I’d forgotten how much I enjoy Fridays when school is in session; the relief that comes from knowing we’re only one more 7-8 a.m. busy rush from the weekend, the reprieve from packing lunches, even if only for a few days, and the giddy anticipation of sleeping in on Saturday morning. It also marks the return of “Fun Friday” which takes a hiatus when the kids are out of school (not that we don’t have fun when the kids are home but they don’t think that getting a pedicure or going to the Farmer’s Market or eating lunch doused in fish sauce at the hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese place are things to get ginned up about). Since I didn’t take time to sit down and blog about the daily things this week, the theme for today’s Five is a recap of what happened.
The boys were happy going out the door to begin their last year of middle school. I think it had a little bit to do with seeing their friends and a lot to do with finally getting to experience what it meant to be at the top of the food chain. They came home with reams of paperwork (one of these years I’m just going to scrawl “See Last Year’s Info” and send it back) and the tale of woe that they could no longer update their Instagram accounts at school due to bandwidth problems.
It’s hard to be a middle schooler these days.
After spending the morning at the movies with Heather and her crew (Despicable Me, doesn’t get old), I returned home to continue work on The Great Canning Project of 2013. I have a list of about 30 recipes I want to try this year and since corn is starting to come in season, it meant time to put up corn and potato chowder for the winter.
I had a little bit left over that wasn’t enough to fill the jar so I had a bowl for lunch even though it was a bit warmish outside and it was tasty. I can’t wait for the first chilly day when I can pull a pint from the pantry and heat it up for lunch.
Never do I feel so close to my paternal grandparents as when I’m transferring jars of food to be preserved into a steaming pot of water on the stove and locking the canning lid in place. It connects to my past in ways few activities do and makes the kitchen, admittedly my happy place, an even happier one.
Speaking of things that make me happy, having friends over to visit and share a meal ranks high on the list. Heather, Rebecca and their respective kids came over to visit and have chicken enchiladas for lunch on Wednesday. I love company for whom you don’t need to dress and we had a great time hanging out and catching up. I hadn’t seen Rebecca since she had her baby and it was fun to see how fast little Lucy has grown in just a few short months.
I try to get by Heather’s house once a week because it keeps me sane and we’d laughed on Wednesday that we’d seen each other two days in a row. Well, Thursday morning she texted me at 7:15 to say that she’d left her freezer door open all night and she now had 40 pounds of thawed hamburger meat with which to contend. Can you say “Marathon Cooking Session”?
She went to Walmart with a shopping list an arm long and Ellie (a friend of ours from church) and I showed up at her house with extra pans and food processors and between the three of us we managed to whittle away the pile.
We made taco soup, enchiladas, beef tamale pie, pasta fagioli, several pans of lasagna, burritos, and enough meatballs to survive nuclear winter. What could have been a disaster turned into a fun day with friends and we all agreed that it would be fun to take turns doing this at each other’s house to stock the freezer with make ahead meals.
We also agreed that should we find ourselves without dinner preparations in the next few weeks, we were going to show up at Heather’s house.
The plans for today involve heading back to the Farmer’s Market for the next installment of produce. With all the rain, green beans have been scarce until the second planting comes in. I’m hoping that’s soon. If they aren’t available, I’m buying pickling cucumbers for some bread and butters and another 1/2 bushel of peaches. Craig is out of peach jam (it’s his favorite) and I also want to make more peach butter and some spiced peaches to spoon over pound cake or to stir into a bowl of oatmeal. I also want to gather assorted vegetables for a vegetable dinner tonight. We’ve been eating a little wonky the last few weeks and Craig’s breakfast of leftover Rice-a-Roni and a Honeybun (I kid you not) put me over the edge.
Sounds like fun to me.
Have a nice day.