Back in the old days, a housewife in need of a pick-me-up had some options. For example, amphetamines. Those were an option.
|courtesy of http://www.whale.to/a/weed_booze.html|
These are harder to come by nowadays, and generally frowned upon as a solution to most common problems. On the plus side, the house-dress and girdle have also gone the way of all things, so there is that to be grateful for.
Trying to get my cooking mojo back led me to resurrect some staples. It's kind of like playing scales. I made some granola bars, this time with lemon zest and apricots but no frosting. I overbaked them a little when my unmedicated mind wandered, but they are still quite useful to have in a jar on the counter come lunchbox or low blood sugar time, and counted (just barely) toward feeling better about cooking.
Then, still thinking ahead to MondayMorningLunchBoxPanic, I made a batch of those quinoa and cheese muffins. If I gave a concert, this would be the one you all would raise your lighters for. Every Raisinette (and you know who you are) mentions this recipe. My cousin's neighbor. My daughter's classmate's mother's co-worker. It even got anthologized!
I employed some first-rate second-grader labor to get the cheese sprinkled correctly:
and these turned out fine too.
But it is housewife food that has really saved the day. Housewife food is not the food that anyone responsible for the caloric intake of everyone under one roof churns out, as above, to keep the wheels turning. The person making that daily stuff may or may not consider themselves a housewife. I mean instead a category of food-making that involves a can of this and a package of that and a general feeling that you are leaping from your minivan ready to feed a hungry crowd of teens after a sports event. The term also refers to anything that involves cooking with mayonnaise, includes the word "mock" in its title, or tempts you to write "it's THAT good, people."
The substance below was concocted in a general sense in response to a number of recipes that had floated past my head in recent months, each with their appealing elements (in sum: hot cheese) and specifically because I was invited to an all-female evening and asked to bring a snack offering. I leaped from my minivan and whipped this up immediately.
It is a flexible item. It served comfortably as a dip for tortilla chips the other night ("does this have dairy in it? then I probably have to skip it," said one of the females, who did not, ultimately, skip any part of it), then the next day I made it again and we ate it over rice and I heard no complaints. I have made it now with sour cream and with whole milk Greek yogurt (also once with nonfat Greek yogurt, but it's best not to dwell on that). It calls for fresh corn, and for good reason, but I imagine that if you are not making it in New England in the late summer or early fall (where and when the use of frozen corn is, as it should be, an actionable offense), you could use frozen corn, too. Extra housewife points for that. If you are making it for dipping purposes, use less corn as it's the cheesy part that you'll want to emphasize; if you are heading more towards a casserole side dish, strap on a girdle, use more corn and for a shot at the title of Housewife Champeen, crumble some tortilla chips on top before you bake it.
mock housewife food
2-3 ears of corn, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 c mayonnaise (I like this one because it is not at all sweet and is actually tasty, whereas most bottled mayonnaise is unpleasantly sweet and is used as a sandwich lubricant but brings nothing to the flavor table, not that you asked)
1 4 oz can of chopped roasted green chiles
1.5 c coarsely shredded cheddar or jack
a handful of finely chopped cilantro
a handful of finely chopped scallions
1 t ground cumin
1t chile powder
A good dash of hot sauce, and if you really like some heat, a chopped pickled jalapeño and/or a teaspoon of finely chopped chipotle in adobo
Heat the oven to 375. Mix everything together and smooth it into a baking dish. Bake about 15 minutes, until bubbly, hot and lightly golden.