Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tastes of My Childhood

10. Meatloaf

My mother had four bratty kids to feed, and ground beef was cheap, yo, so it made an appearance on our dinner table at least once a week. This meatloaf was pretty standard; a bit dry, but you could fix that with the trusty ketchup, whose presence on the table could always be counted on.

9. Paprika & Garlic Salt

If I were to tell you what my childhood tasted like, it would be paprika and garlic salt (plus ketchup, see above). These totally innocuous flavouring agents (I don’t even think they count as spices) may as well have been the only tenants in the spice rack, as they were the only two that ever saw food. Paprika and garlic salt went on just about everything, and along with ketchup, complete the holy trinity of perfect seasoning according to my mother.

8. Spaghetti & Meatballs

The only thing more economical than ground beef is pasta, so you can guess how many times we sat down to this meal in a month. The sauce was always from a can, and my dad would add so much parmesan cheese and dried red chilis that it would make my eyes water from across the table. I was out of the house for more than a decade before I was able to cook this for myself. And I have never, ever used canned sauce. On anything.

7. Ham ‘n Eggs

Like the good Jews that we are, we sat down to a brunch of ham ‘n eggs on English muffins pretty much every single weekend of my childhood and youth. A testament to how much my dad enjoyed this dish is that, once he and my mother stopped having anything to do with each other, he continued to cook ham ‘n eggs for himself several times a week. Or maybe it was just the only thing he knew how to cook. Either way, Sunday mornings at my house smelled decidedly more Gentile than we like to admit.

6. Brisket

Every Jewish person will tell you this, but seriously, my mother’s brisket is better than anyone else’s brisket. She makes it the traditional way – with onion soup mix – and puts rice in the bottom of the pan to cook in the juices. Holy Moses, but my mother’s brisket (and rice) is so good. Too bad she always ruined hers by drowning it in ketchup. I loved it as a kid, but then became quasi-political and shunned red meat. Thankfully, any pretense I ever had of being a vegetarian went out the window during the Rosh Hashana of my first pregnancy. Baby wanted meat. Lots and lots of meat, and I happily obliged. I now eat my mother’s brisket without shame. (And without ketchup)

5. Sausage & Peppers

More pork, don’t tell the Rabbi. This was actually a really tasty dish. So easy, and great for a chilly autumn day. I now make this for my own family, though I use organic peppers and nitrate/sulphite/additive-free sausage – things that did not even hit the radar of an economically-minded housewife in the 70s and 80s. Chunks of spicy sausage with onions and green and red peppers simmering slowly in their own juices and then slung onto a bun – just yum. No need to add ketchup (I’m looking at you, MOM).

4. Bubilehs & Matzo Brie

As far as my heritage goes, I would say that I am a cultural, rather than religious, Jew. We observe the holidays in our own special way (like, we eat a lot and not a single prayer is said), and this includes Pesach (Passover), which is observed by (among other things) not eating anything with yeast for 8 days. We usually made it one day – one meal really, the seder – but would supplement our heathen ways by diving into our two favourite ‘Passover’ foods for breakfast, bubilehs and matzo bries. A bubileh is a huge, fluffy, eggy panckake that you sprinkle sugar on, and a matzo brie is essentially French toast, but made with matzo. We kids ate it like you would French toast, that is, drowning in syrup. My mother would douse it with – you guessed it – ketchup. Good thing we are the chosen people, otherwise I’m pretty sure my mother would not be let into the kingdom of Heaven for that reason alone.

3. Salmon Patties

I do not like canned tuna. I have never liked canned tuna. My sister has not eaten canned tuna since she got sick as a child after eating a tuna sandwich (it had nothing to do with the tuna and everything to do with the flu, but still, she blamed the tuna). My mother likes canned tuna. My father liked canned tuna. Canned tuna is economical. So my mother made tuna patties. And called them salmon. She didn’t tell me that the salmon patties were really tuna patties unitl l I was in my 20s. I retaliated by telling her that we once put a hole in the dining room wall during a party, and patched it up with materials stolen from a nearby construction site. Take that, mom.

2. Tongue

As in, a cow’s. Pickled and sliced. In a sandwich. All bumpy and European and gross. I did not eat tongue, but my mother, my grandmother and my aunts did, and seeing it sitting there on the platter from the Pickle Barrel, contaminating the lovely pastrami and corned beef beside it with its nastiness was enough to make me eat tuna. Almost.

1. Ketchup Stew

So named due to the main flavouring ingredient, this stew will be the butt of family jokes until I
die. Chunks of bargain-priced beef alongside potatoes, carrots, peas and onions, in a soupy, ketchupy sauce, my mother would add more ketchup once the stew was in her bowl, because she is gross. I have not had ketchup stew in almost 20 years, but it still haunts me today, and I would not be surprised if, like Citizen Kane’s Rosebud, it is the thing that I stupefyingly cry out for on my death-bed. Curiously, my vegan sister craves ketchup stew when feeling under the weather.



Who Are You And What Have You Done With Kgirl?

I have been thinking about doing some seriously masochistic shit lately. Seriously. I don’t know if my life is just feeling super-ass boring, or if it’s the weather or what, but fuck, I’m thinking of doing things that I probably should not do.

Like going bra shopping. I need a new bra like I need more coffee – that is, a lot, and it is as much for the benefit of those around me as it is for my own damn good.

Currently, I am wearing a 4-year old stretched out, too small, ugly, natty nursing bra that has faded to a lovely shade of swine, from my first round of breastfeeding, and it is doing not a thing for me, except making my sunburnt shoulders itch. As for my figure, it is riding up and cutting my tits in half, which certainly makes for a lovely silhouette.

So, I should just go get a new bra, right? Yes, but then I have to give up the fantasy that I am still a perky, nubile young thing in a respectable 34B, and accept the fact that some old Russian frau will unceremoniously stuff my lovelies into a contraption that looks more suited to carting around weapons of mass destruction than bosoms, and which forces me to accept that my actual measurements are more stubby than tall-boy. I’m just not ready to give up the fantasy (or the money), even though the flap on my left cup just popped open and hit me in the chin.

The other masochistic nonsense I’ve been considering is taking up jogging. Seriously, who the fuck runs for fun? I run if a) I’m being chased by zombies or b) my child is about to knock over my beer. Otherwise, I prefer not to break a sweat. (This might have something to do with the cause of my fat boobs; see above.) But the ugly truth is that I have fat boobs and a muffin top am getting older, and I don’t’ drink enough milk. So I should really try getting exercise that works my body beyond reaching for the big bowl to put my chips in or bending down to pick dirty laundry off the floor.

Oh, who am I kidding? The laundry often sits there for weeks.

Anyway, I’ve heard that joggers get this thing called leg cramps runner’s high, and you know, I can’t afford recreational drugs anymore, so runner’s high it is.

I’ve been advised that the best way to start running (only losers call it jogging), is to walk for five minutes, than run for one. I think I can handle that! How long am I allowed to do that? Six months? Sounds good. It’s like when I used to work as a cashier at Dominion – I kept my, ‘I’m new, please be patient!’ badge on my god-awful blood-coloured polyester straightjacket of a uniform for 2 years. I prefer that one’s expectations of me remain base for as long as possible.

So yeah, running. I can do it for a few minutes a day, I guess. But I’m certainly not going to increase the amount of sweat equity I put in until I get a new bra.

Which will be anytime now, I promise.



Top Ten Tuesday

Yes, this is the only thing I ever write anymore.

Top Ten Things I Learned While Camping

10. You don’t need a bear whistle if your kid cries for the entirety of your 1.5km hike in the woods.

9. Brunette children taste better than blonde children, according to the mosquitos.

8. Red squirrels are loud, and don’t feel the need to quiet down as they plot their revenge on you for taking away the food they were about to scavenge.

7. It IS possible to get 4 people on a queen-sized air mattress, but none of you are going to actually sleep.

6. I look really cute in cargo shorts, a Chairman Mao hat and unwashed hair.

5. It is typical that I pack enough food for a family of 8 to last two weeks in the woods, but I forget to bring an extra pair of pants for one of my kids.

4. I apparently cannot go more than 7 minutes without fussing over one of my children and worrying that they have enough sunscreen/bug spray/after-bite/water/shade/snacks/love.

3. Surrounded by trees, rocks, bugs, logs, dirt and trails, my 4-year old and 20-month old found it more novel to play in the unlocked car than in nature.

2. Jews (like me) can be good at camping. Righteous gentiles (like my husband) are a hundred times better at it, and it turns me on.

1. There is nothing better for recharging the spirit, clearing the mind and healing the body than spending 3 days outside with your family.



Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tweets You Missed During The Teen Choice Awards

10. @ItsBritneyBitch No sitter! Gotta get to TCA. Can stuff Jayden in my purse. What should I do with SP? Where r my panties? Who cares!!!

9. @JessieSimps Hey y'all! Watching the TCA w/u from Japan!! OMG - WHAT WAS THAT? Felt like an earthquake!! Oh, wait, just my stomach. SNAX!!


7. @JoeJoBro Dude, I am so gonna bang Cameron Diaz tonite. She will be screamin my name. Miley can suck it - and I hope she does!!!

6. @JoeJoBro @NickJoBro, plz, plz tell me that I just DM'd you that last msg. I did right? It didn't go to my public profile right? Oh shit.

5. @SmileyMiley Nice job @JoeJoBro saw that tweet. watch out, dad is aiming his shotgun @ yur head. how r your 5 awards? my SIX are awesome!

4. @VampireRobP Hey @quentinT the next time u r casting, call me first - Brad Pitt is an old, old man. I'm what the kids want. srsly. Call me.

3. @foxymeg this stupid shit is so stupid. i'm only here for the swag. it's not like teens care about acting. stupid idiots. i'm so hot. SO HOT

2. @ChaseCraw Hey @ZakEfron I got your mail again and Teen People mixed up our pix - again! Weren't you thinking about going blonde? It's time.

1. @Madge If it wuznt 4 me, none of you little shits would even have jobs! My invite mustve bin lost. gt 2 go! fedex just delivered new baby!!



She Had To Have Known I Was Going To Blog This

Ring, ring



Hi Mum. How are you?

Fine. How are you?


What are you doing?

I'm on the computer.


Uh, yep.

Why don't you get off the computer and go do your sewing?

My mother. Setting back the women's movement, one phone call at a time.


Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s Top Ten is inspired by our weekend at my in-laws in lovely Southwestern Ontario, where the soil is so good, you could grow gold if it came in seed form. Seriously, the produce at this time of year is so heavenly, that I will happily listen to my husband’s tales of spending his teenage summers working in the corn fields and why he won’t eat it 15 years later AGAIN for one more cob, please. Just one more. It’s so good. Nom Nom.

Top Ten Fresh From the Farm Foods
Top Ten Reasons Why Even This Cold, Rainy Summer Doesn’t Suck That Bad

10. Green and yellow beans!

9. Watermelon!

8. Cauliflower!

7. Blueberries!

6. Cherries!

5. Cucumbers!

4. Tomatoes!

3. Raspberries!

2. Peaches!

1. Corn!

What are your summer must-haves?