Saturday, October 18, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: We survived the week

1.  Nat's appointment went very well. I was completely wiped on Thursday, though, and basically spent the day putting on videos and reading Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven, which put me in a very Tang Dynasty mood. I'm so grateful i don't live in Byzantium or Tang China or during the Viking raids or something. I am grateful to be sitting in my nice house with my nice computer surrounded by my nice house, and immaterially surrounded by twenty-first century Canada, wich means health care and roads and no one slaughtering each other in the streets because someone's concubine was insulted.

2. When I visited my parents yesterday I took along Rosemary Sutcliff's The Lantern Bearers, which I probably haven't read since I read it aloud to Geoff lo these many years ago. More ancient history. I love her writing. I wonder if I can get the kids excited about Ancient Britain, or if I should keep beating them into enthusiasm about Egypt and Sumer?

3. When I visited my parents yesterday I asked Mum about a piece of government mail, and she said it had been there a few days. I asked if I should open it, and she said yes. I told her it was a government check (medication rebate), and suggested we go to the bank and deposit it. She agreed that we should do it, and said, "And maybe... I don't know, there's this other thing..." and pulled three Canada Saving Bonds worth over $12,000 AFTER INTEREST from her pocket! So I hurried her out the door and down to the bank and we deposited all the nice money while I hyperventilated about how long she'd been carrying them around and how easily they could have dropped out of her pocket.

4. I've gotten up early because Hallelujah, Elizabeth slept the whole night for the second time in a row, and I am beating my head against the unending wall of meal planning and grocery lists. The complexity, I'm explaining to myself, comes from everyone in the family liking different things, needing to cook for my parents as well as us, and trying to realistically assess how much energy I'm going to have to cook, plus scouring the flyers for bargains. And trying to rein in my instinctive desire to BUY ALL THE THINGS and then sit in the middle of them and weep softly because I feel crowded and overwhelmed. Clearly this is an area where I need to pray more, for discipline and self-control. And for someone else to take over. It was a glorious two weeks when my aunt and uncle were here visiting, and I should have chained my aunt to something so I could keep her.

5. Cute girls playing in the fall.

6. I collected a decent list of meals that can be customizable. By that I mean- provide disparate pieces that the people eating put together and/or choose on their own. I'm (eternally) hoping to reduce meal time arguments. We do taco salad all the time, but I'm going to include:

Build your own salad
Chicken broth with things to stir in/DIY chicken soup
Stir fry or fried noodles broken into components
Build your own rice bowl, which can be Chinese or Korean-esque
Oven fries or hash browns with toppings
The roast sausage and roast veg thing I do but separated into components in different bowls

Also things like subs, which we actually don't do often because it always seems like a pain to have all the ingredients on hand.

7. I just remembered that I promised a few friends I'd start reading Barbara Pym. Good time, especially since I just finished a novel. Which one should I start with?


Jenny said...

Hurray for found money!

lissla lissar said...

Absolutely. Although I'm still hyperventilating about how easy it would have been for her to drop it.

Anonymous said...

Dinner: A Love Story (DALS) has a whole page on "deconstructed dinners":

My suggestions are
- baked potato bar with toppings
- hot dog bar
- nachos

I also in general recommend DALS. They have a pretty down-to-earth take on kids and food.


lissla lissar said...

We're eating a lot of hot dogs. I don't actually mind that. Geoff doesn't like baked potatoes, but I'm thinking I can override that by either doing homefries with toppings or tell him that he has to suck it up.

Anonymous said...

What about something like tomato soup with add-ins like
-chicken and tortilla chips to make tortilla soup
-mini pasta shells
-microwaved veggies for a vegetable soup
-herbs (e.g. basil or cilantro)
-bacon bits or ham
-red or green curry paste and rice


Marjorie said...

Sometimes you need to wait quite a while to know that survival is good. Catching one's breath is better in the short term.

Lately I have been throwing mixed frozen vegs into the rice cooker with spices, ghee and a handful of basmati. The leftovers are good too. Serve with weiners or pulled pork, chicken, beef, beans...