Thursday, January 19, 2012

20 years

We're coming up on our 20th wedding anniversary of which next month I am going to post wedding pictures and maybe some from when we were dating.  My husband and I have known each other 25 years this summer. 

We met at the Brigham Young University Deseret Towers swimming pool that used to be behind the old dairy/store.  We both had been invited to attend BYU during the summer semester of 1987 because our high school grades and test scores were lacking.  Recently, we went to dinner with some friends from our freshman year and their wives and everyone asked what each others ACT scores were:  25, 24, 27, 30, 25 and then mine.  A whopping 19.  Yep, there it is.  Not good at testing and maybe a B- student.  They all laughed and wondered aloud how I had been allowed in.  My theory is that I graduated in 1986 and took a year off.  Works for me.

So, by the grace of God we all met and had an awesome time all that year.  We all went to dances together, movies, had plenty of classes together, shopping.....bemoaned our dating know, the things that matter to 18-19 year old kids.  However, at the end of Winter semester 1988 I was asked to leave the BYU for grades because "apparently" I hadn't quite captured the focus of the purpose of college.  The boys all got ready and went on LDS missions and I went to what was at the time Rick's College which is now BYU Idaho.  I had a great time there also and was again politely asked to leave. 

I went home for 6 months and got ready to go on a mission wherein I wrote to my husband and our two friends faithfully the entire time.  After our missions we all congregated back in Provo, Utah where they had all maintained their grades and were invited back to BYU .  I worked.  My husband was dating lots of girls.  Girls really like him. He's cute but he treats women very well so everyone wanted a piece of that pie.

While I was on my mission I had decided that I wanted to own him.  He needed to be mine.  I wasn't in love but I recognized his great qualities and knew they were something of worth other than a dance partner or a study buddy.  The boys had been living in Provo for about a year before I was able to move back there but within 2 weeks of me moving back I asked him out.  That  took a lot of courage for me because we had always been taught that the boy called the girl, the boy asked the girl on dates, the boy had to chase the girl, thus I had never done this before.  (Plus, I'm not much of a flirt.)  He said yes.

He took me out to an outdoor play near the Utah State mental hospital down the road.  I know.  But they used to do a really cool haunted house at the hospital every year, too so we all thought it was tame.  He held my hand.  I had hoped he would but I didn't know.  The next night we went out somewhere else--I'm sure he remembers but I have no idea where.  When he brought me home on his Honda 80cc scooter (yes.) we were sitting on my front porch and he went in for the kiss.  I backed away and said, "We need to talk about this first."  We had been friends for 4 years up to this point and this was not going to work out in the end I wanted to know that we'd all remain friends.  He just wanted to make out so he said that of course we'd still be friends but I determined that we should wait.

But the next evening we kissed.  The morning after that I woke up and the first thing I thought was, "I love him.  We're getting married."  I just knew.  But I also had the feeling that I shouldn't do or say anything about it or I'd scare him off.  So I waited.  About 2 months later we were sitting in Burger Supreme in Provo (mmmmmm....Burger Supreme....) and he said, "If we were to get married...." and I don't even remember what he said after that.  I'm sure it had something to do with money cause he's always worried about money and supporting the family while I'm am always under the auspices of "it will all work out."  But I do remember thinking, "Aha!  I've got him!"  Poor guy.

We officially got engaged on Friday, December 13, 1991 and married two months later on Friday, February 14, 1992 (yes, I do realize that is Valentine's Day.)

We have 3 college degrees, 4 children, 8 moves, two mortgaged homes, and a dog in the last 20 years and not a penny of extra money to spare.  One of us was in school full time for the first 8 years of our marriage.  He graduated with his bachelor's in 1994, his masters in 1997, and I graduated with my bachelor's from BYU in 2000.  I finally figured how to be a decent student.

You know that saying that girls marry men like their fathers or boys marry women like their mothers?  I married a kind, gentle, loving man like my father.  My wonderful  husband has supported our family by working 60-80 hour weeks for the last 12 years.  He's a marriage and family therapist in private practice which is sometimes a feast and famine industry.  He has lived with my moods, depression sarcasm and inconsistencies and still loved me and wanted to have sex with me even though he saw me give birth 4 times.  He's definitely the romantic of the two and is always surprising me with creative ways to show me and everyone else he loves me.  Every year for our anniversary he does something special to let everyone know he is still crazy in love with me.  The big galoot. 

I don't know what I'd ever do with out him.  When we were first married we both said that if the other had an affair then that would be it for the marriage but I changed my mind several years ago because I think I could forgive him.  I wouldn't want to be without him.  That's not an invitation, although he never would.

So here's to another 20 years with the man I had to have.  I love you, Jonathan Sherman, Friend to The World.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Egg Rolls

Several years ago when were where poorer *snort*, I belonged to a food co-op in my neighborhood.  Every two weeks you would take $15.00 to the house of the person that ordered the food and pick up a laundry basket full of produce and other things.  One week I went to the pick up and there was a package of egg roll wraps in my basket with a note.  The note explained how to make egg rolls.  There was also in the basket a bag of coleslaw and some green onions.  I decided to try it out.  It is my youngest son's most requested meal and the rest of the kids like it, too.  You pretty much follow the recipe on the back of the wrap package.

Egg Rolls

1/2 pound raw chicken, pork finely chopped or tofu broken up into fine bits
2-3 green onions sliced thin, white and green parts
2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 to 1 1/2 bags of coleslaw or a head of shredded cabbage depending on how big your family is
1/4 cup soy sauce (optional)
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
1/2 to 1 teaspoon or more to taste, ginger powder
1-2 packages egg roll wraps
vegetable oil (not olive oil)

In a heavy bottomed pan or electric skillet ( I love that thing) heat 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees.

Turn the heat on high and place a wok or large frying pan on the stove.  Put 2-3 Tablespoons of oil in the bottom and let it heat until smoking.  When the oil begins to smoke carefully throw the chicken or pork in the oil.  Be careful it splatters everywhere unless you use a paper towel to dry the meat first.  But I'm lazy so I actually throw the meat in and back away for a few seconds so the oil will cool a little.  Stir the meat in the oil and allow it to start to brown.  Push the meat up the sides of the wok or to the sides of the pan so there is a space in the middle for the vegetable.  If the oil has been absorbed by the meat then put another Tablespoon in there then add the green onions and garlic.  And then smell it! smells heavenly.  Mix the meat and the vegetables together then add the coleslaw.  At this point you can add soy sauce if you like--it lends a little moisture to the cooking of the coleslaw, and the oyster sauce.  If you don't want soy sauce the oyster sauce has enough moisture in it.  Shake in some ginger powder.  Mix and cook until the cabbage is soft and has been reduced by at least half.  Off the heat.

(If you are making egg rolls with tofu cook the garlic and green onions first on a lower setting then add the tofu, cabbage, and seasonings.)

Your frying oil should be ready to use.  Get ready to wrap the egg rolls.

Place the wok on the counter next to your wraps.  Also, get a bowl and put a little bit of water in it.  Place one wrap diagonally in front of you, using a 2 Tablespoon scoop or a cereal spoon scoop some cabbage mixture onto the wrap.  The mixture should be below the middle point of the wrap.  Start to roll the wrap away from you, keeping the mixture tight inside the wrap.

About half way up fold the two sides in--burrito style--then take a finger and dip it into the bowl of water.  Put a dab of water on the top corner then continue to roll the egg roll. The water will "glue" the wrap together so it won't fall apart during frying.

It should look about like this.

 When your oil is heated start putting the egg rolls in to fry.  If you turn the heat up higher it will make the wrap cook faster on the outside but will be gummy and undone on the inside.  At 350 degrees the wrap will cook evenly on the inside and out.  Place several egg rolls in the oil and cook on one side for about 4-5 minutes then turn them over and fry for another 4-5 minutes.  They need to be pretty brown to be cooked correctly.  Don't take them out too soon or they will be grody-ola. It takes some practice but it's well worth the time.

This isn't a very good picture but notice that they are quite brown.

Place them on a plate covered with paper towels. Dip them in sweet and sour sauce or hot mustard or eat them plain.  They are super nummy and super fattening.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


We had the most beautiful sunset last night. I was making dinner when I looked out my kitchen window and noticed everything was a beautiful red color. I knew the sunset on the other side of the house had to be awesome. My iPhone doesn't quite capture it even after I put the picture through a filter.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Deep Fried French Toast

When we were little girls my mother found the recipe for Deep Fried French Toast in a magazine.  Not only did she find it, she made it for us.  Every year she would ask us what we wanted for breakfast on Christmas morning and we always answered Deep Fried French Toast.  Fast forward to about 7 years ago when I surprised my own family one Christmas morning with Deep Fried French Toast.  Guess what they want every year.  You got it. It is an artery clogging, heart attack inducing, wonderful, fatty, crispy goodness that I am going to share with you.

 Deep Fried French Toast

1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs well beaten
Texas Toast bread

vegetable oil or Crisco shortening for frying

Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil to 350 degrees in a heavy bottomed pan or electric skillet.  Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, milk and eggs together in a bowl. Slice the bread in half.  When the oil is hot, dip the bread in the batter, coating both sides well then place carefully in the oil.  Let it fry on one side for 2-3 minutes, check to see if they are browning.  When they look pretty then turn over and fry the other side.  Place them on a warm plate covered with paper towels.

Serve with any number of syrups:  maple, berry, Mrs. Butterworth and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  Eat them while they are hot and crunchy.

The ingredients

The batter
The bread

My ugly worn out hands dipping the bread in the batter

Put it in the oil carefully!  Don't splash.
Put in several at a time.

When they look pretty on one side turn them over

Eat with copious amounts of bacon, syrup and powdered sugar.