Monday, January 31, 2005
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Last week, Charlie surfaced just after my banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookie extravaganza. His first words were a sorrowful, "There aren't any with raisins?" So, today I made cinnamony, oatmealy, raisiny cookies for the lil' bro. Then, I dipped them in a thinned-out cream cheese frosting.
Things I've learned:
Saturday, January 29, 2005
My father is a character—perhaps Elmer Fudd more so than Prince Charming.
For years, people have commented on my personality, its likeness to my mother's. I've let it go to my head. "Look at me! I'm nothing like my father! Yay!"
Not true. I was soaking in a bubble bath tonight when I crashed cruelly into reality. Of all the personality quirks I could have inherited...*sigh*
My father has a humor appreciated by a small circle...namely, himself. He delivers jokes that draw deafening silence from a room, and yet he laughs on...and delivers the same faulty joke at the next gathering, and the next, and the next, and all of them in a 10-year rotation.
It occurs to me that I often find myself terribly witty in the face of a crowd whose eyes look upon me and call me "idiot".
I was dining with my mother and aunts last night. My aunts were discussing how the couples with large height differences seem to be the happiest. They named off several examples, alighting upon the master and mistress of mlphillips last.
I replied immediately, "Well that's because we don't even try to see eye-to-eye." I smiled the smile of someone who thinks they just said something remarkably funny.
The table conversation abruptly changed directions. My comment went unacknowledged. I continued to smirk about it all night. I should start a list of Jokes That Failed, but I fear its length.
Shuffling my feet, I whined, "I haven't updated my website. Nothing noteworthy happened today."
Mom, being the helpful sort, exclaimed, "But the kitchen floor is clean! You could post a picture!"
I snorted as I looked at her. "Yeeeaaaaah....."
Much time has passed. I got nothin.
Friday, January 28, 2005
My father is a PBS addict. I hear from Miles that this can be common ailment among fathers. Every Thursday night during high school, he and I had a television power struggle. I, naturally, wanted to watch NBC's Must See TV. I've always been one to follow commands.
Dad would kick and scream for his right to watch Outdoor Wisconsin, though he would start snoring about 10 minutes into the program—only to wake abruptly if you so much as brushed your fingertips against the remote.
Not much has changed with my father. One can, perhaps, give him kudos for his steadfastness. Meanwhile, I have stopped watching television nearly all together—aside from the occasional Golden Girls re-run, obviously. Last night, being Thursday, my father's calculating eyes alighted upon my position on the couch as he lunged, dived, and rolled for the remote in a farcical parody (I suppose that phrase is a touch redundant) of stealthy operation.
I looked on, humored. "You've got no competition from me, Old Man," I mused as I watched him straighten, remote tucked to his chest. He flattened himself against the wall, coming to the tips of his toes as he seemed to Riverdance to the couch.
I found it thoroughly delightful to watch the program this time.
Yes, that was sarcasm.
I thought it curious that the featured ice fisherman was wearing blaze orange.
In one segment, a man, probably in his early 30's, was crying brokenly as the camera zoomed in on a yellowing, black and white picture of horse. I added my voice to the melodramatic soundtrack. In a poor Laura Petrie (of "Oh...Rooooooooob!" fame) imitation I cried, "It was the best horse there ever was!"
Mom, quick to wit, replied in the same poor imitation, "The horse got shot so I had to break his leg! Ohhhhhh! *sobs*"
Thursday, January 27, 2005
With my father, last night:
(Dad) "Where are Gramma's cookies!?"
His inner diva came out then, as he stomped from the room and sulked for the rest of the evening.
With my brother, last night:
(Charlie) "Say, you're kind of a shrimp, aren't ya?"
I was really the only one who found that funny...but I giggled at it all night.
With my mother, weeks ago:
(Mom) "Your hair is getting so dark!"
For the rest of that afternoon, she was unable to look at my face without erupting in laughter.
With my husband, yesterday:
(Miles) "Oh, by the way, the Upton Photography site is basically right on. They want the camera replaced with something non-photography and it's done."
Let's just say that he's lucky that he's already my alpha and my omega.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
My brother, fellow Scandinavian—someone who actually knows what fattigmand is—is wrought with Italian blood. In an impressive show of mozzarella and marinara, he fashioned a pizza of such delectability that I am left wordless in its wake.
HAH. Wordless. Riiiiight. You wish!
My vigilant nose caught the divine scent upon the air. I stole into the kitchen. Peering into the aromatic oven, I captured the visual feast:
Catching the dying embers of my camera's flash, Charlie rushed to the room. "Pictures? Of my masterpiece? Yes, Yes! I must document this creation!" he must have thought. I willingly obliged.
It was a two-man job to transfer the pizza from the pan. Unfortunately, all we had to work with was a word geek and an Italian-Norwegian. The job still got done—with the application of cuss words and burned fingers. Ah, but such is the price of greatness.
It was almost too attractive to eat. Almost. We inched the pizza cutter closer to the pie. This next step must come to pass, though we loathed to destroy such a treasure.
Consulting my thesaurus...
Yes, I had a piece. I couldn't resist. You can't know the siren song that this pizza sang. As if the golden glory of the breading wasn't enough, the Italian-Norwegian whiz kid stuffed the crust!
I was not a happy camper. He wove that tale of irresistible proportions purely to break me—and break me, he did. "Look at the cheese—just the way you like it! You know you want some, Laur!" And I did. I partook of the bubbling beauty.
Below, you see that my ambivalence was well documented. The impatience on my face reflects my fall from dietary responsibility, my deviation from self control...and the knowledge that I would do it all over again if the opportunity presented itself.
Time to get back on the treadmill.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Conversationally last night, I told Miles that I updated mlphillips.
"Just so you know, I updated the site just now...wrote about the cookies I made for you."
I imagine he patted himself on the back, took a swig of Pepsi and large bite of pizza, then sighed around a full mouth, "Nice save, Miles."
A conversation with Dad:
"So these cookies..."
(is this question coming from my father!?)
(his expression was so hopeful)
(Have I mentioned Sarah?—lol)
"Yeah!—and chocolate chips!"
(Clearly he was missing the point. I considered the chocolate chips...)
"Uh...yes, and the uh...copper...from the chocolate chips..."
Monday, January 24, 2005
Yesterday, I made banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (their taste is worth every syllable of their name, trust me) for Miles and Jason...and Dad and Charlie, naturally. "The way to a man's heart..." and all that.
I promised Miles earlier in the week that I was going to make him cookies this weekend. With half of Sunday gone, he messaged, "Hey I'm gonna run for a bit...now you have an excuse to start cookies!!!" He makes subtlety an art form, no? Oh well...at least he's got that cute thing going for him.
So, my mom was napping on the couch, my father was somewhere doing something with an Aprilaire, my brother was at a friend's house (he still has a social life), and my husband, who was keeping me company online, decided to abandon me in hopes that I would make him cookies.
I was bored. Seriously bored. Women's Studies courses were required at my college. I wasn't about to run off to make cookies just because my husband told me to...come on! We've progressed further than that, ladies! So, off I went to pet the cat. Then I made cookies. *clears throat*
Ok, boys and girls. What's the first step in cookie making? Hmmm? What's that? Well, yes, a recipe is a good start, but we're actually following the neat freak's guide today.
The recipe is a darn good second step, though! This was my great-grandma Lothe's recipe. My father's mother's mother, if you're curious. My father's family is really into tradition, if you haven't figured it out yet. It's nice. I enjoy it.
Mmmm bananas. I have this friend. Her name is Sarah, and I met her on a health and fitness forum. When the Blueberry-Banana Cake of last Novemeber came into the spotlight, she sent me an email. She amuses me greatly. She wrote like 500 words on the spelling of the word "banana" before coming to the point of the email...which was to request the recipe for Blueberry-Banana Cake, naturally. I now think of her whenever I look at a banana. I'm sure she just loves that. She's the hot topic at the local produce section.
"Do you have any bananas?"
Anyway, that had absolutely nothing to do with the cookies, but that's just how my brain [mal]functions.
She did the mash...She did the b'nana mash!
The family recipe is a little ambiguous. "Yields: LOTS" Lots!? What's that?? They're lucky it's listed in all caps as "lots" couldn't possibly hope to describe the cookies you can crank out of this recipe. I had to throw everything in a roasting pan and mix it with my hands. Re. Fine. Ment. I sectioned off part of the dough and refrigerated it for my brother—he prefers his cookies extra rare. Some might even call it raw.
I'm not a drop cookie fan. Not that I don't like the way they taste...they just seem so unscientific. It's the "dropping" process that ruins them for me. I reached for a melon baller. I don't get to use these things often as Miles doesn't like melons. He doesn't like cucumbers either, but he will eat pickles. Hmm....maybe he just requires his cantaloupe to have a dill weed bath first. The melon baller cookies had better shape than their unskilled "drop" ancestors—but still, I was not pleased.
I mused aloud, "If only we had an actual cookie scoop!"
Mom replied excitedly from the other room, "Oh! But we DO!"
I looked at my remaining dough and thought grouchily, "Now she tells me."
I packed up the rest of the cookies for my family and cleaned the kitchen. Dad came into the room timidly. "Can I have one of these cookies?" He gestured toward the stash. With my affirmation, he picked one up and said, "I can't decide if you're Martha Stewart or Julia Child, but I'm sure glad you're here!"
I chuckled. He took a bite of his cookie. "Oh!" came his delighted sigh. "Gramma's cookies!!!"
And, in that moment, it didn't matter that I've cut nearly all meat from my diet, that I prefer coffee instead of crude oil...all that mattered was that I made his "gramma's" cookies...and that they were good.
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