Thursday, December 30, 2004

Chaos on I-10, heading this way!

What that means is, my grandkids are coming...

Sam, a randomly OCD 4 year old, whose saving grace is that he panics if he doesn't have a book or two at hand, and some chocolate tucked away somewhere handy, is coming with his sister, Molly, the absolutely sweetest ADHD kiddo in the whole world (and that includes her Uncle Bubby, who is my LAST baby, and still living at home), his Mom, Gillie Bear, and her husband, Ned. Ned is the Sackett our daughter married. His family lives in Cut And Shoot, Texas, no shit.

This family holiday will closely resemble Robert Earl Keen's. I plan to keep Ned sedated with heavily spiked egg nog and heavily spiked fruitcake. That is an important part of a Sackett celebration. Molly wants shrimp and pigs in a blanket. Sam is getting a chocolate cake, which has been an excellent management tool for the last week. His mom has been threatening him with not going to Noni's house for chocolate cake if he doesn't leave her alone while she is on the computer.

This chocolate cake is, embarrassingly, made from a HEB brand mix, with coffee instead of water, and an additional 3 tablespoons of Valhrona cocoa. To Sam it will be a slice of heaven, to everybody else, acceptable. It proudly stands on my mother's footed cake plate (she used it 4 times in my memory).

Larry, otherwise known as Butch, my spouse the clergyman, will be worried about ice. Will there be enough? So every few hours he will go to the store for another few 10lb bags that I have no room for in the freezer. The bags will sit in the sink, melting, so I can't wash dishes. So he will see it melting and go out for more, while the perfectly good icemaker in the Costco fridge will be tsk-tsking, wishing Butch would let her do her job.

Molly will not fall asleep until we threaten her with extreme bodily harm or a midnight trip back east along I-10. She will then cry herself to sleep. In my bed. My kingsized bed, with the dog. There will be room enough only for Butch and the cat. Butch will not move Molly to the floor, so guess who will sleep on the floor? Certainly not the dog. She had heartworns when we rescued her, and had heartworm chemotherapy two years ago, so God forbid she should sleep on the (carpeted) floor. Even though the floor is so nicely covered with her beautiful golden hair.

Butch will sleep on the floor, as a good Christian husband should do. Then he will wake up before everybody else, potty the dog, make coffee, go get Krispy Kremes and a paper. The reason he has to go out to buy a paper is because I got so pissed off that our local paper endorsed Bush, that I cancelled the subscription. Butch can't do without a paper, so he buys one from the guys that sell them at the freeway "get ons". Each day has it's own vendor. He gives them a dollar for a 50 cent paper, so it ends up costing us not only gas, but more actual money for me to protest our paper's misguided stupidity. Or plain cynical malevolence, whichever. He will come home from Krispy Kreme and Ned will be drinking coffee, Sam will be eating cake and reading a book, Molly will have cartoons on VERY LOUD, and I will be in desperate for doughnuts or drugs.

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Cheap Democratic Soup

Some bacon, diced (as much as you can afford)
1 small onion, cut up
half a bell pepper, cut up
2 cans (about 16 oz each) navy beans, white beans, anything but expensive Italian Cannelinis
a bit of butter (again, if you can afford it)
a bit of leftover rice is nice

Frizzle the bacon in a large skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper, saute until limp. Add butter, if used. Pour into the pan the 2 cans of beans, liquid included. Add enough water to completely cover by 1 inch, and cook about 45 minutes on low, or until water is reduced by half. Add the cooked rice, if used, mash the stuff until about half the beans are mush, and serve. A little fresh thyme would be nice as an understated, small garnish. Serves 4 for supper, with bread and/or salad.