Fill Up the Tub

I learn a lot when I’m driving my grandkids around. Have you ever noticed that? The same held true when I was rearing my son. He told me things in the car he would have never told me sitting at the kitchen table. I always theorized it was because he was in a closed space from which he couldn’t escape, and because I had to stare straight ahead while I drove, he didn’t have to look me in the eye. It led to honest conversation.

But back to conversations with my grandkids. I don’t have conversations in which I expect them to tell me deep, dark secrets. That’s up to their parents, and I’m just the nana. But they tell me very funny things.

For example, the other day I was driving Kaiya and Mylee to my house to spend the day. Now, almost-9-year-old Kaiya is the worst eater of my nine grandkids. She proclaims a dislike of meat, but isn’t particularly fond of vegetables either. That leaves carbs. Mostly she likes pasta with butter and parmesan cheese and Domino’s cheese pizza. So it was kind of a surprise when she informed me – out of the blue, by the way — that she loved the macaroni and cheese from Noodles & Co. Restaurant.

Don’t get me wrong. The mac-and-cheese at Noodles is amazing. I was just surprised that she liked something other than pasta with butter and cheese and Domino’s cheese pizza.

“Really,” I said, showing my surprise.

“Really, Nana,” she answered. “In fact, I like it so much that I wish I could eat a bathtub full of Noodles mac-and-cheese.”

That led to a conversation about how we would like to design a bathtub that had a closed-in section in which we could sit with a spoon or fork so that we could eat everything that was in the bathtub without having to actually sit in what we are eating.

I asked Mylee if she would fill her bathtub with Noodles mac-and-cheese as well.

“No, Nana,” she said. “I don’t really like mac-and-cheese that much. But I know what I would fill my bathtub with.”

She went on to describe a total rebuild of the bathtub. It would be sectioned into two halves, with the closed-in section in the middle. One half of the bathtub would be filled with sushi and the other half would be filled with soy sauce.

“That way I could take the sushi from one side and dip it into the soy sauce on the other,” she noted happily.

I loved that conversation with Kaiya and Mylee. I think we pondered a fun question. It’s a bit different than the age-old question about what you would take to a desert island if you could only take one food (the answer which, for me, is always chicken-and-bean burritos smothered with hot green chili from Santiago’s  — a Mexican restaurant in the Denver area). It’s different because the question isn’t what is your favorite food; instead, it’s what is the food that, once you start eating, you can’t stop.

For me, it would have to be tortilla chips and salsa and/or guacamole. I guess I would need a modified version of Mylee’s modified version – chips on one side, and the other side divided in half with guacamole on one side and my nephew Christopher’s spicy homemade salsa on the other side. It’s true, my friends; once I dip a chip into salsa, I can’t stop until the chips are gone. And then I’m liable to ask for more.

When I relayed the conversation to their father, I asked him what food he would choose. He thought for a few moments, and then said chicken wings. I’m distrustful of that answer. Chicken wings would fill you up too quickly. I believe that’s what he would take to a desert island. But maybe I’m overthinking.

And Court’s thought on what food would fill up Cole’s bathtub? Chef Boyardee ABCs with meatballs.

I insist that anyone who comments on my blog today must include what they would have in their bathtub. And here is Christopher’s salsa recipe….

Christopher’s Salsa

1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 green onion
1/4 c. cilantro
1-2 jalapenos, seeds and membrane removed (unless you want it hot)
1 serrano pepper
1/4 t. garlic salt
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice from one lime

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it’s the consistency you like. The serrano pepper adds lots of heat, so use accordingly.

This post linked to Grand Social.

Thursday Thoughts

It’s a Boy! Or a Girl! Or Both!
Tuesday morning when I headed out by foot to Basha’s, I noticed something different about Mama Mockingbird in our tree out front. When I looked harder, I saw her, but I also saw another set of eyes. A baby mockingbird! If you look really carefully, there might be another set of eyes as well.

mother baby bird (2)

And this is when the drama begins. Mama M will feed the birds for a bit, but at some point she is going to force them to leave the nest. The cats/snakes/coyotes are eagerly awaiting that day. In the words of my son Court when asked if he wanted to go on a nature hike when he was about 7 years old, “I hate nature.”

And Here’s Why I Don’t Really Hate Nature
Bill and I went for a walk at nearby Red Mountain Park Monday morning. Red Mountain Park is lovely. There is a good-sized pond stocked with fish, and it is widely used. There is a nice playground for children. And there is a sidewalk that goes completely around the park that is 8/10ths of a mile around. Three laps nearly equal two-and-a-half miles in case you can’t do math. We saw the cutest thing ever. We saw a real Mother Goose, her beloved mate-for-life, and their goslings, somewhere in the neighborhood of eight or so. I am not Ansel Adams (though, in my defense, I’m using a crappy phone camera and not a cool and groovy camera with a fancy dancy lens), but you can kind of see the little goslings being led and followed by Mother and Father. You can see them all a bit better in the second photo. I wonder which was the female and which was the male.

geese and goslings

more geese 4.16

Now I Call This Huevos
I have mentioned before that there is a difference between the Mexican food they serve here and that which they serve in Colorado. Green chili is not a thing here. Chile verde, yes. Green chili with pork, not so much. When we were in Denver recently, we had breakfast at my favorite place for green chili in Denver – Santiago’s. They are renowned for their hot green chili. Normally, when I order a smothered burrito, I ask for half & half – half hot and half medium. Because I had been missing green chili so much, I ordered all of it hot. Oh. My. Heavens. It was H.O.T. indeed. But delicious. I ate every bite. My stomach spoke to me later and said, “Why oh why did you think this was a good idea?”

Huevos Rancheros Santiago 4.16

I have a friend visiting from Denver. To show off our beautiful area, we drove to Saguaro Lake yesterday afternoon. That is really one of my favorite drives ever. Our plan was to eat sandwiches at one of the picnic areas, and then return home. At the last minute, we decided to take the lake cruise on the Desert Belle. We were so glad we did. It was pretty and we all enjoyed it very much.

Four Peaks Saguaro Lake 4.16

I Have Croissant on My Back
As you know, I accompanied Bill Saturday when he enjoyed his NASCAR experience. As he awaited his ride, I sat amongst the other people who were watching their loved one or perhaps awaiting their own turn. There was a young man sitting with his girlfriend/wife waiting to drive one of the NASCARs. As I glanced at him, I saw the word Bagel tattooed onto his neck. I looked at it several times, all the time wondering why anyone would get the word Bagel tattooed onto their neck. Was he a baker? Did he run a Jewish deli? Did he simply like bagels so much that he wanted the word permanently placed on the neck where he could publicly declare his love of this chewy breakfast treat? Finally, I realized that the word was not Bagel; instead it was Angel.

bagel or angel PIR 4.16 (2)You won’t believe me at first, but look at the this photo and you will see that I am right.

bagel or angel PIR 4.16 (3)Now, arguably, it makes no sense to have the word Angel – or any other word, for that matter – tattooed permanently onto one’s neck, but I must admit it gave me some relief when I realized my mistake. Angel, next time you consider a tattoo, ask them not to make the curlicue on the A. And enjoy your bagel.