Monday, July 18, 2011

Memories... and then some

Browsing around a bit this morning on blogs that include the words "baseball mom" - the theme of the day seems to be "do I enjoy giving up my whole summer to baseball".

I can't speak for everyone, and there were a couple of years of dance/softball/baseball/swimming/football that I thought might kill me... I remember one particular year my husband and I had to travel in the spring and try to get someone to do just the driving for our three darlings -- that was the year of Killer Thursday - drop off boy at baseball practice in neighboring town at 4:45 (hope someone is there early to watch him while I leave to drop sister off at dance at 5:00, drop other sister off at softball at 5:15, back to dance to pick up youngest and take her to softball at 6:00 (changing from leotard to softball clothes in car on way); pick up oldest at softball a little before 6:30 (before practice over) for swimming at 6:30 (again changing in the car) race from pool to baseball field to pick up son at 7:00 and then home for dinner... sigh G-d forbid there was a game instead of practice to disrupt the flow.

... but I wouldn't give back a minute of it - missed camping trips, family vacations all centered on baseball tournaments, changing to theatre appropriate clothes from sweaty baseball mom clothes, baseball games in formal gowns, freezing in the rain, sizzling in the heat, hat head, sore feet, sunburns, bug bites, late (I mean really late) dinners, fuck tons (I do mean fuck tons) of fast food and sunflower seeds, smelly car*, dozens of unfinished and even un-started summer projects, etc.

There is a sign that hangs in our home it says "We Interrupt this Family for Baseball Season" (it could just as easily say 'softball season' - 'swim season' - 'dance' - 'Job's Daughters' - or 'cheerleading'.

Years ago I also said that I would write a cookbook for "baseball moms" that included some actual non-fast food, healthy, easy options for those crazy days of summer. In honor of those moms who are struggling with their own baseball season right now and are sick of fast food and hot dogs I will share a favorite.

Taco Salad
(feeds 5-ish)

1+ lbs ground beef
chile powder (1 Tbsp ish)
garlic powder

brown the ground beef with the above seasonings, stir frequently to break into small pieces, drain fat

>tortilla chips (preferably not too salty - we like the white corn strips from Costco)
>1-1.5 heads lettuce (we use romaine because I'm a snot that doesn't like iceberg)
>2-3 tomatoes (diced for salad - we have two tomato lovers, and one tomato hater - I use 2-3 roma tomatoes)
>sliced black olives (optional, I love them, but we don't have them all the time)
>sliced scallions (again, if we have some I will slice them, but I don't make a special trip to the store for them)
>1.5-2 C shredded cheese (cheddar or cheddar/jack)
>sour cream
>guacamole (it's baseball season, just buy the packaged in the produce aisle - we like Wholly Guacamole - it tastes homemade!)
>Salsa (replaces salad dressing)

We all put our salads together differently - my oldest daughter loves the round chips and makes her salad a work of art worthy of a photo contest - I will tell you how I put mine together.

Crunched up chips in the bottom of the bowl, a little lettuce on top of that, then the rest of the veggies topped with a few more crunched up chips, meat and cheese -- then top the whole works with all the gooey yumminess ending with the salsa.

I can make all of this ahead (and in fact I sometimes make a HUGE batch of meat and freeze it in bags enough for one dinner [tacos or taco salad]) during the morning/afternoon and then when I come home I re-heat the meat for a minute or two and snip the corner off the bag of guac and we are good to eat!

*smelly car -- One day I was chaperoning a group of girls, and one girl who lacked a bit of a filter said to me "Mrs. Momumo, what is that smell?" -- Me: "Well, it could be sour milk/chocolate smell from the huge air pot of spilled hot chocolate a couple of years ago, I shampoo all the time, but the smell never goes away; or it could be some sweaty football/baseball/softball socks that are stuck under a seat somewhere; or it could be sweaty dance wear in the trunk; or it could be some old fast food in a bag under one of the seats; or it could be the beer that blew up in the hot sun and splattered all over the car; or it could be that I used to smoke; or it could be one of the girl's swim bags in the back; or it could be vomit; what does it smell like honey?" "oh, well it sorta smells like all of that, could you roll down the window?"

I have a new car now -- same girl "wow this car smells so much better" ME: "probably not for long, lol"

my car did not smell that badly, and I febreezed, shampooed, vacuumed, often to eliminate the odor... she had a very sensitive nose.

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