Meetings And Partings

My mom is back in town!

Here she is patiently waiting for me to make a mess of the cornbread recipe we were going to try. She has been in Savannah with Dad over the holidays so we invited her over for lunch and fun now that she is back. Nikki made the vegetable soup I mentioned before, and since my wife has the memory of an elephant on a daily dose of ginkgo biloba, she added a lot of seasoning. She also added worcestershire sauce which makes it NON vegetarian (it is made from anchovies). Mom wanted to provide something for the meal as well and we decided on cornbread from a recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie. If you decide to make the recipe we chose to use almond milk, organic sugar and just one pack of Stevia. Here are some pictures!

Measuring the corn meal. I am a stickler for exact measurements.

This is a picture of the wet and the dry mixes coming together. In the back you can see me fretting over what “mix until just mixed” means. I hate this kind of recipe language. For the life of me I can’t understand it. Why can’t people just say “mix it exactly ten times”? My mother and wife assured me that it meant just stir until things come together and don’t over stir, but because I was being so anal and neurotic about it my mom finally took over.

A tutorial for the insane.

Once it was properly mixed I poured it into my favorite skillet. We inherited one from Nikki’s grandmother that has slots that separates whatever you are cooking into eight pieces. It also makes it “crusty all around” as mom would say, which is delectable. Here is a shot pre-oven:

And post-oven:

This cornbread is really excellent. It crumbles like cornbread should, and the little bit of sweet really meshed well with the spicy of the vegetable soup.

My sweet mother also brought me a bag of roasted peanuts so I used the old food processor and made my own peanut butter. Here are some shots.

It takes a good bit of time for peanuts to become peanut butter. Above is a picture halfway through the process.

I put in a little sea salt for flavor. Mom said “a pinch” which is another recipe word that I don’t understand, so I just poured it in and tasted it to see if it was too much. I would say that I wound up putting in about two teaspoons worth. Here is the finished product:

Not bad for a $1.99 bag of peanuts.

Mom also brought some Barbara’s Whole Wheat Fig Bars.

These were very good. They remind of the Little Debbie fig bars we used to eat all the time when we were kids. Except, these are much healthier.

I don’t mean to bring it down at the end here, but we have been dealing with a lot of death around here lately. A lot of our friends and friends of friends and friends of family have been dying. Sometimes it just piles up on you. To keep with the Muppet Christmas Carol theme I wanted to use a quote from that movie to help me deal with everything:

“It’s all right, children. Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it. I am sure that we shall never forget Tiny Tim, or this first parting that there was among us.” Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit 

I love this quote because it says so much in so little. “That is the way of it” means everyone we love and know now will eventually be dead. There is nothing we can do to stop that. True immortality lies in the memories of your friends and family. Our friends will live forever in our memories, for they are the stars of that movie. There is not much comfort in that, but it is the truth. Really, there are no words to say. My brother and I had a good talk about how people react to death. You all know that you have been at a funeral and heard some of the stupidest stuff said to the grieving. Ryan and I tend to try to stay in the back and be silent. I like to think that I will be there for them when they need me, but I won’t be in their face about it. I don’t know what to say, so I don’t say anything.

I want to end by sharing this video with you that my brother posted on his blog. I think they handled this situation very well. Sorry for the poor quality and spammy ads, but it is the only place you can find this video.





2 responses

  1. What a great video. I remember when that originally happened. Who would think a 54-year-old would sit here boo hooing at a Sesame Street video. One of the most difficult things to accept is that death is a very real part of life. We know it with our minds, but it doesn’t become real in our hearts until it happens to someone close to us. The only way we can really be comforted is to have our loved ones be there with us. There are no words that can make the pain go away. We just need to be close to those we love and those who love us. That’s how we give comfort as well. Just be there. To meet whatever needs the grieving person may have. And as time goes by the pain doesn’t ever really go away, but the sharp edges do start to blur a little and we realize that the ones we have loved and lost will always be a part of the tapestry of our lives.

    On a lighter note, I really enjoyed being able to spend time with you and Nikki again and your peanut butter looks perfect!

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