The 2 and 2/3 Biscuit Rule

biscuit_hero_crop.ashxPHOTO CREDIT: Pillsbury.com

      I weigh 2.6 lbs more than I did yesterday.  Curses!  How did this happen?  I’ll tell you how.

It all went down like this.  It was another busy day in my household in a series of hectic days.  I arrived home at 7:03 pm for the first time after too many things to mention here.  I was starving.  I put arms of supplies and miscellany from the day on the table.  I opened the refrigerator door.  Mostly nothing but science experiments scattered amongst vast open spaces.

I was so tired.  So I started cleaning out the refrigerator.  I tossed, scrubbed, and rearranged until the shelves sparkled with clean glass and even fewer items.  I even took out the bottom drawers and laboriously cleaned up a dried up concoction of what looked like meat juice that had solidified into a syrupy-sticky paste all over the entire floor of the refrigerator.  That took a while.

The time was now 8:11 pm.  I had neither lunch or dinner yet.  I was famished.  I was to the point where all that was left to clean was the refrigerator door.

And then my eyes beheld a glorious sight.  A blue can of LARGE BUTTERMILK biscuits.  GRANDNESS!  It felt like the moment in the movies where the light of heaven shines down and an angelic chorus sings.  I felt as if I were tingling.

“Hallelujah!” I exclaimed.  I plopped down my rag and in one fell swoop glided a few feet over to my oven door, grabbed the stoneware pan awaiting it’s task, hit preheat, and summoned my young son to come over.  “Quick!  I told him.  I have a very important job for you to do, but you need to do it right this minute!”   “But I’m doing my homework,” he replied.  Forget about that!” I said.  “This is important!”

    I peeled down the wrapper on the biscuit can.  I gave him a spoon and showed him where the carboard g-spot was.  Turn the spoon around backwards and press here I instructed.  Now watch!

POP!  Like a genie just coming out a bottle, the magic elixir to hunger sprang forth!  I showed him how to find the demarcation line between the flaky layers to separate the biscuits.  “Don’t worry if you misjudge,” I told him, that just means some biscuits will be bigger than others.  More for me I thought as I started to salivate.

We got out the honey butter.  We got out the honey.  I know a better mom would have scrounged for something else to go with biscuits for dinner.  Not me.  I pulled my weight today and then some.  It was chow time.  All proper gastronomy rules flew out the window.  And hey, it beat the customary bowl of Lucky Charms on the other nights when there is no time to eat!

Eleven minutes slowly crept.  Then at last!  Ding!  I mitted up my hand and pulled them out.  “Don’t touch!” I yelled.   “For I don’t want you to get burned,” my voice trailed off as I pinched off just a bite to sample.

I slathered honey butter on the butter biscuits in case they were butter biscuits in name only.   I squeezed the honey out of the plastic bear bottle in case the honey butter was weak.  The biscuits were still steamy.  I threw them on a plate.  Let’s eat!” I said.

“What about the blessing?” my sweet boy said.   Right.  Thank you for our biscuits tonight.  In Jesus name.  Amen!”   We could resume our tradition of “God is great, God is good another night.”  Surely the Lord understood.

I put my biscuit in my mouth. Bliss.  Absolute bliss.  And then another.    We saved two for my husband.  After all , he worked hard all day and deserved a loving home-cooked meal as well!    That left one biscuit for my son and I to split.

“Here, I’ll cut it in half for us to split.”  As I did so, my knife must have misjudged because I accidentally cut off about 2/3 of the last biscuit and popped it in my mouth as I handed him the remainder and said, “here’s your half.” 

     Simple pleasures.  Simple sins.  I know I participated in both tonight for which I am both deeply remorseful and deeply thankful.

That was yesterday.  Today I woke up and I was still hungry.  Before I hopped in the shower I jumped on the scale as is punitive custom to start my day.  Many women start with this daily self-flogging so please don’t judge me.    Curses again!  I weigh 2.6 pounds more than yesterday.  The only thing softer than the biscuits is the middle of my tummy.   How ounces of biscuits converts to pounds of fat and only on women is fuzzy math I don’t want to understand; I only know it’s true.

I vow to look into starting a raw food diet detox very soon.  I don’t always meet my goals in life.  But still I press on, trying to cross the finish line.  I will at the very least get on the treadmill by this weekend.

Life is a journey.  A journey of structure and chaos and schedules that are cruel and days that go by too fast.  My advice?  Don’t forget to take time and stop and savor the biscuits.  Inhale their aroma and then wolf them down!

Don’t Get Caught By the Eyeball Police!

Photo Credit: Lambert Hulton Archives/guardian.co.uk

      That’s because in our house Little Brother is watching you!  Yes, he roams the kitchen table like a roaring lion waiting and watching for a disobedient dinner patron to commit this most dreadful of sins:

Praying with your eyes OPEN!

If there was a word that described the pace and structure of our house, it would be this:  HAPHAZARD.   So on the nights I cook dinner, if I’m not utterly exhausted, and if I happen to muster up the energy to clear off random acts of homework, unfinished Lego kits, half-sorted piles of junk and legitimate mail, and other miscellaneous objects from our kitchen table in order to have a “family dinner”, then I usually insist that we say a blessing.

It’s only fitting that we should ask God to bless our food for the nourishment of our bodies and oh did I mention the “hands that lovingly prepared it”?  Anyway, my six year old son still prefers the standard:

God is Great

God is Good

Let us thank Him for our food

By his hands we all are fed

Thank you God for daily bread

 

Sometimes I throw in a quick extra request before everyone can shout Amen and start digging in.  I’ll wiggle a sentence or two sideways in that brief interval before the first mouth utters first syllable “A” and mutter something about a world event, “and Lord, please bless our soldiers who are digging in and trying to stay safe from enemy fire” or “please bless the starving children in Africa.”   Or I may say, “Please bless our daughter as she travels out of town this weekend.”     The point is I try.

Prayer is important.  It’s important to me.  But generally my family just wants to eat, if there are actually full plates sitting before them.  The “please bless and save the world” prayers are preferred at bedtime, not meals.    See my son likes the prayers, but what he really likes is to be the enforcer and check the table for any wandering eyeballs that happen to reveal themselves behind lids that should be closed.

“(Sinful person name)’s eyes were open!”  he gleefully proclaims if anyone opens their eye at any point during the prayer before Amen is stated.

He should be a lawyer I think.  He expects obedience to “the law.”  No mercy is granted, and if my son was sheriff, you would be flogged in the public square for not adhering to the Eyes Remain Shut regulation of mealtime prayers.

I sometimes sigh and wish our grace at meals were more full of….well, grace!  Less legalism, more words full of thanksgiving and grace and Godly requests for others.    I want prayer to be our habit of love, not our obligation to following a rule.

I believe that is how Jesus wants us to come to him…with thankful hearts, with prayer and petition making our requests made known.  And then the peace that surpasses human understanding will guard our hearts and mind in Christ Jesus.

That’s the idea anyway.  It’s just that sometimes that’s when the cat jumps up on the table.  The solicitor phone call rings.  Ding Dong goes the doorbell.  The forgotten oven timer finally sounds reminding us that the food I prematurely took out is now ready.  Prayers are started and quickly interrupted.  Eyes open and my son is taking names and calling them out.

We live in a busy world and when did it get so hard to just make a family meal happen?  You know; the table is cleared and set, steaming hot healthy food waits to be ladled onto shiny white plates, iced drinks await to be sipped, napkins are in laps, prayers are said, and Dad is ready to slice the meatloaf.  Sweet children patiently await the food to be served.  Then we’ll all talk about our glorious day and how blessed we are.

OK, scratch the record at this point.  Still as moms we try, and dads too!  Interruption is our standard and peace seems to be our exception, but still we press on with endurance to have a family meal, complete with meaningful prayer and good food that we are indeed thankful for.

As for me and my household?  Well, we all try to keep our eyes shut as long as possible.  Never mind the plank that frequently juts out from them, we just don’t feel like getting a verbal citation from the Eyeball Police.

A QUICK prayer for your family dinner: 

Lord Jesus, please bless the mother’s hands today who tried her darndest to lovingly prepare a family meal after a full day of work and responsibilities, for kids who are not perfectly behaved or quiet, and a husband who doesn’t make it home on time because he works so hard.  Bless the solicitor who calls because they’re just arriving at their second job because times are tight, and the cat who reminds us he’d like to eat too, if it wouldn’t be too much of a bother, and the little Cub Scout who just happened to sell popcorn at an inopportune time to raise money for his troop.  Bless our over-scheduled lives and our sometimes under-nourished souls.  May we remember that even when we don’t give You the praise for our dinner and even more so for our lives, that You are still watching over us, blessing us, and in control.    We thank you for not only the food that nourishes our bodies, but for You who feeds our spirit and nourishes our life.  Help order our time so that we may enjoy eating as a family and with minimal distraction and drama.  And Lord, please keep us safe from the Eyeball Police!  Amen!

PS – I’ve made this meatloaf and it’s really good. Especially the bacon topper! It’s essentially the same as my mother in law’s recipe, but I was too lazy too type it, so I pulled this from About.Com

1950s Meatloaf Recipe:

  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef (chuck is best)
  • 1/2 pound ground pork sausage (seasoned or not)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1 to 2 large cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper (sweet capsicum)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste, divided use
  • 2 to 4 strips bacon, cut in half (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine ground beef, pork sausage, eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, sweet onion, bell pepper, oregano, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, onion soup mix, milk, and half of the tomato paste. Gently mix only until combined. Do not overwork the meat or it will become tough. Form into a loaf. Cover with the remaining half can of tomato paste. Weave the bacon strips over the top.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let meatloaf rest 15 minutes before cutting to serve.

Yield: 8 servings

1950’s-style Meatloaf Recipe Photo © 2010 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.