November 30, 2022

who needs TV when my folks are this entertaining?

See that white part?
That's where the quilt
 ripped. Some of the squares
 needed attention too.

I recently cleaned the kids' bedroom quilts. Mini's quilt partially fell apart in the process. Honestly, the girls' quilts are so old that they were threadbare in places. The boys' quilts aren't in great shape either, but for the most part theirs just have the edging falling off.

What to do? The quilts match the girls' room SO WELL. I'm the first to admit that the room is a tad juvenile for them. They still sleep in a doll house bunkbed- something my sister, Ann, sneered about a few months ago, but hey - the girls aren't complaining. I decided it was silly to buy new quilts in the same pastel colors and tough to choose new quilts until a new color scheme is selected. So, I decided to repair this one in places where it was really falling apart. I'm hoping the twin version that is on the top bunk, a bunk that isn't used when Mini is away at school, isn't going to need to be repaired. 

*editing to add - I just washed the twin one and it is in near perfect condition. It doesn't really see the light of day being up in the doll house part of the bunk. Also, no one really sits on that bed as it isn't as accessible. Plus, the lower bunk belonged to Mini, nuf said? 

I had some of this
 flowered fabric. It wasn't
an exact match, but not sure
 anyone is going to care. 

My quilt patching project was spread out on the family room floor one night. While I rarely watch TV, I decided to put something on that I didn't have to pay compete attention to. I remember women from my book club saying that they enjoyed Derry Girls. Reg found it for me, and I watched several entertaining episodes while I sewed. 

The next day was Coach's birthday. He had to work late. I made one of our favorite dinners, which takes hours - in part because I'm programmed to feed an army. The recipe is typed up the way I usually make it. I like leftovers, so I made my usual mountain of it. It was exhausting. 

It doesn't look so bad.
Later, I picked up my mom and took her to Curly's basketball game. When I dropped Mom back off at home, I delivered some of the dinner to my dad. It isn't that I didn't want to feed my mom. She would never eat peppers or onions or beans or tomatoes, so this dinner was not her thing. 

I went inside and explained the meal to Dad. He'd be heating it up the next night, since he'd already eaten. Technically, Mom would probably be heating it up for him, but she wouldn't remember my instructions anyway. 

Me:  This is Cuban Sheet Pan Chicken and Black Bean Rice Bowls. You can add the amount of black beans, tomatoes, corn, and avocado you want. (I brought all of the add-ins in separate containers from the chicken, veggies, and rice.) Get ready, this meal is gonna change your life. 

Delish. Before all the components
are mixed together. 

This made him chuckle, because he is 82 after all. Dad is a more adventurous eater than my mother. Well, let me rephrase that EVERYONE is a more adventurous eater than my mother. In my folks' traditional home, my dad has never made a meal - at least not that I'm aware of. I'm not 100% sure he can make his own sandwich.  

While I was 'splaining the meal, they were fumbling around trying to turn down the TV. They were unsuccessful, but I just talked loud. I asked them what they were watching. It's a show they really like called FBI. 

Mom had told me earlier that they'd gone to the Catholic high school that three of my nephews attend for grandparents' day. On the way home, Ann wanted them to come to her place to watch a movie on her day off. Mom wasn't interested, so Dad dropped her at home and then he went to Ann's to watch this movie. 

Me:  as they told me about how much they enjoy this FBI show I chimed in with: I watched a show last  night. One that I'd never seen. It was called Derry Girls.

I hadn't quite uttered the entire title of the show when Dad shouted: I SAW THAT TODAY. 

Me:  Um, I don't think so, Dad. This wasn't a movie. It's just a show. It's on TV.

Dad:  Huh? No. I saw that movie.

Me:  This was kind of old. What movie did you watch? 

Mixing up the goodness. Yum.

Dad:  No, that was it. What season did you watch?

Me:  Oh, wait. Maybe you did see Derry Girls. I watched season 1.

Dad:  Yep, me too. Did you see the part when they think the statue of Mary is crying? But it's cuz the dog peed on it? (howls with laughter).

Me:  Yes, I did see that same episode. 

What are the chances that my dad and I watched the same older season series within 24 hours of each other? 

The next day when I talked to Mom, I asked her how Dad liked the dinner. 

Mom:  Yeah. He liked it. I tried and I tried to squeeze that thing that you brought over. I couldn't get anything to come out of it. 

Me:  Wait, what? There was nothing to squeeze. Um, the avocado?

Mom:  Yeah, is that the green thing?

Well, there you have it. A few years ago when my mom watched me make my salad, she asked me what the avocado was. I think it's somewhat remarkable that I eat the foods that I eat, and if anyone is handing out gold stars for overcoming this family trait - I will take one. Friends in college used to sit around the table in the dining hall and ask me if I'd ever eaten _____. Things like cottage cheese, peppers, most fresh fruits, tacos, sour cream all were on my never-eaten list. 

If you've learned nothing else today, you now know that I do not exaggerate when I say that Mom is very limited in what she will eat. Needless to say, I got a good chuckle out of my mom trying to squeeze the avocado into Dad's dinner. 

Are there foods that you've never tried, or foods you were shielded from as a child and only discovered in adulthood? Have you seen Derry Girls?  Have you ever squeezed an avocado, or been confused how to prepare/eat some other food?


Nicole said...

Your mom squeezed an avocado! That made me smile. Wow though, what does your mom eat? What did you grow up eating? My mom was a farm girl so we ate a lot of meat-and-potatoes, or casseroles. I had fruit but seasonal fruit, because a lot of things were not available in winter, in the 80s. I didn't think salad was that great until I was about 13 and had a Caesar salad at a friend's house. Prior to that, I had only ever had salad made of iceberg lettuce, and the only salad dressings my mom ever bought were Thousand Island, French, and very very occasionally Italian.
I'm fascinated by this, though, that your mom hasn't ever branched out. My parents are fairly adventurous eaters now, and go to restaurants often.

mbmom11 said...

I have watched a few Derry Girls. In the recent season, I had to watch the one with Liam Neesan-great comedic actor -which I didn't expect given his typical intense roles.
I am your mother's type of eater. Unadventurous, meat and potatoes. However as a grown up I found I liked fried rice. However, I do know about avocados and would not squeeze one.

Beth Cotell said...

Have you posted the recipe for this delicious sounding dish? And also, your mom tried to squeeze the avocado? Did she poke a hole in it and squeeze? I'm sitting here laughing and shaking my head!

Ernie said...

Nicole - Yep, she tried to squeeze an avocado. It was a partial avocado, so the inside of it was visible when I gave it to her. What was there to squeeze?

My mom eats meat and potatoes and canned veggies. She also eats pasta and for breakfast oatmeal. She likes Ceasar salad. When she eats meat - there are very few sauces or seasonings that she'd like. No mushrooms or onions or peppers, etc. She's picky, to say the least. I think she eats apple sometimes.

When I was a kid the only salad we ever ate was iceburg lettuce, a bit of shredded cheese, and French dressing. I think my dad had tomato, but I didn't like tomato yet. We ate French bread pizza for dinner, which to my kids is a snack. Meatloaf, shake and bake chicken, hot dogs, burgers, spaghetti, and an occasional broiled steak which was cut into the tiniest pieces so that none of us got a decent helping. Lots of mashed potatoes and cans of green beans or carrots. I ate almost no fruit.

When I make chili, I always bring some to my dad. He loves it, but never eats it because my mom would never eat beans. My dad is adventurous, but my mom is VERY set in her ways and doesn't try new things.

Ernie said...

mbmom - I haven't watched Derry Girls since that one night, but I look forward to watching it again at some point. I'll look forward to the Liam Neeson episodes.

I'm a sucker for meat and potatoes, but I have really embraced lots of vegetables, like onions and peppers. Yum. Oh, fried rice is so good. I'm not sure I can have that because of gluten. I think chinese food is usually full of gluten, so I don't eat it. I miss crab cakes, too. I'd just discovered them.

Colleen said...

Love Derry Girls - me and Phil laughed out loud so many times and the music was straight from my highschool years, just amazing. I can't imagine my traditional Irish parents (also in their 80s) watching it though, so kudos to your dad for staying relevant ;)

Ernie said...

Beth - I believe that I have posted the recipe before. It is SO good.

When I brought over dinner for my dad, I brought like half of an avocado, knowing he'd not need all of it. So, it was open and I have no idea why she thought it was squeezable. Even if she confused it with a lime, she could see that there was no fruit inside of it.

Ernie said...

Colleen - I did love the music. I was a little surprised that my dad liked it, but he has a good sense of humor. Also, anything Irish speaks to him.

ccr in MA said...

I just keep giggling at the idea of your mom trying to squeeze an avocado! I'm not the world's most adventurous eater, but not the least, either, clearly.

Ernie said...

ccr - It is so funny. I stopped dead in my tracks while I was talking to her on the phone, "WAIT, WHAT EXACTLY WERE YOU TRYING TO SQUEEZE?" I would guess you are more adventurous than my mom, clearly.

Nance said...

Oh my. Squeezing an avocado. There you go.

When I was living at home, we only ate what my father liked. I didn't have an avocado until I was married and in my own home. We never had Oreos, either. The only cookies we had were what my dad would buy, and he only bought terrible, boring almond crescents or Maurice Lenell pinwheels. My mom baked oatmeal cookies, never chocolate chip.

It was incredibly liberating when I left home and could cook for myself and shop for myself. I went a little bit crazy.

Jenny in WV said...

I've had guacamole many times with chips, but it was only in September that I ate a plain avocado for the first time. I was underwhelmed. It was ok, but nothing spectacular.

I was in college before I ate Chinese food for the first time. My parents would occasionally get takeout, but it was always hot spiced beef and something with shrimp. Not things i want to eat. I don't like fried rice and prefer to eat white rice with butter and salt. I blame that on growing up in a rural part of the Midwest.

The only beans I'll at are canned green beans. I don't like the texture of fresh ones. I make bean-less chili occasionally.

I like taco salad, but I don't think I've ever eaten an actual taco.

I've heard of Derry Girls but I haven't seen it. What channel/streaming services is it on?

My bed quilt could use some patching too. I should probably replace it, but it is so hard to pick something new! And with a dog, a quilt is easier to toss in the wash than a comforter would be!

Kara said...

My Mother is very set in her eating ways as well. We joke that we had three menu choices for dinner while growing up- pasta with red sauce, grilled chicken or leftover pasta with grilled chicken. The only vegetables she makes are in the microwave and are nuked to beyond recognition (no wonder zucchini makes me shudder). She is also a woman who finds ketchup to be spicy from time to time. My Dad eats anything and everything.

Ernie said...

Nance - That's very similar to the way I grew up, except our meals revolved around what my mom ate. Fortunately we weren't deprived of Oreos and my mom's specialty was chocolate chip cookies. For a long time, I stuck with what I knew when I moved out on my own. I've graduated since then, but it took some time.

Anonymous said...

My mom didn't like fish, so the only fish I grew up eating were frozen fish sticks and fillets during Lent. I also didn't have fresh basil until well into undergrad. I don't think the basil was because my mom didn't like it, though. I think it just wasn't a thing she ever grew or bought.

My kid is growing up with fish and basil in the mix, but very minimal chicken because I disliked it in childhood and still don't like it. We have it rarely and I do still try to eat it, but: ugh. I tend to only be able to be happy about eating it if the flavor and texture are both fully covered up.

Things I'm not even exposing her to are pork, liver, and scallops. Mostly because I intensely dislike them and see no benefit in pushing for them. Especially the liver, which I tried as an adult after someone I know talked it up while I was pregnant. It was not great. I would rather take a vitamin.

Ernie said...

Jenny - I agree, avocados aren't all that exciting - I enjoy them when paired with other foods.

Sound like you and my mom would be good eating out buddies. Beanless chili might work for her. My folks used to get chinese food when I was a kid, but it was a treat for them. We never got any.

Derry Girls is on Netflix. I was busy sewing and asked Reg to put it on for me. I'm not great at working the remote now that there are so many different places to find shows.

It is so hard to find a new bed quilt that I like. I love my current one so much that I bought a second one and it is in my closet in the box. ;)

Ernie said...

Kara - Laughing about your mom finding catsup spicy. Well, your mom and my mom were apparently cut from the same cloth. I grew up before microwaves and when they were finally popular, my mom refused to buy one. When she made meatloaf, we ate the leftovers heated up in tomato paste in a frying pan. Ick. I bought a microwave for her for Christmas with my Burger King money when I was a sohpomore in high school, circa 1986. Thank goodness she embraced it.

Suzanne said...

Oh my goodness! She squeezed the avocado! I have so many questions. Did she... cut into it first? Did she eat any of it at all? Did she think it was a lime?

This also reminds me that I really want to eat the Cuban Sheet Pan Chicken Bowls again soon. Maybe it will be on the meal plan for next week.

The fix you made to the quilt looks wonderful!

Ernie said...

Anonymous - I hate fish. My mom cooked it a few times when my dad begged. I hated how the house smelled. Forever. Not sure where I'd be without chicken. Taking a vitamin to avoid some things is something I can relate to. Freakishly I ate liverwurst spread on my white bread for much of high school.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - When I delivered the avocado, it was a partial, already hacked into avocado. So she could see what was in there and while she might have assumed it was part of the lime family (do limes have a family?), she had to be able to see that it was NOT a lime at all. She did not eat a bit of it, because it was part of the meal for my dad. I think when he had heated up the 2nd half of it she probably put a few sliced on his meal per my instructions. Never thought I'd need to tell her to slice the avocado.

When I look at the photos for this post, I miss having leftovers of this, my current favorite meal, in my fridge.

Thanks, but you are being generous, probably because you can't see the details and the bits that aren't so great. I was SO relieved when I saw that the twin sized quilt was not in need of a repair. The edge turned out fine, but the squares with flowers inside them turned out not-so-great. It's OK, but I was getting tired of fixing it and so many of the squares were coming undone. It looks like it will hold together, and that's enough for me.

BTW - the lemon garlic chicken is in m crockpot for tonight. Hooray.

Kari said...

I can only imagine how messy your mom's hands had to be after squeezing the avocado. I mean, that would turn me off avocado for good if I were her. 🤣

Charlie said...

That really is a coincidence that you both watched the same show. I’ve heard from an Irish friend that’s it’s good, but not seen it yet. It was the opposite in my house growing up. My mum was a fabulous cook and both parents were very adventurous eaters. We holidayed in France every year and they’d be eating moules frites and I’d be having my plain old baguette with ham! I’m so going to miss my mum’s cooking this Christmas and her encouragement to try new dishes. I am better then I was, in trying new things, but not in the rest of my family’s league. My stepson was the plainest eater ever until he married a chef and now his tastebuds have changed massively, so it’s amazing where you can come from and where you end up.

Ernie said...

Kari - Ha. I'm guessing she still had the peel on it, but yeah that could've been messy.

Ernie said...

Charlie - Exactly - especially since we both started watching season one when there are 3 seasons out. So funny.

When I worked at Burger King, I always ordered a plain hamburger, only catsup on my lunch break. Whenever a customer came in and ordered something plain, my other wiseass coworkers would announce over the microphone ordering system 'An Ernie.'

I imagine this Christmas will be hard for you. I'm so sorry. I'm thinking of you.

It is pretty amazing how we can adapt or embrace new foods depending on outside influences.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Your Mom is something else with food. Squeezing an avocado? Well, I do squeeze them before I purchase to make sure they're not overly ripe or rock-hard. It makes me question how she grew up...why types of food did she eat?

You get a gold star and Gold ribbon for overcoming the food thing!

I've not heard of Derry Girls, and it's hilarious that you and your dad watched it so closely together. What are the chances?

You did a great job on the girl's quilt! I'm impressed.
I had a dream once that I slept in a doll house...but it wasn't a good dream. LOL! Really though, Mini is already away at school and Curly will be making plans to depart soon. (sorry) why redecorate now? I mean, unless you're thinking of putting in a second washing machine or another fridge in their room. 😳

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh, and I think I've made that meal before, and it was so good. I need to add it back into my rotation!!

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes my mom is quite the plain Jane when it comes to eating. She is a meat and potato type. Veggies from a can, typically. I was like her disciple growing up. I vividly remember ordering at restaurants (rare occasions) when we would each ask her while looking at the menu "Mom, will I like this?" She was in charge of our taste buds apparently.

It was so nutty that we both started watching series one at roughly the same time.

My thought exactly - why redo a room now? Their time at home is limited. Plus, I don't want to paint over the mural I painted on the wall. Little girly, or not. That was work.

I so love that dinner.

Karen said...

You’ll think this is nuts but actually squeezing an avocado is a thing. When it’s cut in half, pit removed, with one hand you hold the side with the skin and kind of fold it in half. Pressing the long sides together and squish the insides out. It does work and your hand stays clean.

Ernie said...

Karen - I don't think this is nuts as I'm not always informed on the various ways to work with foods that only became part of my world as an adult. I wonder if people do that when they make guac? I'm all about buying guac and letting someone else much up avocados.

Ally Bean said...

The sheet pan meal looks delicious. Thanks for the link to the recipe. I was introduced to many foods as a child so that as an adult I'd be open to new cuisines. It was a thing with my foodie parents. I've not seen Derry Girls but read that it's best to watch it with English subtitles because it's difficult to understand what they're saying.

Ernie said...

Ally - I hope you like the sheet pan Cuban chicken dinner. I think it is delish. Your parents were very forward thinking in my estimation. I agree, the subtitles help. I can usually understand Irish accents, but not a bad idea. Watching subtitles isn't ideal when sewing a project spread out on the floor.

Cindy said...

My mom grew up in an abusive home and only cooked using canned food: canned veggies, canned pasta sauce, etc. She would often cook a roast and I hated it, only because I knew the next night we were having stew and I hated stew! The leftover roast in a sauce with the cut up potatoes and carrots... the broth was awful, it had a texture like chalk. I expect it was actually pretty good but my 7 year old self did not like it! I think I've tried almost everything, including calamari and octopus. And I liked both of those!

Ernie said...

Cindy - When my kids were little, I decided that I should give myself a break and feed them Chef Boy Ardee. They hated it. I was like, dang - they only like real food. Ha.

I applaud you for trying new things. Ocotpus? That sounds rubbery to me. ;)