Friday, June 15, 2012

What's Cooking

We had another cookout last weekend at my parents house. Daddy likes to celebrate Momma's birthday with a cookout every year. I think he likes having company. 

Scout, and Kim, and Layla were on vacation in Panama City so they didn't get to come but Donny, and Colt, and I were there. My two aunts were invited so they came. They had been at the Memorial Day cookout, too. 

I am so happy that Mary and Patsy live in Tennessee and are close enough to come visit often. They are such a delight to be around. They never meet a stranger, and are always cheerful, and uplifting. Every time we are together is a blessing. My aunt, Jonnie Bell, was invited to the cookout but she has lots of health problems and doesn't feel like getting out much anymore. She lives in Chattanooga. It was a very small celebration.

Patsy made a delicious butterscotch pie, and Mary made a yummy lemon meringue pie. I brought a carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Theirs were from-scratch. Mine came from a box. (I say, "Thank ye' aunt Betty. You know Betty don't you? Betty Crocker.") We had plenty of sweets. 

Momma didn't feel very good so she didn't do much. I put the hamburgers on the grill and watched them for a while. Momma brought a bowl out to put the hamburgers and hot dogs on and we went inside into the air conditioning to eat. 

Momma hasn't been out of the hospital long. She has pneumonia. I don't know how long it takes to get over that. She doesn't have any energy and can't breathe well.

Daddy's not much better. He's had heart surgery and stints put in so he huffs and puffs when he is outside in the heat. He didn't use to be like that. When he was young he was a dock worker. He lifted and moved freight all day or night long. He was in good shape. After he retired he didn't exercise and he eventually developed heart disease.

Although there weren't as many people at Momma's birthday party this year as last year, it was a very nice cookout. Everybody pitched in to straighten up and help Momma. It was just family, and just family is just fine. She really should be resting more than she is though. She needs to get well and that's the only thing they recommend when you have pneumonia.

Instead of having a cookout I had offered to cook a turkey and dressing but Momma said that Daddy didn't want turkey. It was the wrong time of year. What the heck? Is there any wrong time for turkey? I don't know. I just thought it would be easier on Momma if I cooked the turkey and brought it to their house. Momma said I could cook the hamburgers and that would help. Well, alright, but I still wanted turkey and dressing after I got to thinking about it. So did Colt.

I had a whole turkey in my freezer. I also had a whole chicken in there. Since Daddy didn't want to eat turkey for Momma's birthday I'd fix something for Colt's birthday. It was coming up. I decided to thaw out the chicken and cook a special birthday dinner for just the three of us, Colt and Don and me. We had dinner Tuesday evening and it was delicious if I do say so myself. I asked Colt what he would like with his chicken and dressing and he asked for macaroni and cheese. Okay, I figured I can do that. I cooked elbow macaroni, and then drained it,  and added a little milk to melt Velveeta cheese in the saucepan on the stove top. I make pretty good macaroni.

Everything was delicious. I had two containers of turkey juice in the freezer that I thawed in the microwave and poured over the crumbled up cornbread. I added a little bit of sage and salt and pepper and tasted it until I got it salty enough. I had added a little water to make it moist enough so I used chicken bouillon to make it more flavorful and salty. It's good to taste test every now and then so it's not too flat or too salty. Every now and then I get everything right. Colts special dinner turned out alright.

Two birthday parties in four days ... This is going to be a great summer.


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