Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son


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Items From Our Catalogue

Item: This post is coming to you from my dismal office, as I wait an hour for the next bus to ferry me to the train station, the first step of my 2+ hour commute. It will be even longer tonight, because I missed the early bus. I had (somewhat irresponsibly) let class out early so I could catch it, and then I spaced out and missed it anyway. Is this “pregnancy brain” (gag) or ordinary incompetence?

Item:
I have become too lazy/dull/generally pathetic to participate in my own meme. Will this be in the DSM-5?

Item: You should check out (and submit to, in all senses of the word) starhillgirl’s very fun new tumblr blog, Lunch. Make your lunch famous on the internet! I’m going to pull a fast one and call my Thanksgiving Sandwich entry my Come And Eat post for this time.

Item:
I made half as much sweet potato pudding this year, since Sugar had requested a savory sweet potato dish. I should have made more pudding — it was gone in a day, and I only got one sandwich out of it. The savory option is currently dying a quiet death in the back of the fridge.

Item: All that frantic eating seems to have led to another growth spurt. Internets, I am certifiably enormous. I am back to running into things every five minutes. I am in denial about the fact that turning sidewise to slip by objects or people has become comic in the extreme. (Imagine it — I, not un-wide, approach a narrow passage. I pause, turn 90 degrees, thus rendering myself twice as wide, and proceed to shove my way through.) I would say picture to follow, but I think we can all agree that said picture is more likely to actually happen if I don’t make any promises.

Item: While spending a very nice weekend with friends outside of Boston — and the fact that I can call the weekend very nice, despite how much of it was spent dealing with a teething toddler, a sudden lack of heat and hot water, and an obstreperous landlord ought to give you some idea how wonderful these friends are — I discovered that I could cleverly heft my (considerable) self out of their comfortable but very low armchair by pushing down on its arms and hovering my butt in the air such that my legs swung perfectly underneath me. I was very proud of being strong (and short) enough to manage the feat and performed it more than necessary.

Item:
Pride ever goeth before costcochondritis, as it turns out.

Item:
This is plenty bad, but how much worse it would be without Dr. Russian, who was on call last night when I left a tearful message with the answering service, after a day of increasing agony. “Take the percocet!” quoth she. Good doctor, that.


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Come And Eat

My mother’s favorite verse in the Bible is John 21:12. It’s after the resurrection, and the disciples are fishing. A man on the shore calls out to them, hears that they are not catching much, and gives them some advice — Try putting the nets on the other side of the boat. The nets fill up, the disciples realize the man is Jesus, and they begin to shout and carry on. Peter jumps into the water to swim to him. And Jesus says to them, “Come and eat breakfast.”

Don’t worry, my non-Bible-thumping ones. I’m not going to start sermonizing regularly. (For one thing, Sugar would have a fit. For another, I’m an Episcopalian, and we know our limits. Ours is not to preach but to polish old wood pews, to wring our hands over “tradition”, and to try not to spill our martinis on the needlepoint pillows….) Take comfort: the Bible-thumpers are clucking their tongues over my lowercase “him” above — I like Jesus better as a son of man than as a son of God, sometimes. I am an equal-opportunity offender.

Come to it, that verse might be my favorite, too. It gets to the heart of my beliefs about human connection: that the best way to show (and to build) our love for each other is to break bread. This idea is hardly unique to Christianity, I realize, nor to religion.

So, please: come and eat with me.

I’d like to invite you to last Sunday’s dinner. It was a quiet affair, at home in our cluttered apartment. I’d rather cook and drink wine and talk to you than wipe down the backsplash; I hope you don’t mind. I started cooking a little later than I meant to, so we’ll all have to sit around and talk while the food finishes. Sugar made a pie, whose crust she almost wouldn’t let me take pictures of, because the weather is damp and the dough was testy and she was afraid you’d disapprove. But I know you’ll see that pie as more perfect because of the fingerprints left from her mending the dough. (And I assure you, it tastes just fine.) The pie is made of rhubarb — which always makes me think of Sugar’s grandmother, who grows stalks taller than she is — and strawberries for the coming of summer and peaches from the freezer, a last-minute improvisation when the strawberries and rhubarb didn’t fill the shell.

imperfection

summer is coming

filled in with peaches

You’ll meet my most long-standing friend, who sat on my mother’s pregnant belly as a baby and started crying when I kicked her. She’s still threatening to get me back for that, but I say it was fairly dealt: she SAT on me, after all. Our mothers were close during their pregnancies and her mother watched us both as babies, so we are built of some of the same food. (These days, I take some comfort in the knowledge that none of that would have happened if my mother had been able to get pregnant when she’d first wanted to. No Bug in my life? Impossible.) I can’t believe that after being separated as young children, we’ve ended up living three blocks from each other, hundreds of miles from our various early homes. Womb Buddy’s talking about moving away, and we’re trying to talk her out of it but mostly trying to feed her well while she’s here, make sure the bonds of shared food stay strong.

RIMG0597
Israeli couscous with broccoli rabe — I don’t know how this is supposed to be cooked, but this is how I cook it.

And now, if you’d like, it’s your turn. I’ve read some beautiful posts about food and eating together on your blogs recently (to say nothing of my ongoing delight in starhillgirl’s requests to log my lunch) which inspired this attempted meme. Add your name and blog to the Mr. Linky list, and write a post about a meal this week. The ways food bonds us are multifarious, so your post can be pictures of a meal you made, a favorite or new recipe, a shared croissant with an old friend at a coffee shop. It can be wordy or just a picture.

I’ll write one of these every week and invite you to do the same, like an edible version of Mel’s (late, lamented) Show and Tell. Visit each other’s posts, please, and write comments to let folks know you’ve come to the table. If you’re writing about kids or babies — and I hope you will, because I believe feeding children is about much, much more than just making sure they don’t starve to death — put a * after your name, in case ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) folks aren’t in a good place for that. (Tip o’ the cursor to Calliope’s excellent suggestion at her Photo Friday project.)

(This is my first time using Mr. Linky, so maybe leave a comment, too, in case I didn’t do it right.)


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Sunday Dinner

I’m back from the conference, which was mainly a test of conversational endurance with my boss. This morning Baby and I went to buy a new scanner at B&H, my old one having died a premature death. Later we wandered around the botanic garden looking at blooming things. And then Baby cooked awesomely crunchy and salty/sweet faux chinese food. Here she is at the stove:

sugarcooks

Dinner was delicious.


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Tylenol — Let Me Be More Clear

It occurs to me that my last comment on Tylenol not actually doing anything could be read two ways.

1. “Tylenol won’t hurt the theoretical cell-bundle.”
That it not what I meant.

I meant:

2. “Tylenol is basically a placebo (that gives you liver damage).”

I’ve given up taking it, as it doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference one way or another. Whining seems just as effective at making me feel better.

In other news, Sugar has sweetly offered to make red beans and rice, which I had planned to make for a Superbowl party today. (I’m not particularly a football fan, but I am a huge New Orleans fan, which makes this the first year ever that I’ve cared who wins the game. Plus, I’d far rather cook and eat in honor of New Orleans than Indiana.)

My wife. She sure beats Tylenol.


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A Good Day For Scones

Hello, dearies. Is it snowing where you are? It is here, but so far there isn’t enough for sledding yet, which is WRONG. And I’m getting a cold. Maybe.

Mel mentioned her attempts at making scones without heavy cream, and it reminded me of Sugar’s yummy ginger scones, which don’t call for it. I asked for the recipe to share with Mel, and Sugar said she’d make them! Things are certainly looking up around here.

Sugar’s Yogurt Scones

(recipe clipped by Sugar’s mom from…some book on bread, and adjusted a bit here and there. This is half the listed recipe, as it makes too much for us and doesn’t keep all that well. This way makes 8 large scones.)

1 1/2 c flour (or use half whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbs butter (1/8 lb, if you buy it in big chunks the way we do)
1 packed Tbs brown sugar
1/2+1/8 c firm yogurt
1 egg
1/4 c …stuff. The recipe calls for raisins or currants, but since raisins are less than awesome and my body treats currants like DEADLY POISON DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY ALERT POLICE, we use crystallized ginger and nuts, ideally pecans. (We’re out of pecans, though, so today we’re trying flax seed.)

1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease baking sheet.

2. Sift dry ingredients (flour, soda, powder, salt) together. Cut butter into brown sugar (food processor or pastry cutter) until uniformly blended, resembling coarse meal.

3. Beat yogurt with egg. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add yogurt and “stuff.” Mix minimally (“with swift, decisive strokes.” Hot.) until well-blended.

4. Drop by rounded quarter measures onto cookie sheet. [And then it says to brush them with egg, which we never to. When I wheedle, Sugar sprinkles turbinado or other fancy sugar on top. Today, I wheedled.]

5. Bake 12-15 minutes.

Makes 8.

It’s taken me longer to type this than it took Sugar to mix up the batter, that’s how easy we’re talking (or how slow I type). Pictures to come when eating commences! Yay!

ETA:

Here! This photo taken shortly before the scone died a glorious death in my mouth. YumYumYum. Flax seeds are fine — inoffensive, but not a huge flavor addition. But I like how they feel when I bite them with my front teeth.

Sugar's Yogurt Scone