Thursday, October 26, 2006

Modern Day Excuses

Kristin: At 10 a.m. on 11/10/06, I am going to meet with the potential vendor for the LCS merchandise. Care to join me?

Vikki: Oh, I can't. I'll be cutting kale that day.

You too can cut kale all day. Try out this recipe for Caldo Verde and remember to cut that kale finely.

Caldo Verde (adapted from the Joy of Cooking)
  • In a large pot, heat over medium heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Add and cook until tender (but not brown), 1 medium onion and 2 cloves of garlic
  • Stir in 8 cups of water or 6 cups of water and 2 cups of chicken stock, 4 medium potatoes, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft
  • Remove from heat and, using a potato masher, lightly mash the potatoes in the pot (we actually puree the potatoes because real Caldo Verde is smooth)
  • In medium skillet, heat 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil and cook until brown 6 ounces of Portuguese linguica or chorizo thinly sliced
  • Add the sausage to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Stir in 4 cups of shredded kale, swiss chard, or collards (we usually try to use collards because they most closely match the Portuguese greens that is typically used)
  • Simmer for 5 minutes and serve

Friday, October 20, 2006

Suddenly Mature

We are at Chipotle. We are sitting next to a table of seven pre-teen girls who are raucously showing each other their food, giggling maniacally and jostling around in their seats. We are quietly eating our food.

Miguel (looking at the girls): Mama, they're not very mature are they?

Vikki and Luisa (stunned, quietly snickering)

Miguel (interrupting the snickering): They are not mature.

This from the boy who hid a needle in his mouth a few weeks ago and likes to sing songs about poop.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Clouds in My Coffee

McDonald's has started a new ad campaign in which they urge us to let them add the cream and sugar to our coffee. I wouldn't drink coffee from McDonald's unless Ronald McDonald himself ordered me to drink it at gun point. Even if I was a consumer of their coffee, why in the world would I trust the McDonald's workers to add my cream and sugar? I won't even let Luisa add the cream to my coffee and I've known her for 14 years.

The ads make it sound like this is a fabulous new service they are providing to customers. In searching for an image of the new ad to put on this blog, I found the following:

Now, I'm thinking they are just trying to avoid lawsuits. Maybe their next ads will suggest that they add Lipitor directly to the food to save everyone the trouble of those pesky trips to the doctor.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Focus on the Family

The National Republican convention will be held in Minnesota in 2008 and Focus on the Family held a big rally in St. Paul last night. Conservative politicians are racing to Minnesota to push their agenda by dividing people through fear. With increasing frequency, I find myself wondering what the hell is happening here. I am angry and tired and, sometimes, I will admit that I am scared.

Last night, while James Dobson talked about the threat of "gay families", do you know what my very dangerous family was doing? We were at Miguel's soccer practice. We were cheering for our son and pushing our daughter on the swings. We were talking with friends and other parents about the weather and how the team was coming along. As Dobson's rally was ending, we were reading books to our children, singing them songs and tucking them into bed. I think this country has bigger problems than a couple of lesbians reading "Goodnight Moon" and singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".

I fear for the future of this country also but, clearly, for different reasons than the Christian fundamentalists. I worry about the war and our international reputation. I worry because we can no longer trust our leaders to tell us the truth. I worry about the state of our education system and our ability to prepare our children for the future. I worry about the growing problems of poverty and affordable housing. I worry about the fact that many people can't afford basic health care. I worry because we are treating the Earth with such disrespect that the damage may not be surmountable. I worry about the political and culturals chasms that are opening in this country, chasms created by divisive politicians, fear and hateful rhetoric. I worry about all these things but I am most frightened by the fact that half of the country doesn't seem concerned about these things at all. These issues are the real threats to families and, yet, the focus is being directed elsewhere.

There are no easy answers to this country's problems. I can only hope that, someday, people are going to realize that and stop listening to the politicians telling them that there is always someone else to blame.

Monday, October 02, 2006

On My Birthday

The sun hits the lake and the reflected light is difficult to bear. I have to close one eye to watch you playing at the water’s edge but I see you completely. I see the joy in your open-mouthed smile. I see your strength and purpose in the way your legs pound the sand as you walk. I see your independence and honor it for the gift it is rather than the curse I imagine. I want to keep this moment. I want to tuck it in my wallet like a faded picture. I admire you, all of you, and fall in love with you all over again.