Is it true that “No News is Good News?” This week, our interactions with Mom were difficult and depressing. We were unable to connect emotionally with her via the video chat, though she looked well and was certainly responsive to the staff who tried to coax her to interact with us.
When we expressed our frustration to the director of Mom’s facility, she invited us to once again meet with Mom outside in the facility courtyard. The August heat is unbearable, though, so I wrote back to her that we’d wait for cooler weather to interact in person. The director responded that perhaps this Corona crisis would be over by then. As if.
And so we are in a holding pattern. I think my dad is reacting more emotionally than I am to this state of affairs. It is an acknowledgment that Alzheimer’s is indeed claiming more and more of Mom. When we call to talk to my oldest son and his two boys, we understand what a difference an interactive call can be to the psyche. The baby, 9-months-old, is curious about our faces, while the four-year-old actively converses with us. I have made the parallel before to Mom’s shutting “up like a telescope” to the kids’ phenomenal growth and development. It could not be more apparent in these last few months.
No news is just news in this case. I wish it were more positive.
Cooking what you know is easy on the soul. Lose yourself in something complicated or a dish you can make blindfolded. When I knew my soldier son would be home for dinner, my daughter and I decided to make pizza. I haven’t made pizza in about a year, but I used to make it weekly when the kids were young. It’s definitely a dish that is easier to make with assistance. The difficulty is preparing all the elements in advance so that you’re ready to construct the pizza in a timely manner.
When I make pizza, I usually make the sauce as well, but I bowed to my daughter’s pressure to use a prepared sauce. Definitely less work. And still tasty. I doubled all the ingredients to make two pizzas.
1½ tsp dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
3 cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup yellow cheese, grated
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
½ cup olives, sliced (if you’re Israeli)
260 grams / 9 oz prepared pizza sauce
Proof yeast in bowl with sugar and warm water. When it starts to fizz, add flour and salt. Mix then knead together until dough is formed and all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Let rise up to an hour (half an hour in a pinch). Meanwhile, ready sauce, cheeses and vegetables. Punch down dough to remove any air bubbles, then roll out thin with a rolling pin to a size larger than the pan you are using. Drape rolled dough on the pan then roll edges to form crust. Brush sauce on dough surface, add cheese and vegetables, then bake at 425° F / 200° C for 25 minutes.
Photo by Liora Green