The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: Tammy

Carla’s Corn Casserole

Are you looking for a rich, buttery, holiday side dish that people will be talking about (in a good way) for years to come?

Well, look no further.

I have the world’s easiest, most scrumptious, stick to your ribs casserole right here.

It’s called Corn Casserole, not to be confused with Cornhole Casserole (Trish!), which is prison-speak for a damaged posterior region. So I’ve been told. {Ahem.}

My first exposure to Corn Casserole came at a school pot-luck holiday feast about 8 years ago. It was so good, I asked around to find out who had brought it, and then sent that lady an email which went a little something like this:

“Hello. My name is Iris. I’m new here and your Corn Casserole rocked my world. I know you don’t know me, but would you please share your recipe? I promise I’ll never bring this dish to an event where you will be. Nor will I do like my MIL and bastardize your recipe beyond all recognition and then say, ‘Oh, It’s Carla’s recipe!’ If you have it in your heart to share, I vow to always follow your recipe to the letter and to give you credit until the day I die. Please. I’m a good person. Let’s be friends.”

Miraculously, Carla didn’t call for a psych consult. Instead, she emailed me her family recipe. Who says southern hospitality is dead? (I do. But this is an exception.)

Here is Carla’s recipe. Respect it. It’s perfect the way it is.

I know my BFF Tammy is going to throw in a cup or two of cheddar cheese as soon as she gets her paws on this recipe because she seems to enjoy constipating her son and then sending him to my house to clog my toilet as a joke. But I’m here to tell Tammy you that sometimes less is more. Carla’s Corn Casserole is one of those times.

Also, word of warning, pay attention when you’re in the baking aisle at the grocery store. The Jiffy corn muffin mix looks almost exactly like the Jiffy biscuit mix. I’ve made this mistake before and it just isn’t as good. Moral of the story, friends don’t let friends grocery shop drunk, m’kay.

Don't buy this one...


...buy THIS one.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick (aka: 1/2 C or 8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can sweet corn, undrained (15 oz. can)
  • 1 can creamed corn (15 oz. can)
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix everything together in a large bowl.
  3. Transfer to lightly greased 9×13” baking dish.
  4. Bake uncovered, on middle rack, for one hour or until golden brown on top.

Can be baked ahead and reheated.  Cut into 2″ x 2″ squares and serve warm.

This casserole is not just for Thanksgiving. We also make it on New Year’s Day to go with our baked ham. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do!

Oh, by the way, I don’t know anything about how to cook turkey. True story.

That’s The Gatekeeper’s job. And when it comes to turkey, I’m a “don’t ask, don’t tell” kind of gal. I’m in charge of all the other food, decorations, and entertainment. More on that tomorrow.

But never fear! My friend Julie over at Mamamash.com has put together a fabulous litany of turkey dos and don’ts. Check it out. She knows her stuff, and her writing is divine.

 

Wishing you luck, serenity, and not too much family drama as you prepare for Thanksgiving this week!

Your friend,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

The Sins of the Mother

Oh Lordy. The results are in for the first Principal Pal awards of the school year. And I just have one question: who do I have to bang to get a Principal Pal magnet on my car?

Seriously.

I’ll do it. Just point me in the direction of the person or committee or farm animal who decides this thing and it shall be done. And I’m pretty sure my husband will support me on this, if for no other reason than to get me to stop whining about it.

Honestly people. I swear, I may be driving the only mini van in my neighborhood without one or more of these hideous magnets plastered to the side of it celebrating my children’s excellence. Oh, the shame! Clearly, my kids and I totally suck.

For real, yo. Neither of my school age kids have ever, EVER gotten one of these awards and it is totally burning my biscuits.

My neighbor Tammy’s little boy wins one of these God damned awards EVERY FREAKING YEAR like clockwork. And you know what she says every month when I call her in tears to say that once more, I am destined to wander this lonely planet without a Principal Pal magnet on my car? She says, “Oh honey… you want one of mine?” I swear. And she is my best friend. Imagine what people who don’t like me say. Besides, if I just wanted the magnet, I would have stolen one (or four) of Tammy’s by now. That’s not the point.

The point is… I want what every parent wants. I want my kids to be excellent at something and for them (and me) to be recognized in a very public way for it. Is that so wrong? Oh, a full night of sleep and the ability to poop in private every once in a while wouldn’t hurt either, but let’s focus here.

Look, I totally get why my first grade wild child “Klepto” hasn’t ever received this award. She is a force of nature and not easily tolerated by those with weaker constitutions. In fact, for the second year in a row, Klepto has been assigned to a teacher who has recently been named “Teacher of the Year” at our school. This is no coincidence, people. But poor Klepto, she has no idea. She thinks she is just the most randomly lucky kid ever. Kinda cute, actually. Shhh…. nobody tell her, OK?

But Nature Boy? My 4th grade, first born? The kid is a saint. Seriously. Ask anyone. He is truly the kindest, gentlest, most empathetic person I’ve ever known, regardless of age. I have no earthly idea how this child could possibly attend this school since first grade and have never won this award even once. I’ll do the math for you. Three full years, with approximately 10 months of school in a year, plus one month so far this year… that is 31 times he has NOT been chosen. THIRTY ONE TIMES. The poor kid! But really, HIS POOR MAMA!!!

Look at it this way, if every class he’s been in so far had about 20 kids, and there are 10 awards given per class each year, that means he has had a 50% chance to win it sometime each year. Three years running now.

But no. Never.

AND IT IS KILLING ME.

Here’s a snippet of the email his teacher sent out today:

Congratulations to Amanda B. for her selection this year’s first Principal Pal! With such a great group, narrowing the choice down to one classmate is not easy! However, due to Ms. Amanda’s Allysonconsistent hard work, good citizenship, and generous nature, her peers were very happy to recognize her accomplishments. We’re proud of you, Amanda!

Damn. It. To. Hell.

I’m not proud of you Amanda. I’m jealous and bitter. I mean, what does Amanda have that my Nature Boy doesn’t?

Does Amanda’s mom volunteer more than I do? Probably.

Does Amanda’s family donate more money to the PTA? Most definitely.

Last week when the PTA newsletter contained an obscene typo indicating that children and parents should “Service one another,” (it was supposed to say “Serve one another”… BIG difference!) did Amanda’s mom slam the PTA and notify everyone in the free world about it with her Tweets and Facebook updates like I did? No. Probably not.

Oh dear. It’s my fault, isn’t it. I’m the reason my children suffer.

Have mercy on them, PTA. Judge not the child for the sins of the mother.

So, instead of continuing to torture myself, it looks like the best course of action for me is to just accept the things I cannot change. Gee, that sounds familiar… where have I heard that before?

And speaking of higher powers… you know who else never got chosen for Principal Pal?

Jesus.

So at least there’s that. Although, in his case, it probably wasn’t because of his crazy mother.

In closing, please pray for my children; they clearly need all the help they can get. And if you happen to have an “in” with the principal of their school, do me a favor and put in a good word for Nature Boy before I get arrested for petty burglary or lewd conduct… again.

Thank you kindly!

The Valentine Blues

Valentine’s Day is not my fave.

If you love someone, you should tell them all the time… not just on one over-the-top day. Just sayin’.

I told my husband this when we first started dating back in 1995 as part of my “I’m really low-maintenance… you hit the jackpot with me, pal” façade. Mistake. Big mistake. Now the man thinks he can just skirt through every holiday without giving me cards and flowers and candy and jewels. Dammit. I had no earthly idea that in less than a decade I would become an invisible vessel for grandkids and PTA sponsored fundraising. That changed everything. I am definitely no longer as low-maintenance as I was 10 years ago… and not just because of all the new hormone induced facial hair. I need some attention, fuckers. Is it me, or can you relate, ladies?

Maybe I’m just bitter because I didn’t get a single Valentine this year. Yeah yeah, I know, I’m being a hypocrite. That whole “T’is better to give than to receive” thing is a load of crap, sorry Jesus. I want to receive. And by receive, I’m talking about more than just a bean burrito dinner followed by falling asleep farting in our Snuggies watching You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (note to self: must reorder my Netflix queue to coincide with holidays more appropriately.)  Mama needs some romance. And for the record, “Are we gonna do it later, or what?” doesn’t really get the juices flowin’, if you know what I mean.

Unlike their bitter mama, my lovey-dovey kids really dig this Hallmark holiday. So, for them, I did my darndest to hide my “cupid-is-stupid” ire and rise to the occasion. Awwww. I helped them make their Valentine’s Boxes and cards and we even whipped up a fabulous and funky Valentine  Tree, which took near heroic measures since I absolutely abhor crafting with children. Don’t get me wrong, I love crafting. I’m crafty. I can make pretty much anything. Anything. Seriously. But bring a kid into the equation, and I’d rather donate a cornea or two.

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Isn’t that just fabulous? Klepto and I decoupaged tissue paper onto an old plastic flower pot we found in the garage. I cut the branches off a big old fallen tree limb that was cluttering up my yard. And Klepto made a majority of those ornaments herself with crap we had lying around the house. My friend Jennifer says I have no right to be making fun of “Über Moms” when I have a homemade Valentine Tree like this in my house. But Jennifer, I gotta tell you, not only was I probably drunk as a skunk when we made it, but I am pretty sure I made Klepto cry five minutes into the decoupage process when she got bored and started to decoupage her hands to the table with the glue. So no, drunk screaming lunatics and Über Moms are mutually exclusive groups, in my humble opinion.

Speaking of being crafty… I am learning how to crochet. My BFF/neighbor Tammy (you remember her… the one who always one-ups me and tries to improve my recipes and then take credit for them?) gave me the most amazing birthday present last year. She cleaned out her overflowing craft closet and put together a lovingly recycled “Teach Yourself to Crochet” basket containing an instruction book, a bunch of crochet needles, some yarn, and a few handfuls of stale Easter candy that was calling her name a little too close to swimsuit season. Bitch. Anyhooo, the thought behind this gift was extraordinary. She knew that I had always wanted to learn to crochet and she gave me a gift to help me achieve that goal. That’s a good friend, ya’ll, stale candy or not.

The only problem with trying to teach yourself to crochet from a book is that it is really hard. I tried and I tried, but I just wasn’t getting it. Oh, I’m left-handed too, which makes everything harder, except making obscene gestures out my window while I drive. I do that with excellent dexterity and enthusiasm.

But you know what they say… when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. About a month ago, a lovely muse named Lara appeared on my doorstep. She and her groovy husband are my kids’ music teachers. They come to my house once a week and fill my home with song and love and a variety of talents. Lara can crochet like nobody’s beeswax. She sat down with me and showed me how to do some stitches and instilled me with confidence that crochet is really not that hard. Reading crochet patterns is not for pussies though. I still can’t really do that.

But Lara also taught me something phenomenal. She taught me that you can learn pretty much anything you ever wanted to know on YouTube. And the coolest thing about it is that you can start/stop/repeat lessons until you get it and not have to worry about annoying your teacher to death.

Want to learn how to use a Neti Pot? How about Body Party Math?  Would you like to rewire a lamp? Learn to do the splits? Be prepared to deliver a baby in the backseat of a taxicab? (Check out the giant rubber teaching vajayjay!!!)  Learn Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” dance moves step by step? (OMG, “The Spank It” and “The Pump Walk”… these are must-have-moves for any dance repertoire!!!)  Or hey, aren’t you the least bit curious about what happens when a goat licks an electric fence?  You can learn all this and more on YouTube.

Me? Well, after I mastered all that stuff, I taught myself how to crochet a heart for my sweet little girl. I even found a crochet heart tutorial for left-handed mamacitas like me! YouTube rocks, ya’ll. See? I did it!

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Bet you didn’t know I was such a crafty beaver, did you?! Well I am. Get over it. Don’t worry, I can combine all my favorite things and still be the same slutty booze whore you’ve come to know and love.  Next, I want to learn how to make one of these:

mynextcraftingproject

No, it’s not a papoose in a canoe. It’s a hand-knitted vulva I found on the Internet. God bless you, Al Gore! Wouldn’t that be the most darling change purse?! Imagine the looks you’d get at church if you pulled that out when they pass the basket!  Or how about a set of vulva coasters or beer can coozies? See, with all this crafting to do, I won’t have time to feel sorry for myself that I didn’t get any Valentines. And for those of you who missed the boat this year, you have a whole year to shop. Buy me some yarn, would ya? I’ve got some vulvas to knit.

-Iris

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