Sunday, November 27, 2011

Food For Thought

So what could make this past week any harder than it already is??
How about adding a monster of a stomach flu.

Booooo, stomach flu.

Poor Grace. She had a miserable week. I suppose we all did, but she was especially miserable, my poor baby. Hungry, miserable, sick, bored, and puking. For six whole days. She even managed to puke on the dog, which was messy, hilarious, and totally gross, all at the same time. Carpet stains have already been shampooed though, thanks to Jeremy who did the honors yesterday, and the dog is much cleaner now too.
 It was a long week on top of a looooong week for us. I still don't want to eat much out of fear and my hands are peeling from washing them so frequently, but she is better now, still a little tired, but much better, and H-U-N-G-R-Y.

My girl likes food. A lot. The first thing out of her mouth when she gets off the bus is: "What's for dinner?"
She loves to watch the food network. I've caught her more than twice cuddled on the couch thumbing through a Martha Stewart Food magazine. She told me recently she wants to be on TV.
"Doing what?" I ask, envisioning Miley Cyrus, or i Carly.
"On one of the cooking shows." she answers.
" You want to have your own cooking show?" I ask.
"No. I want to be a judge on the cooking shows."
"Really?  Why?" I ask.
" Because I want to eat. I want to eat what they are cooking."

Smart girl. She thinks about food a lot, she tells me, and loves to look at food in her picture books. She's always been a fantastic eater, and can make a mean Tomatillo salsa, and already has plans to own a restaurant where I will be employed someday, she has told me. I suppose it all comes down to genetics. You see, my parents are the best cooks I know, hands down. Yep, the very best. I grew up in a Mexican American household and have learned the tricks of the trade throughout my years at home, and have grown up on food made from scratch nearly every night.  The importance of that has been passed down on to me, and now it is up to me to pass it on to my daughter.
She watches me in the kitchen, and I can already tell the smells, sounds, and  tastes are pouring into her memories, just as mine did, when I was little. I can still remember the sound of the range fan, and the smell of a simmering pot of pinto beans hitting me as I opened the door coming home from a long day at school. I remember shredding poached chicken, burning my fingertips because the carcass was still hot, but the faster I did it, the faster those mouthwatering enchiladas would be in my stomach. I remember being in the back yard, and seeing the steam gather in a thick blanket on the kitchen window, then watching the slow drip of condensation slide down the glass so you couldn't see inside. I remember music, because my mom liked to cook to music, and now, I love to too.  These are memories I hope to pass on to Grace, and will work hard to do so, because I love to make her happy, and home cooked food does the trick.
Grace was better by Friday, just in time for "Thanksgiving" at my parents house. Sadly, I missed seeing my in-laws on Thursday because I had to stay home with Grace, but they sent a plate home with Jeremy with the very best sweet potato dish I've ever had. Thank you, and I missed you guys, lots.
My parents did what they usually do and bring "Thanksgiving" to a new level. No turkey. No stuffing. No cranberry sauce.  Instead, homemade Tamales, and the best chicken enchiladas ever with Mexican cheese, beans, and Spanish rice on the side. They cooked for two days straight, they did. And we devoured it in ten minutes flat. We got to visit, and I took some pictures, and we ate, and ate, and ate some more.

My dad, the sous chef.  When I see him in his cooking apron, it means business.

Mom's woodland centerpiece. Nothing fancy, but this thoughtful bouquet screams home to me.

Mom in "The Next Iron Chef" attire. You'd  better watch out, Bobby Flay. Srsly.

This would be my plate.

The kids table.  Dinner and the movie "Hook"

Jazzy walking tall with my brother.

I finally got to take a picture of my cutie niece outside, before the sun went down.

The Tello family announced they will be adding girl #7 to the family. Welcome, little one.

 It was very nice visiting with family, but I am glad this week is over. December can't come soon enough. I am not feeling very deep tonight, and still am climbing out of November's trenches, so this post may feel a little "eh". To cure the "eh's" over here, we have began and have almost finished decorating for Christmas:

Decorating in Jammies.

Adding a new stocking to the stairs.  A custom made one for Daisy Doo

One of my favorite ornaments. My Russian snowman I bought in Leavenworth.

Here's to pulling out yards of tangled Christmas lights, tree's that lean and will not stand straight, animals that drink the Christmas tree water dry, seasonal music that you know every word, itchy scarves that you wear because they are "cute", tummies full of mandarin oranges, feverish  late night wrapping that makes your back scream and your legs go numb, questionable cookies that have been given to you by a questionable person, Santa's list that has no words, only dollar signs, slushy almost snow that is really just lumpy rain, terrible Thriftway parking on the weekends, and mugs of hot chocolate that leave you with a mustache and a mono brow.
Cheers to all of this and more.
Okay, December.
Bring it on.
I welcome you.

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