Time Can’t Wash Us Off

Sitting here eating a homemade muffin filled with homemade strawberry jam. “Did you grow the strawberries yourself?” wondered my mom when I gave her some of the muffins. Well, no, but they were Jersey strawberries. A little bit of June in November. Here’s the recipe. I cranked these out yesterday because I was bound and determined to do something with my homemade strawberry jam that’s been sitting in the freezer. No one seems to want to eat the jam on bread or toast. The kids wouldn’t eat the muffins yesterday but I tossed one in Gemma’s lunch today so we’ll see. I used whole wheat pastry flour and demerara sugar, and I didn’t add the butter/sugar/cinnamon topping. I am eating mine with a smidge of butter spread on it, though. It’s too bad we can’t eat peanut butter in this house because I’m sure it would be great as the J to a PB.

Last week was a home run for cooking, or maybe like a home run that a fan interferes with and so the ball comes back in the park and creates confusion:

Monday: Spaghetti Pie. I can’t find the recipe link now but there are lots of recipes out there for this. Basically, a way to use up the leftover spaghetti and meatballs from Sunday. With some mozzarella cheese added. It basically is THE SAME THING AS spaghetti and meatballs. But would anybody eat it? Nooooo.

And it’s not that they were tired of spaghetti, because they ate the leftover spaghetti that I didn’t put into the pie.

Tuesday: Chicken nuggets, egg noodles, green beans sauteed with mushrooms. Green beans were frozen from the summer farmer’s market. Currently we have a rule that you have to eat at least two of things on the table at dinner if you want to have your choice (within reason) of “snack” at 7 pm. So you can guess which one they didn’t eat. My kids are so picky that sometimes this rule works to my advantage, in that someone will opt for the vegetable because they hate rice, or whatever. But not always. I may have to revisit it.

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Wednesday: Homemade waffles, with sausage. Crowd-pleaser. I forgot to use whole wheat pastry flour for the waffles, and I chickened out of adding pumpkin because I just didn’t want to hear any complaints. We ate the leftovers for breakfast; Gemma added homemade whipped cream and strawberries.

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Thursday: Pork chops (local), canned corn, mashed potatoes (local), carrots in a honey glaze (hyperlocal — picked right before eating). I was the only one who ate the carrots. “Your loss,” I told them. They were sooo good.

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A four-burner blazer

And on the sixth day, the Lord decreed that all moms who cooked Sunday through Thursday get to order pizza.

Yesterday was Halloween. Merriment reigned. Frugality kept its head up. I made Sebastian spend his own money for the mask he wanted, simply because… I knew he would do it. And we had other masks he liked, but he just wanted a new one. Plus I had to shell out $17 for a Black Panther mask, and another $14 for a Black Panther T-shirt, for Aidan. See, when he started telling me a while ago that he wanted to be Black Panther, I didn’t realize this was a semi-major character and that actual costumes exist. I thought this was going to be like when he wanted to be Shy Guy (?) and we would have to make the costume. So by the time I realized my mistake… there were no costumes left because it was October 30. And Aidan himself wasn’t really thinking about it til the last minute either. It was just a mess. On the plus side, he can actually get more use out of the T-shirt.

Gemma wanted to be a witch, and she wanted to wear the same costume that I put together when she was a witch in the talent show in the spring. Sweet.

They weren’t allowed to wear masks to school, so we had slightly different costumes for school.

Sebastian’s mask “bleeds.” It has this tube of blood and a heart that you squeeze to make it bleed. He and Aidan had a great time freaking everybody out with it. (See the little girl in the last picture?) Worth the $20.

***

I have been thinking a lot lately about all the little moments of this life. Sometimes after I publish a post here, I feel like all the writing about food and garden was just me clearing my throat, trying to get at the real stuff, but then the post is too long and I stop.

Like when the kids head off to school, on their own now. I don’t get out of my jammies. It’s bittersweet that they are old enough to do that. It’s not so much that I am grateful that I don’t have to walk them. It’s just that they are healthy and happy and together.

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I’m grateful for the warmth of the heater and the quiet of this old house, and the beauty of the old wood floors in the morning sunlight, as I pad across them picking up all the things the kids have left in their wake.

I’m grateful to not have to get up and go to an office. I’d rather never have a dishwasher again. I’d rather get rid of my car (stay tuned).

I’m grateful for the ever-prolific tomato plants, and their spicy green smell. I will miss them when the frost comes.

I love reading to Gemma and Sebastian at night. Sebastian can read quite well, and I can see Gemma trying to get the key in the lock, looking at words with wonder and feeling joyful when she sees one she knows. And Aidan, who has never liked fiction, seems to be really enjoying Judy Blume and Encyclopedia Brown now. He came to me and told me with pride how he figured out one of the EB mysteries without looking at the answer. 🙂

I’m even grateful for food shopping. Sometimes going to Wegmans is a real pleasure. To be there by myself and have time to think about what to buy, to be inspired by what’s there and all the good smells. And sometimes it’s not, but… I’m grateful today to have pushed food shopping off til tomorrow!

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Maybe you should just watch this:

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