ate most of it.
Your absolutely reliable, go-to dish for entertaining is:
When we have people over it’s usually a crowd or twelve or more, so I have to think of good food in quantity and something that a toddler, a teenager and a senior citizen will tolerate. I can’t go wrong with BBQ brisket. I slow-cook it with a bottle of dark beer, onions and garlic then stir in KC Masterpiece right before serving. Having the main dish preparing itself allows more time for fun side dishes and homemade desserts. Man, do I sound like Paula Deen or what?
Food that makes you gag?
Things like Turducken. Any meat-stuffed meat, it’s just wrong. After the birth of my third child my mom came to take care of me and the kids for a week. Unfortunately, she was on a diet and decided to feed us the menu plan she was given. One of the meals was crab-stuffed chicken with cabbage salad. Now, in my experience new moms are the hungriest people on the planet and they need to feed themselves high-fat, high-carb, high-protein meals to heal the body and supply milk to the young suckling.
With my newborn strapped to my chest I took one gulp of that crab-stuffed chicken and cabbage salad and panicked. It was awful and I was starving. I was going to starve to death at the hands of my mother in my own home! Later that night I had my husband sneak out and get me a sandwich and soup and lots of baked goods.
Worst kitchen disaster:
Pumpkin Soup. I’ve made some hard to eat dinners before, but Pumpkin Soup as been archived in my family’s memory as the worst dinner ever. I followed a recipe, but that didn’t help. I refused to eat it and I witnessed my husband hold his fist to his mouth and do the gag-I’m-going-to-barf reflex like he was on Survivor trying to choke down a live spider. We are forever scarred.
Three things in your refrigerator right now:
A one gallon bag of cherries from our cherry tree. Organic ketchup that my daughter’s friend brought over to eat on her turkey dogs. Three bottles of mustard. Apparently I keep forgetting we have mustard.
Your idea of a romantic meal is:
Omelets and coffee on the porch with no kids.
Secret snack of shame?
This is embarrassing, but when I’m premenstrual I turn into The Woman That Buys Cheap Disgusting Snacks From Wal-Mart. All of the sudden the cheapest bagged crap look like the most delicious cookie ever made and who can resist an Oatmeal Cream Pie, Star Crunch or Zebra Cake? Something in me says, “Go buy a box of corn syrup mixed with wax and pour it down your throat, you will feel better.”
You know what? It does make me feel better. Oh, and one time I ate a 5-lb bag of Hot Tamales that I bought at Sam’s in the span of five days. I smelled like a Yankee candle.
Most ambitious thing you’ve ever done in the kitchen:
When I was a youngster I loved to do gymnastics. I’d do handstands all the way down the hall to my bedroom and cartwheels and running round-offs and back hand springs. But, the kitchen is the only place I could leverage myself on the edge of the counter with my palms and push my body up to rest on my elbows, sort of in a plank posistion. One time I did it so many times that I broke all the blood vessels on my abdomen and thought I had some weird disease. Oh, wait, did you mean ambitious cooking?
Let’s see….a few weeks ago I made a butt load of fancy appetizers for a wine tasting party. Does saying butt load and fancy in the same sentence seem unappetizing? Anyway, I think the food was good because two people asked for my business card. I laughed in their faces after explaining that I’m just a mom and I did the party to raise money for my kids’ school. Then I ran to my mom-mobile and cried on a diaper because wouldn’t it be fun to cater wine tasting parties and get paid at the same time?
Harvest in St. Louis. The sweet potato risotto made me cry because I knew the chances that I’d taste it again were slim. I tasted my first steamed mussels there and my first foie gras. The food made my husband and I talk about traveling the world. Then we went home to our four children and reality.
If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
Is bacon a cocktail?
Geesh, I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever made a cocktail unless you count the time in high school when my best friend and I decided we would try to make Strawberry Daiquiris, we used about half a bottle of vodka and decided people who drank that stuff were seriously off their gourd. Is a whiskey sour a cocktail? What about a Long Island Iced Tea? I had an Apple-tini one time that nearly made me pass out. I think I need to take some cocktail lessons.
Extra Credit: Where is the world’s best pizza?
Now Marilyn, I know you want me to say deep dish Chicago pizza and I would agree that when I’m in Chicago that I won’t leave town without consuming some of that wonderful pie but, here, in Lawrence, my favorite is Rudy’s. The red wine sauce, the whole wheat crust, the spinach? I mean where else can you buy a slice of pizza with zucchini or avocado? And Rudy’s is nestled in the basement of a building with a fish pond! Seriously, can Chicago beat that?