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The rants and recipes found here are solely mine.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just Like the Olden Days

I had to buy a new phone today. No, we didn't break one. No, we really didn't NEED one. But, I had to. You see, with three cordless handsets and one corded phone in our bedroom, that just wasn't enough for us.

We're a family that misplaces cordless phones or cannot be counted on to charge them. We're the people who miss phone calls because the handsets are buried underneath the newspaper or hiding in the dog bed. We're the ones who rush around madly while on the phone with Young One's teacher, hoping that the conversation doesn't drop while trying to sound like we're not running around madly, before a fully charged handset is found.

We're phone losers.

I remember pre-cordless phone days. I remember having to actually sit or stand in one place, completely focused on a phone call. We didn't multitask in the 70s. I believe Jimmy Carter had something to do with it. I remember when the first cordless phones came out, with retractable antennae and weighing in like a newborn baby. We didn't get one for years, until our "perfectly good" rotary phone bit the dust. I think my mom is still using that cordless monstrosity. It's still, "perfectly good."

I bought a wall mounted, corded phone for the kitchen. It has that long squiggly cord that allows you to wander just so much before the handset is catapulted out of your hand, wildly careening back to its base. It's actually a pretty cool phone, based on phone designs of the 1940s, so think solid, chrome, retro. It looks pretty funky on the wall and it rings just like the olden days, with a bell. Or a computer facsimile of a bell. Regardless of what makes it ring, it's just like the olden days. It's made us smile about 4 times this evening. Well, two of those phone calls were from us, calling home on our cell phones, just to hear it ring. (Yep, I know, we're phone losers.)

I will no longer have to follow my aging ears in that mad search for a handset, just to discover that its a telemarketer or political campaign ad mascarading as a real human being calling. (The last one said, Hi, this is Bob." So, I said, "Hi Bob", but he didn't give me time to say, "Hi Bob." He just kept talking. And I thought, Wow, how rude, and why does he think I'm a union member? He keeps calling me a fellow union member. And then I couldn't pay attention to Bob because I was too busy wondering how I got on his list to call. And the Bob hung up on me. I don't even think he said goodbye. And once again, I thought, how rude.)

Deep Breath. Apologies. I'm rambling again.

I made the first phone call on my snazzy new phone to my mom. It's always important to break in a new phone with a call to someone you love. Mom makes the best Sloppy Joes in the world. I wanted to make them tonight, so I called her for the recipe. I can't completely duplicate them, but this is as close to a recipe as I'll ever get. There's something mom puts in them, that I can't, and that's her years of experience. Maybe one day, Young One will want my fabulous recipe for something that he'll never be able to make just like mom.

Sloppy Grandma Jo's
Young One has called her Grandma Jo since he could make his first words.
Serves 6 at 5 WW Points per serving. Bun not included in tally.

1 lb. of extra lean ground beef (sub ground turkey breast, I'm sure it would be fine!)
1 small onion, minced
1 green pepper, cored and seeded, diced
a couple of stalks of celery, diced

Brown the above together until ground meat is well done. Add:
1 can tomato soup
1 TB lemon juice
some brown sugar--a small handful (1/4 cup?)
some ketchup--a really big squirt
some mustard--not as much as the ketchup, maybe 1 TB
chili powder--not too much, we're Scandinavian after all
I put in some garlic powder because I couldn't help myself. Then let them simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring often, and serve on light, toasted buns.
Everyone has their own recipe for Sloppy Joes. Some call them Loose Meat (that makes my stomach cringe). Mom always put celery in. I left it out because D hates it. Maybe that's the secret. No, the secret is her experience, her love--and a little bitty part of me thinks she's holding back so that we'll come visit for Sloppy Grandma Jo's. I'll get the real recipe with her will (it's a can of Manwich! and I'll hear her laughing from the grave.)

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