Tommy and I visited my mom last weekend. Mom and I made salsa and fried green tomato and corn fritters as per the recipe printed recently in Sow There! Meanwhile, Tommy worked on Moms trellis, taking down the dilapidated structure that had covered the patio for years.
Mom and I decided its much easier to hire someone than to have family members work on tall ladders. When its a worker up on the ladder, you sit inside and cringe to yourself that there is banging going on outdoors. When it is a loved one up on the ladder, you cant help but hover. You hold the ladder from the bottom so he doesnt lose his balance while wielding power tools.
One thing I learned at Moms house:
While picking up nails Tommy threw down from the lattice, Mom and I rushed around on the concrete and picked them up. Talk about a glamorous weekend!
Mom was excited when she came across an especially rusty nail and stuck it into the soil of a potted hydrangea plant. Apparently her best friend from high school, Innie, taught her that putting rusty nails in the soil of a hydrangea makes it thrive. I have no reason to doubt Innie, who has been gardening for decades.
One Web site explains that rusty nails can make the soil turn acidic, which makes hydrangeas turn from pink to blue. Limestone has the opposite effect and makes the flowers pink.
One thing I taught Mom last weekend:
We decided to watch a movie at Moms house and she went into the kitchen to make some popcorn.
She took out a packet of butter-free popcorn in one of those fold-up containers.
What are you doing?? I asked her.
Making popcorn,? she said, stating the obvious.
Dont you have some popcorn from the bin?? I asked.
If you already know this culinary trick, you can feel smug and think Im stating the obvious. But apparently a lot of people dont know that all you need to do to make popcorn is to buy popcorn in bulk and place it in a small paper bag in the microwave.
Just like the expensive packaged popcorn you buy in the little bags with fake butter flavoring, regular popcorn in a brown paper bag pops up in about 3-5 minutes.
Then you take it out and slather it in I Cant Believe Its Not Butter and salt.
For some reason I felt compelled to do a Google search on I Cant Believe Its Not Butter and came across their Web site at: http://hunks.tasteyoulove.com.
Im not making this up.
Too much testosterone, too little time.
Apparently the fat-free fake butter had a contest to pick a new hunk to replace Fabio and came up with some hunky guy named Greg Vaughan.
Apparently Fabios funky Prince Valiant hairstyle has grown tiresome over the years and the fake butter producers needed to get a new spokes-hunk.
The Web site includes a kitchen of love? where you can click on things and hear vital advice about romance from our fake butter leader.
Signs youre getting old:
I had one of the best Halloweens ever this week. Tommy and I went trick-or-treating with the 9-year-old and his best friend Joseph. Also along for the walk were Leifs mom, Bonnie, and the English setter Gandalf.
We just tootled around the avenues.
The boys were a lot more sedate than I remember my friends and I being when we were kids. They didnt run from house to house and we had to encourage them to pick up the pace so they could hit as many houses as possible.
Apparently the etiquette nowadays is that if youre open for business,? you have carved pumpkins or luminaries out front. Several houses also had strobe lights, fog machines and scary music.
By the end, the kids were complaining that they wanted to go home because the pillow cases stuffed with candy were getting too heavy.
We came home and placed all the candy on the living room floor for the required inspection. This involves an adult (Auntie) going through the candy and throwing out anything that is not wrapped or in a wrapper that is broken. This also involves the adult slyly pocketing their favorite treats while the kids are trading back and forth.
Joseph went home before we could count his loot, but Leifys stash included 31 peanut butter cups, six Milky Ways, eight Snickers (minus two in my pocket), three Sweet Tarts (minus six in my pocket), and about eight dozen other miscellaneous candies.
Not bad for a nights work.