Mom's Latest Crazy Talk

I am beginning to be a firm believer in the fact that growing old can make a person more critical (dare I say MEAN) and certainly rude, if comical at the same time. I know volumes have been written about the dynamics of mothers and daughters and mothers and sons etc. but I have my very own special take on this via my own mom, who, since the age of 60 has been telling me “she can say whatever she wants, no matter how rude because she is old.” Well, now she is 87 so that means we have all put up with 27 years of crazy.

Here are a few of her latest - I am typing these quotes in caps since she is hard of hearing and everything is delivered in a shout no matter where we are.

She is having a conversation with me over lunch - ‘WHEN DID YOUR TEETH GET SO CROOKED?

WHY DON’T YOU GET A REAL HAIRSTYLE AND WHY IS YOU HAIR SO THIN? The response to this is simple - I get my terrible hair from HER!

In the massively crowded Denver airport where we are in the waiting area seated next to a family with twin girls - “THOSE ARE THE UGLIEST TWINS I HAVE EVER SEEN AND WORSE YET THERE ARE TWO OF THEM.”

Continuing, before I could wheel her away - “AND THEIR NAMES ARE STUPID TOO.”

About my sister and me as we walked in front of her in Las Vegas “NEITHER ONE OF THOSE TWO GIRLS HAS PRETTY LEGS LIKE MINE.”

About the Food Network of which she is an avid viewer - “WHY DO THEY ALL MAKE SO MUCH FISH CRAP AND MEXICAN CRAP?”

And my favorite of Mom’s crazy talk on the subject of Jennifer Aniston when she was all over the news whining (according to Mom) about Brad Pitt leaving her-“SHE MAKES MY ASS TIRED.”

And there you go, another aspect of my always entertaining MOM.


Flowers to Make You Smile

I am sitting here in the intense heat and decided to stop complaining about it and Google one my favorite subjects – FRESH FLOWERS. Of course there are a zillion and one ways to combine flowers to make all types of different arrangements, but let me narrow it down a bit.

Let’s talk about just plain pretty arrangements for any table – not gigantic, showy arrangements but pleasing ones you can place anywhere. I really love the look of different flowers all in the same color family. It makes for a cohesive arrangement that is more subtle but has depth when you examine all the different varieties. If you ever watch the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network, you will see she is a fan of solid color arrangements, usually in all white or orange. She will often use the same flower over and over in a large cluster, but I prefer different flowers.

You can really use any container, from plain glass where you see the stems, to a pottery piece or my favorite – something different you own, like a small tureen or pitcher or even your gravy boat you haven’t had out since Thanksgiving. Use your imagination. Fill the container with water, arrange the flowers in your hand to gather a perfect bouquet, freshly cut the stems, then place them in the water. You may need a few adjustments, but you can do it!

Here in Cincinnati, we have a number of good florists, but a truly special one is Robin Wood. Visit her amazing website to order, get amazing ideas and view her photo gallery. The pair of photos on this page are from her website and perfectly illustrate the single color theme.

Keep cool and think “flowery” thoughts!

Photos from Robin Wood Flowers


A Super Side Dish

I recently saw a recipe made on the Food Network, tried it at home (with a few adjustments) and it was so unique and delicious I wanted to share it with you!

Savory Spinach Bread Pudding

6 slices bacon, fried and chopped in small but not tiny pieces

1 ½ c. shredded swiss cheese

2 c. fresh baby spinach, chopped

2 shallots you have chopped and softened in olive oil

3 slices French or Italian bread, cut in cubes, crust on

Combine all these ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 4 ramekins with a non-stick spray (I used my larger ones – they hold about 12 ounces or use 6 small 6 ounce ones)

Custard: In a large bowl, whisk together 6 eggs and ¼ c.whole milk Add combined ingredients above and make sure all the bread is coated in the custard. Spoon mixture into the prepared ramekins and bake 30 minutes for the larger ones and about 20-25 minutes for the smaller ramekins. When the tops are golden and a bit bubbly, remove from oven. They can be served in the ramekin or for a pretty presentation, run a knife around the edge, flip them and the bread pudding should come right out.

Becky Knows Everything: Here are a few important tips – Gruyere cheese is a great substitute for the swiss, but as it is a lot pricier I opted for the latter. I purchased a loaf of unsliced French bread that was soft, not a crusty baguette (which won’t accept the custard as well), then sliced three medium thick slices and cubed from there. I served these as a side dish with a nice grilled strip steak, but they would also be great for an interesting brunch or ladies lunch dish too.