Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kids: Pot Roast in the Oven - take out in three hours. Love (maybe) Mom

When I was a kid my mother had two specialties - spaghetti and pot roast.

Spaghetti was something she made when she was going to be home for dinner. It required frying up some ground beef, dumping in sauce, and boiling noodles. Sometimes we had iceberg lettuce and tomato to go with it. It would have been a sit down dinner if our kitchen table wasn't always piled with laundry.

We didn't have it very often. At least, that is, until we got old enough (10 is old enough, right) to make it ourselves.

If mom was going to be gone (to work, or B. I. N. G. O.) but wanted to feed that mothering urge that pestered her from time to time, she'd stick a pot roast in the oven.

Invariably, we'd come home from school to find a note taped to the TV telling us to take the roast out in 2-3 hours. Sometimes she'd even tell us to put potatoes or carrots in it. Sometimes.

Since I started this blog I pushed back the impulse to mention my mother's Signature meal. I know she reads, and I didn't want to hurt her feelings.

But really, it's mostly to poke fun at her and to highlight the fact that my cooking skills, good and bad, are basically all my own. And that's okay. I'm not here to put anyone down for it or anything. It is what it is, and kitchen fires aside, I think it's worked out pretty well for me.

I probably never would have mentioned it, except that Mom made pot roast last time we visited. Awww, yeah! I had to document that!

Pot Roast: Judy Style

Plop raw chunk of roast (whatever's on sale) into a roasting pan.
This one.
Since the beginning of time.

If you're feeling fancy, slice an onion and sprinkle around and on top of roast.
Fill pan with 4-6 cups of water.

Slap that into the oven at about 350 and take off either to work or BINGO. Probably BINGO.

Be sure to leave a note letting your elementary school children they can add carrots and potatoes if they want (Children probably won't read this note until it's jerky.)

Okay, so maybe there was more to it than that. I don't think so, but I was 10-12 at the time, so maybe I was wrong. Nah, we all still make fun of it. I think that's pretty spot on.

So - Saturday before Sunday #14 mom announces she's making pot roast.

I got pictures:
Your typical after school special


Look Closer:
This is not an arid wasteland.
How could it be, it hasn't
even finished cooking!

Because I am completely unfair I have no 'after' pictures. Obviously I wouldn't want to show anything that puts Mom in a positive light. What else would you expect from a daughter.

Oh... right.

Anyway, this was definitely a "company's coming" dinner, so there were potatoes and carrots too!

And it was good. It was everything a meat/tato/carrot bake should be. There was also salad - the famous "with spaghetti" salad! It even had sliced onion.

I wish I had an "at the table" pic to share, but I don't.


Hmm, this post needs bulk. It's not meatloaf so breadcrumbs won't work...

Hey, I know!

Look, babies!

Okay, I guess  when you're three you aren't technically a "baby" but she's the youngest grandkid my mom has, so that makes her the baby.

That's not a marker she's smearing on her lip. It's an ink-stain... never mind that it's totally made like a marker.

Moments before prettying up her lips, Ayla (who is already completely kick-ass. She's going to live out my derby dreams for me, just you wait) was helping Grandma do her pretties.
This was followed by helping her Papa
work on the truck.
Seriously. Kick. Ass. I'm telling you.

When Mom sees this she'll probably drop her head and cover her eyes with her hacd. I'm the same way, I wouldn't want pictures of me all unglorious and toddler-painted being shared on the Internet.

But this is important.

My mom sat there for a half an hour and let Ayla play in the make-up bag, making both of them pretty.
She let this little girl come after her with mascara.

Those of you who know me from the Internet have probably heard a thing or two about my mom. Whatever I've said is also probably true.

But I love my mother.

And this is why. Whatever skills she lacked in motherhood she has more than made up as a grandmother.

Sure she's still insane - she left her eye sight in the hands of a toddler.

I don't always get along with my mother. She's crazy. She knows it. I'm crazy too. I know it.

But, relapses to crazytown aside, she's as devoted a grandmother as you'll find. I love her for that. I love her for taking care of her grandkids with more love and understanding that her own mother managed with her grandkids.

She's never made one of them sit on the toilet for 12 hours for wetting the bed when they were 4.
She's never made another ashamed for being disgusting enough to touch their own genitals when they were a similar age.
She's never put one on a pedestal while she literally clawed marks into another's cheek.

And really, all that bullshit aside, it's not about the shit that you don't do to your kids/grandkids.

It matters that you're there; that you love them; that they can trust you; that you don't cause them unnecessary pain.

So far, she's managed to fulfill all of those obligations.

I know a lot of people who are "all about fambly!" and "blood is thicker than water!" but that's shit.
Too many people use "blood" as an excuse to treat other people, family people, like shit.

I miss family - I wish I could spend more time with the family that I have.

When I do get the chance, usually they make me lonely for what used to be, and sad for what is.

Mostly my mom gets it right though.

And I'm thankful for that.

So there, Mom. Thanks for potroast, and thanks for, you know, being less insane (sort of ) in your older years.

Of course none of this could be possible without:
Bias Alert: That's my Dad. I probably love him best.
Mom says so, so it has to be true.

Right now, my mom is going "figures" and getting mad at my Dad. It's true.

Also, all I do is stir the pot.


The End.

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