Sunday, February 12, 2012

This Sunday Morning..

The house is very quiet, all my lovelies, big and small, are sleeping in. The snow is falling softly, it looks like we finally got about 4 inches, which is at least enough to play in a bit.

Such a peaceful morning...wishing you a peaceful week!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Make Ahead Meal Inspiration Sought....

Mondays are our marathon day, starting with dropping Helena at school (she's in a 2 day a week homeschool enrichment program, which she loves, and which meets her socials needs) in the morning, then I'm home to work and care for Lucy and get as much done paperwork-wise as possible, then pick Helena up at 3, not enough time to go home, so we run errands or relax at the YMCA until her karate class at 5, which usually starts closer to 5:15 and runs over until about 6:30, getting us home at about 7:15 by the time she changes and we make the drive.

Oh, there are so many times when I have wanted to cancel this Monday evening karate class, but I can't bring myself to do it. She loves it, is learning so much and gaining so much self-esteem and sense of personal power from it, that it seems worth the sacrifice. So how to make Mondays work better?

We've tried eating out, which is less than desirable for the budget, but seemed worth a shot. But for whatever reason, we don't seem to get to bed any earlier that way.....chalk it up to the inevitable after dinner sillies (energy burst) that kids seem to get, but we seem to need wind down time either way. So being home is actually better.

Therefore, I'm in search of ideas for make ahead meals that are either ready in the crock pot or that Patrick can pop in the oven so we can sit down and eat when we get home.

This week I'm making a chicken pot pie (a favorite of Helena's), but I could sure use some more ideas, any thoughts?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How Coffee Was Discovered: A Mama's Fable

This morning, after a broken, full moon-ey, night of sleep, where are 3 of the other family members took turns waking me (tiny one, to eat, the medium one, for bathroom help, twice!, the large one, moaning in pain, battling a kidney stone, poor thing), I stumbled downstairs and was, as usual, grateful for the wonders of the coffee bean. I'm equally grateful to the tea leaf, but due to stomach flus and kidney stones, I'm behind on my market trips and we're out of tea. So coffee it is.

It was somewhere, around the third or fourth glorious sip, that it was revealed to me...the discovery of coffee, was something like this:

The Discovery of Coffee: A Mama's Fable by Diana Griffin
There was once cave woman, with a cave husband and 2 cave children. They lived in a cave. Cave woman did not get a lot of good sleep regularly, because cave women have many demands on their time. Cave children need tending, cave husbands, who, when sick, tend to act like the cave children, also require a lot of care. There is food to find, food to cook, and clothing (skins) to clean.

One morning, cave woman woke early and stumbled to the cook fire. Groggily she added some sticks to the embers, and began to cook the morning meal.

There were some troublesome beans sitting around that cave woman had gathered, but that were not good to eat. She had tried boiling them, but they were not good to eat that way. She had tried roasting them, but they were quite bitter, and the children especially would not eat them. 

Sleepily, she grabbed these roasted beans by mistake, intending to cook some berries they had gathered the day before in some water to soften them. After a few moments, she realized her mistake, but the aroma from the pot was quite enticing so she continued to cook them for several more minutes. Then she tried the beans. They were still unpleasant to eat, but the liquid was quite tasty, so she removed the beans and drank some.

Suddenly, cave woman was not sleepy any longer. She felt awake, and she smiled. She went and shook cave man and he grumbled and sniffed and rolled over. Then the scent hit his nostrils and he sat up. Cave women eagerly offered cave man some of the liquid and he accepted, first dubiously, then with greater interest.

When the cave children awoke, they thought the liquid smelled nice but tasted nasty. Cave woman and cave man were happy to drink it for themselves, and it soon became a morning ritual they both relied upon.

Moral: All fables have a moral or lesson embedded. This one has two:

1) Good things can come even from sleep deprivation 
2) Necessity truly is the mother of invention, which our ancestors will attest to.

Happy Monday...oh yeah, it's Tuesday!