Unlike her mama, she actually enjoys wandering into the kitchen to throw something together just for fun. I know that plenty of folks unwind in the kitchen by making goodies for their families and friends, but I am just not one of them. I do it, but it is not the thing I think of and turn to when I want to have a good time. I head for my art and knitting.
So, we were talking about summer plans the other day and it dawned on me to mention to her that she could bake us things all summer long. To all of our delight, she was thrilled!
I confess that a teeeeeny part of me has to let go of that mystique that "all good things come from Mama." I have been doing this for 12 1/2 years now and I do love being the one to feed my family yummy dishes and treats that they cheer to have and that they now connect with tradition and memory.
But part of that memory will be me passing on all that I know in the kitchen to my girls. A few days ago I sat them down as I planned my menu for the week and explained why I chose certain meals for certain days: We'll eat this meal first, because it's got corn on the cob and you need to eat that quickly so that it doesn't get starchy and stays nice and sweet... The zucchini dish will be next, because the zucchini is fresh too... We usually have one day of soup a week; we'll put it here... Let's not have two days with pasta too close to each other... We're busy this day, so we'll have an easy meal... and on we went.
The girls will be helping me with one meal a week just as they did two summers ago. This year, though, they will be making copies of recipes they like the best and will begin filling their own recipe binders. They will definitely include the incredible peanut butter chocolate chip cookies Maia's making in the photos here from The Joy of Vegan Baking! I'm putting that one in my recipe book too!
It didn't take me too long to decide that me not spending an extra hour in the hot summer kitchen was really quite okay with me. Both Maia and I were more than satisfied with the plan of her perusing the cookbook for treats, coming up with a list, and I would buy the ingredients. Especially when I can use that time sketching in my art journal or playing with my yarn!
And that leads us to some of my summer plans. We'll not be traveling anywhere this summer, as we are still trying to move forward with our plans to save and move back home to Minnesota. A lot of my time will be spent de-cluttering closets and under cabinets. The craft closet, for instance, has bags of embroidery projects, bags of fabric, puzzles and games and a shelf of pet supplies. As it turns out, my girls are not nearly as crafty as I am and so those bags of scrap fabric that I have saved for rainy days are not viewed as a bag full of possibility, but instead, just a bag full of fabric that needs to be moved every time we open the closet door! :) So, out it goes. And the same will go for things pushed under the t.v. cabinet, into the coat closet, etc.
For fun, I have started a new art journal and will be filling its pages with an odd assortment of things that make me smile. I've written a story that I plan to illustrate and we'll see where that goes. It's just for fun - no pressure.
I'm unravelling another two sweaters - white and off-white - for dyeing. So far, the one sweater I've started on is actually coming apart pretty easily. A few sweaters I've tried recently have been nightmares of frustration and it's tempting to quit trying, but it's just golden when it does work and I know I can make something for so little and be recycling at the same time.
Between these things and planning and organizing for our next school year, they ought to keep me pretty busy and pretty frugal all summer long. I plan to begin posting some of my art journal work here from time to time and will certainly post other projects we're doing. Do you have summer plans in and around your home? What do you do for inexpensive enjoyment? Hope you're all having a great week, and here's to summer!