Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Andrew had to work late again last night which meant that I was home alone. I got a bit of work done, but being home alone is really pretty boring. Before I went to bed though, I drew Andrew a picture.

I'm not very good at these holiday things. I didn't know what to get Andrew for our anniversary. He got me the perfect gift. I didn't know what to get Andrew for Christmas. He got me the perfect gift. I didn't know what to get Andrew for Valentine's Day, so I just drew him a picture to welcome him home. Lame, I know, but nothing like a home-made picture, right? Truthfully, I was feeling bad because he told me that my present was "coming" and I didn't have the foggiest idea of what to get him.

Luckily he's not a girl so he doesn't care.

When I walked into the kitchen this morning, there were flowers waiting for me, but not those silly kind that are all cut up--real flowers in dirt.

They're daffodils--the same flowers that I got last year for Easter that are currently in my fridge pretending that it is winter so that perhaps they will grow. I think they're really pretty. Andrew picked them up on his way home from work. Considering he got off work at midnight, I'd say he was pretty thoughtful.

For dinner we went to Papa Murphy's and got a heart-shaped pizza. It's a tradition that Andrew would like to continue--not necessarily the Papa Murphy's, but the heart-shaped pizza. He tried it last year but failed miserably and ended up just going for a regular square pizza, which was fine, but not festive.

This year the pizza worked out a lot better, but that's because we realized that they just made a round blob of dough and then cut out the heart instead of trying to shape the heart out of a blob of dough. No matter what you think as a child, pizza dough is just not as easy to work with as play dough. I used to make very creative foods out of play dough. Real dough is just a bit tougher. Those play dough spaghetti makers, a cinch to operate. A real spaghetti maker, not so simple.

Now that we know Papa Murphy's secret, perhaps we'll be able to make a pizza from scratch next year...

After dinner, I decorated cupcakes while Andrew did homework. The cupcakes really did turn out alright in the end.

I had to phone mom to get the recipe for the icing. See, I know the general idea of making icing, but I'm just not very good at making it off the top of my head. I tend to end up frosting only half a cake, or I won't get the ratio of liquids to solids right and end up using 2 bags of powdered sugar and a 1/2 jug of milk and have a year's supply of icing.

There is a particular recipe of icing that I like to follow--it's the Betty Crocker one. I have a CD, but that recipe wasn't on it, so I phoned home to get it.

Josie answered. I was very specific with what I wanted, "Can you get me the recipe for icing from the Betty Crocker Cook Book--that's the big red binder up with the other cook books that says, "Betty Crocker" on it."

"Sure," she says, "Mo-om!"

An unheard conversation about what I want takes place.

"Mom has that recipe memorized. She'll just tell it to you."

That would be fine, except that I know that mom has the recipe memorized how I memorize recipes (and scriptures). I know exactly what ingredients went in to the recipe and I know how the recipe turns out (so I can quote scriptures), but I have no clue what amount of what went in (and I have trouble remembering references).

Mom comes on the phone, "When I make icing, I just use some butter and mix in some powdered sugar and a little bit of milk, and some vanilla flavoring."

"I know, mom," I reply, "But I make icing like grandpa makes grits. What I want is just the recipe from the Betty Crocker Cook Book."

"Oh," mom says and immediately asks Josie to get the cook book (so she probably should have just done that in the first place).

In the end I got my recipe. Andrew was curious though, "You make icing like your grandpa makes grits? How does your grandpa make grits?"

Let's just say that grandpa's not a southern boy.

My grandma is from Florida and therefore she makes delicious southern food. Grandpa is from Utah, which I used to think was pretty far south, but my perception has changed a bit now that I've moved here myself--it's really not the south, believe me there is a lot more south to go from here.

Well, when they were a young married couple, grandma was either sick or grandpa was making her breakfast in bed or she'd just had a baby. I don't remember how the story goes. Anyway, grandpa decided that he'd make her grits, so he put some water on the stove, brought it to a boil and then added grits like he had seen grandma do so many times before.

The problem was that he didn't measure, so it was still a little runny. He added more grits. It got to be too thick, so he heated up some more water and added that to the grits. It was now too runny, so he added more grits. That made it a little too thick so he added some more water to it which then made it too thin so he added more grits.

This he continued until he used every pot and all the grits in the house, or so the story goes.

And that is why I absolutely need recipes for some things--it would be completely disastrous otherwise. I do like to experiment in the kitchen but some things have already been worked out perfectly so no more experimentation needs to be done.

Plus, this icing actually tastes like the stuff that you buy in the stores in the plastic containers, which I happen to find delicious.


  1. Am I remembering this wrong or did Andrew have a similar experience with rice? Hmm, I just can't be sure anymore what is an actual memory and what isn't...oh it was to much rice or something. Anyway I totally understand on the icing thing. I had the Betty Crocker Book out (Jason bought it for me for Christmas...and I LOVE IT!) and I decided that I didn't need that much I altered it...but I just kind of quessed on what I should do to 1/3 the recipe rather then actually figure it out...what a mistake! The frosting tasted like watery butter. SICK!

  2. I love Papa Murphy's. I wish we had it down here! And I am also a by-the-recipe girl, but once I've done it a few times I usually feel brave enough to alter it if I need to. Jeremy makes stuff without a recipe and says he made it "with love." Like macaroni and cheese - how hard is it to measure 1/4 cup of milk? Instead, he makes it "with love," and we get watery orange pasta for lunch. Ew.