Bena Mae's Kitchen: Don may have to get a bigger chair
“My grandkids believe I’m the oldest thing in the world. And after two or three hours with them, I believe it, too. ~Gene Perret”
Pretty soon, Don’s first granddaughter, little Adelyn Adams, will be fighting for her place in grandfather Poppy Don’s lap. But Don’s lap is big enough for two.
On September 10, 2012, little Polly Elizabeth Adams burst forth into the world with plump cheeks and a shock of black hair.
With the nursing care of grandmother Judy, mother Amber and little Polly are doing fine. Grandfather Don? Not so much.
Since time immoral, grandfathers are sometimes collateral observers in the birth process. They are told to wait outside the birthing room, left to sweat and pace and wonder what’s going on. No epidurals, nothing to calm their nerves. Just stay out of the way and you will be updated when we think it’s necessary.
This is the scenario I picture. How accurate it really is, is open to discussion.
A new baby in the family (and aren’t all babies new?) is always a joyous occasion. And we welcome little Polly into the tribe of Estep/Holman with open arms. My wish for her is a happy childhood that will be filled with love, devoid of hate and prejudice, and filled with happy daydreams and daisy chains. I can’t wait to hold her in my arms.
Don is having post-labor pains. With Judy taking care of mother and baby, he is left at home where he stays in touch daily, almost hourly, with pictures and electronic communications across the state. (What an age we live in --- I received a picture of little Polly on my computer when she was only a few hours old.)
And in the meantime, poor Don is missing Judy’s companionship and good home cooking. Fast food is getting old.
As I said, grandfather’s are necessary collateral and that’s their price to pay. But his day will come when he has two little grand daughters fighting for a place in his lap. He may have to get a bigger chair.
Meanwhile, there’s always ESPN.
Easy Pepperjack Potatoes
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 ounces pepperjack cheese, thinly sliced and cut into strips (or you can use shredded)
1/2 cup cream
Place peeled, cut potatoes into a 2 quart-sized pot. Cover with an inch of cold water. Add a tablespoon of salt to the water. Cover and bring to a boil. (Keep your eye on the potatoes, it’s easy to overcook them.) As soon as the water is boiling, uncover and boil for 6 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender enough so that you can insert a fork into them. The potatoes should be on the slightly underdone side.
Drain the potatoes and put them immediately into a serving bowl. Layer the cheese slices over them and put a plate over the bowl to cover, so that the steam from the potatoes melts the cheese. Let sit for several minutes, then gently fold over with a spoon to spread the melted cheese around. Pour cream over and cover again until served.
If the potatoes are on the over-cooked side and fall apart as you toss them in the cheese, you can add the cream anyway and mash them for spicy, cheesy mashed potatoes. If the potatoes are still not quite cooked enough and the cheese is not quite melted enough, you can put them in a microwave for 20 seconds or so.