The Big List
April 28, 2008
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. The fact that there was snow on the ground Saturday morning had put us all in a bit of a funk, so the show was something to look forward to on a day when our hopes for a walk in the sun had been thwarted. Of course, what you want and what you get aren't always in sync and we all know this, so our weather-related GrumpFest was short-lived and we had some fun anyway and made eggrolls and cream cheese wontons and watched a movie or two. Deep fried food is a sure remedy for crabbiness, and it was.
While we ate, the kids asked what I want for Mother's Day, which is a short two weeks off. I haven't made a list, I told them, and I don't think I will this year. Of course there's The Big List, the one I've kept in my head for years. It's fairly long, and changes regularly, and contains items like "a porch swing" and "a year of yoga" and "subscription to The Chocolate of the Month Club" and "a new car with AC and tinted windows and a way back area where I can take a nap." Things somewhat difficult or expensive, and perhaps a bit self-indulgent. Things I could live without, and may or may not be worth the money or effort. You know? Like a hot air balloon flight or a weekend in Washington, D.C. Could live without it but it would be nice. (And of course there's the Secret List, the one I keep to myself. We all have them. We just don't say much about 'em.)
I don't share The Big List much, unless I'm wishing out loud, mainly because those are things I can take care of along the way. If I'm going to give the kids a challenge, I'd rather it not involve money or travel agents. I don't want to give them a guilt complex, and I don't want to foster the misperception that I love them because of what they buy me. Nope. Real gifts come from the heart, like favorite flowers, or original art, or handmade coupons for housework. And they're often the kind of gifts people don't know they're giving. Like a hike in the woods or a good long listen or a hand massage during the sermon.
After all that fried food, we managed to have a bit of room so I scooped up some rainbow sherbet and we listened to the end of the show, during which I had an idea. I know what I want for Mother's Day, I told them. I want each of you to find a poem you like and memorize it. On Mother's Day you can recite it and that will be my gift.
They smiled, to my surprise, and within minutes were in the study paging through stacks of books. "How about 'The Raven'?" I heard one of them ask. "What are you, nuts?" someone replied. "She doesn't care how long they are or who wrote them. We just pick one we like. How about that 'Nature's first green is gold' one you studied in school? That one's cool."
And sometimes what you want and what you get are in perfect sync. It's true.
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 can corn, drained
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups baking mix (I lean toward Bisquik)
1 cup milk
Mix the hamburger with the taco seasoning,
corn and tomato sauce. Spread into a 9x13 pan.
Sprinkle cheese evenly over.
Stir baking mix, milk and eggs together until
well-blended. Pour/spread over cheese layer.
Dust with cornmeal.
Bake at 350 uncovered for about 35 minutes.
(Poke a hole in the middle to make sure.)
Serve with beans, salsa, sour cream and tortilla chips.