The Loh Life

Creamed

Sandra Tsing Loh helps cook for her daughter's school Thanksgiving feast.

At the GROCERY store the other day, I studied the latest expose about Angelina Jolie. And I quote: "She can't HIDE the crazy!" "Angelina Jolie's Assistant Tells All!"

Apparently Angelina. . .
"Locks kids in bedrooms while she gets drunk!"
Has a "disturbing online addiction!"

But weirdest of all......three words......WAIT for it:
"Strange soup diet!"
"She became obsessed with soup," an employee recalls. "Light soups that didn't have a cream base -- that became the constant request."

"Her daily diet varies," whispers another family insider. "Sometimes it will be just green tea and nuts. Other days, it will be red meat and red wine, and then, back to tea and some tiny portion of protein."
Of course, I'M reading this and thinking, WHAT great ideas!

The thing is, I feel a certain kinship with Angelina Jolie. . . at least during the HOLIDAYS. We both have LARGE extended families, and are divorced moms.

Now, my Thanksgiving weekend tends to be as complicated and full of gaffes as Herman Cain's presidential campaign. And it seems longer.

I attempt to ACHIEVE normalcy via COOKING. The one Hallmark MOMENT I knew I COULD nail this year was at my nine year old daughter Suzy's school THANKSGIVING feast. Fourth grade's assignment was SIDE dishes, and MY little girl requested her mother's homemade creamed corn.

The recipe, admittedly, comes from the type of magazine whose COVER features not REGULAR Mac 'n' Cheese but EASY Mac 'n' Cheese. Because TYPICALLY Mac 'n' Cheese is so horribly complicated. The PUBLISHING house may WELL be Land O' Lakes Butter.

Most of this magazine's recipes have three words, like "cheeseburger biscuit bake," "chili cheese dip," and--our house favorite--"tater taco casserole." This is ground beef, taco seasoning, one 11-ounce can of "condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup, undiluted," and one 32-ounce package of frozen tater tots! Sadly, I have to report that it is unbelievably delicious. These are surefire HITS, no question about it.

Anyway, I GET the creamed corn going the night BEFORE, put the crockpot in my car, and head triumphantly to the school.

But of course the Thanksgiving PAGEANT runs LONG-

The 250 children coming THROUGH the feast line are tired-

Without heat--think Cinderella's CARRIAGE after MIDNIGHT--the butter and cream cheese ON the corn are congealing-- My side dish looks GROSS-- NOBODY wants it--

I'm standing with 50 OTHER moms plying their OWN homemade food-- Mexican, Indian, Armenian -- THEIR food is actually GOOD-- Steaming tamales, fragrant rices, homemade tabouli--

But of course, the children reject THEIR mothers too, because today for one day they get to eat what they want-- Aka: mac 'n' cheese! The orange stuff. Kraft!

But at least my DAUGHTER loved her dish.

Which leaves a lot left over for Angelina Jolie! Call me!


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