Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids

Indoor Independence

Yesterday, Leah and a friend of hers were slouching around the kitchen wondering what to do, so I suggested they make cookies. My ulterior motive: we have none in the house and I need them for school lunches.

They went through half an hour of debating which kind and finally decided they didn’t want to make cookies at all but that pie might be fun. Pie felt kind of big. But I retreated to the back room and let them search out a recipe for ingredients that we had in the house (and no, I wasn’t going to the store to buy pie crust—they would have to make it).

They landed on a rhubarb cream pie, a perfect recipe for the rhubarb plant gone gonzo in the backyard. After they’d cut and chopped the rhubarb, mixed the cream mixture, which isn’t a cream mixture at all but simply eggs, sugar, and nutmeg, they set to work on the pie crust. I gave them a few tips, like don’t handle it too much and dust enough flour on the counter so it doesn’t stick during rolling, and then got out of the way again.

You know what? That pie turned out perfectly. “The crust is so light,” Leah kept saying. She sounded like a chef, and her very first pie crust somehow managed to usurp all of mine put together. And that’s with more years of working as a baker under my belt than I care to remember. That pie passed the younger brother test with flying colors.

If you too have a gonzo rhubarb plant, try this recipe. (I would have included a picture but my digital camera cord has gone AWOL.)

Rhubarb Cream Pie (from Lummi Island Heritage Trust Favorite Island Recipes)
1 ½ c sugar (the girls used white)
3 T flour
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 T melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
3 c cut rhubarb
2 pie crusts

Blend sugar, flour, nutmeg, and butter. Add eggs and beat smooth. Pour over rhubarb in 9-inch pastry lined pie pan. Top with pastry cut in fancy shapes (the girls used cookie cutters). Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake about 30 minutes.

Basic pie dough for 2 crusts (from The Joy of Cooking)
2 c white flour
2/3 c shortening
2 T cold butter
4 T cold water

Cut shortening and butter into flour with pastry cutter or finger tips until the shortening is pea-sized. Add water and mix lightly with a fork. Roll out with rolling pin.

 I guess I need to make cookies myself. On second thought, I think I’ll go buy them. 

leave a comment!

Tagged as:

The Art of Cheese Omelets

For about a month, I wasn’t much of a cook after my December 20th ankle surgery. Once I graduated to a walking boot cast, I took back the dinner chore, but while I was on crutches for four weeks, my family stepped up to take on most of my regular tasks.

My husband, Curt, took over the cooking, shopping, and driving, while Leah, my 10-year-old, learned to do her own laundry. My eight-year-old son, too small to do his own laundry, decided to master the art of cheese omelets in his own bid to help out.

One morning, he offered to make me one.

As I balanced on my crutches in the kitchen, sort of to oversee things I suppose, Ty set to work. Standing on a chair in front of the stove, he cracked two eggs into a glass (sans shell), poured in a little milk, and whipped the contents with a fork, just as I’d taught him for scrambled eggs. He melted a little butter in the frying pan, poured in the mixture, and watched the eggs bubble, a rubber spatula at the ready in his small hand. I couldn’t help noticing the flame under the pan—a little high—and that he hadn’t grated the cheese yet. Also that the egg was cooking a little hot. And the cheese still wasn’t grated. And that he wasn’t lifting the edge of omelet to tilt the uncooked egg under the cooked egg as I’ve shown him many times.

He must have sensed me opening my mouth because I know he couldn’t see my face with his back to me (am I so predictable?). “Mom,” he said without turning, “I know this isn’t how you like to make omelets. I know you like to pick up the edge and pour the egg under itself. But I like to let it cook just like this until it’s done. And it works.”


My mouth snapped shut. Apparently, I am this predictable. I watched him for a moment, the way he concentrated on his creation, the way he knew exactly when it would be done, and then I slunk off to the dining room—as much as you can slink off on crutches—to wait for my omelet.

A few minutes later, with a wide smile, Ty served it to me on a plate, a precise half-moon of yellow with a hem of melted cheese and no scorch marks. He knew it was perfect.

It was. 

leave a comment!

Tagged as: ,