First off…the easy pickle recipe that I mentioned yesterday. I’ve had a request to share it, so here it is….they are tangy because of the sugar in the mix but I like them. Kids gave them a thumbs down, hubby and I liked. Maybe more for adult palates? Possibly.
Easy Dill Pickles, courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen
1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
2.25 cups water
1.75 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 Tb. salt
8 Kirby cucumbers (these are the small, pickling cukes…I just used the big one from my CSA and cut them into spears)
1 cup chopped fresh dill
Toast the mustard seeds and fennel seeds in a large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the water, vinegar, sugar, garlic and salt and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Combine the hot brine, cucumbers and dill in a large bowl and let cool to room temp, about 1 hour.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled and flavorful, about 10 hours. Drain well before serving.
*The pickles can be refrigerated in their liquid, in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.
So today!…I’ve noticed on Facebook posts and in little conversations here and there that Summer Has Hit. Read: Moms are starting to go a little crazy.
It is late July after all. We’re about six weeks into this vacation with about five more to go.
I was telling my husband last night that I was feeling a little “kidded out”, to be honest. Doing A LOT of chauffeuring lately (camps, back and forth, more camps, playdates, birthday parties, etc.) and kid-entertaining…mind you, all of it good. The kids who have been here have been absolutlely wonderful and I certainly love my own kids to death and beyond. But somehow, in my mind (La-La Land?), I thought that when summer came, I would have more free time. Not as many schedules and oooo, I can do some of these projects around the house that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. What the heck was I thinking and how is it that I get my hopes up each and every June?
Yes, schedules have been relaxed A LOT since school got out, but there still has been a decent enough amount of “be here, go there” days. Granted, it’s all play. No homework or school projects in sight. Bedtimes have inches towards the late every single night and who can blame us? There’s nothing akin to a school bell to get us up and hello, it doesn’t even get dark until nine. I actually remember being really, really little and going to bed when it was still light out. I also actually remember really, really hating that. No one goes to bed before fireflies in the summer, a cardinal rule around here.
Summer is such a funny time for Moms. At least I find it to be, being a stay-at-home Mom. School is out, the kids are….H.O.M.E. Overall, I love it because I also have the luck of genuinely liking my kids and liking being around them. They do some little camp stuff, but not an overload. We like to view summer as “fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants-time”. The school year is so chaotic and flies at such a frantic pace that I think it’s important to slow down over the summer. Regroup. Recharge. Have ice cream for lunch. Go on adventures. Play mini-golf. Explore. Visit with friends and visit the beach. So it’s a good thing to have them home and be together.
The other thing is….that the kids are H.O.M.E. There are messes in each and every room from the creativity and boredom busting activities. How can I find fault with the fact that our family room has been completely converted into the Gryffindor Common Room (to the point where my husband cannot pass through without giving them “the password”) when it kept them busy and squabble-free for about three, count ’em THREE, hours? I cannot. How can I find fault with the rubbery water balloon schrapnel that is littering our driveway and back lawn when it’s those balloon kept them cool, amused and (again) squabble-free for an afternoon? I cannot.
But, frankly, the constant “creative projects” are starting to make me twitch a little bit. I’m trying to strike a happy medium…if the Gryffindors sit there for two days, what’s the big deal? I mean, really? If we don’t have any company coming over at the moment, who’s it hurting? It’s not. It just gets a little challenging navigating the minefield of Legos when all I want to do is bring the laundry downstairs. Or simply vacuuming up the beach sand when I have to dismantle an American Girl doll picnic for four first. That’s all, no biggie.
When I was telling my husband last night that I was a little frustrated (it’s taken me three days to sand and put one coat of KILZ on a bench I want to repaint. The one and only house project I’ve managed so far this summer) because I wasn’t getting anything done, he wisely and gently pointed out….hey, when the kids are in school, you are looking forward to summer AND…now that it’s out…are you really thinking about school starting again?
The kids are home and you have the messes, the zillion “MOM?” questions a day (I counted no fewer than fifteen while I was eating a little bowl of cereal the other morning. It was actually comical), the heat and did I say the kids are always around? BUT, you also have the relaxed game nights, the reading on the porch, the day trips, the time at the beach sharing a sandy lunch together.
Oh my. Arg…but I’m laughing as I say that. That grass, it’s always greener on the other side. You can’t win, can you?
Believe me, I’m loving this summer. I feel privileged to be home with my kids and making good summer memories with them.
I’d just love to finish this dang bench.