Like being a mom. I don't care how old my kids get, that "mom" instinct will never go away. When one of my kids is unhappy, so am I. And, like all the rest of you moms out there, I want to make it all better - which of course, I cannot. Especially since the kid in question is twenty-five years old.
That would be my youngest son. I'm sure he would be horrified if he knew I was writing about him but odds are in my favor that he never reads this blog. It's kind of like the Facebook thing. I'm amazed at the number of moms I know who have "friended" their kids, mostly so they can keep tabs on them. Problem is, your kids have to "friend" you back, which mine would never do. I actually don't blame them. I mean, how would I feel if my mother attempted to friend me? Three words: NO WAY, Mom!
So in that spirit, it's a pretty good guess that he'll never read this. He is in his third year of a PhD program at a well-known university. He's extremely bright (clearly he got Henry's brains, not mine) and extremely driven. As in he never stops. He may have gotten his father's brains, but he obviously inherited my inability to say "no." (and he did NOT inherit Henry's lack of hair!)
He's involved in everything from organizing programs to teaching to studying for comps. He is a serious runner, too. He seldom gives himself any time off and sometimes it gets to him. I could hear it in his voice on the phone the other day (a rarity, since communication with him is sometimes an email, but more often a text, which is why I had to learn how or I would never have any contact with him!) He sounded really, really stressed.
What's a mom to do? I would happily jump in my car and drive the 6+ hours to his apartment but a) he would probably kill me and b) he has to solve his own problems. Logically, I know that - but it still kills me.
My solution? A big box of whole wheat biscuits (his favorite), baked last night and FedExed to him today. He likes them because he thinks they're healthy, so we're not going to tell him about the shortening, white flour and sugar they contain. Or the butter at the end. They're actually pretty good though (okay, maybe not as good as biscuits made with lard and White Lily flour) and they hold up well for shipping.
Here's the recipe:
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits (adapted from Cooks.com)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached flour
4 T. granulated sugar
4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
6 T. shortening (chilled or frozen), diced
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 T. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Whisk whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add shortening and use your fingers to incorporate into flour mixture until it becomes crumbly, like a streusel topping. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the butermilk and blend until a soft dough forms.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead briefly so mixture is well-blended. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough about 1-inch thick. Cut into rounds, using a 3-inch round cutter. Do not twist or turn cutter as you cut biscuits out.
Place biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment, spacing about 1-inch apart. Brush tops with melted butter and bake 15-20 minutes until golden.
Yield: about 14 3-inch biscuits
These are not as tender as traditional biscuits made with white flour, so they are best served warm (to reheat, wrap in aluminum foil and place in a 350-degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until just warmed through).
And when you box them up to send to your stressed-out kid, remember to bake up some chocolate chip cookies and pack them into the box also. I have never known my son to pass up homemade chocolate chip cookies (without nuts, of course), even if he won't admit it!