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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dirt and Cheese Sauce, Though Not Necessarily In That Order

I hope I've accomplished my goal of reducing my stats by half after I idiotically posted my referral link on Rumor Queen's page. Because oh my lands!, y'all, did my readership more than quintuple for the past two months. Except when I didn't post.

So I didn't post.

Because who likes swimming around in a fish bowl?

(Not me.)

With a little over a week to go, I've been elbow deep in dirt and cheese sauce. NOT at the same time, y'all. I mean, I confess to being a bit of a train wreck, but not THAT much of one. No, I've been gardening up a storm so that the weeds - oh, the weeds - don't strangle our home while we're away. And I've been cooking, too, trying to freeze as many meals as possible for our first few weeks home.

Because nothing says "I LOVE making dinner" like jet lag, with a newly adopted toddler and possibly jealous older sister underfoot.

Unfortunately for us, my food allergies make it nearly impossible for others to help out with meals when we arrive home. My momma suggested, when people ask how they can fatten us up help, I should ask if they would mind bringing fresh fruit or veggies to the house. Because she? Is brilliant! So that's what I'm doing.

Except it has to be a head of lettuce rather than bagged lettuce. And it's gotta be whole carrots rather than pre-grated ones. Because, ya know, I'm weirdly allergic to the preservatives found in more than three-fourths of our nation's food supply. Hence the need to avoid meals made by Other People.

It's kinda been great, though, having that excuse. Because, well, it's not like I'm the most stellar cook in the world or anything, but... sometimes you just don't WANT someone else to cook for you. Now SongofSixpence, she can cook for me ANYTIME. And Mrs. O, too. But there are some homes my Husband would like to avoid eating meals from. You know, the houses where the cook doesn't know how to... er... cook. And it's not one of those personal preference moments either, but rather an "oh, how I feel sorry for the spouse and children" kind of moment.

(I'm terrible, y'all. I know.)

So let me make it worse by asking y'all to share The Absolute Worst Ever meal you received from a kindly soul who tried to help you during a time of crisis or transition. I'll start. Because I'm terrible like that. A kindly soul from church (and no, Jamey, I'm not sharing who) made us this chicken dish with sour cream and mayo in it during our first month home with the Tongginator. I don't know if it was the mixture of Two Condiments That I Pretty Much Loathe When Together Even Though I Like To Pretend I'm Southern or if some mystery ingredient created the fray, but... well... my husband took three bites, then looked at me with this guilty expression on his face and whispered, "I don't know if I can actually eat this."

So the garbage disposal did.

(Like I said, y'all - I'm TERRIBLE.)

Your turn.


Cedar said...

Oh! When my middle child was born someone brought us tuna casserole--not a favorite on any day of the week--but it came an hour later than she planned to bring it, and it had been being warmed over in the oven so it wouldn't get cold until she could bring it over. However, not having allergy issues, most of our meals have been simply wonderful. We wouldn't have survived our third's birth without them since she had eating issues that consumed 10 hours of every day.

Happy, happy travels!

LucisMomma said...

Only a week! Wow! So excited for you all.

I don't have an icky thing that was brought over--but my friend, whom I got people at church to bring food to when she was ill for some time, well. She told me to tell the Sunday school class that she really appreciated their help, but please, don't anyone else bring spaghetti. Because for a week, that's all anyone brought.

Wish I lived close by, I'd bring you a bunch of bananas. :)

Aus said...

Well - glad to know why you've been gone - I'll admit to a tad of worry - we know oh so well what the mad rush to travel day can be like!

As for bad meals - you're talking to a guy who considers peanut butter to be a food group - no such thing as a bad meal if you didn't have to cook it! ;)

hugs - aus and co.

Megan said...

We were delivered some type of casserole that had pickled beets in it. I could hardly put it in my mouth, much less convince a 2, 3 and 6 year old to eat it. I mean really- who brings pickled beets to a house full of kids!!!!

heather said...

I've been SO lucky on the food thing, but it's funny that you mention your gardening. That was my first sign that my neighbors were finally traveling to pick up their daughter (Ethiopia). the pre-travel nesting...dead giveaway!

Jamey... said...

Ahem, so I didn't get blog clearance to bring you potato salad and strawberry shortcake, but that's still in my plan. I don't think that steak would be very good precooked and traveled but I could drop it off TongguDad could grill it it himself.

The weirdest thing that we ever got was mint brownies...sounds delicious right? I swear that she made them with half a bottle of mint extract and soapy water. I could NOT eat them.

Walkerfam00 said...

After I had a miscarriage, a dear, well-meaning friend with very limited culinary skills brought over a casserole made with chicken. Sounds fine, right? Except it smelled (and looked) EXACTLY like canned catfood. My husband felt bad about throwing it away, so I told him he could eat it if he wanted, but I wasn't touching it. He took two bites (rather valiant!), stood up, and dumped the whole thing in the garbage disposal. It was THAT bad.

The Byrd's Nest said...

My husband was a pastor of a small church full of widowed women for almost 8 years....enough said:)

LynnieB said...

The worst was 25 years ago when my Nana passed away. Someone brought a congealed salad (read orange jello) with Veg-all in it. It was awful! And went straight to the trash.

Jboo said...

Oh my word -- I made my own family a terrible meal just last night!! First course, Mexican dip with tostitos (very yummy) followed by a hamburger/canadian bacon pizza and then angel food cake and strawberries -- the best part of the meal. What a concoction, eh!!

Great idea on the fresh fruit and veggies! Your Mom is so smart!!


Amy said...

Ooh, easy. When I was pregnant with my oldest, I broke my leg in a car accident, so of course, my church pitched in to help. One sweet lady brought me a cauliflower and cheese casserole. The cheese was both chewy and greasy. I couldn't even stand to smell the thing, but I couldn't bear weight either, so I had to wait for DH to come home to toss it and then put the trash outside. Blech.

Kristi said...

While I appreciate when somebody brings a meal over......but after dd#1 was born a church friend brought creamed lima beans with a loaf of stale bread

Anonymous said...

We've never had bad food in a time of crisis, knock on wood, but in the early nineties when my sister and I were growing up, my mom was in a "cooking club" where each week, four women would each bring a casserole recipe and enough ingredients to make four of said casserole, and then they'd each come home with four different casseroles.

I'm of the school that four casseroles a week can be pretty trying even if they're good ones - seriously, there is a limit to the amount of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom a sane and healthy person can safely consume - and these were not good.

The club went on for about a year, and during this time we did not go a single week without one of the casseroles being filled with water chestnuts. This one woman just had a pathology about them. I didn't understand and still don't, but I cried every time Mom announced that we were having Cynthia's casserole that night. I still don't eat water chestnuts.

sara said...

My husband's family refuses to believe that I don't really eat meat. So anything they make is vegetarian, but with bacon/hotdogs/a little bit of chicken thrown in. Also anything that comes through their houses can be incased in jello and that's just wrong.

Anonymous said...

These stories are so funny! Your mum is brilliant! I had no idea that grated carrots had preservatives. Who buys grated carrots anyway? They always look old to me. I make everything from scratch and am considered a pretty decent cook, but I have to admit that I am not at my best when making meals to take to other people or for potlucks. Something about the travel and reheating part. I would prob make you a soup or chili and bring bread and salad. That seems to travel best.

Mer (Lulu's Mommy) said...

Were people supposed to bring us stuff?

Jennifer said...

I LOVE both mayo and sour cream... but in moderation. When my oldest was born we were brought a Veg-All casserole. Seriously, who eats Veg-All anyway?

Girly Girl Mommy said...

Either I have no friends, or haven't had a crisis big enough to be food worthy.

We bring meals to folks at church pretty regularly, but our famous meal is a store bought rotisserie chicken, a french baguette and a pouch of instant mashed potatoes, plus a homemade dessert (that I can cook). We figure that's a pretty safe bet. I'm a bland eater and we don't do casseroles in this house- ever.

The Drinkwaters said...

We asked for friends to help with the yard work, and it was great. Our lawn was mowed and trimmed each week and the front flower beds were weeded. It was so nice not to have to worry about trying to fit this in and just go outside to enjoy the sun.

I also know someone who had a "central contract" who organized all the offers for help, so that multiple meals weren't dropped off each day. This "central contact" also let people know how things were going and what tasks others could help with. Maybe you have someone in your life who can do this? They probably wouldn't feel bad being specific with grocery lists either.

Briana's Mom said...

Woo Hoo - one week to go! So exciting!

I was very blessed when I came home from China because the food that was brought to us from friends was really good. Unfortunately, about two weeks later I got pneumonia and pretty much stopped eating anything for two months. Even the good stuff made me sick. Sigh.

I do remember as a kid that my grandmother made a Parmesan chicken dish that was horrible. I don't know what was in it but my stomach churns still thinking of it today!

Carrie said...

I haven't had any really bad food brought to me, but eating at my grandmother's house when I was growing up was horrible!

Her main issue was that she didn't always keep hot thing hot or cold things cold. This wasn't just in the cooking and serving stage, but in the storage stage as well. I once found mayo and milk in her cupboard.

My whole family got sick a couple of times, but the worst (and last) time was when all 13 of us (yes, I have 10 siblings, both biological and adopted)threw up all the way home (which was usually a 3 hour drive). After that, my mom told my dad that we would either stop visiting his mother or never eat there again. From then on, we either came before/after meals or brought/bought something to eat.

Laurie said...

Guess I'm lucky... never had anything truly icky brought to me. I usually tell people to make something a kid would like (since my palate is that of a 4 year old!), so you really can't miss. :) I am just SO excited you only have a week to go. I cannot wait to read about your trip to China. CAN'T WAIT!!!

Brazenlilly said...

After our first son, we were blessed with several meals from the church peeps. We have no allergies and eat anything. We were surprised when one cranky lady signed up--someone my husband had a particularly hard time getting along with. Named Barb. She brought a STRONG curry chicken and rice casserole--so much curry that the entire thing was BRIGHT green. My husband took one bite and said outloud (although she wasn't there) "Congratulations, Barb. You've just made the first meal ever that I absolutely can't eat." To this day we're not sure if she did it on purpose or not.

Aunt LoLo said...

Oh my...I feel so guilty even leaving this here. But, we were packing to move, and a sweet friend said not to worry about dinner that last night in our house...she would bring us dinner! Wasn't that sweet!

Well, I forgot to factor in that this friend? Was SKINNY. Tiny. Nearly non-existent.

And after eating her (delicious) dinner that night...I can only presume that it is because I eat roughly four times as much as she does. heh. We went to bed hungry that night... ;-)

Aunt LoLo said...

PS - In lieu of people bringing you produce, could someone organize Amazon fresh deliveries??? Or contribute to a fund? haha You can set up recurring deliveries of staples like milk, eggs and produce and have them delivered to your door. ??

Rachel said...

When we brought Little Man home, a friend brought me the saltiest pot roast ever. Hubby and I drank gallons of water to choke it down and then gobbled Maalox tablets all night. Yuck!

The Gang's Momma! said...

After reading these, I am now totally paranoid that I may have occasionally brought a meal to someone who hated it. Casseroles are a great, inexpensive way to make massive quantities of food but now? I'm skerred. To make or not to make. That appears to be the question :)

Now an Air Force Wife and Mommy!! said...

I wish someone would have made us meals when we got back or I had enough time to prepare our own since we only had two weeks notice and all chaos broke lose during that time! Although after reading all of these I might be a little glad people didn't! LOL

I do remember our friend's mom making us a roast (now we are a completely well done might as well be burnt family) and well this roast looked they just heated it up it was so red and not really cooked I thought we were going to die trying to eat the thing! We did eat some of it though with a smile on our face!!

We had also made friends with a young married couple who had us over for dinner because we had made them so many meals after their second child was born and she made us enchiladas...yeah they were errr....different but we choked them down and don't even get me started on the other family whose wife dipped pork chops into mayo and then tried to fry them ugh....