Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Foodie Regresses

Before pregnancy, I was what was known as a foodie. My olives came whole from Spain with fresh herbs, not pitted from a can. My breads were whole grain, hand fashioned, and crusty. I refused to eat beef cooked beyond à point (medium rare), and I could identify which fishes could not be eaten due to overfishing and the effect on the environment. I own and use parchment paper, Silpat silicone baking sheets, and Wusthof Trident knives, which I keep well-sharpened. I could identify and expound on the differences between a pinot noir, cabernet, merlot, gamay, and zinfandel (and NEVER the pink stuff). I grew 14 different herbs outside my door, and I was more likely to have canned artichoke hearts than canned corn in my pantry.

Then, baby. And morning all-the-time sickness.

And so? I find myself regressing. Yes, I admit it. All this baby seems to want is the food I ate as a child.

Which means, rather than chicken à la dijonnaise, Zizou wants chicken strips.

With ketchup.

Rather than steel-cut oats with natural yogurt and real Canadian maple syrup, Zizou wants cereal.

Lucky Charms, to be precise.

And rather than Pesto pasta with fresh tomatoes, pine nuts, parmigiano reggiano and prosciutto?

Zizou wants Hotdish.

The North Dakota Lutheran girls who read this will know exactly what I mean, and are probably cringing with embarrassment. I know I was, when I had to ask Dr. B to make it for me. But, hotdish is one of the few things that always stayed down, and was a fairly well-balanced dinner in itself. Plus, it was easy enough for the former-novice in the kitchen (Dr. B) to attempt by himself. (Note: his breakfasts are unbeatable, but he usually avoids cooking after noon.)

Hotdish is the ultimate one-dish meal for a Norski from Fargo. For those who don't know, Hotdish is what those in the "snooty" states would call a casserole. But in North Dakota and Minnesota, we call it hotdish, because we're not snobby like that. Hmpf.

Dr. B started with his favorite, "Red Hotdish" (named so because it's, um, red.) Macaroni noodles, cooked way past al dente, mixed with hamburger meat browned with onion and tomatoes and tomato sauce, baked until bubbly. We then followed that with Tuna Noodle Hotdish, my personal favorite (I even like it cold for breakfast the next day), with the same noodles (mushy, please!), tuna, cream of mushroom soup (Dr. B buys organic) and milk, parmesan cheese, peas and crushed potato chips on the top. Mmmmmm...

I asked for "Yellow Hotdish" (the noodles or sliced potatoes, hamburger/onion, corn, cream of mushroom), but was denied. I didn't even attempt "Tator Tot Hotdish" or "Hamburger/Minute Rice Hotdish", which I knew would both get a resounding "NO!"

As my pregnancy has progressed, the nausea has backed off a bit, and I'll have weeks now when I can eat pretty much anything. But, I still find myself wanting those foods which remind me of home, of being a little kid, of meals cooked by my mom, always on the table at 6:30, served with carrot sticks, pickles, buttered white bread and a cold glass of Kool-Aid.

Maybe this is Mom's way of letting me know she's watching, and helping to take care of her first little grandchild.

With some good, hearty hotdish for supper. Just like she always took care of me.


PutYourFlareOn said...

That is your mom letting you know she's there! She's reminding you of what you loved as a child because someday you'll make the same for little Zizou!

You know my cravings have been crazy lately it's bee clementines and falafel but not together. :) The Lucky Charms are a good one, I can't find a cereal in France that's even close to that!!

Doc said...

I've been on a beanie-weenie kick, not so easy to do here, of course, but not impossible either. (just have to pay out the nose for the ole baked beanz imported from Mother England) And lots of "one-dish meals, too--how's that for a high falutin' description?
Funny how all our moms find ways of keeping in touch with us.

ViVi said...

Um... I make a tater tot hotdish. *blush* It's got ground beef with onions and seasonings, cream of mushroom soup and green beans with noisettes on top. I call it my redneck casserole. :D

La Rêveuse said...

That's our tater tot hotdish, too! Though sometimes we used corn--depended on what was available. Are noisettes tater tots? I love it. Will you make it for me next time I'm in Troyes? ;)

PutYourFlareOn said...

OH this tatertot hotdish sounds good... can someone send me a recipe with the mesurements? I want to try to make it! :)

ViVi said...

Well, noisettes are a little different than tater tots, as they don't have that hashbrownie texture on the outside, but they're still crispy balls of potato, which works just fine!

MissV said...

Ha! Hotdish. Yep. I ate waaaaaaay too much of that stuff as a kid. The hamburger/Minute Rice/cream soup concoction was the worst (my mother called it "Mock Chop Suey"...I just called it "gross"). Now, aside from a very rare tuna noodle craving and the ubiquitous green bean/french fried onion glop at Thanksgiving, I never eat the stuff.

Oh, and be careful about the tuna. Now's not the time to get all snooty and buy albacore (aka "solid white") because it has lots of mercury in it which is definitely not a good thing for the wee bebe! But you probably know that already...

bani said...

Oh, this potato crisps on food thing. So exotic! You Americans are crazy. ;)

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