Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday Night is Taco Night

Do you know what sort of mother I imagined myself being?

I was going to be laid back. The sort of mother who would be so cool to hang around. If something came up, I was going to have my child so well adapted that she would surf any change and enjoy the adventure. My child was going to be confident and able to bounce any experience because she would have such a totally awesome mother.

My life was not going to be boring, and my daughter was not going to have a boring mother.

ha ha ha ha.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!


Yes, universe, lets all join in and LAUGH at that concept.

Unfortunately, I discovered after not too much experimentation that this vision of myself as a mother was just not going to work.

For a start - I have never been a "cool" person. More a quirky square with idiosyncrasies. The people I hang around with tend to be of the same cloth as me, so that went by the by.

I found that my "laid back" strategy had a few holes - there are moments when tautness is called for in parenting, and it is much easier to assume taut from a more upright position.

My child was a normal child. She had confidence in spades - sometimes for minutes at a time. But she also discovered the delights of playing with fears, and not every experience ends in "bounce" - sometimes they end in "shatter" and you have to be prepared to put them all back together again.

I found I was not a "normal" mother.

But I also learned that there are very few card holding members of the normal mothers club.

I discovered that going shopping can be an adventure if you play it right (or wrong).

And I found being boring can be very rewarding - especially if boring means a child not undergoing meltdown.

As a result, we have a v-e-r-y set routine during the week, and excitement on the weekends can tend towards the planned end of the spectrum.

When we dovetailed V into our lives, he learned to adapt fairly well. Considering his previous life meant he was only responsible and answerable to himself he has been admirable in his lack of meltdowns.

Due to commitments last year, Tuesday night was always his turn to cook dinner - and it has been such a loved institution that we have continued. As he is originally a Southern Californian boy (although he has had half a life of Aussification), we let him cook us tacos and burritos - well, we let him chop the salad, grate the cheese, cook the mince and beans and heat the t&b, really.

He is very good at that.

So tonight is Taco night, something we all look forward to. And I want to share with you a recipe for Corn Tortillas* that I have carried around for years.

This is for those moments when you have forgotten to buy burritos, are too poor to shell out the $3-$4 for 15 Home Branders at Woolies, don't live anywhere near any place where they have Masa Harina (an ingredient needed in all corn tortilla recipes on the net) or just want to taste something yummy and different.

Corn Tortillas
325 ml (11 oz) water
40 g (1.4 oz) butter
100 g (3.5 oz) polenta/cornmeal
175 g (6.2 oz) wholewheat flour
1 tsp salt
  • Bring water to boil and add 1/2 butter.
  • Stir in cornmeal over low heat.
  • Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in remaining butter until smooth.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Mix flour and salt together and stir in cooled cornmeal.
  • Knead to soft dough.
  • Divide into 12 and shape into a ball
  • Roll each into 6-7" circle.
  • Cook in ungreased frying pan for 2-3 minutes each side over moderate heat until flecked with dark spots.
* I know that these may not be what is considered truly authentic. I did mention I wasn't perfect, didn't I?

I just got a phone call. From next week I will be the school tuckshop lady until they find a replacement. Eek! I certainly never expected to be this mother!


Crazed Nitwit said...

Motherhood is a process, I think that is good cuz I would have cut and run if I had known in advance!!! Hehehehe. I used to live in So Cal and did my dh. We were married in SanDiego and our oldest was born in Newport Beach.

Good luck with the truck thing!!!

jeanie said...

lol he is a San Diego boy (where the beaches are longer, the waves are higher and the Mexican spicier).

Not truck-shop - tuck-shop. "Tuck" is food, and it is doled out to school students when their parents are feeling indulgent or exhausted and prefer to pay for the delight.

The P&C get paid. I will be very lucky to get paid.

Melody said...

Hey thanks for the recipe!! I might try them somewhere down the budget road (which we're on at the moment - or trying to be on if there weren't so many turnoffs along the way!)

Good luck with the tuck shop thing.. I'd be good as a tuck shop lady. My arms are halfway there. *heehee* (Such an Aussie joke that don't you think?)

And nothing wrong with routine.

jeanie said...

lol - my arms are already there! And yep - no-one but an Aussie would understand that joke.

Anonymous said...

Tuck shop ladies... the heroes of the school.

Debby said...

Thanks for the tuck shop explanation. Like Janice, I read truck stop. Completely different thing here. I was shocked that truckers and small children would mingle. Until I read it again.

Maude Lynn said...

"There are moments when tautness is called for in parenting, and it is much easier to assume taut from a more upright position."

That is absolutely brilliant!

Debby said...

I was thinking, Jeanie, it's a strange thing with kids. You'll find this out when yours gets to the teenage years. YOU WILL NEVER BE COOL. It just won't happen. They think you're just the best mom ever until they hit their teens. Then you can't do anything right. The hilarious thing is that Cara is totally mortified by me. I discovered that I was picked "most hysterically funny mom" by her friends. To them I'm cool. To my own, not so much. It's the way of the world. I think you're cool because you make your own tacos. I get mine in a little plastic bag.
There you have it. The basic truism of 'being mom'.

Anonymous said...

The tuck shop lady, eh?

I never did that... but I teach at the same secondary school that my 3 oldest boys go to. Now I never expected to be stalker mother!!!!

Alison said...

Hehehe - truck stop.
Great post Jeanie, I really enjoyed reading it.
My experience was almost a total opposite. When I first realised I was pregnant I was determined to be a 'normal' mum. Nothing kooky, just plain, boring and predictable.
Then we found out it was twins and as far as 'normal' goes - it was all down hill from there!

Melissa said...

That recipe is pretty close! I guess you can't just run down the street and get some where you're at. It would be like me finding marmite or something! Not that I would actually want to find marmite... When am not too lazy to make them (and when I do, I usually make flour tortillas), I add a little lime to that basic recipe. But this is Texas, and he's from CA, so our stuff is a little different. :)

jeanie said...

Thank you very much for that tip, Melissa - I will try it out!

That recipe is one I have used from over 15 years ago, so we can't blame California!