Friday, August 8, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Culinary Experiments, Swim Lessons, and Fighting Potions

My kids recently acquired a whole bunch of sidewalk chalk.  Earlier this week they scurried outside after breakfast and got busy (still in their pajama’s, mind you).  I cleaned up the breakfast dishes and then peeked out.  A small puddle from last night’s rain had crept into their artwork, and now they were experimenting with the mixture.  It seemed pretty harmless.  I went back inside to do whatever it is I was doing, and not two minutes pass by when I witnessed this:

Go directly to the tub.  Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.  Cute and terrifying at the same time.

After a couple of spats and consequent time-outs, my daughter Elisabeth announced she had created a “fighting potion”, which according to her is a vaccine against squabbles with her twin sister Margaret.  Apparently it is purple…no, pink and purple, she says….and she’s made a reserve of it in the freezer.  I think she should sell it on Amazon to married couples everywhere.

In our area of Pennsylvania the corn is high, high, high right now.  A local farmer is selling some of his sweet corn for a good price, and it is deeelicious.  So I got the bright idea to buy a whole bunch, as in 50 ears.  Fresh produce + locally grown = hero mama.  I excitedly said to myself, “Yay!  I can cut the kernels off the cobs, and store them in the freezer.  This is what 50 ears looks like in my small kitchen:

And then I said, “Oh my goodness, I have to cut the kernels off the cobs, and store them in the freezer.”  Because I have so much time during my day to tediously collect kernels from 50 ears of corn.  I’ll do that in between hosing off the chalk/water paste off my kids.

Culinary adventures at the Lynch household:
1) Kale chips.  Yes, kale!  They were crispy, salty, with only a hint of leafy green vegetable flavor.  And they are SO easy to make.  Not convinced?  One of the twins ate half the bowl.   
2) Homemade cheese.  We have a cheese making kit, but I’ve only used it once before.  It is a bit of a process (for when I am not cutting corn from 50 cobs or washing chalky paste from my kids), so I hesitated to do it again (the instructions say 30 minutes, but it’s a flat out lie).  But one of my girls REALLY wanted to help Mama in the kitchen.  So I pulled out the kit, and we started together.  By the second step she was already off and playing with her toys, leaving me to change my curds and whey into mozzarella.  I’d say the presentation was a bit off (it looked like silly putty), but it actually tasted pretty good.  I mixed it with some fresh garden tomatoes and a little bit of olive oil and vinegar, and the silly putty glop was actually presentable.  I probably won’t be making any cheese anytime soon, though.

The twins have been taking swim lessons for a few weeks now.  Margaret has been progressing really well, but Elisabeth has yet to let go of her death grip on the pool wall.  It’s been frustrating to say the least, and mostly for Elisabeth.  She knows what she has to do, but she is paralyzed by her own fear.  As we pulled into the parking lot for her most recent lesson, I sent up a quick prayer through the intercession of St. Sebastian, patron saint of athletes, that she would have the courage to make it into the water and let go of the wall.  Well, she ended up screaming for 15 minutes straight, and I’m pretty sure most of the parents were secretly judging.  And then suddenly in the last 5 minutes of the lesson, it was as if someone had flipped the switch.  She joined her class and with a big smile, and announced “I’m going to jump in!”  And she did (with a little help from the instructor)!  Twice!!  We’ve got four more lessons left, so if you could offer up a prayer for the little darling, we would all appreciate it…

I’m going to go ahead and brag about my kids for a minute.  As a true New Englander, I’ll say my kids are wicked smaaaht.  I’ve started to read the Chronicles of Narnia to the twins while their younger brothers are napping in the afternoons, and they are really getting into it.  A chapter book, as in no pictures!  At first I was just proud that they had the attention span to sit and listen, and I was tickled that at the end of a chapter they would say “Keep reading!”  But what really made me beam with pride was the immediate connection that Elisabeth made between Aslan and Jesus Christ. 
E: “Is Aslan good?”
Me: Yes.
E: Does he know everything?
Me: Yes.
E: Like Jesus?
Me: (Totally impressed) YES!!!! 
Of course, as my husband pointed out, perhaps Elisabeth’s connection says more about the simplicity of the Gospel than it does her intellect.  (She’s still wicked smaaht though.)

The twins are starting preschool this year.  Even though it will only be for two days a week, they are pumped.  We got the welcome packet in the mail today with the orientation schedule and arrival procedures, and then it hit me: school starts in three weeks.  The start of school means seeing much less of my teacher husband, and our game of 2 on 4 will change to 1 on 4.  Gulp. 

Thanks to Jen for hosting 7 Quick Takes at!

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