Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's the little things

Here are 5 little things that I love, in no particular order.

1. Sweet Pepper Relish – I never loved relish, until my sister and brother-in-law introduced me to Sweet Pepper Relish as part of their recipe for southwestern turkey burgers. This is the perfect addition to burgers and I bet it would be fantastic on a grilled cheese sandwich.

2. Trader Joes Cilantro and Chive Yogurt Dip – I bought this for the first time as a veggie dip, but I have started to use it to replace sour cream, goat cheese, cream cheese and butter. With 50 calories and 4g of fat per 2T it’s a great alternative. It reminds me of on of my favorite foods in Germany, Schwartzwald Crème, which my German exchange mother would buy by the pound for me and I am sure contributed to the 15 lbs I gain while living there.

3. Oxo Salad Spinner – It’s true, I love all things Oxo. However the gadget I use every single day is my Salad Spinner. I admit I had been wrong to think that salad spinners were just good for taking up space in your cabinet. I use this puppy every day, and it ensures that my salad is clean and dry and that the dressing stays where it belongs!

4. Twinings Lady Grey Tea – It’s the best kept Twinings secret, Lady Grey Tea. A little lighter than Earl Grey, I have at least one cup every morning. When I go home to visit my parents, my father and I can easily drink 2 pots between us before lunch. It’s a warm and cozy tea.

5. Par Baked Breads – I found par baked breads on Fresh Direct when we were living in NY. Essentially they partially bake the bread, and send it to you frozen. You stick it in the over and in 20 minutes you have a fantastic loaf of fresh crusty bread. I thought it was a Fresh Direct thing and was sad to give it up when we left, but was delighted to find out that Whole Foods carries a whole line of them.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Remembering Mor-Mor

Mor-Mor means mothers mother in Swedish, which makes, Mor-Mor my grandmother. She recently left us for the great Goomba in the sky, and I had to put some memories down.

Mor-Mor always had gumdrops in a crystal bowl with a lid. I would only ever eat gumdrops at her house, trying to lift the lid of the bowl as quietly as possible so my mother wouldn't know I was on my 5th or 6th. Sometimes when I lifted the lid I would be surprised and find chocolate inside instead.

When I was young, I loved Mor Mor's pantry where she had big glass jars of cereal, homemade chex mix, nuts, pretzels and pasta. My dream of having a pantry full of food organized into the new Oxo Pop containers comes from her solution to a standard kitchen problem before the blessing of Oxo.

Mor-Mor introduced me to tuna melts one winter day when I was at her house doing craft projects. I loved the cheese, but hated the pickles added to the tuna. I remember sitting in the sun at her dining room table, eating lunch with her and my grandfather.

Mor-Mor didn't drink coffee, she had Lipton's tea with lemon. I loved it that at family functions she and I would have tea after dinner while everyone else had coffee. I could never convince her to try any of my foo-foo teas, she was always faithful to her Lipton's.

As a child, Christmas Eve was always at Mor-Mor's house. There was always a HUGE pile of presents under the tree, but Mor-Mor insisted that we sit down to a wonderful family dinner, and get all the dishes done, before tearing into a single present.

My Mom tells me that when she was growing up, Mor-Mor would make my grandfather, Mor-Far (mother's father in Swedish) a hard boiled egg every morning. When my parents were first married, my mother made a hard boiled egg for my father every morning, until he admitted that he doesn't like them.

Mor-Mor always made sun tea in the summers. You could be pretty sure whenever you went there in the summer time, there would be a jar of tea sitting in the sun baking until it was a perfect golden. I loved having a nice cold glass with 3 packets of Sweet-N-Low.