There I was, just looking for recipes to try out while reminiscing about half-eaten granola bars in my purse, when this library book, Where’s Mom Now That I Need Her? by Kent P. Frandsen, popped out of the shelves and started trying to mother me.
“Excuse me,” piped up the book. “Stop looking up ‘microwave cooking’ in the index and pay attention to this section on repairing a seam, please.”
“I just want the recipes!” I protested.
“Just listen to me. You need to eat more fish. When’s the last time you sprinkled baking soda in your shoes? What are the three rules of basic first aid?”
Eventually, the book and I came to an understanding. It would shut up and give me the recipes if I agreed to say five nice things about it on the blog. So here you go:
1. Sickness: The book includes some basic information about a variety of illnesses that you may or may not feel comfortable discussing with someone close to you. Though certainly not in-depth and no substitute for speaking with a knowledgeable human being about your specific circumstances, you could do worse by browsing five-year-old Internet conversations and freaking out over WebMD self-diagnosis. My favorite bit of health advice? Don’t try to stop vomiting.
2. Safety: There is a short but very to-the-point and no-nonsense section on basic first aid and another with tips for being safe while traveling and at home. Some of these are very obvious–always wear your seatbelt, never tell anyone you are home alone, etc.–and some actually made me roll my eyes a little and think I knooooooow, Mom, but still. It’s always good to refresh your brain in basic safety.
3. Laundry: I am terrible at doing laundry, and this book wasted no time in chastising me for my neglect and ignorance with hurtful sentences like “It’s essential that you treat stains before you do the laundry” and “Avoid keeping clothes in the closet and drawers just for sentimental reasons.” There’s also a delightful little section on sewing which is full of hilarious, humorous lines like “Want the crispest shirt in town?” and “No one is so panicked and in need as a friend missing a button from a strategic place.” Highly recommend.
4. Shopping: Unfortunately, the shopping section is all about food and doesn’t really help me or you in identifying the perfect triad–cheap, cute, and comfy–of shoes. However, I found it pretty useful in explaining what to look for when picking out fresh fruit and vegetables. Thanks to this book, I now know pineapples make a “dull, solid sound when thumped,” eggplants have a “glossy shine,” and Crenshaw melons (*3 second pause while I google “Crenshaw melons”*) have a “pleasant aroma.”
5. Food: There are a LOT of recipes, nearly all of which are short and simple. This book definitely thinks your main concern about living without your mother is your ability to quickly make and consume food. If you are poor, cheap, hungry, and impatient with cooking and cookbooks, this book is a pretty sweet score.
To finish this post, I’m sharing with you the recipe for German Pancakes, a recipe which the book claims “inspired a university student to write his music thesis in honor of the yummy delight.” Like, whoa. Better step up your game, Swedish Pancakes.
These are Mom’s favorite! (I’m not making this up. This is part of the recipe)
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
¼ tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 cute chef (ok you got me. I totally made that one up)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine eggs, milk, flour and salt in a bowl. Beat until fluffy and smooth. Put two tablespoons of butter in each of two pie pans. Put tins in the oven as it preheats to melt the butter. Pour half of the batter in each pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Pancakes will puff up as they bake. Serve with syrup, warm jam, or warm fruit.