Different Branches of the Same Tree

I have family visiting and have had little time to write. I do, however, have a few reflections on the recent family visit. 1.My grandmother makes a poppy seed cake that has always been my favorite. While she visiting, I asked her to make the cake with me so I can make it for the hubs and kids from time to time. I bought the bundt pan before she arrived but waited to buy the coveted ingredients that would make this little piece of culinary nirvana. I got a sifter, a new set of measuring implements since most of mine had fallen in the possession of the bebe. I even dusted off my Kitchen-Aid Mixer used mostly for mixing up custom concoctions for the spa. Um, the secret recipe? Betty Crocker yellow cake with some poppy seeds and a little almond flavoring. Not the secret I thought it would be. At least the frosting wasn't from a can. Frosting was one package cream cheese, a half stick of butter and two cups powdered sugar. There, that's the recipe, now you can replicate one of my fondest childhood memories.

2.My mother and I argue about politics a lot. I pretty much refuse to engage her because she is dogmatic teetering on the edge of fanaticism. She is Republican with a capital R and I am a fiscally conservative, socially liberal tree hugger. I have lived here in California for eight years now and every time she visits me or I visit her, I have to steel myself against the political discussions because I only get to see her once in awhile and don't need to waste time arguing or getting my knickers twisted. All the visits back and forth, all the times I had to implore her, please let's not talk about this, it never ends well. All the times I had to bite my tongue wanting to unleash. I always thought she couldn't help but discuss politics because she works in an environment where politics are part of her paycheck, I thought this would never change. She came out for a visit just two days after Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential election. Guess what? She had nothing to say. I can't lie, it feels good to be on the winning team, and I didn't even get my pom-poms out around her, after all these years, I think I showed amazing restraint.
3."I like your hair much better this time than that last cut of yours," is not a compliment, maybe just say "I like your hair." 4.It's super fun getting the bebe to do all her silly baby tricks around my mom and grandma, watching them watch her is like seeing it all with a fresh set of eyes. Hearing my mom and grandma brag about how clever she is and how good natured she is makes me beam. You know babies really are the best peacemakers, maybe we should send a bunch of babies to the middle east, no?
5.It's a good thing I don't bake that often because although I love having all of my favorite grandma treats(even if they come out of a box), I have probably gained five pounds in four days. 6.My family are a bunch of frenetic hard workers, they did a days worth of work in my front garden that would have taken me weeks and my husband got to knock one thing of his honey do list by unloading some plants and digging a few holes for the big stuff.
7.Speaking of the hubs, my husband is amazing, he is so good with women it's a little scary. He spans zero-eighty-eight effortlessly, people, he does it all. I swear, almost nothing gets under that mans skin, I study him but I haven't figured out how he's does it yet.

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Anonymous said... November 11, 2008 at 10:12 PM  

My Mom and I have made a mutual agreement not to talk politics. We have a hard enough time getting along without firm polemic differences getting in the way. Glad you made it through a family visit!

Anonymous said... November 12, 2008 at 6:06 AM  

i think my mum and I dont talk politics that much but have a similar view point on some things. She is a history teacher so has lots more facts about party historys, and can see more correlations and similarities between current politicans and historic ones, which i guess influences her vote more than mine. I just realised on the last post I read "prom" as "porn". I wonder what goes on in my head sometimes...

Rassles said... November 12, 2008 at 7:43 AM  

I have never talked politics with my mother, and I have no idea who she's ever voted for. She never, ever speaks of it, never lets her opinion known. She's a private person.

No idea how I came out of her.

derfina said... November 12, 2008 at 8:41 AM  

#3 made me snort out loud. How very passive aggressive!

Mrs. Case said... November 12, 2008 at 9:02 AM  

1. The bebe looks like your hubby.

2. I admire Grnadma all the more for taking what could be a fantastically complicated recipe, and proving that brains are more important by using shortcuts. None of that made sense. I guess what I'm trying to say is, mad props to her for being creative. :)

Anonymous said... November 12, 2008 at 10:45 AM  

If it looks like cake, smells like cake, and tastes like cake - it must be cake!

Actually, if it 'tastes like cake' is really the only criteria I have.

Mmmmm, poppy seeds cake bliss :-)

Anonymous said... November 12, 2008 at 2:30 PM  

Your grandma used a mix! Hahahaha! My Nan used to make a 'lardy cake' which I loved. She did pass on the recipe, but no-one could ever make it like she did. I miss those lardy cakes!

Family, huh? My Mum gives backhanded compliments like that too, but at least she doesn't talk politics.

Rygantron said... November 12, 2008 at 8:03 PM  

My grandmother's secret cake ingredient? Mayonnaise.

I only wish I was kidding.

Meg said... November 13, 2008 at 6:12 AM  

I worked on the Obama campaign and my mom refers to him as "That Man."

Needless to say, we don't talk politics much.

Bittersweet Confusion said... November 13, 2008 at 12:05 PM  

Some of the best recipes start off with something out of box! Trust me I know. ;-)

Bluestreak said... November 16, 2008 at 5:08 AM  

I have the exact same problem when I see my mom. If I´m in the mood to get really pissed off, I´ll take her bait and we´ll discuss politics. Otherwise, I just say, "yeah, whatever" and change the subject.

Not Afraid to Use It said... November 20, 2008 at 8:20 PM  

My dad called me daily to tell me he was voting for McCain and just to rankle me. Now, he calls me daily to tell me that I have to repent for voting for Obama because some bishop in PA said so. At least he does it with a twinkle in his voice.

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