I am pretty sure that my Wacky Wednesday posts will be migrating over to another blog that I started before starting this one. Honestly, two blogs is too much. And while this blog originally provided a nice deadline and inspiration each week, it has been hard to maintain the past few months. Yes, we do still do Wacky Wednesday and some of them are really fun and I want to share them. But sometimes I’d rather just write about what else is going on in our lives. Partly to share with other people. But mostly writing about it helps me chew on my thoughts and feelings about it. And while I could use a pen and paper this is just so much easier. And when you are a busy working Mom something has to give. Details to come as that unfolds…
So, back to Wacky Wednesday:
I have enjoyed taking ECFE since my kids were babies. A program unique to Minnesota it focuses on children ages birth to 5 years of age and provides a structured environment for kids and parents to explore education and parenting and the range of topics in between. Parents are kid’s first educators. It is a big job. And it is wonderful to explore it in a place where there are both laughter and tears flow easily in a supportive and understanding environment.
And I swear I this is all relevant to Wacky Wednesday…
This week’s ECFE topic was siblings.
The parent class shared some ideas about how to build good relationships between your kids. Things like taking pictures of one another playing together and creating shared experiences and creating opportunities for them to make something together.
And so that IS what I am thinking about for Wacky Wednesday this week!
Sometimes in the hectic pace of the past few months it would have been easier to skip WW entirely. Except that both of the kids look forward to it. And feel a sense of ownership in it. And it gives us all a chance to laugh at ourselves. And learn something: Like the week I made all dishes that were completely unrelated and had no theme and THAT was theme of Wacky Wednesday. Except that the kids both came up with several creative ideas that did connect the foods to one another and thus making my theme obsolete. So, every week there is a gold opportunity for me to create a shared memory for my kids.
So, one theme for Wacky Wednesday this week we are going to have foods that BOTH siblings like to eat:
- Cheese & Black Olive Pizza
Okay… yes, I see there is another theme going there but it is totally non-intentional.
And then we’re also going to give the kids a chance to create something together. The kids are going to make everyone dessert. Yep, by themselves. Yes, I am guessing that they will also probably make a mess. But I am betting that the memories they make will be more important.
It’s a busy time of year. Last week was our busy week but this week there are several important events vying for attention on Wacky Wednesday.
The 21st has traditionally been our annual “French Night.” Before there was Wacky Wednesday, heck before there were kids, John and I celebrated December 21st by eating French food and remembering our trip to Paris in 2001. And it wasn’t just an ordinary trip; John proposed to me at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I was flabbergasted. Truly. In retrospect, of course, it makes sense why he looked so nervous riding up in the herky-jerky elevators where the only signs in English warned “Beware of Pick Pockets.”
The second is the Winter solstice. Being that today is the shortest days of the year it is ripe with opportunity. That the days are going to start getting longer is definitely a reason to celebrate. Especially when you live in a northern climate.
Third, it is the second night of Hanukkah. We typically celebrate with family and friends over the span of the 8 days but we usually do one night at home where we fry up our own Latkes (potato pancakes) and celebrate just ourselves. Now, I don’t want to sound like a braggart but our Latke recipe is pretty darn tasty. There is nothing complicated about it. Except it is very time consuming to shred the potatoes and then fry them to crisp golden perfection. Which is why, as we’ve learned over the past few years, people do the cheater version with pre-shredded hasbrown potatoes. No wonder they taste like soggy napkins. Trust me. It’s worth the effort.
So the challenge this week was how to incorporate ALL of these things?
Sophie suggested we make Latkes in shapes of the Eiffel Tower and the Sun. Honestly? Latkes on a weeknight kind of sound like a pain in the neck.
Instead, we’ll tune in some Caribbean music on the radio (thank goodness for satellite radio) and dine by while we eat some of our summertime favorites flavored with the herbs we grew in the garden last summer. For Hanukkah we’ll enjoy donuts (it’s typical to eat fried foods during the “Festival of Lights”) with a french twist.
Here’s the menu:
- Grilled Salmon
- French Bread with Pesto & Brie
- Fruit Salad
- Donuts with Nutella “Frosting”
What are you doing for Wacky Wednesday? Or Hanukkah? Or the Winter solstice?
Yep, that’s right. As the green of summer is fading and the beautiful fall colors are just getting started, we’re going to celebrate Wacky Wednesday by eating the colors of the rainbow!
I am going to make baked chicken and the rest of the menu:
- Red: Apples (& honey for Rosh Hashanah)
- Orange: Carrots from the garden
- Yellow: Tomatoes from the garden
- Green: Cucumbers from the garden
- BIV/Blue-Indigo-Violet: Homemade blueberry-yogurt pops. They are lovely blue/purple hue.
It’s also Rosh Hashanah and I cannot think of a better way to start the New Year – sweet, colorful and bountiful (by harvesting the rest of last year’s harvest from our backyard garden.)
Last week’s pizza was a big hit! Now, we like pizza at our house but in all of our combined experience none of us have ever eaten pizza in the shape of a #7:
The requested chocolate cake with chocolate frosting was definitely not my most creative effort but it turned out pretty good considering my decorating helper was a toddler:
This week is a chance to experience the 7-year-old palate and to celebrate Sophie’s birthday on Wacky Wednesday.
Due to her birthday present being something of an experience on the eve of her actual birthday we won’t be eating at home that night. At her request, we decided to reschedule “her” meal for Wednesday.
We’re following a tradition that we did in my family growing up. On, or near, your birthday you got to pick the entire meal. My most memorable request was for fried chicken. Year after year, my mom made it for me from scratch in a big cast-iron skillet. ( The memory of its crispy perfection makes me totally unwilling to even eat fried chicken now. It just doesn’t compare.) Those meals are one of my treasured memories from my childhood. It was a fun experience getting to pick the whole meal. And then we always toppped the meal off with birthday cake.
Here’s our menu for Wednesday:
- Pizza (both cheese and pepperoni)
- Cheesy Popcorn
- Frozen Grapes
- Fruit Smoothies
- Birthday Cake
Sophie doesn’t know it but I am going to get creative with the shape of her pizzas. Because it is Wacky Wednesday.
I’m curious what kind of birthday traditions do you have in your families? Or what kind of memorable birthday meals have you eaten?