Forget Reciting The Alphabet Backwards, Sobriety Tests Should Consist Of Getting People To Spell "Chihuahua" Correctly

My mother has been here in San Francisco all week, house-sitting my friend's house and also dog-sitting my friend's very lovable chihuahua. I'm not really much of a dog person normally, although I have found myself making a definite exception for this chihuahua, mostly because he acts more like a cat than a dog---small, cuddly, quiet, doesn't smell dog-ish---and also because he has a very impressive collection of sweaters. It's like Paris Fashion Week, visiting my mother after work; every time, the chihuahua is wearing a different outfit.

(Wow, "chihuahua" is kind of a trip to write. Ever notice that? Boy, I don't think I've ever written "chihuahua" so many times in succession in my life. You stare at it after a while and it doesn't even begin to make sense. Chihuahua. Chihuahua. Chihua---oh my god, my brain is melting. Don't take the brown acid.)

Anyway, I may have said this once or twice or three billion times, but having my parents living in the same country as me is a huge novelty. Having them live in the same state pretty much blows my mind. So having my mother staying at my friend's house twenty minutes away from me---even for just a week---is basically the most awesome thing I can think of, and yes, I am turning thirty in three weeks, but cut me some slack, I was sent away to live in a Harry Potter novel when I was eleven. I think I'm always going to miss my mommy.

(Actually, I think I'm always going to miss my mummy, but I wrote it like that and then I was all, wait, what if they think I'm talking about, like, Egyptian mummies, with the bandages and the preserved organs and the sarcophagi---no, really, the plural is sarcophagi, I looked it up---and so then it was one of those cases when I figured the American spelling was best. Basically,  I also say "bay-zel" now in restaurants instead of "baz-zel," because it's just easier to get the waiter to understand me. I think you could say that I'm adapting. Either that or selling out.)

So anyway, my mum has been here all week---excellent timing, as we are now experiencing The Great San Francisco Storm O' The Century, which is still better than the tornado warnings they had down in Southern California right after she left---and she has been cooking up a storm while she's been here. I have never eaten better in my life. We've had shepherds pie, chicken with cream and broccoli and bowtie pasta, veggie lasagna, and then one day we even had this thing that she totally just invented by cooking some chicken and some lemon and some yogurt together, and which she is now probably going to wish she had never invented because I'm going to be asking for it for every special meal for the rest of my life.

Does your mother do that, by the way, cook a special meal because it's your favorite? You know, like if you're leaving home or arriving home or maybe just because you had a crappy day and some idiot was a jerk to you and then you bit your tongue and  accidentally hit "reply all" on an email and then your insurance premium went up and your cat puked on your shoes and also you accidentally shrunk your favorite sweater in the wash?

My special meal---up until, like, yesterday---was mac and cheese with bacon. Oh friends, no-one can make mac and cheese with bacon like my mother. True, I think I have since changed that special meal to Made-Up Lemon Chicken Yogurt Thing, but mac and cheese with bacon will still have a very special place in my heart. Unfortunately, it still also has a very special place on my hips, but what can you do.


Camels & Chocolate
Jan 21, 2010

My mummy (not the bandaged kind) and daddy have been visiting all week, too! And we've done little else than sit on the couch watching tennis and eating delicious food at night.

Jan 21, 2010

Having my parents live so close by sounds to me like heaven, and I don't even have a Harry Potter childhood to blame for it.

Did you know that lots of people think we're weird? We who enjoy our parents? Huh.

Jan 21, 2010

My mumma makes Risi e Bisi (which we pronounce badly as reesy peasy - it's a sort of peasant risotto with dried split and fresh peas) and it's my ultimate comfort food that I always ask for when I'm home. I was extra double lucky over Christmas, I god reesy peasy and then reprise-y peasy on my last day! We liked the pun, although I'm not sure Americans pronounce reprise in the same way, so maybe it doesn't work. . .

Jan 21, 2010

I always think of it as "Chee-hoo-ah-hoo-ah" as I spell it, or else I'd get jumbled up too.

I have two chihuahuas! And can I just say it isn't a coincidence that you find chihuahuas to be a bit cat-like, and I actually named one of mine "Kitty"? I mean, you know, it's totally short for Kathryn. Kitty. I swear.

My mom makes me homemade mashed potatoes topped with cream of chicken, chicken chunks, and homemade noodles. It's like...chicken dumplings, and 100% pure starchy AWESOMENESS.

Jan 21, 2010

First the spelling: I did a post on Sriracha sauce, and typing Sriracha over and over again drove me crazy.

Now the food: My mom's chocolate, chocolate chip bundt cake was always waiting for me.

Jan 21, 2010

Different favourites keep popping up all the time when I'm home, and I still tuck into the food with the gusto of somebody who's been living on boarding school grub!

P.S. I think I'm gonna start writing "Chi-hua-hua" instead of "hahaha" from now.Sound kinda fun and right in my head. ;-)

Jan 21, 2010

Ummm. My mother was more of a baker than a evidenced by the Christmas Eve when she mistakenly used poultry seasoning in the mac and cheese instead of dry mustard. Don't ask. We've never let her cook on Christmas Eve again.

But when it comes to baking...oh, she's second to none. I was the spoiled kid who came home to fresh baked snacks every day, which explains a lot about my thighs actually.

Jan 21, 2010

My mother was a horrible cook so the most I ever asked for, from her, was a faux key lime pie (one of those toss 3 items together and voila pie).

My husband and my son both have favorite dishes that I cook so that's nice.

I envy/am happy those that have a good relationship with their parents, so I am stoked for you!

Jan 21, 2010

I miss my mummy. :(

Jan 21, 2010

A story about the pronunciation of basil:

A girlfriend and I were in Toronto at a bar with an adorable Australian bar tender (so adorable, in fact, that we went twice) and he was showing us the various salts and sugars they used on different drinks and one had Thai basil in it.

So he say, "This one is Thai basil and such and such." But he says it in his sexy Australian accent.

My friend, a little tipsy, leans over to me and whispers, "What's tie baz-al?"

When I explained it we both found it hilarious and now when something suddenly makes sense to us we will call out, "Oh, Thai bay-zel!"

Unrelated: Any chance your mum wants to guest post with that bacon mac and cheese recipe?

Jan 21, 2010

No chicken soup is as good as my mom's chicken soup. I usually can't even eat anything but...

Jan 21, 2010

My mom's delicious cooking from Christmas is on my hips now, too... I love that woman, but does she have to be so good in the kitchen?

Also, I want your mom's recipe for mac and cheese and bacon!

Sarah Brown
Jan 21, 2010

I get to see my mom next week, and she's making my favorite meal! One time she made it for me when she visited in New York, because some asshole had just dumped me and I was very sad. She told me to invite all my friends over for my favorite meal, and she even made a special portion meat-free for Tiffany, who's a vegetarian. Aw man, I'm so glad I'm seeing my mom next week now.

I am doing the same basil/basil thing over here sometimes, just reversed. It's easier to just assimilate a little, but my kids will still say VYE-ta-mens, not VITT-a-mins. Much to Nick's dismay.

Jan 21, 2010

"Unfortunately, it still also has a very special place on my hips, but what can you do."

Phenomenal writing. I accidentally snorted my coffee into my nose laughing so hard at this.

Jan 21, 2010

But how do you pronounce aluminum? My brother-in-law is a Brit, and he always sounds as if he's putting an extra "i" in there at the end.

(Also, he laughed at me at Christmas when I offered him a "Smith Wicks" beer. How was I to know the w is silent? Last time I'll be buying special beer for him, let me tell you.)

Jan 21, 2010

My husband has also sold out and now says, "Wa-TER" when ordering in restaurants. But he will never, ever sound American enough to be understood in a drive-thru.

Jan 21, 2010

And you've not shared these recipes because... why?

I can identify with the adapting and/or selling out, but only in reverse. My father is from England, so not only do I, a born-and-raised southerner, sell out and English up my English when with his family, but also it tends to stick for a day or two after each visit, at which point acquaintances wonder why I have this effing poseur English affect like I think I'm Madonna or something.

Jan 21, 2010

I've sold out with so many pronounciations. It just makes life easier when you don't have to repeat yourself 20 times. Also, I think it saves the other person from feeling a little silly.

There are three meals that are my "mum/mom" meals.
1. "mummmy potatoes" which is basically a baked potato cut into pieces and then put in the micowave with a ton of Red Leicester cheese sprinkled over the top (when I make it I don't grate it as my mom did, I just use slices, that's how much cheese we are talking here) so that when it comes out of the microwave it is basically just a plate of melted cheese, with some potatoes hidden underneath. Perfection.

2. scrambled eggs with feta cheese.

3. Marks & Spencer's Moussaka. I CRAVE THIS ALL THE TIME. I am craving it right now and it's 9am. I want to go back to England RIGHT NOW to eat some!

Jan 21, 2010

uh, minus the extra m. "mummy potatoes" not mummmy!

Jan 21, 2010

Serious envy that your parents live so close to you, even if it was a long time coming. Mine are back in the midwest (we live in DC), and every time I even start to suggest to my husband that we move closer to my parents, I get the sad puppy dog eyes and the comment that, "well, maybe living there wouldn't make me want to commit suicide." So. Yeah. I don't think that's happening any time soon. BUT! On to happier thoughts: my mom does indeed make us our favorite meals in those instances you mention. My favorites? Her veggie squares, homemade pizza, and her caramel rolls. No one's caramel rolls are as good as my mother's.

Jan 21, 2010

My requirements in order to like a dog are also small, non-yippy, cuddly, not smelly, and basically cat-like. I like small, cat-like dogs. Maybe I should get a chihuahua.

Erin @ Fierce Beagle
Jan 21, 2010

My parents have been living WITH me for the past three months while they wait to close on their new house (next week). I have to admit, it's been fun. But I'll be glad to have my house back, and them just 10 minutes up the road.

Jan 21, 2010

1. My mom was never much of a cook. She was fine at it, but I never had a favorite Mom recipe. Totally missed out on that one.

In keeping with tradition I'm not much of a cook either, so my daughter's favorite meals are the ones her father cooks. (But at least her dad cooks. My dad SO didn't.)

2. As someone who has two chihuahuas (not the shivery kind, thank God), and has friends with two also, let me tell you they're pretty much always cat-like. We refer to one of ours as a cat all the time; he even sort of makes cat-like noises when he gets excited. And yes, chihuahuas are super cuddly, which is really lovely when you're tired or sick and want restful company.

Jan 21, 2010

My mom is coming to visit me (us) in March and we've already talked about what we're going to cook while she's here. She'll probably bring canned clams (but canned in the Ball jar sense, and clams that she "caught" herself), so we'll make clam linguine.

My comfort food is bao (not quite char siu bao, but close) and egg rolls. We're not Chinese, and they're not really authentic recipes, but they say home to me.

HIp Hip Gin Gin
Jan 21, 2010

If you like cat dogs your should consider a Cairn Terrier. Pretty much act like cats in the way that they will only do what they want when they want to, and only sometimes does that line up with what we want her to do. No "doggy scent" and best bonus of all? They don't shed.
I grew up with German Shepherds and I don't think I'll ever be able to have one again, I'm way too spoiled by living with a non-shedder.

As far as special meals, it is usually a tie between mom's moussaka and dad's creamy peas.

Jan 21, 2010

My mother is also a great cook and somehow manages to even make simple things like cheese-on-toast taste better (moms have that special touch, I guess). A few years ago I decided to go back to eating meat after a two year stint as a vegetarian. For my first meal back into the yummy world of all things meat, I was adamant on eating my mom's baked chicken. She happily obliged, and cooked me a huge pot of her yummy chicken stew in the same pot she's been cooking it in since I was a kid. It was probably one of the best meals of my life.

Jan 21, 2010

Because I was the one person in my family to move away for a long period of time (10 years) I have a lot of special meals. My aunt will always make her special Taco Salad at family gatherings and makes sure I get all the leftovers. My mom has a few things only she can make and my Grandma is queen of that because everything she makes tastes way better than if anyone else made it.

When I was a kid, my Gram used to make me this pudding cake for my birthday. Like literally for 15 years straight. I finally had to tell her I was sick of it.

Jan 21, 2010

So, I have chicken and a big ol' container of Greek Yogurt. I must have some approximation of your mother's lemon yogurt chicken. Please.

Oh yum. Also it sounds much healthier for me than the bacon macaroni and cheese I would otherwise be comtemplating. :)

Amy --- Just A Titch
Jan 21, 2010

People can mock me all they like for living 10 minutes from my parents' house, but then they hear that I get delicious, homecooked meals every Sunday and they STOP TALKING. Moms are the best.

Locusts and Wild Honey
Jan 21, 2010

This post just made me so happy. I have been just a smidge worried that the chihuahua in question has been a terror. Or that your mum has spent the whole week pressing her face to the window, praying the torrential rain would stop.

Just the image of Buster participating in Paris Fashion Week for Chihuahuas is the best mental image ever.

Your mum is a saint for keeping him.

Jan 21, 2010

RECIPES!!! Recipes recipes recipes!!! Please, Mrs. Holly's Mummy, please!!! I'm salivating at the very THOUGHT of chicken lemon yogurt (which sounds so healthy and virtuous) and mac&cheese with BACON BACON BACON (which sounds like the perfect side dish for virtue!)

Jan 21, 2010

Feeding the "Kids" is one of life's greatest pleasures for us "Moms of Grown-Ups" :-)

She's as lucky as you are to have her nearby!

Jan 21, 2010

the boyfriend and i live all of 5 minutes away from my parents and friday nights are our "family dinner" nights where we go over there and my mom cooks and i get to raid their new york times stash.

and my mom cooks a fancy dinner EACH time. oh sure we're all in sweats but she decorates the table, has desserts, the works.

were about 40 minutes from the boyfriend's mom and she ALWAYS sends us home with soups or dim sum or some sort of food. i think it's destiny to always provide food for your children. and i love it.

Sensibly Sassy
Jan 21, 2010

Lets please not forget that said macaroni and cheese was made with WOODEN SPOONS!
Sorry just had to tease ya

Thespian Libby
Jan 22, 2010

I miss my mummy...*sniff*....

Jan 22, 2010

Coincidentally, I just made mac-and-cheese with bacon for the first time this week using the Barefoot Contessa's fantastic recipe. It was so good I blogged it with the recipe link here:

Cannot recommend this version highly enough. I've got the leftovers with me for lunch today and that makes me so happy.

Jan 23, 2010

I want some of whatever you were on when you wrote this post!


Jan 23, 2010

Wendell remembers you fondly as quite the dog lover.

Jan 23, 2010

Is it possible for you to post the recipe for your mom's mac and cheese? I don't think I would ever be able to be able to do it justice because I can barely keep food from going bad in my refrigerator but I'd like to try...

Jan 24, 2010

Uh... no.

My mom can't cook. As in she's burned water before, can't cook. Like, she put the water on to boil and then forgot about it and the water all boiled away and the pot burned and then CAUGHT FIRE. My mom started a small kitchen fire by heating a pot of water.

You can't even make that shit up!

french mastiff
Feb 10, 2010

It's great to have special meal as mac and cheese with bacon. It's wonderful if no-one can make mac and cheese with bacon like mother. Very nice blog, thanks.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

Just to make sure you have a pulse
Enter the characters (without spaces) shown in the image.