Follow Friday: Hey What’s for Dinner Mom?

Hey, what’s for dinner, Mom?

[I told Laura I was going to do this post months ago. Sorry, Laura! Life got in the way of, well, everything.]

I first met or even heard of Laura from Hey What’s for Dinner Mom? (@whats4dinnermom) when she was a panelist at BlogHer Food ’10 in San Francisco. I was captivated by her. She spoke about the sorry state of school lunches with an alternating anger and optimism, and all the time, her humor was in evidence. I remember her saying her kids had never had Ranch dressing. I remember a slight twinge of envy at her pioneer-woman ways. (No, not THAT pioneer woman.)

I’m a city girl at heart. Born and raised in the suburbs of the ’60s-and-’70s navy-base lifestyle, I am now a happy urbanite. Still, if you read Laura for long, I dare you not to think it would be totally cool to:

make your own bacon;

All photos courtesy of Hey What's for Dinner Mom?

turn your dandelions into jelly;
dandelion fluffdandelion jelly

or maybe forage for fiddleheads in Alaska.
fiddlehead ferns

Laura is a lovely, hardworking woman with a strong heart and a sharp mind. You should check out her writing. And if you have the soul of a bargain-hunter the way she and I do, you should stop in on Sundays for the Penny Worthy Project.

Thank you, Laura, for caring about the world, your loved ones, and your bloggy friends. I for one appreciate it.

Follow Friday: Deep South Dish

Pull up a chair and set a spell. It’s time for Southern yumminess from Deep South Dish.

The closest I’ve ever come to living in the American South is a week I spent in Kentucky with my first wife (I call her “Cute-poet-chick” online) for a family wedding.

It. Was. Gorgeous.

Cute-poet-chick said I have a “hick fixation”, because I’m so charmed by Southern manners, accents, and folkways. I say I just appreciate cultures that are not my own.

And the food, of course!

There are lots of foods in the US that are strongly associated with the South, and Mary of Deep South Dish (@deepsouthdish) has showed us how to make most of them.

She doesn’t just cook up my own Southern favorites, like Pimento cheese,

<img src="http://www.momfoodproject look these” alt=”Pimento cheese sandwiches” title=”pimento-cheese” width=”400″ height=”267″ class=”size-full wp-image-4297″ srcset=” 400w,×200.jpg 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 85vw, 400px” />

Photo courtesy of Mary of Deep South Dish

fried okra,

Deep-fried okra

Photo courtesy of Mary at Deep South Dish

Louisiana meat pies,

Louisiana met pies

Photo courtesy of Mary at Deep South Dish

and that beverage of sublime glory, sweet iced tea,

Sweet iced tea

Photo courtesy of Mary at Deep South Dish

but she also introduces me to things I’ve never even heard of before! Click the thumbnails to see some remarkably yummy-sounding dishes, all of which I want to cook one day soon (all photos courtesy of Mary at Deep South Dish):

Old Sober soupEggs in purgatoryCrawfish Rice DressingOzark Pudding

I’ll leave you with a little story that Mary’s blog reminded me of. One day, Cute-poet-chick told me she was going to make banana pudding. Being a northener, I assumed she meant banana-flavored pudding, and I made a face and said I disliked it. I don’t like banana-flavored stuff, but I do love bananas. Anyway, turns out Southern banana pudding is vanilla pudding with Nilla wafers and bananas in it! I loved the stuff, and ate more than my share, which ticked her off no end, and she teased me for years about how I’d lied about not liking banana pudding, then stolen it from her.

Good times, good times.

Food and memory. Completely intertwined. Head on over to Deep South Dish and make some memories of your own.

Follow Friday: Bibberche

Lana at Bibberche, one of my very favorite bloggers.

[First, a quick note about our Contributor Chris Hansen, who is going to the hospital this weekend. If you’ve been enjoying his Mertie’s Mondays series of food essays about New England and England, please go find one of his posts and comment, wishing him well. I think he’ll appreciate it. We love you here at The Mom Food Project, Chris; get well soon!]

And now on to one of my very favorite blogs, one I really think you all should be reading:

There are many reasons that Lana at Bibberche (Twitter: @bibberche) is on the very short list of bloggers I just have to read. For one, her writing is stellar. Lana knows how to tell a story, and how to link food and love and history together while doing it.

There are other reasons, though:

Go. Read. I’m guessing you won’t be sorry.

Follow Friday: 1000 Reasons I’m a Crap Mom

I’m a good mom. Except when I’m not. Ofthesea at “1000 reasons I’m a Crap Mom” understands.

Follow Fridays are when we at the Mom Food Project stop focusing on ourselves for a day and turn our focus to other people in the world who are feeding their loved ones and writing about it. Know of someone we should spotlight? Let us know!

1000 reasons banner
Photos courtesy of Ofthesea of 1000 Reasons I'm a Crap Mom

I came to parenting from an odd direction. I’ve never given birth, but that’s my kid sitting next to me, holding my hand, rocking herself to sleep while her body fights off what appears to be a kidney infection. “I love you, Aunt San,” she says, as she drifts off. And I love her, too, as much as anyone ever loved anyone. I didn’t give birth to her, but throughout her life, there have been long stretches when I was her primary parental figure, and for the past two-plus years, she’s been mine for real and forever.

Being a parent in fits and starts the way I have has a tendency to create gaps in one’s knowledge of the child. I remember feeling like I must be the worst parent in the world because I didn’t know she’d broken her ankle at one point while she wasn’t living with me. And often, I second-guess myself for not grabbing her and her brother and whisking them away from their birth parents, who would fail any licensing test for parenting, if anyone ever created such a test. I am so good at thinking up reasons why I’m a crappy parent. And you know, sometimes, I am a crappy parent—sometimes every parent is.

I feed her, clothe her, treat her with respect, and do my very best to show her unconditional love. And then sometimes I belittle her, or yell at her, or minimize her concerns, and immediately, in my own mind, I’m the worst parent who ever lived. The only way to keep from drowning under that shame is to get some perspective and try to laugh at myself.

Ofthesea at “1000 reasons I’m a Crap Mom” helps with that. For one thing, she obviously knows how easy it is to sink into the hole of self-doubt where parenting is concerned. For another, she obviously knows it’s baloney. We love our kids, and are good parents, but we just gotta laugh at our moments of crapitude. I love this blog so much that lately, when a website asks what my favorite mom blog is, this is the one I choose.

You should totally check it out.

Here are just a couple of the Reasons. Many more Reasons, and many more laughs, await you at 1000 Reasons I’m a Crap Mom.

Reason #86:  She wants to put her baby in a psycho military orphanage!

deprived of freedom
She wants to put her kid in a psycho military orphanage!

I can’t wait to get rid of my adorable baby boy, and to that effect I will ship him off to a psycho military orphanage.

For those who may not know, a psycho military orphanage is a military boarding school for orphans which is run by psychos.

That much is obvious.

What is far less obvious is how my mother jumped to the conclusion that I can’t wait to ship C to one of these worthy institutions to be imprisoned and mistreated.

It started like this…

Reason #15:  She’d rather read than look at THIS!

baby picture
She'd rather read than look at this face!

Mother: “No, I mean it, LOOK AT HIM. You’d rather read than watch your wonderful son!”

Mom Food isn’t just about the food. Okay, it’s mostly about the food. But it’s also about remembering the love that exists between imperfect parents and their imperfect children. Thanks, Ofthesea, for reminding us about that.

You can see more Follow Friday posts here.

Follow Friday: Tartelette

Beautiful photos from Tartelette.

[Note from Serene: Something weird happened and this post was attributed to a non-existent MFP contributor, so I’ve recreated it. Also, I spelled the blog name wrong (!), messed up in my permissions process, and misattributed the photos. I hope I’ve finally gotten it right. What a day I’m having. Sorry, Helene!]

fish and figs
Picture Courtesy of Helene Dujardin

I’m a words girl. I like words: writing them, reading them, turning them over in my head. I am charmed by lyrical language and am a fangirl for the writers who move me.

Still, I would follow some blogs even if there were no words attached, because the photos are just so very beautiful.

Tartelette is one of these. I love the words, and I love the recipes, but what really stops me in my tracks is the photography.

And you know what? I’m just going to let you wander through a few of the real gems. Click on any photo to go to the post it’s associated with, and you’ll see even more beauty.

blueberry sorbet macarons
Picture Courtesy of Helene Dujardin
cutest little tarts ever
Picture Courtesy of Helene Dujardin

I want to apologize in advance for the hours you’re about to spend immersed in the goodness that is Tartlette. I’ll make up for it later by writing something boring, ‘kay?

savory tarts
Picture Courtesy of Helene Dujardin