Thursday, December 28, 2006

Our Lady of Sonoma

My mother-in-law works at William Sonoma. She looks like Linda Evans - Think Barbie crossed with AARP. At 55 she has fewer wrinkles than a porcelain gravy boat (which you can buy at William Sonoma for the price of a down payment on a condo… the gravy boat, not the wrinkle cure.)

She’s scary organized and I’ve not once seen her lose her cool. While I like reds, browns and anything orange or, as my mom likes to say “brothel decor", Rex's mother is a big fan of tans, creams, sage greens and “mellow yellows”.

I recently discovered one major flaw, though: Christmas morning, as I sat surrounded in more holiday paper than J-Lo’s had husbands, I shrieked in horror to find that, in a fit of insanity, my kids' traditionally cool headed grandmother bought me a $400.00 pot and pan set.

They are Caphalon - so nice that apparently you can’t even put them in the dishwasher. (Mama P translation: Not only do I get to poison my family with my cooking, but I get to verifiably kill them when I leave raw meat stuck to the pan for days on end from my fabulous “hand wash” job. Ask my husband… I don’t do very good hand jobs. What? I’m talking about cleaning, you pervs.) I'm thinking I better refrain from their artistic doubles as paint buckets, mud spinners, mop rinsers or turtle washes. (Yes, I do have a 3 legged turtle, but that's a blog for another day.)

In homage to this trust my impeccable in-law has placed in me (and more than one nod to Rex that I had better not destroy the new dishware) I am, beginning next week...

Cue music…

Turning into a housewife.

I fully expect to end up prostrate on the floor, praying to Our Lady of William Sonoma and asking why Bisquick is not an adequate flour substitute. But now, in the comfort of my office, with caffeine bubbling in my system and Rex's spicy sausage pepper sandwiches churning in my tummy, I have high hopes of meal planning each week for health and budget.

Am I an overachiever? Ah, duh.

If ya’ll want to try it with me, here’s the theme for the week. To make cooking fun! Lots of exclamations! Oooh, the fire alarm is going off! Yeah!

* Meat Monday
* Taco Tuesday
* Whatever Wednesday (this means some wacky new recipe!)
* Tomato Thursday (Translation: Italian or stuffed peppers of some sort… anything using a sauce)
* Frozen Friday (Translation: Give myself a break day with a frozen pizza, burritos, something preferably healthy)
* Sandwich Saturday (If you can’t figure this out on your own, then I suggest you start your week off with Saturday so you can decompress, eat and restore brain cells.)
* Stew or Soup Sunday (Using a crock pot if you have one)

Some of the menus I will keep from week to week for easy family pleasers (“easy family pleasers?” Good, God, I am turning into that puffy southern tv cook whose perfume you can smell through your Tivo… please shoot me. NOW.)

Unlike the puffy southern peroxide chef, however, my goal is to weave like ingredients throughout all the dishes each week to make preparation easy. Pick a day to do your slicing and dicing a la Rachael Ray, because then it makes it easier for the rest of the week. But if you use the words “Eevo” or “garbage bowl” I am going to duck your head into my Cusinart, hit “Go”, put on Dora and laugh laugh laugh a la Swiper the Fox who has just farted into Abuela's tamale pie.

For the bonus point, I’m attempting to add some sort of veggie into each dish. Tomato sauce counts as a veggie, so just get over that one. So do frozen peas, canned corn and McDonald Apple Dippers.

Tune in tomorrow for the January menu - Weak One.

I mean, Week 1.

The "weak one" will be me who will be exhausted before she's even started the grocery list.

Oh, and did I mention this is going to be done for 100 bucks/week?

Who's with me? It'll be more fun than Mama P with an Epidural in her back, Diet coke in her hand.

Did you hear that sound? It's Rex, cleaning the bottom of the pans with "Bar Keepers Friend". After my cooking, he better become friends with a bar keeper.

In closing, let me remind Texas Lizzy that you're doing this with me. You promised.

Texas Dottie, you're as as tall as me, and if your daughter in law fails in her obligations, I give you full permission to ride on over there on your horse, tractor, or whatever you wacky Texans ride and beat her silly with the spatulas I sent to her kids for Christmas.

And Mrs. V, don't think that because you teach Sunday School you're getting out of this. If you can make a Gxx Dxxed pumpkin cheese spinach quesadilla thing a ma bobby, you can do this, too.

And Cecelia, your "I'm a vegetarian and I'll be traveling" doesn't cut the mustard either. (Okay, maybe it does. But screw off in advance for not playing.)

Stopping now.


amisare waswerebeen said...

Here's a blog I came across and read regularly. It belongs to a supermom that homeschools her four kids, has a cleaning schedule (that she actually follows), cooks regular meals (homemade), and still manages to get out and see the light of day. I've been reading it for a while and have yet to figure out how to do it myself. I'm passing it along to you to inspire you, or scoff at on the days you can't manage one meal (like many of my days). Enjoy!

Pam said...

My husband has to do all the cooking now, so I will have to pass. But I will enjoy your endeavors tremendously. Especially if they are as much fun as this blog!

Anonymous said...

I just picked up some Bar Keeper's Friend myself at Gay Bath & Beyond last week. I use it carefully on my gorgeous ORANGE Italian cookware that my mom-in-law bought me. Strange seredipity or just cookware craziness? You decide. ;-)

KD in SF

meno said...

Good luck with the new regime woman. I expect to see a picture of you in a house dress and pearls while vacuuming any day now.

MommyHAM said...

LOVE BarKeeper's Friend - I have one of those smooth cooktop stoves and this is the only thing that cleans it! Oh, whoah, that is like the most domestic thing EVER out of me....

Just food for thought on your menu...It's always handy to have breakfast for dinner a couple-three nights a month. Pancakes, bacon/sausage (turkey variety if you're semi-health conscious like me) and know, all the stuff Beaver Cleaver ate in the MORNINGS but I am to lazy to make unless the calendar says Saturday.

Mama P said...

Amisare - How is school going? And that lady's blog... I can't wait to read and mentally flog myself at my failings.

KD - The Gay Bed Bath and Beyond? Now THATS where I should have gone with my ex-boyfriend to get him to shower with me.

Mommyham - Are you serious about the Barkeeper's Friend? I had never heard of that in my life.

Pam - Sounds like you have your own brand of marketing in your man called Husbandskeeper - as in, he's a keeper if he cooks for you (whether your health requires it or not... he sounds lovely.)

Meno - You'll get that photo of me in my pearls yet. Just as I'll see that one of you smiling with a bunch of old quilting ladies at the local Starbuck's bitch n stitch.

Maggie said...

I have a little hint that has been working wonders for me: double a meal and freeze it. Do this often enough and you have great reserves in your freezer for more hectic times. Just take it out the night before, let defrost in the fridge and bake or reheat for dinner!

I know you didn't want to hear 'garbage bowl' but I have to say that on the days when I do a ton of cutting and prepping, I put a grocery sack in a bowl and toss stuff as I go so I don't have to bend to the garbage can frequently. Please don't blend my head!

Now if you're picturing me in a frilly apron, STOP! I'm the one with the hair flying everywhere, waving the towel at the damn smoke detector that goes off just because the oven was hot and the door opened.

Mama P said...

Maggie - I am half kidding about the Rachael Ray thing. I actually find her techniques pretty useful - those that I've watched. It's the ever perkiness of the "I'm your best gal friend". She's never done thirty minutes or less with a rugrat attached to her thigh. But then again, she's making millions and seems like a nice person, so Evoo to her!

bridethatwas said...

I hate to correct anyone but I was also corrected on this so I am passing it along - it is not Eevo! It is EVOO (extra virgin olive oi).

May your New Year be filled with many successful and tasty meals.

Mama P said...

Hi Bride - Thanks for the correction. You're right, actually.