November 22, 2016

This week we will celebrate what is probably the largest family meal time in the country.  Even though Thanksgiving was just two days away, we all still gathered for a family meal on Tuesday.  Pulled beef enchiladas were the main dish, complete with homemade tortillas and all the fresh toppings.  Chips and salsa and guacamole, rice, white bread.  Dessert was a first time ever, Gingerbread (it was a huge hit).

In attendance, there were 2 babies, 1 toddler, 2 tweens (the cousins), and 11 adults.  As usual,the babies were stealing the show playing and being silly with each other as everyone was arriving.  My little girls were SUPER excited to see my cousin and his son show up for dinner again, and promptly ran/crawled to give hugs.  Then they went back to playing with their toys and shrieking at one another (it was rather a noisy baby night!)

Come on kids, get your plates.

You can have tacos or enchiladas.

What’s an enchilada?

They are kind of like tacos, but covered in cheese and sauce and baked.

Oh, I’ll just have a taco.

I want a TACO!! Please.

Is that two piles of chips on your plate?

I like chips. (giggles)

Ooo, enchilada’s for dinner.

I don’t know if they will compare to your generations of Mexican food making.

I haven’t had a bad meal here yet.

OK, say prayers, please!

Bless this house, Lord we pray, keep us safe by night and day. AMEN!

Amen.

Did you find your cat?

Yes, finally.

Is that why you were walking around earlier today?

Yea, she wasn’t just taking a leisurely stroll.

Have you been having problems with the cats taking off? I know you had been letting them out.

It really hasn’t been a problem with the colder weather, but the one just decided to take off.  He had been wanting in and out like every 10 minutes all day, and I finally got busy and it was either in or out for a while and he chose out.  After about an hour or so I realized he wasn’t asking to come in and started calling.  Then he didn’t come.  I was calling, shaking the food, nothing. So, I went out looking for him.

You found him though right?

Yes, after a couple hours

We had two of our cats go missing this summer for about two weeks.  One of them came back.

Oh that’s sad.

It is sad, they are barn cats so they come and go as they please, but it’s always sad when they don’t come back.  I called for them the whole time.

These are good.

I would like the record to show that there are THREE breads for this meal tonight.

There are? I only see the one.

The bread, and the tortillas and the other is coming.

Oh, the tortillas, I didn’t take one of those.

But you are eating the enchiladas…

I guess I am eating one then.

The key to Mexican is fresh because that’s what they have in Mexico, fresh.

When you find a good Mexican restaurant you want to hang on to it.

There used to be a couple good ones around here.

Heathers in Bay City closed.

What was Heathers?

It was like a specialty restaurant, they did Vegan and gluten free, things like that.

Why did they close?

Not really sure, I heard it was a surprise and that the co-owner wanted to travel and not work there and closed it.

Meat Meat??

Do you want some more?

Yah.

BAHAHAHAHHA!!

I guess she wants more too.

Moo Juice?

Milk?  I need your cup.

What was in this cup?

Juice.

MOOOOOOO JUICE

Thanks for the nod by the way.

Your welcome, I had to get creative to find the logo!

How did you end up finding it?

I Googled your name and your Facebook page led me to your website.

Did you find the girl in Gladwin with the same name?

No, I don’t think so.

There is a girl in Gladwin that is about the same age as me, looks about the same and has a similar career.  It’s crazy.

You know, there is a woman there that has the same name as Mom and they are about the same age too?

No way.

Really.  There is also a girl in the area that apparently looks just like me, I was actually mistaken at the spa there for a member of someone else’s bridal party.  They asked me if I had just been there and that everyone left already.

Maybe Gladwin is like some parallel universe or black whole.

I really liked the olives in the enchiladas.

There were olives?

I thought that’s what those were, I wasn’t sure olive or jalapeno, then took a bite.

Really?

It’s crazy.

So, I have a story.

I’ve told you that my Mom is coming to stay with us when Nugget is born. So, while redoing the rooms we decided to get rid of an old queen mattress we had and get a twin so when Nugget is old enough it will just become hers. I had someone that wanted it, and it was great, but then they backed out.  Well, after the baby shower, I went to this one day only chance to enter a contest thing.  I entered in my, my husbands and my mothers’ name.  And we actually won!  I was so excited when they called, then they told me it was a queen mattress, no exchanges! So now we are stuck with two queens.

You could put them together and have a super huge king.

Who would like some gingerbread?

(Everyone)

Will you scoop the ice cream?

(both babies were happily eating away on little bits of the gingerbread)

Do you want some cake and ice cream?

CAKE!! YAH!

Where are the big kids?

Playing somewhere.

BABABABABABA!

Ok, here is a little more.

AHAWHAHHHHHHHHH!! (Doors slamming)

HEY! Be nice to your sister! Leave the door open!

You know better than to be slamming doors.

So I am cooking a turkey at my house this year, I am a little nervous.

(Now, here enters a bunch of discussion about brine, grilling, and other such methods or cooking a turkey and this goes on for a while)

Want to know my dirty little secret?

Of course.

I cook mine frozen. (This link will give you the basic instructions)

(Now, you’d have to see the near evil look shot across the table at me by the resident chef.)

What!!!

I do, I take the outer plastic off and toss that bad boy in the oven.  After a few hours, I pull all the stuff out, the giblets and what not, season it and put it back in.

(Enter many disbelieving and sarcastic remarks)

Hey I’ve made a few, and there is no mess, they are super moist and no one  has died.  They do take like all day to cook, though.  It’s almost twice as long.

It’s awful quiet back there.

I was just thinking they were being rather quiet.

( The two older kids come parading out with a rather large banner they colored of Michigan State’s stadium along with a rather lengthy explanation that ended in GO State!)

Hi! Are you hungry?

Not yet.

Well fine, don’t come to me then.

She was just fine with me.

Oh sure.

No, really the girls love him.

(As my cousin snuggles the baby)

He shoulda had girls.

Bye bye? Bye bye?

Are you ready to go home?

Nite nite.

Ok.

See you tomorrow right?!

AH… I forgot.

Now you remember.  See you tomorrow.

What are you doing?

Taking all the kids to see Grandpa.

Ah, good. Good luck.

Thanks.

Good night everyone.

 

 

Happy Birthday Amanda!

So by now I am sure you are noticing we have had quite a few birthday celebrations.  It gives testament o the number of people that come to Tuesday Dinner.  In fact, November 8th is actually also one of my “sisters” birthday– Happy Birthday Liz!– but she is not home with us so Amanda (my biological sister) got to celebrate this birthday solo.

We had a couple new faces, my cousin, and his son, so happy to see them! And another dear friend of mine popped into play with the babies.  In attendance, there were 11 adults, 3 tweens, 1 toddler and 2 babies.  The meal had a bit of a Greek theme to it, Gyros (made with lamb brats from our lamb) complete with Tzatziki sauce and fresh pitas, stuffed grape leaves, rice with tomatoes and green onions.  The kids had hamburgers, being slightly less adventurous.  For dessert, there was Tiramisu Cheesecake.

Hey! How are you!!!

She was so excited to see her cousin when we got here!

He was pretty excited too!

You’ll have to bring him over this summer, I am planning a kiddie farm camp, get some work out of these kids!  My friend has a little boy who wants to help me garden, so why not?

Just let me know, it’d be good for him.

You’d just have to watch him around the sheep… we wouldn’t want him having a “blueberry” mishap like his father…

…Don’t even go there!… Laughing all away around (My cousin may have mistaken sheep pellets for berries when we were growing up, it’s one of those things you can never live down)

Did you really just pipe whipped cream into her mouth?

So how many teeth does your little guy have now?

You can definitely feel at least four.

Ouch, she’s got two and is working on more… and bites!

Oh yeah, he does too.

(meanwhile said babies are destroying a basket of toys happily together, the older kids and toddler are causing mischief elsewhere)

Kids, come get your plates.  Yes, you are going to eat the rice too.

Hello,

Hey! you brought me jars!  AND gift bags and paper! You are awesome!

The rest of you better sit down. Take a seat or you won’t eat!

Well Hi there! (My friend that isn’t usually with us walks in) We weren’t expecting you!

Oh, I just came in to play with my babies.

There is an extra burger if you want one…

Now you’re speaking my language.

Prayers, please!

Bless this house, Lord we pray, keep us safe by night and day.  Amen!

Thank you!  I wanted to make sure she did it this week, she totally skipped out last week.

No, I heard her.

I think you were imagining things.

Well, Tuesday Table, said she didn’t so it was written in stone last week.

What no bread!?!

The pitas are bread, have two.

Wait! We are missing a bunch of stuff! (Mom runs back into the kitchen, and brings back the stuffed grape leaves, lettuce, and tzatziki sauce).

Here this one doesn’t have cucumber (a tiny bowl) and this is regular good stuff.

So the Tzatziki sauce is made with the real yogurt.

Have you tried the milk yet?

No, not yet.

You should, this is skimmed milk and it is going to be more like whole milk from the store than skim.

So have you noticed a difference with the milk?

Yes, I was having a real issue with heavy dairy product, like sour cream and whipping cream, see even the little bit I had the other day made my hands break all out.  However, the heavy cream from my cow doesn’t do that to me.  I also have a friend that was having dairy issues and doesn’t have the problem with the farm milk.

Why do you think that is?  What’s the difference?

I think some of it is how I treat it, it’s not high pressured anything.  I just gently pasteurize it, and the other is that my cow is an A2 type.  Which basically means she doesn’t have a gene for a protein in the milk that a lot of people have an intolerance to.

(Here is a link to some very basic information in case you are curious)

(BAHBBBAAAAA BAHBHA BHA BHA)

So what made the grape leaves sweet?

Golden raisins.

Hmm, interesting.

So, how does one eat a hamburger with only a bottom bun? ( Toddler was ripping pieces of the top bun off and feeding it to my friend, feel free to insert a toddler/shark chomping sound here)

He is very chatty tonight! I think that is the most I have ever heard him talk!

He sure is, I did promise him a taste of tzatziki sauce too.

I tried to get her to have lasagna for her birthday, but she just wouldn’t do it.

Consider it Greek lasagna.

Don’t forget to write down your birthday’s everyone!  There are getting to be too many for me to just know!

Who’s birthday is in March? I’m sorry, you are just going to have to choose another time.  I am not sharing.

There is some talking about CSA (community supported agriculture)

That is what I would like to do ultimately.  It would really help us get going.  I have stacks of facts and figures and plans.  While I was pregnant I was totally gonna do it!  Then the baby came and I said, well maybe in a couple of years…

So what does a CSA do?

Well it reduces the risk for the farm a little, because the customers are basically share holders and they get a share of whatever they are purchasing like a crop share or a share of an animal.

Right, but if the farmer is bad and isn’t producing obviously people wont want to “buy stock” in that farm.  It also helps provide starter money.  That is our biggest challenge right now.  To provide beef, we have to buy a calf two years in advance out of pocket.

Some more chatter along this line goes on, and can I just tell you, the babies in the back ground are just going wild tonight!  Such volume!

I don’t know that I could do organic.  One its expensive and two, I just could not give antibiotics to a sick animal to save its life.  Even if it is meant for food.  So many of those farms don’t.

Well the one I go to does!

Oh! That’s awesome!

Yeah, and so those animals obviously aren’t organic any more, so they go to a different part of the farm, but really they are obligated to treat the sick animals.

That’s good, that makes me feel a lot better about organic animals, I never really understood how they could not treat dying animals, just to keep a title.

No, they are supposed to, in fact in my next magazine I am planning to write more about it.

I look forward to reading it!

Hey you found “The birthday candle”

Sure did! So lets all sing..

Wait! Where is she at, she was going to sing happy birthday special for her aunt.

She already told me she had a special song for me.

Ok everyone “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Amanda, Happy birthday to you!”

Ok, it’s all you!

“Sto Lat! Sto lat!

Niech zyje, zyje nam.

Sto lat! Sto lat!

Niech zyje, zyje nam.”

WHOA!  What language was that?

Polish.

Where did you learn to sing happy birthday in Polish?

My teacher.

It was really cool at their Halloween party, which was also their teachers birthday, one of the other room moms had told them it was time to sing happy birthday to their teacher, and they just all busted out singing with Polish Happy Birthday.

Well, I am going to have to take off, my kids are waiting for me.

Thanks for visiting!  See you soon!

So what kind of cheese cake is this?

Tiramisu

caffeinated cheesecake huh?

You have to at least try one bite.

If anyone feeds this to the small child, she will be spending the night with you. You have been warned.

Can she have ice cream?

That’s fine. (Just imagine a two-year old eating ice cream with her hands)

You eat ice cream the way I want to eat icecream.

Uhoh looks like a brain freeze!

What desserts don’t you like?

I really can’t think of any, I used to say chocolate cake but you proved me wrong there.

(People are moving around, some have gone home, the kids are goofing off and getting in trouble in turns.)

So, I have to say Mom, I am pretty impressed with my body and it took having her help me with the chores to realize it.  Its  pretty amazing that eight months ago I couldn’t even walk and now I am able to carry hay bales with one arm.

You couldn’t walk?

Oh, you probably don’t know the story.

I almost died having this baby.

What!

Yeah (laughing) I am really lucky to be alive.

Well, its good you can laugh about it now….

I know right? I’m just happy to be here really.

(I tell the whole story it, but it is long and graphic and it will emerge in a different article I am working on that just isn’t quite where I want it to be yet.)

Nite nite mama, nite nite.

I guess its time for me to get going, the little one is already down and she is ready to go too.

Lets go get your jammies on.

See you all next week!