Thinking About French Fries…

Dear Kid,

I’m thinking about French fries.

Which are not French. Nor are they handy.

Just to be clear, apples are not really a good substitute for French fries (in case you weren’t sure).

apples are not really a good substitute for French fries. Damn Diet. DearKidLoveMom.comFrench fries were (possibly) invented by Belgium villagers (who didn’t call them French fries because that would be ridiculous). During WWI, American soldiers in Belgium had French fries and fell in luv. The official language of the Belgian army was French, and the Americans (who were not exactly well versed in geography and geopolitical history) call they called yummy fried-ness French fries. Americans still call them French fries because A) Americans and B) Belgium is for waffles.

You might think pretty much everyone eats FFs with ketchup. You’d be mistaken. When one is in Belgium, one eats FFs with mayonnaise. When one is in Britain or Canada, one eats FFs with vinegar. Malt vinegar, please. If one is me, one eats FFs with mustard, because it’s delicious. When one is in a fast food joint, one eats FFs with a burger.

Several years ago, fries got a bad rap when “Ya’ want fries wid dat?” became short-hand for the most advanced level of work at McDonald’s. In other words, career stoppage. Poor French fries.

Yeah, still want some.

Damn diet.

Love, Mom

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A New (and Better) Way to Diet

Dear Kid,

I’ve decided dieting is all wrong.

For years, the dieting industry has focused on counting what we put in our mouths. This is – by my scientific calculations – completely wrong.

According to my (new and improved) theory, we should get credit for the things we don’t eat.

Pass up the pasta? Lose a pound. Skip the cookies? Bam! A pound and a half. Refuse the temptation of the dessert table? Drop a dress size.

A New (and Better) Way to Diet. Pass by the donut display? Bam! Lose a dress size. DearKidLoveMom.comSee how this works?

My (new and improved) method gives us credit for the hard choices (bourbon soaked bread pudding? Not today, thank you) rather than the easy ones (sure, I’ll have another celery stick).

I’ve convinced my brain and stomach that dieting should work this way. Now all I have to do is convince my hips, and we’re good to go.

Happy today,

Love, Mom

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Egg Nog and Chocolate | Two Important Celebrations

Dear Kid,

It’s National Egg Nog Day and National Chocolate Day. And Both of My Kids Will Be Home Today Day.

Does not get much sweeter than this.

Happy National Chocolate Day! Let's Celebrate! DearKidLoveMom.comEgg Nog: A drink traditionally made with eggs (and by “eggs” I mean eggs, milk, cream, and any other fattening dairy product you can pour) and nog (and by “nog” I mean whatever alcoholic beverage you happen to have lying around but specifically bourbon, rum, or cognac ). Also sugar. The recipe is as follows: Do a bunch of complicated stuff. Grate nutmeg on top. Drink enough so you don’t care.

While I have no doubt that homemade egg nog is infinitely superior to the store-bought additive-filled variety, I also know that I have no intention of making egg nog from scratch when someone, somewhere has gone to all the trouble to make it for me and put it in a convenient carton.

Or we could just have drink and toast the season sans dairy.

On the other hand, since it’s also Chocolate Day, maybe we should consider incorporating that. I’ve never tried chocolate egg nog, but as your grandmother says, “It’s got ingredients; how bad can it be?”

She also says, “Of course I’ll have some chocolate! Chocolate is a very important vegetable.”

Pass the ingredients; we have some experimenting to do!

Love, Mom

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How Much Do You Know About Southern Food?

Dear Kid,

Since you’re in the south for a few days, I thought I would be helpful (I’m just that kind of Mom) and explain some of the cuisine you are likely to find south of the Mason-Dixon line.

First of all, you need to know about grits. IMHO, yum. Some people eat grits plain. Which is silly, because grits give a whole new meaning to the word “plain.” Add butter (and lots of it) and other stuff. Cheese. Cheese is good. Yum, yum.

Southerners also like fried. It doesn’t really matter what, although chicken is high on the list. So are green tomatoes. And catfish. And hushpuppies. Yum, yum.

Fried stuff is often served with a mess of greens. In the south, “mess” is a unit of measurement. Many people like greens. Your mother is not one of those people. Ditto on black-eyed peas.

Pies are a big deal. Chess pie [which is sort of custardy but contains no actual chess pieces or checkerboards], shoofly pie [which contains molasses but no actual flies], sweet potato pie [which does have sweet potatoes], and pecan pie.

Eat biscuits with butter, jam, honey, gravy, or go crazy and eat them by themselves. DearKidLoveMom.comSpeaking of carbohydrates, biscuits are served all over the south. Eat them with butter, jam, honey, gravy, or go crazy and eat them by themselves.

Wash all of this Yum down with sweet tea. Sweet tea is iced tea that’s been sweetened. And it is The (non-alcoholic) drink of the south. If you insist on a carbonated beverage, recognize that “Coke” is the category as well as the specific beverage. Coke=pop=soda.

Love, Mom

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5 Reasons to Eat Cauliflower

Dear Kid,

Cauliflower is kind of a weird vegetable. Don’t get me wrong, I love cauliflower, but it’s kind of weird.

It looks like brains. And brains are cool. Perhaps not as a vegetable.

Cauliflower was born in Asia Minor and then migrated to America by way of Europe.

It’s not easy to grow cauliflower, because it is very picky about soil and temperature (which means I will not be suggesting that Dad plant cauliflower seeds).

As you (certainly) know, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable. I never knew where the “cruciferous” part came from. Fortunately, My Friend the Internet fixed that. Cruciferous veggies are so named because they have flowers that consist of 4 petals which grow in the shape of a Greek cross. Now you know.

Cruciferous veggies are so named because they have flowers that consist of 4 petals which grow in the shape of a Greek cross. DearKidLoveMom.comReasons to eat cauliflower:

  • It tastes good.
  • It’s a great source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and a bunch of B vitamins.
  • It’s also a marvelous way to get minerals like manganese, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Cauliflower is a good source of sulforaphane (which has been shown to attack cancer cells and slow the growth of tumors).
  • And cauliflower packs all that goodness without bother to bring along high calories.


(Yep, there’s a “however”.)

Prolonged cooking destroys most of the vitamins in cauliflower (even though it makes it taste great). So be sure to eat raw cauliflower. At least sometimes.

Love, Mom

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The Rules for Coffee Are Different During Exam Week

Dear Kid,

You need to be aware of Serious Coffee Risks I was recently made aware of.

As you know, the Rules Are Different during Final Exam Week, and coffee is no exception.

Recently, a Wonderful College Student (who I happen to not be related to) made me aware of a Serious Risk Related to Exam-time Coffee.

The Rules for Coffee Are Different During Exam Week DearKidLoveMom.comThis exceptional student was busy studying (as she should have been). The hour got progressively later (as it has a tendency to do) and her concentration began to slip (ever so slightly). Being a Very Bright sort of person (even with slightly slipped concentration) she decided to Do Something. And the Something she decided to Do was get coffee.

Ordinarily, getting coffee would seem like a great idea, right?


Except she didn’t have a coffee maker in her dorm room.

And the coffee place in the dorm was shut for the night given that it was a ridiculous hour.

So she did the only reasonable thing—she went out for coffee.

And returned a Human Popsicle.

Frozen Brains are not conducive to studying.

Which required her to spend time thawing.

By which time her coffee was cold. Only not cold in a good, iced coffee way, cold in a “Blech, where’s the microwave?” way.

See, the rules are different around exams. It might be chilly other times, but how often do you run out in the middle of the night for coffee when it’s not exam time?

Also, there’s no such thing as “too much coffee” during exams.

The rules are different.

Love, Mom

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