Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's a Holiday Weekend and You'll Have Fun Whether You Want To or Not

It's not always joy and peace and beauty and truth. Sometimes, we're sitting in a living room littered with neglected toys, watching annoying shows on Netflix and the kids are starving ALL THE TIME and we have to come up with healthful snacks and sometimes apples and cucumbers and cheese sticks suck. 

Welcome to our Friday evening.
The children were tired, hungry and cranky: the trifecta of doom. I promised them that we were going to have a fun picnic of delicious pizza on a farm and everything would be OK. We'll just wait until Laura comes home and watch the millionth episode of "Shake it up Chicago" and then we'll go. I promise.
Apparently, Laura and her crew had to plant a giant Sequoia the size of the Eiffel Tower, because it was taking them forever and a year to be done with it. I ran out of snacks and patience and the cranky got crankier and I started drinking wine on an empty stomach because what other option did I have?

Finally, Laura came home around six thirty, which is around tomorrow in kid-time. All the snacks were depleted. Fiona was still craving frozen Red Baron pizza and whining about how she could have had two slices by now and why do we have to go to a farm to eat? Her life is so HARD. 

But I was not going to let the grumps get in the way of my idyllic vision of the Pizza on the Farm scenario. I packed the half empty bottle of wine and some utensils and we were on our way to Hawkins Family Farm. And we were going to have fun, dammit.

Cyd found a few barn cats and was content chasing them around.

The pizzas are baked in a wood-fired brick oven and feature locally-sourced, all natural ingredients. They were delicious.

First bite. She's still cranky.

Things are looking up.

No more crankiness here.

Finally, joy.

Something supernatural is chasing Laura. The truth is out there, people.

Where has my baby gone?

The wide open spaces of nature are unquestionably therapeutic. Sometimes, you just need to get out there and every shred of stress dissipates. Pizza also helps.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Quiche, Hope, and Rainbows

People are always asking me for my spinach quiche recipe and I've always blown them off, because I don't know. I throw eggs and cream and cheese together, pour it in a crust and bake it until it's done. Sometimes, I use sour cream and/or half and half. Sometimes, I use milk. Other times, when I'm feeling decadent, I use heavy cream. I can tell if the egg to dairy ratio is right by the way the batter looks. It's more a guess than a science.

Finally, after all these years of winging it, I've taken the time to measure stuff and take notes. I did it for you so basically, you owe me.

6 eggs
1 1/4 cup of half and half
1/3 cup of sour cream
1 container of Boursin
1 cup of shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 tsp of salt
a dash of pepper
a dash of nutmeg

1. Beat the eggs and add the half and half and cheeses. You can use any cheese. I usually make it with just Swiss, but Boursin adds a ton of flavor. If using Boursin, just crumble it in.

2. Add the spinach, or any other ingredient you want (bacon?)
3. Season to taste and pour in your crust. I used a pre-made crust but you shouldn't do this if you want to be taken seriously.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1.25 hours or until set. Check it after an hour.
You're welcome.
On Saturday, we went to Indianapolis for the PTA Reflections Award Luncheon. We missed the Canterbury School garage sale for this. Parenting is mainly about sacrifice. 

Fiona won the Award of Excellence for Literature for a short story she wrote, titled, "Liz and the Big Race". It's your classic and heartwarming tale of the underdog girl who wants to run in the so called "big race" despite the fact that she is smaller than the other runners. The heroine is bullied by the other kids but she perseveres and, of course, WINS THE RACE! In the end, the bullies apologize and Liz and her mom go out for ice cream to celebrate. I wouldn't be surprised if this wins the Caldecott award some day.

Sometimes, I wonder if I place too much emphasis on academic achievement. Am I one of those "Tiger Moms"? I hope not. I hope she doesn't need the medals for a feeling of self worth just as I hope I don't need the medals to prove myself as a good parent. All these hopes aside, her achievements fill me with such incredible pride, but it is just a sliver of the pride I feel for her as the person she has become. Hopefully, she recognizes this as well. (There's a lot of hope in this paragraph. I hope one day to be a better writer with a wider range of synonyms at my disposal.) 
I have no idea who the two women are. I think they're important Indiana PTA people.

 We stopped by Sol Fest at Fox Island on Sunday.
Kids seriously love getting their faces painted. They will happily wait in line for hours (actually, 45 minutes) for this experience. Cyd had picked out a pink princess mask design. When it was finally her turn she pointed to her selection and told the face painter, "also, I like rainbows". Because of course she does. Needless to say, she was quite pleased with how it turned out.

Cyd doesn't really know how to pose for photos. Standing still is not her thing.
Fiona, on the other hand, has learned there's no escaping the posed photo with scenic background.

Do they give out medals for being the most adorably sweet sisters?