Friday, January 22, 2010

I Can't Name Names, But I Can Cook. Oh My.

Snarky Son wants to change his name.

More precisely, he no longer wants to be “Snarky.”

When I first started blogging, I deliberately chose not to use the kids' names in Feminine Wiles.  I can’t put my finger on the risk, but it seemed dicey.  And it didn’t seem fair to the kids – particularly considering that their dirty laundry is one of my favorite topics.  (I’m thinking now of when I was declared Worst.  Mom.  Ever.  WME.) 

Plus, I promised my “ex” I wouldn’t name names.  And while we didn’t exactly put it in the custody agreement, he is exactly a lawyer.  Know what I’m saying?  Exactly. 

Voilà the inception of “Darling Daughter” and “Snarky Son.”

But Son doesn’t want to be “Snarky.”  Alliteration-lover that I am, I’ve offered several alternatives, “Super Son.” “Sweet Son.” “Studly Son.”  (OK.  That last was a joke.  Exactly.)  Turns out, it’s not the adjective that SS finds irksome.  He just wants to go by his name.  He’s nearly 15 and doesn’t want to be regarded as cute or sly or clever.  SS just wants to be – himself. 

He's really growing up.  I can see that.  I respect that.  I admire that.  Tough noogies.  I can’t name names.  Not yet.

This protective mama bear isn’t quite ready to release her taller-and-quicker-than-me cub out into the real world.  ‘Cause there’s more than bears out there, you know.  There’s lions.  And tigers.  And Cougars.  Oh my.

Dangers abound.  Here’s another one:  The National Safety Council reported this week that 28% of car crashes can be attributed to drivers using their cell phones (calling or texting).  Twenty-eight percent.  Twenty-eight percent!

The kids and I have become experts at identifying texting drivers.  The conversation in our car usually goes something like this:  “No.  They can’t be drunk.  It’s 7:30 in the morning.  I bet they think they’re driving perfectly fine.  Isn’t that against the law?  Yep.  But there’s no policeman here right now.  Let’s just drop back and let them go on …”

This, just weeks before SS is eligible to earn his driver’s permit.  To use the word that springs to mind, I am a “wreck.”

Lions and tigers and texting drivers.  Oh my. 

Letting go is hard.  But cooking?  That’s easy.  That, I can do.  I can’t come up with an acceptable nickname for SS.  I can't ward off stupid, texting drivers.  I can’t even fend off potential Cougars.  (However, Cougars beware: I work out. I've got a lot of fight in me.)

What I can do is keep the lines of communication open.  I can keep looking for those “teachable” moments.  (“See the light from a cell phone lighting up that driver’s face?  Does he really think we don’t know he’s texting?)"  I can cook.  And maybe I can come up with an acceptable alternative to “Snarky Son.”  Ideas?

Tzatziki (Cucumber Yogurt) Sauce
I’m one of those people who always orders “extra” tzatziki, and occasionally, buys it at the store to eat it with a spoon.  It’s ”dee-lish” (as DD would say) on Lamb and Spinach Meatballs, or even on toasted pita, but it’s best if you make it yourself. Note that this recipe must be begun two hours in advance.

16 oz. plain Greek yogurt, strained
½ English cucumber, peeled, grated or chopped fine, all moisture pressed out
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced fine
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons fresh dill, minced
2 teaspoons fresh mint, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Strain yogurt by spooning into a coffee filter set in a mesh strainer set over a bowl.  Allow two hours for extra liquid to drain out.  Discard extra liquid.  (I know it's a pain, but it makes your tzatziki nice and creamy instead of thin and runny.)  Stir together remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.  Chill and serve.
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