MDC


Sunday night in our house is MDC night ……… MDC?????????? You might ask – well it is very very easy MOM DOESNT COOK.

This has been going on for years, and every Sunday night like clockwork Jamie looks at me and asks:

“Mom whats for dinner tonight”

I reply “Wattevva”  gosh I like saying that.

“OH? ……… Why?”

“Because I don’t cook on a Sunday night” – BECAUSE I HAVENT COOKED FOR THE PAST HUNDRED YEARS ON A SUNDAY NIGHT YOU TWIT SO STOP ASKING ME!!!!!!!

Then –  a few seconds later, Rosie will come bounding down the stairs, (I don’t know why but she is always upstairs when it is cook dinner time).

“Mom whats for dinner?”

“Whatever you want”  I reply

“Oh goodie can you make us pancakes”

OK let me try again, “Whatever you want ……… TO COOK YOURSELF!”

“OH”

Every Sunday, Jamie and Rosie eat microwave eggs.  Now microwave eggs mean you take 3 eggs, beat them into a deep pudding bowl and then microwave them till they puff up to the size of a standard pillow.  They then chuck a piece of bread on either side of the egg-pillow, add tomato sauce, and chomp away.  If I ever served them microwave eggs they would crack.

Anyway, this Sunday something was different.  There was a clattering, and the thunk, thunk of knives hitting boards, the whirr of something being beaten, the sizzle of butter in the pan, the black smoke of a major fire in my kitchen.  WHAT!!!!!!!!!!! BLACK SMOKE COMMING OUT OF MY KITCHEN.

I dash out, well sort of crawl out and make my way towards the kitchen area just as Jamie is sitting down to a delicious looking omelette.

“Ummm, Jamie ……… where is all the black smoke coming from?”

“I dunno”

I quickly check the kitchen and the only evidence of fire is the smoke in the air – now I am definitely a believer in the “where there’s smoke there’s fire” saying.  Nothing.  No burnt pot, no dishtowel simmering away on the gas ring …… no nothing.

I follow the smoke and my nose lands firmly smack bang in the middle of Jamies omelette.

“Jamie did you burn your food’

“Not really ….. well maybe just a little ….. and only on the bottom”

I gingerly lift up the omelette and a little black puff of smoke bursts out.  The bottom of the omelette is like a black tekkie sole, the rest looks ok though.

“Are you enjoying that Jamie?”

“Yip!”

He is happy.

Now this got me thinking once I could breathe properly.  We are all so busy looking for perfection, for the ultimate thing or feeling that will guarantee lifelong happiness, that we sometimes forget that  maybe something flawed or not so perfect will make us just as happy – without the sukkle.  So what if your friends aren’t the “it” crowd, or if you don’t own the big house or car you dream about.  If you are happy its all that counts.  Happiness is happiness – it doesn’t worry about how big your dreams are, it bubbles up all by itself regardless of what you have or haven’t got.

Enjoy the happiness and the people and things that make you happy, and treasure them.

And it took a burnt omelette to work this out.

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EXPIRY DATES


I don’t know what going on with my nearest and dearest, well to be more precise Rosie. She has suddenly started checking packaging and especially expiry dates on food.

Now back in the day food came in two varieties – fresh or vrot – the fresh food you ate and the vrot food your mom made into pot luck soup – which by the way was sooooooo delicious you always went back for seconds.

Hardish bread was toasted and really, really hard bread was made into bread and butter pudding. Bread with green stuff growing from it was ……. ummmm …… I cant really remember what happened to that bread but I am sure that something did.

I never and I mean NEVER in my growing up years between the ages of 4 and 40 examined a tin for its expiry – rule of thumb was that if a tin went WHOOSH when you opened it there may-possibly-remotely-inamillionyears be possibly-maybe something wrong with it, but then again a hungry student will and can eat just about anything without any side effects – it may or may not have something to do with the amount of alcohol that was pickling the insides of our bodies.

When we first started dating Frans and I sort of ate out a lot, eating a home cooked meal was a special thing and came to an abrupt halt when I gave him food poisoning on butternut soup (there is still a small part of me that reckons that he acted the whole thing so that I would stop cooking).

When we first had kids and until very recently we would eat what they ate – no “eat your broccoli or else!” in our house.

Now at the ripe age of 11 Rosie has turned into a food monster. She checks all food, shopping has become a seriously long process where she will pick up an item then:

a. Check the expiry date – now remember this very poorly laser printed or on boxes sort of squashed on the box date is normally in a really random and hard to find place, she then;

b. Puts the item into the trolley, or, shouts at the top of her voice MOM!!!!!! I then run – fearing the worst – tripping over shoppers, displays, random spilt items and shelf-packers to check if she is OK, I then get asked “Is this ok if it is a year before its expiry date?”. “Yes Dear”, (read – YES YOU LITTLE NON-CHILD OF MINE!), I huff, “R u sure?”, she repeats, “Yes Dear (Read – No I Just Moved My Lips A Few Seconds Ago AND Made Funny Word Noises For Fun DEAR!), and there the whole process will repeat itself many many times till we leave the store.

Now I am not sure about what the whole big deal is about and I am not sure whether or not we even had expiry dates on food back in the day. But now – since Rosie has this “thang” I haven’t really started going with the flow, but it has got me thinking. Here is an example:

You used to be able to buy Coca Cola – and that was ONLY on Fridays, special occasions and on road trips where garages would only sell Coke (and only in a stand-up fridge outside the office which you had to drink outside the office or forfeit your bottle deposit). NEVER did we worry that Coke contained Carbonated water, Sugar, Caramel, Phosphoric Acid, Flavouring and Caffeine, and that it was bottled under Authority of the Coca Cola BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA …..

We never worried about how much of your RDA allowance of anything was affected by 250 ml of the delicious treat, and we NEVER worried about how much energy, protein, glycaemic carbohydrates, total fat, total sodium and dietary fat ANYTHING contained. The expiry date did not even enter our Planetsphere.

Most of us lived to tell the tale.

In fact the words “Its something I ate” was actually code for “I drank too much last night”, “I’ve got food poisoning” was “I drank too much last night” and, “I’ve got a hangover” was “I drank too much last night”.

Nowdays it takes you longer to read the packaging than to cook and eat Christmas Dinner. My advice, well its simple – eat, enjoy and have fun on the ride. My advice to my package reading daughter, simplify your life, Supermarkets and grocery suppliers do not go out of their way to poison as many customers as possible, relax and enjoy the fact that your supermarket will go out of their way to ensure that non-expired items are on their shelves. Actually spend as much time as possible in grocery stores chatting to new and old friends, OH! And of course buying groceries.

BACON AND EGGS


Table manners are of utmost importance in our home. Every evening we set the table – and I mean SET THE TABLE, there are placemats, sideplates, knives and forks put in the correct position, serviettes, glasses and the correct condiments.

We eat our food on perfectly warmed plates at the table every night.

We believe that correct table manners are an essential skill that we can teach our children, that, should they be at a friends home, or any other situation where our child may eat, people will openly say “those Loots kids have perfect table manners”. Too often we are shocked at the lack of table manners in Adults and Children we come accross.

The children have to eat with a knife and fork, no, they cannot shovel their food into their mouths, they have to cut their food into biteable portion sizes, they then HAVE to place the food into their mouth, then, set their knive and fork down until they have finished chewing and swallowing the food in their mouth, and then, ONLY THEN, may they pick up their cutlery and continue the process.

Which now gets me to last night.

Last night was Bacon and Egg for dinner night – and boy do we LOVE “bacon and egg for dinner night” – we all get involved with the grilling, toasting, frying, scrambling, buttering and plating. On bacon and egg night we are guaranteed that every morsel on every plate will be eaten.

The order is always the same

Frans – 1 egg (flipped) – two pieces of toast (brown) – bacon

Rosie – 3 eggs (2 scrambled, 1 fried) – two pieces of toast (1 white, one brown) – bacon

Jamie – 3 eggs (all fried), two pieces of toast ( both white) – bacon

Mom – The reject eggs, one piece of toast – bacon

We plate the food and sit down. Grace is said. Then………………then……………

Jamie tucks in. He doesnt touch his knife and fork – with his hands he whopps his bacon onto a piece of toast that already has two fried eggs on it and folds (hope you read this well FOLDS) his piece of toast over the bacon and eggs on top of it, picks it up in his hands and starts chomping. Note the word chomping.

His eyes are closed, he is sitting a 1/2 a push away from the table, there is a yellow drip on his chin – he is in heaven.

Frans, Rosie and myself sit – our knifes and forks hovering in mid air, our mouths open.

Frans says, ” “

Rosie says, ” “

Mom says, ” “

Jamie opens his eyes and says, “WHAT?”

The other two are still speechless, “Jamie” I say “Shouldnt you use your knife and fork?” – I have just seen every parenting skill I have ever owned swallowed with that sandwich.

Now at this stage there is a very large part of me saying to myself – YOU WANT TO EAT A SANDWICH JUST LIKE THAT DONT YOU? – there is a part of myself that is just downright jealous. I can feel the texture of the bread in my hands as I fold it over the eggs. I can feel the crunchiness as I bite through the bread, into the yolk, I can feel one yellow drop landing on my chin. I also want to be in bacon and egg heaven.

Jamie finishes chewing and says “OK” as he pops the last morsel into his mouth.

From now on Bacon and Egg night – in our house – is going to be a hand held affair. Stringent rules can sometimes, and only sometimes, take the beauty away from an experience. Sometimes breaking the rules can be more fun than sticking with the norm.

NOTHING REALLY IMPRESSES ME ANYMORE


I don’t know if its my age, but nothing REALLY and I mean REALLY – you know the lightning bolt that turns you into a sosatie type impressed – is impressive to me.

The SA soccer has been impressive – but again not sosatie impressive, as deep, deep down I knew we were going to put on the show of our lives.

This week however I was sosatie impressed not once, but twice, the story goes like this:

Over the weekend there was a fire in our local township. Two households were gutted leaving their occupants with literally nothing – “clothes on their back” type delemma.

Here is where the tale gets impressive

A gardener who lives near the totalled households, tells his exceptionally busy employer.

She then takes a milli-second out of her busy day and tonks a letter to the local e-newspapers.

The e-newspaper then, instead of waiting for the next days publication, immediately forwards her letter to his mailing list.

Within minutes the busy employer is receiving calls with donations of clothing, bedding etc.

By that afternoon – the families had started receiving building materials, clothing and bedding – but most of all thier belief in mankind was cemented forever.

THIS IS IMPRESSIVE – all due to one caring person who put a plan into action.

The second story is a little more complicated:

We have family friends that are well just that – dear family friends, they are our friends because we like them and of course our kids get along like hotcakes. It has never been an issue of what they do for a living but I knew it was something to do with banking.

My housekeeper Mieta (remember mietamaid? refer to post South African weapons of mass destruction) had a large amount of money dissapear our of her bank account – destination unknown – and she was given really bad service from the Bank concerned and the police (busy with Soccer) to cut a long story short, we needed help.

I went to our friend – while he was here on his precious family time holiday to ask him for advice on how we can move forward.

He immediately offered to come see the Bank Manager with myself and Mieta.

In we went, the Bank Manager barely glancing at him. Eventually the Manager puts down his card – “I am ………. and I am the Branch Manager”…………the game of snap was on, our friend puts down his card and says ” I am ………… and I am COO (CEO, CAW, C – something – something that means I am really Big Cheese in this Company), the Branch Manager swallowed the big thing that had formed in is throat, gulp, and the real business of assisting Mieta started.

Now inviting our friend to assist was equivalant of inviting Niel Armstrong to Durban for a holiday and telling him it will be an adventure. But, our friend did it because Mieta mattered and her as a client of his company mattered.

This was IMPRESSIVE.

Thank you to our two friends who impressed us this week.