I am home after a whirlwind trip to Chicago for an annual trade show event that I attend every year in June. I grew up in suburban Chicago until the latter part of grade school and so Chicago always feels a bit nostalgic for me. Truthfully, I remember the neighborhood that I lived in but I don’t remember the city all that much. (The 1970’s were a long time ago!) But still there is something about the foods and the pace and the accents that feel like “home” to me. And yet, after spending a few days in a hotel and eating out at restaurants it felt so good to be home.
And while I was off visiting the Windy City, our new exchange student was getting settled in at our house. She is many miles from her home in Isreal.
So tonight’s theme for Wacky Wednesday is Home.
We are going to eat in our dining room, which is the first room we walked into when viewing our house for the first time. When I saw it, I knew that this was “the” place that would cease being a house we looked at and become a home a for our family.
And we will dine on foods that remind us of home:
- Cucumbers (Rony)
- Garlic Bread (Sophie)
- Chocolate Milk (Alex)
- Fruit Salad (Jen)
- Salami, humus, Olives, Tomatoes, Avocados, Cheeses (John)
Sounds like quite an eclectic mix but it is all foods that we eat a lot of at our home. At least several times a week. I hope it isn’t too boring for Wacky Wednesday? But I know I will appreciate the taste of home and I am hoping Rony will two as she is rounding out her first week of being away from her family for 4 months.
What foods remind you of home?
I was kind of torn between two ideas for Wacky Wednesday this week.
Second grade ends for the Sassy Lassy on Friday. My first idea was to honor that by having a two-course meal made up entirely of foods that only had two ingredients. Fun, no?
But then as we were brushing teeth last night and Sassy Lassy showed me how wiggly her top tooth is, I decided we had to go in another direction. While many of her classmates have lost 5, 6 or MORE teeth she has still just lost the two on the bottom. And both of those fell out and have already grown back in. But this new wiggly one? It is front and center in the top row! Exciting!
But here’s the thing: I leave for Chicago on Saturday and I am afraid I will miss the big event. The Tooth Fairy duties have been my responsibility but there is also just the idea that I will be missing such rite of passage that leaves me feeling a little sad. I mean, I know I cannot be there for every single milestone for my kids. And, oh boy, do I know that as a working Mom. But her little smile will never quite be the same once those teeny baby teeth on the top fall out and their replacements grow in.
So my plan is to step up my role as Tooth Fairy and see if I can’t help speed the process along. I am going to make several foods all designed to help that little tooth wiggle free. Think chewy or gooey and crunchy:
- Corn on the Cob
- Carrot Sticks
- Deep Dish Pizza
- Carmel Apples
I was feeling really confident of this plan until we went out for dinner last night and she ordered herself the kid’s rib platter. Even with all that bone gnawing that tooth is being pretty stubborn.
And finishing this post reminds me, that the Sassy Lassy also let me know, so that I could let the Tooth Fairy know, that she doesn’t want the customary $2 bill for the next tooth loss. She’s asked for a gift card to her favorite knick-knack shop. See why she has her nickname?
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.
Last night, WE ROCK’d for Wacky Wednesday. Here’s a picture of our Ramen, Olives, Cucumber and King Salmon. Get it? ROCK?
Stay with me here. You can see we also had Edamame. Add the Water we drank and you totally have the WE ROCK theme.
But it gets better because we also indulged in a childhood favorite of mine: POP ROCKS!
I can remember being fascinated by them as a kid. Something my own parents surely remember as they give me some of them every year during the holidays.
Apparently a lot of people don’t realize that you can still buy them. You can. And they even have new flavors. This was the first time I tried to the Candy Cane flavor. I am not a huge fan of mint so they were … interesting.
We also rocked out to some classic rock that kept us all dancing while I cooked and then we cleaned up together.
How can it be that almost a month has passed since my last blog post? In a blur. That’s how. It’s been a busy fall. I do know that for a couple of the weeks, we managed to pull off slightly irreverent dinners even if it wasn’t out-and-out wackiness. And that’s okay. I think if we try too hard it might make take some of the fun of it out and who wants to do that?
Last week, Wacky Wednesday truly went to the dogs and we noshed on all our our dog, Lucy’s, favorite foods. We had chicken, buttered noodles, broccoli & carrots and then bowls of ice cream for dessert. Lucy got her own plate on the floor. And no, that didn’t stop her from begging at the table.
This week is a bit bittersweet for me. Lucy’s getting up there in years and we’ve had to make a difficult decision in regards to her care. At the same time, we’re planning for a family vacation that involves airplanes and the ocean. (It’s hard to say which the kids are more excited about.) And so the balance of life goes on. The yin-yang. The happy sadness.
The menu for this week will seek that balance. We’ll sip pink lemonade and have a picnic on the floor with the dog:
Heart Shaped Pesto & Olive Pizzas
Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Bittersweet Chocolate Tart
Pizza is always a big hit at our house. The heart shapes are just to convey how much love and how big of a part Lucy has been in our lives. We adopted her as an 8-week old puppy from an abandoned litter. She was our baby before we had kids. She’s lived uptown and downtown and then settled down with us in Saint Paul where we’ve welcomed our real babies home.
And what doesn’t chocolate make better?
I was talking to a friend the other day and she confessed that she just didn’t “get” the whole Wacky Wednesday thing. Fair enough. I can appreciate that the idea of doing something silly & creative on a weeknight in the middle of the week during dinner doesn’t sound the most appealing. I mean, why would you want to have your kids involved in planning the menu and then laughing and joking on Wednesday nights as opposed to everyone being rushed and grumpy? All kidding aside, I do totally get it. Especially with two small kids and my husband and I both working outside the home. But the funny thing is? Instead of it being “one more thing” to do in an already busy week it is actually a time when we take a deep breath and it doesn’t seem like another weeknight dinner. Wacky Wednesday just has a different feel to it.
Here are some recent Wacky Wednesday shots. As much as I love WW and sharing our ideas, I have not had the time for the follow-up the next day. So here are some of the moments I managed to capture but haven’t shared before.
My fall view out the kitchen window:
The Sassy Lassy harvesting a cucumber for last week’s ROYGBIV dinner:
Here’s a pizza from our Totally Tomatoes extravaganza that was an epic fail. I am sill not sure what happened but it sure looked good:
It’s no secret that a lot of my Wacky Wednesday menu’s have a dessert component. Don’t let that fool you. We do not have dessert every night of the week. But we do have it for Wacky Wednesdays. Why not? Dessert is fun, right? Mr. Mister certainly thinks so:
Even our dog, Lucy, gets in on the fun:
Wednessay is just two days away. We’ve already got the menu planned. I had some help with it this week. Want a hint? My 7-year old planned it.
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.)