Monday, January 11, 2010

Snow Day Sloppy Joes

Dear Reader,

I don't need to tell you how cold it is.  It's freaking freezing outside.  Many of us have been suffering with not only this bitter cold, but also the bitter reality that our children are home when they should be at school and out of our hair.  Here is something for snow days.  Enjoy!

Snow Day Sloppy Joes

You will need:

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 Tbs. brown sugar
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 lbs. ground beef
2 cups tomato sauce
Board game
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
3 Tbs. tomato paste
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. tabasco

Everyone put on your warmest slippers and stoke the fire, it's a snow day!  Gather the children round the kitchen and teach them how to make the comfiest of comfort foods:  The Sloppy Joe.  Let Timmy do the chopping because he is seven and should be practicing his knife skills if he hopes to have a prayer of making you proud by winning Top Chef one day.  Have Debbie pour the olive oil into a pan.  Tell children stories of snow days past.  Like the time you had four feet of snow in April and didn't have school for a week!  You and your brother made a giant snow fort out back, and put down a blanket inside, and your mother brought you hot chocolate.  Fun! 

When they ask if they can go outside to build a snow fort explain that when you were a kid, parents were lackadaisical and irresponsible and let their children roam free, but today's parents are more vigilant against kidnappers, coyotes and frostbite.  Toss onions, celery and green pepper into pan and saute until they soften.  Add garlic and cook until Debbie starts to complain that Timmy is doing all the work, and Timmy in turn tries to shove Debbie off the chair on which she is standing to reach the counter, or about two minutes.

Turn up the heat on the thermostat and on the stove.  Add the beef and saute to the sound of what appears to be a knock knock joke competition.  When Debbie says, "Banana who?" for the fifteenth time, the beef should be browned and you can dump in the sauce and the rest of the ingredients.

Put another log on the fire.  The walk across floor has produced lesions on feet due to proliferation of Legos strewn about.  Demand, using stern mother voice, that Timmy pick them up or they will go in the garbage.  Respond to Timmy's explanation that Debbie put them there with the simple yet effective combination eye-squint, pursed lip "Do it now."  When Debbie walks through Legos, kicking them far and wide, put her in time out.  To the sound of her screams pour yourself a brandy.

Remember the sloppy joes and give them a stir.  Suggest a game of Life with the kids.  Solve argument about who gets to be the orange car by saying that nobody gets to be the orange car.  Do not miss opportunity to demonstrate that if they choose to begin the game in college, they may get to be a doctor, earning $100,000, whereas a non-college player may be a mechanic earning $30,000.  Show them the cards to reinforce the idea.  Become frustrated with the amount of math you are doing and also how the little pegs will not stay in the stupid car and also how Debbie keeps spinning too hard and knocking the spinner out of the board.  Have another brandy to tide you over till lunch. 

Toast buns in oven - not your buns, although standing with your rear to the oven does feel nice.  Serve sloppy joes on buttered buns and get the Swiffers ready.  Clean floors, tables and walls then then put children in shower.  Pour one more brandy and tell kids they can watch television for the rest of the day.

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