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just a sarcastic working mom living life in New England

Cookbooks: Granny vs. Nash’s Mom April 30, 2009

Filed under: Grandma's Cookbook — nashsmom @ 7:13 am

I’ve ended up with a huge pile of cookbooks over the years.  Not your Rachel-Ray-30-Minute-Meal type cookbooks, but old school clip-em-type/write-em-on-a-recipe-card cookbooks.  I have my mom’s from when she first got married, one from my grandma Phoebe Wiebe (Yes, that was really her name) and one from my Grandma Evie, among others.  The  most recent addition was from my Grandma Evie.  It looks like this:

                 evie-front1                 evie-open

Basically an overstuffed three-ring binder overflowing with recipes for fancy salads and hot dishes.  (Grandma had a thing for recipes with pineapple tidbits!)



Here’s what my cookbook looks like:


                 my-cover               my-open

Not nearly as exciting, but let me tell you, the whole picking up the phone thing is way easier than this:



I love the military like orders in all caps:  CHILL!  SHAPE!  PLACE!  WHIP!  DROP!  SPOON! REPEAT!  FREEZE!  INVERT!  

I’m sure it’s tasty as all get go but I’ll never know.  They have ice cream cakes you can just buy at the grocery store, right?

I think this might be a regular category on my blog as there are plenty of excellent recipes to share with you.  Like this page from the Ladies Aid Society “Our Best Recipes” book from 1923.  Apparently back in the ’20s, macaroni was considered a vegetable:




I threw up a little in my mouth when I read the “Macaroni & Oysters” recipe.   Ditto on another for “Seafood Soup” which included: Cream of Tomato soup, milk, frozen crab meat, canned clams, cooked shrimp and the ever important 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder to give it a little zip!  Serve hot with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  mmmmm mmmmmm good!


Tinted Windows April 29, 2009

Filed under: Music,things I love — nashsmom @ 8:17 am

Every summer there’s at least one song that you blast while you’re driving with the windows down and you sing along at the top of your lungs and it makes all the bad stuff go away you just feel great.   Yesterday we had a little taste of summer with a record temperature of 93 (second hottest April day in the history or recorded temps!!  Yes, weather nerd, I know.)  and I’m happy to report, that song has been found so I’m officially ready for summer.  The hubby discovered this one last week and it almost seemed too good to be true.  A power-pop supergroup made up of, get this, Taylor Hanson from Hanson on lead vocals (think “Mmmmbop” all grows up.  Yum!), James Iha from Smashing Pumpkins killing on guitar, Adam Schlesinger (writer/producer/singer of at least a dozen songs you’ve had stuck in your head at some point over the last ten years) on bass and vocals and my favorite part of the mix is the drummer.  These three were getting the band together, writing songs  but they just needed to find the right drummer.  They all agreed they wanted someone like Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick.  So what did they do?  They got Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick!!  

So roll down the windows (or look out the window) and crank up your stereo (or computer) and enjoy this year’s first head-bopping summer song.  Ladies and gentlemen, Tinted Windows…..


Aye, Matey! April 27, 2009

Filed under: Nash — nashsmom @ 8:31 pm

(When the only traffic I’m getting to my blog is people searching the term “Prom Whores“, I clearly have some blogging to do!)




There’s been a just a bit of pirate fascination around here lately.  I was hooked on the whole Somali pirate story a few weeks back and could not get enough of the details of the stories that surrounded it.  Thankfully there was a happy ending for the local families and the heroic efforts of the captain were like none we’ve seen since, well I guess since Sulley landed that plane in the Hudson.   

So in keeping with the theme of the month, yesterday we went to see The Pirates of Penzance.  It was just down the street at the local college theatre and kids got in free!  So me and my pal Jamie escorted our little men out for an afternoon of singing and dancing.  The play was fantastic (even without Rex Smith) and the kids loved it.  The Pirate King was played by the same actor that played Danny Zuko when we saw Grease last summer.  (A bit of trivia that thoroughly confused Nash.  The same actor is also choreographing Footloose there this summer which we are soooo going to).   At one point Nash asked me why there was so much singing.  I explained (again) that it was a musical and he replied “but I thought it was a play too”!  

During intermission I (OK, Jamie) gave him 50 cents for a cookie (the suggested donation price).  He grabbed two as did his pal, Kolya.  (take THAT suggested donation!  I spent good money on these tickets and…..oh right, kids were free.  Oops.  Note to self, bring more cookie money next time).   Nash inhaled the cookies going on and on about how good they are and could I make cookies like that sometime.  To which I replied, “of course”.  (note to self, add Chips Ahoy cookies to grocery list).

It was a fantastic way to spend the afternoon and ended a week of non-traveling spring break on a high note.   Other things done during the break, in no particular order:  Nash’s first Red Sox game (lasted through 4 innings, one ice cream sandwich, a hot dog and cotton candy), a toy hunting with Daddy, an ear infection, Alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day play with his Nana,  skateboarding at my office, a sleep-over at Bumpa & Ann’s, a parade to kick of t-ball season, a trip to the museum, and hours upon hours of Star Wars movies.  Oh, and strawberry ice cream.  Lots of strawberry ice cream……


Basketball overload April 6, 2009

Filed under: Nash — nashsmom @ 9:10 pm

The NCAA championship game is on as I recap the last week or so in the life of the Nashman….

A little over a week ago we went to see the Harlem Globetrotters in Boston.   Good clean fun for everyone  from my parents (who were visiting from Minnesota) to Nash who was on his feet for most of the “game”.   Great tricks, good basketball and plenty of shenanigans.  I mean, what could possibly be funnier than pulling down someone’s shorts during a basketball game?!

Friday night I scored three tickets to the Celtics game.  Not just any tickets, but tickets for the luxury suite courtesy of my place of employment.  Great seats, catered food, free beer and the highly coveted private bathroom.   Once again, the entire family loved it and had a great time.  


And finally,  Nash’s basketball season came to an end with an award ceremony on Saturday where he was presented with a trophy.  He loves this thing and frankly, I’m surprised he doesn’t want to sleep with it.  


So now I guess it’s time to put down the basketball and pick up the baseball.  (The Red Sox opener was rained out today, but the season will officially start tomorrow)  Nash is playing T-ball for the Redskins this summer and practice will start soon enough so batter up!


I think I just peed my pants April 1, 2009

Filed under: things I love — nashsmom @ 8:51 pm
Tags: , , ,




Back in the awesome 80’s I was helping to pay for college by working at a place called Showbiz Pizza in Fargo, North Dakota.  It was basically a classier version of Chuck E. Cheese – better pizza, better games, better prizes, a separate “man room” with a big screen TV showing sports, wine and beer a little something called The Rock-Afire Explosion.

The Rock-Afire Explosion was an animatronic band that came to life through the magic of computers and compressed air.  The band was made up of Beach Bear on guitar, Fatz the gorilla on keyboard, Dook Larue the dog on drums, Mitzi the “hot” mouse cheerleader on vocals, Rolfe DeWolfe and Earl Schmerle and the star of the show, Billy Bob the bear.

The band played sets made up of songs from the Beach Boys, the Doors and  the Beatles as well as then megastar, Michael Jackson.  This was THE place to have your birthday party if you were a little kid.  We were booked solid every weekend from open to close with parties for all ages.  I was a party hostess.  I wore the required black polyester pants, white shirt, polyester apron / faux vest and the infamous plastic top hat that we had to poke holes in the top of to keep our heads from sweating.  We greeted the birthday party, hooked ’em up with cupfuls of game tokens, took the pizza & drink orders and sent them to the game room until their food was ready. But the real moment that everyone (not just the kids) waited for was the cake which was delivered by none other than Billy Bob himself.

How do you get a compressed air robot to come to life?  Well, let me tell you, it was not easy and there were many rules.

 First, the show had to be off and curtains closed.   Once the curtains closed, you had about 7 minutes.  Someone had to be ready, willing and able just  before the curtains closed to put on the big, hot, furry Billy Bob costume.  We’re talking giant bear feet, giant furry bear suit and one giant Billy Bob head.  If you’re lucky, there were fresh batteries so the fan in the head is working.  Here’s what it looked like:




Billy Bob always had an escort that lead him to where he needed to go.   We didn’t talk while in costume because you couldn’t hear anything that was said in the big head.  Trust me, if you could it would just be things like “shut the hell up, you stupid kid” or “I’m freaking melting in here”.   The #1 question asked by kids was why he didn’t talk.  (our answer was that he was saving his voice for the show).   And while Billy Bob visiting your table was the most exciting part of the party for the kids, it was the part we dreaded the most.   These kids mobbed you.  They hung on you and all vied for your attention “BILLYBOB, BILLYBOB, BILLYBOB!!!”  It was madness.  One time an obnoxious kid annoyed me so much I started to squeeze his arm until he yelled “Billy Bob!  You’re hurting me!”.  One of my better moments.   But don’t get me wrong, every once in a while when it wasn’t crazy busy, I had some fun with it.  I’m proud to say that I was the only one there that could do the moon walk in the Billy Bob costume.  HUGE hit with the kids.

The show was on a timer and you had to get back in the closet (yes, a closet) before the curtains for the show opened again.  If you didn’t and the kids saw both Billy Bob’s at one time?  Well, you had some explaining to do.

Whenever there were bands in town to play at the college or Kirby’s (The Corner That Rocksed – R.I.P.) I brought them out to Showbiz.  Every single one of them loved it.  From Speak The Language to The Wallets, it was a blast seeing these “rock stars”  beg for another cup of tokens or to see them thoroughly enjoying the Rock-Afire Explosion show.  

Back in the early days when Billy Bob’s head needed some touching up, I brought it home to my dad for him to paint.  Speeding down the freeway in my purple Camaro with my passenger putting the head on as we flew past cars was yet another great Showbiz memory.  Later it was determined that only authorized Showbiz personnel could paint the head.  Most likely to prevent aforementioned shenanigans.

But back to why I almost peed my pants……

All the Showbiz Pizzas closed in the early 90’s (I believe they went bankrupt which seems impossible….) and now 20 some  years later I discover that there is brand new documentary out called “The Rock-afire Explosion”!!  I missed the Boston screening a couple weeks ago (doh!), but will wait patiently for the DVD release.  I was giddy last night, giddy I tell you, while checking out the website.  It was a fantastic trip down memory lane.  And while I have some fond memories of the place, apparently there are some super geeks out there that hunted down these robots after the restaurants closed and have their own personal  Showbiz Pizzas at their house.   Every. Single. Day.  And the best part is that they are programming the band to do songs by Li’l Wayne,  Usher, Nine Inch Nails and Shakira, just to name a few.

Check out the trailer, but then also go to youtube and search “Rock-afire Explosion” to see of the new tunes performed by Billy Bob and the gang.  Because really, this is the kind of thing you just can’t get enough of.

(um, nice choice for the screen grab for this.  What the hell is Billy Bob doing to her?!)