Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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from last wednesday

My mother is legally blind, which is to say one of her eyes doesn't see and the other only sort of sees.

Of course, this impacts her life in several ways, one of them being in terms of cooking. My mother is not a bad cook, especially once she discovered spices beyond celery salt. She makes a good meatloaf and really good broccoli and cheese. She rarely baked, however. I can count the number of times she baked cookies on one hand. (This wasn't just because of her lack of sight, but because she was worried about my brother's and my weight -- her family leans towards anorexic tendencies.)

I think that with some help she could have done more. I remember once she tried to bake a pumpkin pie from scratch. She burned the pumpkin while baking it. She immediately dissolved into tears and moderate hysterics, never getting to the crust. She just gave up. I think if someone had helped her she might have been successful, could have gotten back up on the horse and made that pie.

Surprisingly enough, from what I've seen, she doesn't use her other senses while cooking as much as might be useful. When cooking I use all my senses -- everything from sight to smell to hearing to touch to taste -- to know if something is cooked. From experience I know that when one is cooking a pumpkin that when it's done it smells right. (And maybe she should have started out with sweet potato pie or canned filling, but I digress.)

In any event, unlike most of the rest of the people around here, I cooked cookies perhaps once as a child. My paternal grandmother helped me make snickerdoodles from the 4-H All American Foods cookbook. She also helped me bake the coffee cake. I didn't really make cookies again until I was in my 20's, and then they've tended to be gluten-free. But I can make cookies. And do, though not as much as I like. I do like cookies.

Usually my cookies turn out pretty well. I can make several kinds and they make me happy. Occasionally, however, my brain goes on holiday without me (how unfair is that?) and I do mess up the cookies. For example, when I was pregnant with Avadore, I forgot to include the flour. The result was closer to candy than cookies. Since my brain occasionally does this and I make errors, I have found it important to find other uses for what results instead of circular cookies.

I don't tend to burn cookies. If I do, it's probably best they be discarded or eaten by someone who doesn't care. Husbands, brothers and uncles often fall into this category. Usually when I mess up cookies they end up being crumbly. Here's my partial list of what to do with impaired cookies:

1) Eat them with a spoon.
2) Put them in a bowl, pour milk over, and eat with a spoon.
3) Put on top of ice cream.
4) Stir into ice cream.
5) Mix into brownies.
6) Mix into frosting. Frosting a cake with said mixture is optional.
7) Put marshmallows into a plastic cup. Microwave until melted. Stir in cookie crumbles.
8) Make a pie crust.
9) Put on cheesecake.
10)Mix in vanilla yogurt.

Had a nice Mother's Day. Was given many nice gifts, like chocolate. Woo chocolate! Gift certificates were popular this year. But then gift certificates are always popular with me.

I think the best gift was from Avadore. He made me a card that had a large picture of him wearing a wooden bead necklace he made me. It's all lovely. I do think he thought I was a bit nuts for wearing the necklace all day Sunday. It won't be the last time he thinks I've gone over the edge, I'm sure. LD gave me a huge green mug to hold whatever to wake me up in the morning since he knows it's hard for me to do so, especially on school days. At least that's what Rice said.

I was on the wacky side yesterday, to the point that Rice was making pregnancy jokes, so he gave me an early anniversary gift: Hal Duncan's Vellum, which I am very excited to read. Perfect summer reading. Ahh!

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