Today’s Guest Biatch is my girl Mama Mara from Mama on the Edge. When I think of her I think of awesome. Cause, day-um, that woman is awesome, her day to day musings about parenting 2 TEENS on the Autism Spectrum has me in awe. And hysterics. Us Autism mamas have our own brand of crazy.
So as always, enjoy and clicky click on Mama Mara’s link to check her out.
I am so pleased to be able to do something to help the awesomeness that is Kelley while she is quietly recuperating from the ravages of the Marburg virus. I am doubly pleased that helping her does not involve having to bring her a home-baked meal.
I haven’t cooked for a sick friend in years, and I don’t want to start now. Especially in this case, given that we live nearly 8,900 miles apart from one another (Translation for you Aussie readers: Maybe about 4,500 kilometres? Friggin’ American education has left me embarrassingly metric-ignorant). To feed our dear Kelley, I’d have to run to the airport with my dish on ice and buy a round-trip ticket for about US$1,250 (Translation: About A$1,700, a number that is dropping with every letter I type. Friggin’ American buck keeps getting weaker against the Aussie aussie). With my luck, I’d get stopped by our Homeland Security officers, who would take one sniff of my culinary effort and arrest me for trying to transport a toxic substance across international borders. I don’t think even President Obama would save me from the torture I’d face in Guantanamo Bay, where I’d be forced to eat the entire entree by myself. Gah! The horror!
The last time I made a dish for a sick friend was disastrous. It wasfor my elderly neighbor, who fell and broke her hip while putting away her organic, whole grain, vegetarian groceries. After several weeks at a nursing home, she returned to her residence but was still having difficulty getting around. Though I knew I had no skills in the kitchen whatsoever, I became convinced that I could make this woman a masterpiece meal, thereby cementing my status as the first Jewish-American saint. With the help of my Betty Crocker cookbook and my increasingly-delusional thinking, I decided I would replicate a dish I’d recently eaten at a local ristorante: Eggplant Lasagna. I’d never made it before, but I figured, “Meh. How hard can it be?”
I scanned my cookbook, but the only recipe I could find was for zucchini lasagna. I figured that was close enough. You see, I’d never actually touched a whole, uncooked eggplant before, much less cooked with it. Blissfully ignorant, I went to the Farmer’s Market to buy me my first aubergine. I picked one up for the first time, and … Gaaaah! I nearly dropped it and ran screaming out of the grocery store. The thing felt alive — all soft and fleshy, like some sort of prehistoric marine animal. I half-expected it to suddenly reveal a mouthful of razor-sharp fangs that would instantly devour my arm up to my elbow, while other shoppers looked on, incredulous that I had touched the evil killer veggie with my bare hands.
Once home, I squeamishly sliced into the freakish veggie-creature. It didn’t bleed, scream in agony, or chew off one of my extremities, thank God, so I cut the thing into thin slices, which I threw between layers of fresh whole wheat pasta, homemade
organic-tomato-and-fresh-picked-basil sauce, and the finest rennet-free cheese I could afford. I had enough ingredients to make two pansful, and as they baked, I basked in the warm glow of my holiness. The finished product looked absolutely beautiful, and it smelled divine. With tremendous pride, I walked out into the cold night, holding my stunning, steaming strata high over my shoulder so that all the neighbors could admire my awesomocity. The aged recipient of my glorious pasta creation thanked me profusely, and I returned home, triumphant and ravenous.
I called my husband (now my wusband, the Talking Turd) to the table and began to cut the Italian casserole into large square servings for us. Or more accurately, I tried to cut it. For some reason, it was like trying to carve shoe leather. With effort, I finally extracted two mutilated servings. “Ah ha ha,” I tittered as I set down our plates, “I promise it’ll taste better than it looks!”
My husband (who I swear did not divorce me for lasagna-related reasons) took a large bite, said “Mmmmm”, and started to chew. His expression slowly morphed from one of sheer delight, to confusion, then worry, and finally, utter fear. Through clenched teeth, clearly fighting back the urge to vomit, he asked me: “Why in the hell are there rubber bands in the lasagna?” He then pulled out two large, dark-colored, bitter-tasting loops, which upon closer examination revealed themselves to be purple eggplant skins. It was horrible. I immediately got on the phone to warn my neighbor, whose dentures most definitely were no match for the evil killer vegetable. But it was too late. I can only imagine what trauma and suffering she endured that fateful night upon ingesting my ill-fated entree. I’ll never know for sure, unfortunately, because she never spoke to me again. A few weeks later, she put her house on the market and moved to a city about seven US hours away (Translation: I’m thinking
that’s about 13 AU hours? Friggin’ Aussies with your scary time-warp technology).
Anyhoo, I hope this post finds Kelley feeling more rested, less uncomfortable, and ever-so-grateful that I am not cooking anything for her. Ever.