Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Interpretations

Back in 2001, we were lucky enough to view a city-wide art gallery called the J. Doe project. Over 100 six-foot tall fiberglass body forms were decorated by local artists then displayed throughout the community. It was fun and interesting and interactive. My sons and I totally embraced it. Maps were available, so many mornings that summer we would look at a map together, pick out locations and set out on our “Doe-hopping” adventure.  Along the way we were treated to an explanation of the process of making the forms when one that we were looking at happened to be inside the lobby of the business that had produced them. More than once we met artists on-site, who spoke to us about the inspiration for their particular design. We spent all summer interpreting others we had seen and picking out our favorites. We saw over 50 of them.

The most interesting aspect of that whole experience was in seeing the differences in all of our interpretations, our individuality in terms of perspectives.


Magic Carpet J Doe - BakingInATornado.com
J. Doe & the Magic Carpet
Mary Zicafoose, Artist

At the end of the summer I found out that I could buy 12 inch tall undecorated plaster J. Doe forms. I purchased 2 and we celebrated the end of the “Summer of the Doe” by letting the kids decorate their own. They are still on display in my home:


J Doe Miniatures - BakingInATornado.com
Colorful Doe & Skateboarder Doe
decorated by my boys

Parents become masters of interpreting what our babies are trying to tell us non-verbally. In later years we try to interpret what they are telling us verbally. Who but me knew that “addle” was water?

As someone who cooks and bakes a lot, interpretation plays a big role in how I make meals and treats that my family will enjoy. I take a recipe and add, subtract and switch out ingredients according to what my family likes. My Turkey Dinner Casserole is actually an interpretation of Chicken Divan that I put together one April years ago with leftover turkey I had frozen in December.


Turkey Dinner Casserole - BakingInATornado.com
Turkey Dinner Casserole
Turkey Dinner Casserole - BakingInATornado.com


I have been challenged with explaining interpretation to one son who could not do it instinctively. Having a sarcastic Mom can be misleading for him, and frustrating for me. Conversations would frequently go something like this:

Older son: “Mom, can I have a pop?”
Me: “No, dinner’s in a half an hour, no soda right now.”
Younger Son: “Mom, can I have one?”
Me: “Sure, I think you should have two.”
Younger son: “Oh, good” as he runs off with a can of soda in each hand . . . and I go chasing after him.

And then there’s the teenage years. In these years interpretation has a whole new  . . . well . . . interpretation. Whatever I say is construed to mean whatever they want  to hear. Whatever they say could mean anything at all. Like this recent conversation while I was watching the Red Sox and trying to talk one of the boys into watching with me.

Me: “Come watch the Red Sox with me.”
Son: “No”.
Me: “I need you to spend some time with me, come watch.”
Son: “No.”
Me: “What if I said I would cry if you don’t spend some time with me.”
Son: “I’m fine with that.”

I could use some help, but I’m still hoping there’s another way to interpret that . . .

Baking In A Tornado

PS: Interpretations was originally published as a Guest Post at Being Me and Other Things on 8-8-12


Turkey Dinner Casserole
                                                                            ©www.BakingInATornado.com            
 
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
2 cups rice of your choice; white, brown, long grain
½ cup cranraisins
Approximately ¾ pound cooked asparagus
Approximately 1 pound cooked turkey, chopped
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP flour
Salt, pepper, paprika to taste
1 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup cheese of your choice, I use parmesan
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
 
Directions:
*Lightly grease a 9 X 13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Cook the rice as you normally would, adding the cranraisins at the end.
*Spread the rice into the bottom of your baking dish. Cover with a layer of cooked asparagus, then layer on the chopped cooked turkey.
*Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, salt, pepper and paprika and continue whisking until it turns brown.
*While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in the milk. Heat and mix until it starts to thicken. Whisk in the sour cream or cheese. Shut off heat but leave pan on the burner and mix until the cheese melts.
*Pour the sauce over the turkey layer of your casserole. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, then paprika.
*Cover with foil and bake for a half an hour. Uncover and cook for 15 minutes more or until it bubbles and is hot throughout.


26 comments:

  1. Interpretation is never an easy thing when you're around food. There's just too many awesome ways to twist things up! That's why there are so many amazing recipes like this one flying around the Internet! :)

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    1. Thanks, Becca. This is a great way to use holiday leftovers and it so easily fills that craving for a turkey dinner months after the holidays are over.

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  2. I love one-dish meals and Hubby loves turkey dinners. I see a match made in heaven!

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    1. I do hope you try this one and if so, let me know what you think.

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  3. So your boys also have a sense of humor. Darn them!

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  4. WOW!! I bet that exhibit was amazing!!!!
    I think interpretation was MUCH MUCH MUCH easier when they are little. The older they get, the harder it is... SIGH....

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    1. I can't tell you how much fun we had that summer. We all had our favorites, we loved hearing from the artists. Great memories.

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  5. I would have loved to go on a scavenger hunt through the city, looking for those John Does. What a great memory for you and the boys! And Karen, the casserole sounds amazing, especially the cranraisins...genius! Loved this post.

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    1. This was seriously such a fun summer. And I truly loved seeing which J Does really spoke to which of the boys.

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  6. LOVE those Does! Our city had a similar project, but with buffalo forms. (We do live in Canada!) I absolutely love the interpretations!
    We are an uber-sarcastic family. Our inlaws and family graft-ons struggle. We are hoping they figure it out . . . sometime . . .

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    1. I know many cities did a project similar to this. I'm pretty sure one did cows too. Doesn't really matter what the form is, they're just so much fun to see.

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  7. This looks so delicious. I totally want your leftovers ... were there any? ;)

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  8. At this age it is likely the only thing that will work is bribery. Bribery can actually be a good thing.
    I shamefully bribed all four of mine when they were teens. I bribed them to get good grades, not to do drugs and not to get pg.
    I might have said sit and watch with me and we will order pizza or watch with me and I'll take you to the mall tomorrow. Lol...it worked for me.

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    Replies
    1. Very smart strategy. Sure wish we had this discussion like 15 years ago.

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  9. So cool! That you got your own statues and had the kids decorate them. Sounds wonderful. I also, interpret recipes, in fact, often, at a restaurant I'll be having a conversation with myself trying to figure out what's in it and how it was prepared. Other guests think I'm a bag lady talking to myself. They don't know that I eat VERY well. It's the 'artist' in us I think. Love the blog btw!

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    1. I do the same thing with meals, try to figure out how it was prepared and what I'd do to change it up. So much fun.

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  10. I love the statues, they are so much fun! It fun how kids change as they grow up. Too bad we can't keep them little for a longer time.

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    1. Yes, such great memories of a really fun summer.

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  11. The statues look fun.
    Cranraisins here in Australia are called Craisins.
    I bake them in sugar cookies as a tart way to cut the sweetness a bit.
    Stir them into my morning porridge too.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they have so many uses. My son eats them as a snack and I add them to salads.

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  12. LOL - I was thinking the same thing about leftovers. I bet that was delish!

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    1. It really is, and instead of rice I've used stuffing before too.

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  13. Interpretations are crazy sometimes and you give some great examples of that for sure. They are definitely based on our perspectives which can be compiled of so many things!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and sometimes, like with art, it's just a matter of what speaks to us.

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