Friday, September 25, 2009
Happy Birthday to Mom
When I was growing up, the six of us sat down to a home-cooked dinner nearly every night. It's only as an adult that I realize what work and commitment this took on the part of my mom to think of a menu each week and do all the cooking. Spaghetti on Monday nights because of Boy Scout meetings, schnitta when there were lots of strawberries at farmer's market, hot cooked egg casseroles and cheese danish on Saturdays or Sundays when we had house guests from Connecticut . . . I don't remember helping her cook much and I'm not proud to say that I do remember complaining about setting or clearing the table.
At the dinner table, we had lively discussions and games and my parents tried to each us manners. I remember a period of time where we had a star chart for each night that none of us 4 kids left the table during dinner. What did we eventually earn? I think it was a bunny.
My mom is a good sport. Paula remembers her spending 8 dollars on imitation rum for her buche de noel and then she and her friends forgot to use it so it sat in the cupboard for years. Kurt remembers the amazing school lunches, in brown bags, waiting for us every day with what we each liked to eat. Mom made me egg salad sandwiches for two or three years straight when that's all I wanted. I think it was Kurt or Paula who liked peanut butter and fluff (marshmallow cream) and there was often a silver disk of a ding-dong or a twinkie at the bottom of those lunches.
On birthdays, we got to pick the meal we wanted for dinner and had a double layer, frosted cake with our names written in icing on the top. On Halloween, we carved pumpkins and mom roasted the seeds. At Christmas, we decorated sugar cookies and mom made homemade carmel corn and at Easter, we dyed eggs (more egg salad sandwiches).
Today, my mom compliments my cooking, pays for my subscription to Cooking Light, and comments on my blog. She's kept our family dinners going and inspires me with new recipes and ideas. I think she enjoys cooking today more than she did in the past and it's something we enjoy doing together. Happy Birthday, mom. I love you!
And, here's what I'm making mom for her birthday dessert: Ice cream sandwiches, of course.
I'm making plain oatmeal cookies for the cookie part and my friend Amber's peanut butter ice cream for the filling. If you're making the ice cream just to eat, stir in a cup of Trader Joe's mini peanut butter cups (or chopped up Reese's peanut butter cups) in the last 5 minutes before the ice cream comes out of the machine.
Peanut Butter Ice cream
1 1/8 cups smooth peanut butter (not natural)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 cup heavy cream (the original calls for 2 cups & no 1/2 & 1/2)
1 1/2 +/- teaspoons vanilla
Use a hand mixer to combine the peanut butter & sugar until smooth. Add the milk and mix 1-2 min. Add the cream, 1/2 & 1/2 and vanilla - mix until combined. Turn on machine, pour in mix, 25 - 35 min until thick. Ice cream will be creamy but soft, freeze if firmer texture is desired.