Neon Mamo

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Comfort Food….Ahhh the Memories!

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 |

Everyone has their memories of that one dinner Mom made like no one else…that one meal that she always seemed to make when you were having a bad day, or you just needed that extra hug.  My mom was no exception and to this day if I’m having a bad day, I’ll find myself in the kitchen making this meal.  Trivial in its approach, but filling…if someone were to offer me this I would smile and heartily accept the invitation to dinner!  What is this nirvana of which I speak?  What could possibly bring me out of one of those days?  Simply put…Macaroni and Cheese, served with breakfast sausage, stewed tomatoes (gasp! from a can none the less!) and corn fritters!  Heaven on a plate!  I don’t know why…lol…but I do know that no matter how old I was if I was having a bad day, and I was sitting down to my parents table…dinner always consisted of this simple meal.  It made me believe that my mother was psychic…while she would just laugh and assure me she just had a urge for this for dinner.  I’m sure my siblings each had their own favourite she served…but for me…this bring back great memories, and that feeling of being wrapped in a hug!

The kids know …”oh, mom had one of those days…” when they come in from school and the house smells of baked cheese, mingled in with the smell of grease and cooked pork.  They smile and begin to set the table knowing tonight will erupt in laughter and as we sit together and ask that beloved question ” What did we learn today?”…we all inhale and take in the fragrant aroma of nothing other than pasta smothered in a blend of medium cheddar and my favourite asiago!  Plated along side perfectly browned sausages, seasoned tomatoes and the beloved corn fritters…someone always grabs the maple syrup and we dig in, sharing our tales of the day and memories of yesterday that make us laugh…always improving my mood for sure!

My mom isn’t here anymore to make this glorious dish which some may scoff at…it certainly is not on any weight watching list of approved foods…but sometimes we all need to indulge and treat ourselves.  So if you’re feeling like you too could use a hug…try this…it my become something you look forward to sharing with your family one day!

Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

4 c.   Macaroni

3 c.   Shredded Cheese

1 ts.   Butter

Preparation:

Boil as much macaroni as will fill your dish, until quite tender. Drain and sprinkle a little salt over it. Put a layer of macaroni in your baking dish, layer with soem cheese, and on that a few bits of butter, then macaroni, cheese, and butter, until the dish is full, on the top a thin layer of cheese
Bake in a 400° oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (approximately 16 ounces) cream -style corn
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • powdered sugar

Preparation:

Sift together dry ingredients. Mix together the cream-style corn and egg. Add dry ingredients, stirring slowly until blended. Heat oil in large, deep, heavy skillet over medium heat. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into hot oil. Do not crowd. Fry about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper; dust with powdered sugar if desired.
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To All the Men who step Up…

Posted by on Jun 17, 2012 | 0 comments

To dad, Father, Sir, Pa, Poppa, Stepfathers, Best friends, Heros, Grandparents, Uncles, Brothers everywhere…Happy Fathers Day!

Today is Fathers Day, a Day that for many that will bring Love, Laughter, memories and Great Food!  Children everywhere will at some point remembering something their father did or said that makes them smile.  Others may remember with sadness due to loss, be it death, divorce or a parting of the ways…the man who stood so tall in their heart, albeit with sadness…they will remember, and the day shall pass with stories told of yesterday…those pieces of our mind that hold strong to the one person who took our hand and helped us learn life lessons of today. Some Fathers Golf, some play ball, some build tree houses and decks, some ride the road, some man the home…but with their time and their commitment memories are built. Heart are strengthened, broken and repaired when needed.  Our relationships with outsiders are influenced by the the bonds we forge.  The string is given for freedom and independence and it our choice to take it where we may.

My memories of my father are strong.  He was the first man to take my hand, hold my heart and he was the first to break it.  He encouraged me when I was younger, he disciplined me when it was necessary, and he bravely ventured into the world of driving lessons.  He provided life lessons based on the few stories he shared when we were younger, and years later he held tight to my mothers hand when she lay dying of cancer. I remember taking his arm when we were in the water at the beach over the years, his arm when he walked me down the aisle, his shoulder when I divorced.  He encouraged me when I went back to school, and teased me about it becoming a life long job.  He remained in my my younger years my white knight.  Our relationship was the one where in a room of people we were silent, but alone could talk up a storm.  He knew things outside of the realm of just being Daddy, and he embraced my children with a love that held no bounds.  He read books I never thought of and he had a knowledge that was vast, amazing me each time he shared those morsels.  He had his chair that we remained clear of, the TV remote was his at night and he could make a fire when we were camping, and he always made the perfect marshmallow in the embers that my siblings and I clamored to copy (my youngest daughter would make him proud in this arena…she is the Marshmallow queen!).  He sat at the table as we discussed many an embarrassing topics, sharing in our day, our adventures and our laughter.

Over the years we have parted ways,both remaining stubborn in our resolve, quiet in our disillusionment, and silent on the vast gulf between us.  Disillusioned in the choices made and our owns hurts prevent us from coming together, but I hold on to the memories of yesterday, for they are the memories of my childhood. I remember camping in the rain, card games that I never really took a liking to, trips to the beach where he carried us over the hot sand.  I remember getting caught calling him “Old man” to my uncle (yupp something I never repeated!), and him scaring the heck out of us at the latest ‘Jason’ Movie on TV.  He had a quirky sense of humor, he worked hard and he listened when we needed him.

 I share with my children the joys and heartache of growing up, and I encourage them to remain open to communicating in their relationships with others.  Today the girls will call their father, and wish him a Happy Fathers Day, and they too will laugh and share the stories created growing up.  Today they will celebrate the men who stepped up and support them when they need, teasing and taunting with hopes of old age creeping upon.

Today I will send out a silent Happy Fathers Day to my own father, knowing he is on the golf course with hundreds of others dads listening to the birds, chasing the ball down the fairway…doing what he does best…making memories with my brother. For the resolve he taught me, for the strength he showed  Thank you.  I will even send one to my ex husband, because without him…I would not have this adventurous ride as a mother I have had, nor the tales to share.

 

Happy Fathers Day to all the Men who step up…

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Saving yourself in 31 degree weathersummer

Posted by on May 20, 2012 | 0 comments

Summer weather has arrived…and I say bring it!  I love the sun shining, the heat, the tans…yes I am a bad person, I like to be golden…not burnt, not dark brown but golden.  Like a perfectly roasted marshmallow!  

I am excited at the sounds of laughter in the yard, children running up and down the street, and the smells of flowers in bloom. The thought of coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, and meals made to be eaten outdoors.  Summer bring froth the promise of beach trips, camping, fires and roasted marshmallows.  Cold drinks and freezies…this is the time of year that takes us back to our childhood.  We can smile at the memories we ourselves had and the ones we share with our children.

This summer I plan on making a lot of potato salad and light meals, cool but healthy at the same time.  My favourite dinner is baked ham and salads…the aroma is amazing, its easy and you can feed a family of five for less than 4.00 per person!  Served with refreshing Lemonade!

Perfect Lemonade Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup for more tang to your tastebuds)
  • 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)

1 Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.

2 While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.

3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

Serve with ice, sliced lemons.

Yield: Serves 6.

 

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