Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

As I navigated the aisles “The Things We Do For Love” played in my head; a screechy record I’d have given anything to snap in half.

You see I had an intense headache all day yesterday. Wait, that’s a lie. It wasn’t all day. It did presto into a massive migraine for several hours or so just to mix things up a little.

But, as us mum’s do, I trudged on, driving the boys to school, continuing the laundry I’d started the day before, cleaning one of the bathrooms that just couldn’t wait another second, sorting and tidying a pile of wayward clothes that were, admittedly, mostly mine, cleaning the fish-y bowl and running up and down the stairs five hundred times or so fetching this and that for my daughter who was, to top it all off, home sick with the flu.

So yes, I hopped around like a good little bunny mummy until it finally took me out. Around four o’clock I had no choice but to surrender.

With one last swoop of my sponge, the pain grabbed hold and dragged me to my room, roughly shoving me onto the bed. “Lie down,” it jeered. “And stay down, or you’ll be sorry.”

Its grip tightened.

It was showing me who was boss and I knew better than to cross it. It pressed with all its might. It squeezed until I thought my skull would open and seep onto the pillow. I lay in frozen fear with no intention of disobeying its very clear command.

That is, until I realized with horror, that I’d forgotten about dinner.

“Who’s going to make dinner?” My panicked whisper pierced through the delirium and my throbbing brain.

“Not you,” hissed the pain. “I told you you’re not going anywhere.”

There was a moment I’d felt defeated. A moment where I thought I had to listen. A moment when I believed I couldn’t win.

And then there was the moment where I (gingerly) sat up, (stiffly) stood up and (somewhat sheepishly) spoke up; “Screw you,” I exclaimed. “My family needs to eat!”

That folks, is how I found myself staggering through the Safeway aisles, and I can literally use the word painfully here, picking out the ingredients to create a robust Spaghetti.

I almost made it too.

Standing in line, waiting to pay, reality kicked in. Still in front of me, was getting this stuff home, organizing it, cooking it, serving it and cleaning it all up and I have to say, it all just seemed a tad undoable.

As I leaned on the cart and discreetly dialed the number to our favourite restaurant, the record played on, only a little louder and little less screechy and it made me realize that when you do things for love, you never lose.

TONIGHT'S DINNER - made with love

TONIGHT’S DINNER – made with love and only slightly less agony

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A kitchen chimp, I have never claimed to be.

Yesterday, my oldest son competed a set of very intense exams and I wanted to do something special for him. But what could I do? Like most kids not living in a third world country, he has most everything he could ever want.

And then it came to me…food! Ah, yes, food. He’s a guy. He’s a teen. It’s perfect! The problem is, I can’t cook. Alright, I can cook, but not like a chef, you know? I couldn’t come up with something special enough. Not something that was; I just finished a Physics, Pre-Calc, Programming and English exam, worthy.

And then I realized I didn’t have to cook, I could create instead. He loves the Rocky Road bars from Blenz. He’s slightly addicted to them but doesn’t get them nearly often enough being that his mother is a Starbucks kinda girl.

As I searched the ‘net for a recipes, (yes, I actually had to look for recipes for Rocky Road) I began to see that there are many versions of what I thought would be a simple endeavor, even for me.

My brain started ticking (it does do that sometimes) and I decided to make my own concoction. Yay me!

Those of you who don’t know me are reading on in wonderment, amazed that I have survived this long, with three kids mind you, possessing such feeble culinary abilities, and those of you that do know me, have signed off, bored with reading what is common knowledge.

I’ve only ever owned one apron. It was a long ago Christmas present from a friend who loves herself just enough to be totally awesome and is, by the way, a fantastic cook. It has a caricature type image of her on the front and says; “I mean really! What did she expect? Did she actually think the surgeon would agree to make her look just like Jennifer? Everyone knows you can’t just replicate that kind of breathless beauty!”

I swear I couldn’t make that up if I tried. I now use it for cutting my husband’s hair.

So, I donned my new, still tagged apron and melted half a kilo of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a glass mixing bowl atop a pot of bubbling water, added five scoops, okay maybe half a jar of creamy peanut butter, a few handfuls of extra smashed walnuts and many…many tiny, fluffy marshmallows.

Apron 1

The one point where I believed, not surprisingly, that I had screwed it up was when I chose to sheepishly add some condensed milk. I admit I knew it was risky, but went ahead anyway. If you don’t know already, and you probably do, that shizzle brings melted chocolate to a halt. What is that about? To fix it, and I figured this out all by my lonesome, I poured in some regular milk. It took several minutes of sweat ‘n’ stir but gradually the mixture returned to its flowy, Wonka river-like state.  Whew!

My son was thrilled and I don’t think it was just about the Rocky Road. Sometimes it’s really just the simple things.

RR Bars

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