Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Tamale Lady Is Coming!

As I type, my dad is driving his way across the country from Cali back here to Florida with my grandmother. My grandfather passed in February and my grandma has decided she'd like to live near us-so they're on their way back here. My grandmother is artistic, fun loving, active and makes the BEST tamale pie. It's so good that I rarely try to make it myself, but I did this weekend. I can't even begin to tell you how insanely good this is. Go. try it. Make 2 pans cause you'll be eating thirds.

***Cornmeal Mush:***
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup cold water
3 1/2 cups boiling water or chicken stock
2 teaspoons salt

***Tamale Pie:***
8 tablespoons butter
4 cups cooked cornmeal mush
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chili powder or to taste
3 tablespoons butter or oil
4 cups cooked ground beef
1 1/2 cup black pitted olives

To cook cornmeal mush: stir 1 cup of cornmeal into 1/2 cup cold water to moisten it, in the top of a double boiler. Then add 3 1/2 cups boiling water or chicken stock and 2 tsps salt; mix well. Set the top over the bottom of the boiler, filled with 1 to 2 inches of boiling water, put a lid on the top and steam the cornmeal for 30 to 45 minutes until the water is all absorbed.

For tamale pie: Beat butter into hot cooked cornmeal; set aside. Fry onion and garlic with chili powder in 3 Tbsp butter or oil until onion is just slightly softened, 2 or 3 minutes. Add cooked meat, olives and season to taste. Put a layer of cornmeal mush in a baking dish, add the layer of meat filling and cover with another layer of mush. Bake in preheated 350F oven until the mush is crusty on top, about 30 minutes.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hanging on by my (manicured red) fingernails.

When I had my hysterectomy, I stupidly assumed that in addition to ridding myself of the ritual bloodshed, I'd be eliminating the sore boobs, mood swings and acne. Even though I kept my ovaries. Don't ask me WHY I thought this, since I have a degree in nursing and worked OB for 9 years. I'm intimately aquainted with the way woman parts work. I guess I thought I was special.

Now, I have RAGING PMS. I mean throw myself out the window mood swings. A zit the size and shape of a rhinoceros horn on my forehead. I'm finding myself making onion dip with soup mix and sour cream and then throwing it out because it's too salty. Then I make terribly involved onion dip after caramelizing onions and chopping thyme only to throw that out because it's not salty enough.

Shelby is upstairs right now singing with her friend Austin. They're in the musical theatre class and auditions for Cinderella are on Monday. They're belting out Rodgers and Hammerstein. Loudly. Shelby takes voice twice a week and normally I love to hear her. Right now, I want them to go in the backyard with a boom box and practice.

Jason is in the next room watching Spongebob. Also loudly. This house has 6 tv's for 4 people (including one in his room with his own TIVO) and he has to watch the one closest to me at all times. I don't even like him watching tv much at all, but right now I just can't face pulling one more Transformer's face out of it's hidey hole near it's behind.

I'd go take a long hot bath and drink a glass of wine, BUT I have a tub from 1915 that's long and narrow and makes my claustrophobic self feel like I'm in my coffin. Ugh.

I'll be back to posting about happy fall activities and this insanely faboo pork roast I'm making next week. Right now I'm having a temper tantrum.

Luckily, nobody reads this blog...

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm in looooooove.

Yesterday I was wandering around Kmart to see if they had any cute autumnish stuff out. Our "Big Kmart" is rather sad-it smells like plastic shoes and despair and the toy shelves are mostly bare, but I thought they might have something cute by my girl Martha. I bought Jason a plastic cup with ghosts on it and rounded the corner to the Christmas stuff when I nearly keeled over in a swoon.

I love love LOOOOOVE that white Christmas tree. Now we have 3 Christmas trees already, so I need another one like I need another child, but wow. I want this tree. It's pink and white and sparkly and well, just so ME. The balls are pearlescent pink and red and green and baby blue and the other ornaments are the teensiest kitchen utensils! Itty bitty pancake turners and whisks and bowls. Christmas cookie shapes with sparkly "sugar" on top. If I can find a white tabletop sized tree, I'm so snatching that sucker up and putting it in the breakfast room.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I guess I should introduce myself

Getting a new blog started is proving to be rather harder than I expected. Once upon a time I had a blog with a snazzy header and gorgeous graphics. I had a nom de plume and my children all had cute aliases. I stopped blogging 2 years ago this month because I realized I had become a person I really didn't want to be. I was in a group of women who enjoyed being cliquish and mean to other people in our circle. I found myself using my blog as a weapon, with snarky posts calculated to wound other women, all so that I could be part of the cool girls.

Yeah-I wasn't such a fantastic specimen of adulthood, womanhood or motherhood.

I figured that now, with a new home, new town and new perspective, that it might be time to stick my toe into the blog waters again, so to speak. My interests have vastly changed since then and I just want to be me-not the person on stage that I used to be.

So here goes...

Digital Ribbons and Flowers

I'm going to try my hand at digital scrapbooking. I've never really been able to get into scrapping with paper and albums simply because almost all my pictures now are digital and I'm too lazy to have them printed somewhere and then crop them.
Since moving here I'm feeling so homemaker-ish and crafty, which is definately something new for me. I'm itching to create something pretty with paper and ribbon. Maybe this small town life isn't going to be so bad after all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Settled In

We're here and seem to be nearly finished with the unpacking and moving excitement. Jason has begun to make friends at his new half day school. Here in Florida there's a program called VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten) and even though he'll be 5 in October, the age cutoff makes him start everything a year late, so he finally gets to go to "school" like the big kids. He goes from 8-11 am at the same daycare that Shelby went to when she was his age and we lived here years ago. He's making friends and learning Bible verses to correspond to the letter of the week.

Shelby is neck deep in rehearsals for High School Musical. The musical theatre class at the high school performs 3 productions a year, with the first one being a "light" show with just a few weeks to prepare to get the kids back into the swing of things. The December show is Lerner and Loew's Cinderella, so as soon as the shows this weekend are over, it's right to work preparing for auditions for winter. Tomorrow I'll be spending the morning helping backstage with costume changes. This is exactly why we moved back here, to have Shelby back in our family with us and to do all these extras with her.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Next Stage

I'm insane. It's completely true, I'm giving up my modern house with the pool and jacuzzi, garden soaking tub and separate shower, 5 minute drive to the mall to move to a 1915 cracker house in small town Florida where haute cuisine is Chili's and the only department store in town is the Super Walmart.