It's the first day of summer vacation today and let me tell you about some things.
Karen and I worked out this morning at 5:30 and then we talked on the phone at 7:45 and the conversation went something like this...
"Hey. What are you doing now?"
"Drinking a cup of coffee and the dishes are done and the laundry is done and the house is clean and the girls aren't up yet and I don't know what to do now. What are you doing?"
"Same. If it was nice out, I'd be in the garden or doing something but this weather isn't working for that...so...ummm...yeah...what do we do with this thing called summer again?"
"Well let's maybe not workout at 5:30 anymore, it leaves a lot of time in the day!"
And then now it's 10:01 in the morning and we have officially talked on the phone four times. We are both really good at having no tasks for a morning. Can you tell?
In one of those phone conversations, we discussed eating raw old fashioned oatmeal with almond milk and cinnamon and how that might be kind of tasty for breakfast. Then I did it. Then I called Karen back to tell her it is indeed tasty. So there you go. Cooking oatmeal is overrated. Dump some almond milk and let it sit for a couple and enjoy!
In other news, it used to be sunny here back at the beginning of May when the grass was still yellow and when I could only read on Sunday mornings because I had an every day job.
I mean, now it's a Tuesday morning and I could be doing this exact same thing. Frizzy hair and all, but no...the weather says no. Also, I believe everyone should still have a sweatshirt quilt their mom and grandma made in the 80s. Those fabrics!
Instead of sun reading, I'm working on pictures and getting all caught up. In the catching up, I ran across this gem. Sunburned face not ready for a picture, frizzy hair (I'm noticing a trend here), and delicious homemade pizza. Again, back when the sun actually shined in the beginning of May.
It was a sauerkraut, ham, and mozzarella number. May I recommend you try it and soon. Cut the ham in little squares so it's not over powering (hey bossy!) and just drain your sauerkraut much in advance so it has to time to do some drying before you slap it on the pizza. Who likes a soggy pizza? No one, that's who.
Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice is the best, especially when someone else squeezes it for you. I will not mention the sun shining there. No I won't.
No surprise here, but Punky's bat skills are running about even with mine at this time; she will surpass me soon. Those kids I tell you.
Oh! How about this? Want to know something fun? Something fun is when I say at night, "Ohhhh I really want to take pictures of those flowers in the sunlight because they were so pretty this morning but I didn't have time." (Side note, this was when I had a J.O.B)
And then looking through my camera the next day to find Billy had taken pictures of them in the morning sunlight. Yes, that is something fun all right. You'd think he knows me well or something.
One more thing to end this jumbled up jargon. If you put birthday candles in a fresh from the oven apple pie, the candles melt and you end up with wax in your pie.
The thunder just boomed and the rain is now coming down, again. Darn if that rain is not a touchy thing, too little is horrible and too much proves to be right up there. We are on the too much side of the line currently and it's an uncontrollable thorn. Today is Memorial Day and my dad's birthday. It should be a day of sunshine and seeding for him, finishing up getting the crops in for another year but that's a scarily long way from reality. It should be a day of sunshine and camping and lake fun for many others, but I have a feeling it's more of a playing cards in the camper kind of day.
The rain. It's a touchy thing.
And it's uncontrollable.
But if there's one thing I know about my dad, even if quite literally it is raining on his parade, he will continue to kick ass. Because it's just what he does. He is a pusher and it was instilled in us from early on to simply do it, to make it work, and figure it out. Like the time an entire bin of oats had turned to maggots in the barn. Yeah that time. When Brother and I were not very old and were cleaning the barn and opened the lid to find maggots, millions of maggots and went running to the shop. Sure we could get Dad to take care of it for us. Only to be met with, "There's the tractor. Go dump in it in the pit."
Make it work and figure it out. Even if it's gross and hard.
So I hope my dad is eating a piece of cake right now with chocolate frosting. Because it's his birthday. And even though it's raining again, the sun will shine eventually. It always does. Dad-o lesson learned.
I mean for goodness sakes, he taught himself to swim this winter after spending the last 55 years with his head only above water. And he plays tennis, which if you would have told me twenty years go that my dad would be playing tennis on a March day down in Arizona, I would have told you when pigs fly but he does and that's pretty cool.
Let's all put ourselves out there and be ridiculously brave, in everything we do and say and how we love ourselves and our neighbors because there is no better way.
I believe we are all naturally born brave, but then somewhere along the way we get scared and listen to those feelings instead. Think of children, from the instant of birth it is a constant game of trying new and learning new and failing and succeeding. Taking first steps and falling over and over. Trying new food only to spit it out or eat it all up. Climbing on the chair to reach the cupboard. Stepping off the curb. Brave. Kids are brave. All the time. And then we have this crazy tendency to thwart the courageous and the risk taking, and to bring up the scariness and the risks of what might happen. Instead of letting happen, or letting not happen. Sometimes it is in the not happening.
And don't even get me started on how much braver children love than we do. They throw themselves into loving, with everything they have. It's so very beautiful.
It's called Buttermilk pie and it's a little bit better than fabulous. I don't know where I first saw it or why I thought, "Hey! I know!" on Saturday morning with my cup of coffee and menu planning, but thought I did. A quick search landed me on Emeril's recipe. I figured Emeril is fairly credible in the cooking realm, so I went for it.
Very easy to make and it's reminiscent of Crème Brulee which is a total win.
But it takes much longer than 25 minutes to bake. I'm not sure who planned that ridiculousness but it is not freaking true. No way is that thing set up in that amount of time, more like double or nothing baby. It was past midnight by the time it came out of the oven and I had a nasty oven rack burn on my hand and was fall over tired. And really, it could have probably baked even a scooch more. But at that point, it was time for it to be over.
Here's the only other bit of advice when it comes to Buttermilk Pie, do not let the filling sit in the crust while the apple pie finishes baking. It was a bit crystal-ish around the edges and my deductive reasoning tells me the sit time was the cause. So, whip it together and pour it in and bake it up right away.
Also, I just looked at the reviews for the recipe and I think doing the extra flour thing and baking it on the bottom rack would probably be a smart idea...next time.
Either way, it's delectable. I served it with real whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and a strawberry. Because it was pretty that's why.
Also, might I add that saying out loud the name Buttermilk Pie to company while standing in the kitchen with a spatula in your hand will make you feel a tad southern and we all know how I feel about that. I have no research behind saying it is from the South but it sure seems fitting. Buttamilk Paa. Say it with me.
This was my kitchen at approximately 11:37 on Saturday night. The reality behind entirely made from scratch pies is not the prettiest.
There's flour all over.
And seventy-eleven flipper things on the counter because the crust is a conundrum to transfer from counter to pie plate. In my world, it takes two people so kudos to those who can do it on their own.
Did I mention there's flour all over? It stays that way until you pull that pie out of the oven late into the night.
But, the next day when four important mommas are being celebrated, it becomes very worth it.
Saturday night, Billy and I spent quality time together. Him chopping vegetables and thinking about marinades and me boiling noodles for a salad and making pies, with some general fluttering about. I tend to do that, it's why things take me so long. We were doing the prep work to have an early lunch here in honor of my mom, his mom, my grandma, and my sister-in-law. I told them all to bring nothing because I wanted them to truly have a day.
Besides, I knew Billy would be a helping and when he helps, things get done. They get done well and with a smile; his kabobs were out of this world delicious. Dad-o and Brother were filled up sufficiently before heading back out to the field to seed. The spring season is go time and I'm so grateful they took the time to come in for a bit and be with us all.
And I'm thinking I could bribe my dad with pie to come here any ol' time, he sure seemed to enjoy it.
I had a moment while standing in my kitchen next to the stove finishing the rice, a moment of I'm to this now. This part. The part where someone is standing across the kitchen finishing sticking the veggies on kabob sticks and my mom is next to me while my dad visits with his mom and they are meeting the other mom and my brother and sister-in-law are on my patio with their kids and my sister should be here but she's out doing her thing with her horse and yeah, this part. This part is good.
The part where my sidewalk is filled with chalk and little feet are running through the spilled bubbles and picking up the blue dust before heading in to run across the floor. Running across my floor to give her grandma a little mischievous grin. My floor. The girl who used to request people put on clean socks before they came in. Times change. In a very good way.
My sister-in-law amazes me. She has a gift for mothering. I could go on and on with all she does but it boils down to this...she lets those little people be exactly who they are. It's simply a gift.
The table stayed pretty for give or take eleven minutes and the house stayed clean for two and a half minutes, but I'm finding out things clean up rather easy.
Within minutes the floors were shined up again and all was put back in order with the hum of the dishwasher running for third time.
I also might have poured a glass of wine somewhere in all of that.
Yes things clean up rather easily. Because they are things. Kids running through spilled bubbles and sidewalk chalk in their socks while they spend time with their family...yes, that's the matters stuff.
The very kind of matters stuff that turns to memories which last forever.