The Alligator and the Submarine

This is another guest post by Jeffrey, age 6 1/2. Last time he watched the post eagerly, and was thrilled with each comment.


 Once upon a time, my family and I were waiting for a boat. We saw a space shuttle. Someone was going to space. They were going to the moon. This is what I think the moon looks like. This is what they saw.

Then they went into a swamp. First an alligator robot attacked. Then the alligator bit the submarine. The submarine person became lunch. The others escaped.

The End.

Spring Break Breakfast

My kids are off all week for spring break, and, well, David is still home, as you all probably know. To treat my family, I decided to knock out the banging breakfast. I will thus share with you my recipes for not only my fabulous potato latkes (my high-school boyfriend was Jewish, and I picked up a couple of awesome eats from him) and also, not to be missed, sourdough hotcakes.

For anyone not in the know, Latkes are a traditional Jewish dish of crispy fried potato, usually served at Hanukkah. Not a biblical food, since potatoes come from the new world, but still something rooted for hundreds of years in Jewish tradition. They may take a tiny bit of prep to make properly, but latkes beats the pants off any old hash-browns.

Sourdough hotcakes require you to have some sourdough-starter on hand. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with getting some of that liquid-slurpy-bubbly gold, but if you have some already, this recipe rocks your socks. If you don’t, I’m sorry. Try and get some. Look. Ask. It’s worth it. Mine is over 100 years old, from Alaska- home of not only Mo Mommy, but the hottest sourdough cultures on the planet.

Without further ado or braggadocio, I give you, my breakfast…


Potato Latkes

  • four starchy potatoes, peeled and grated coarsely
  • 1/2 yellow onion, grated on large holes of grater
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for pan-frying

The trick to crispy, non-gummy latkes is the proper prep of the potatoes. Once they are peeled and grated, thoroughly rinse them in a sieve under cold water until the water runs clear. The starches in the potatoes will turn the water cloudy at first, and you must rinse the starch if you want crispy results. Once the ‘tatoes are rinsed, drain and press out as much water as you possibly can. Spread them out on a micro-wave save dish and microwave them for 3-4 minutes. (You are par-cooking them, the same way the frozen french fries are par-cooked when you buy them in a bag. It works!)

Once potatoes are par-cooked, stir in remaining ingredients.

Heat oil to med-hot in cast-iron or heavy skillet, and drop blobs of latke into oil, pressing down and making cakes. Fry until golden and crispy on both sides.

Serve immediately with either sour cream or applesauce. Mmmmmmmmm!


Sourdough Hotcakes

  • 2 cups sourdough starter
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

(always handle starter with non-metallic tools- wooden or glass are best)

Into the sourdough, add sugar, egg, oil and salt. Right before ready to bake on hot griddle, add the soda, folding gently. Starter will bubble up and become light and fluffy. Bake on hot griddle and serve with butter and honey (my fav) or maple syrup. Sourdough hotcakes will not be thick and dense like regular pancakes (my grandma called those kind of pancakes “horse-blankets” and would send them back in a restaurant!); instead they will be light and lacy and divine. Enjoy!

Faint of Heart

Standing at the kitchen island this morning, I picked up a can of Sprite, took a drink, and waves of nausea hit me in a tidal wave. Grabbing the edge of the counter, I called to David as my head began to swim, my ears started ringing, and I sunk down to the floor. It’s been two years since I fainted, but there I was, whoooops- on the kitchen floor.

David pressed wet cloths to my face and hovered over me as I slowly regained my focus. What the hell now? I mean, come on… I’m not pregnant (absolutely positive), I’m not sick- what’s going on? Anyone else ever faint for no apparent reason?

So I’m playing hooky from church today and watching Blades of Glory. Advice welcome.

Well, Then

Sigh. It’s been a rough week. What’s that you say? It’s only Wednesday? *SIGH*

We are caught in a schizophrenic weather patter here in the great green northwest- It snowed, yes SNOWED on Friday- then Saturday was bright and sunny and lovely enough for an Easter Egg hunt- which of course we did not make, since my poor children’s mother cannot find their Easter baskets. Sunday was cold. Monday it hailed. Right now, I’m looking over the top of my monitor, and the sun is shining and glowing all over the crocus along the fence- the same crocus that were covered with SNOW three hours ago. How, tell me, does one dress for this crap?

Bean got sent home from Pre-School yesterday. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Remember the car breaking down? Yeah. Well, it’s fixed- and we’re $900 poorer. Cause that’s what we need right now- unexpected bills! Hooray! No job, no insurance, mechanic bills! Hooray! At least the car works now.

Abby had outgrown positively everything in her closet- as the weather changes and I have to dig out things for warmer days- oh! Nope! It’s snowing again! Well, as I was saying, in five minutes, when it’s sunny and warm again, the girl needs some things to wear. Off to the consignment store, basket of old, small, cute stuff in hand, in search of new, slightly bigger, hopefully still-cute stuff.

I’m on the warpath. This house will be clean or else! Else what? I have no idea. But I have to try.

David read a study yesterday that said the in the most successful marriages, the woman is more attractive than the man. Divorce rates are higher when the man is better looking. What’s up with that? And who decides? He says we’re destined to be married forever. Whatever, buddy. You still have to pick up your dirty clothes.

I have a new Visiting Teaching route and companion. I figure, when you add up us and the ladies we visit, there are 20 kids, four husbands and a dog between us. I dare you try and find a time when all of us are available. Yeah. We’re splitting it up this month.

The boys have been playing musical-beds. I never know who’ll be in what bed when I go to kiss them at night. Or which end their heads will be, for that matter. Last night I kissed Bean’s toes, thinking I was getting Jeff’s cheek.

Parent-Teacher conferences are this week. That’s all I’m saying about that. Well, that and my son evidently prefers chatting it up with his neighbors over listening the teacher. Or doing headstand, or walking like a robot, or sticking his pencil in his ear- all of those things win out over Teacher. Can you blame the kid?

Laundry Mountain beckons- I’m off like a herd of turtles. My grandma used to say that. I have no idea what it means, but it makes me feel good to say things she used to say.