Just over a week ago, I got a phone call from Mommy and from the conversation and the sound of her voice, I decided I needed to get the next plane out here. Just like they do in the movies. So that's just what I did. I booked a flight right after that phone call and was here the next afternoon.
I'm here to help out while Mommy waits for the new baby to get here, hopefully not for several more weeks. "More rest" the doctor said. And that is plenty hard to do with a three-year-old in the house. Not to mention all the chauffering that a 13-year-old requires. And the daddy here has to travel a lot. So for the time being, I'm the grandmother-in-residence, glad to be here to do whatever needs doing.
I got here just in time for Little Sister to have massive stomach bug that kept me busy all during the night. I had forgotten about those nights. Changing the bed. Changing her pajamas. Over and over and over. She is better but maybe not completely over it. Last night when I missed the trash can in my bathroom, she said, "It's right here." She had put it beside her bed and put a grocery store plastic bag in it. "I put it here in case I throw out again." She's got the right idea. Thankfully, there was no throwing "out" or "up" or throwing in any direction last night. Fingers crossed that the bug is gone.
I also got here just in time for an awful winter storm. An inch or two of sleet followed by several inches of snow. My Southern bones are not used to this kind of winter. But we stayed warm inside and just enjoyed the view. I have seen enough now. Big Sister has missed 13 days of school now.
And the day school went back, I drove on some snowy roads—roads that would have kept schools closed at home. Grandmothering should include hazardous duty pay.
A little extra time in the house did give Big Sister time to finish the mitts she gave me for Christmas. (On Christmas they weren't quite done.) She added the color blocking to the pattern. A designer in the making!
I'm doing the cooking here now. This family is so good about eating healthy. They get fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to their door every couple of weeks. But this Mimi has had to resort to some of her old recipes to keep everyone fed. I'm not used to cooking for five anymore. (When I get home, I'll have to relearn the "cooking for two" system.)
This is a recipe my mother used to make. It's not like Thanksgiving turkey and dressing--it's a Wednesday night chicken and dressing, all in one dish. Big Sister gave it a 4.15 star (out of 5 stars) rating. I gave it a 3.5. But it is so easy to make and that counts for a lot. I don't use much canned cream soups anymore. This recipe has two cans in it, so I chose the Healthy Request version to cut down on the sodium. Surely that helps a little!
CHICKEN & DRESSING CASSEROLE
1 whole chicken, cooked (save broth)
2 cups of broth from chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 8-oz bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix
Pull meat from chicken and cut into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, mix soups and broth. Stir in stuffing mix and chicken. Spread in a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Yes, this recipe is so old that it calls for cooking a whole chicken. I actually did that this time. But you can use chicken breasts. Or, you can use a rotisserie chicken. Times have changed.