Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Like 1992 wafting from my oven

Oops.  "Sorry," I guess.

My apologies to my butt; to my skinny jeans- which must remain in the closet at least one day longer.

I really only meant to grab an almond from the top.  Really, I did.  It's just- it's just that... I couldn't help myself.

I thought Langston might want a bite, but he didn't.  What was I supposed to do?  Scrape the bite back into the container?  Was I?

Look, I am well aware of what eating processed (and seriously, nothing but processed) sugar does to a girl when eaten after 10:00 PM.  White flour, processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup... both hydrogenated fat and butter- oh my goodness.  I couldn't have picked a worse bedtime snack.

But it is my favorite, and it is in the house- where it hasn't EVER been before.  It will (probably) never be here again.  I mustn't feel too bad.  Really.

Before I go into what I am so terribly regretting at the moment, let us talk about my childhood.

I know what you're thinking.  I'll be nice.

My mother's cooking- I imagine my mom is like any mom.  She had a few beautiful knock-your-socks-off meals, and the rest were... like manna to the Israelites (I am sure my husband feels the same way every time he hears the lid pop on a jar of Prego).  Most of the time she got it right, sometimes not so much- but in general, I like my mother's cooking.  I would even say she is a good cook.  During pot-luck dinners, we always passed over the Jello molds and casseroles to find whatever my mother cooked for the event.  To me, other people's food just smelled funny.  Other people put Spam and beans where they weren't supposed to be.  Other people ate squash, spinach, and mushrooms.  Other food didn't come from our oven, which bothered me.

My mother chose very simple ingredients to complete her meals, and even her desserts.  She was a 5-ingredient kind of girl, and and this recipe (in all of its deliciousness) is no exception.  I am sure my mother would rather cook something more impressive for Christmas these days, now that she doesn't have the responsibilities attached to 3 children (and us attached to her legs).  But when I think of my mother, and pleasure coming from her kitchen, this dish undoubtedly comes to mind.

This is called "Cherry Crisp," and it is my favorite.  Now, don't be deceived- the ramekins and toasted almonds are my attempt at getting Cinderella dressed for the ball.  Cherry Crisp is sloppy soul food.  You should make it in a casserole dish and eat it straight out with a spoon.  You should wake up extra early the morning after it's made, and steal all the rest of the crunchy and yet gooey topping before your little brothers do.

You don't even put ice cream on top.

Mom, why didn't we ever put ice cream on top?  Because I did this time, and it was delicious.  We need to talk about this.

When I opened the door to the oven yesterday, the aromas of 1992 wafted into my kitchen.

And a tear or two came to my eyes.  And my stomach began to growl.

This week, make this, or make that thing that your mama made.  Share it with a friend, or eat it all yourself.

Cherry Crisp

1 stick butter, melted
1 box white cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans, or anything else you have on hand
2 cans cherry pie filling

Preheat your oven to 350.

Butter a 9x13 pan.

Pour in the two cans of cherry pie filling.  Sprinkle about 2/3 of the cake mix on top.  Sprinkle on the pecans.  Drizzle the butter on top, all over the concoction.  Bake for 45 min. to an hour.


Honestly, I had no idea it took that long to bake.  I would have called my mother, but I don't think my mother is the up-at-5:30 type.  I really thought I had messed something up, until right at the 40-minute mark, I finally saw some browning.

Enjoy your mama.  I get to see mine this weekend, and even do her hair for a wedding she is in.  Yeah!

Rachel Bee

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