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This past Saturday morning our family started the day with breakfast at a farm. George remembered going last year and was SUPER excited to see the animals, hoping there was a baby among the herd. When he got to see a kid goat being born right in front of him, there was no taking the smile off his face. He was not even grossed out by the blood, but found it all very cool.
Jack did not remember the farm from previous visits till we pulled into their driveway. It was at that point his memory was sparked and he knew exactly what he wanted to go see, the chickens. Unfortunately, their chickens were moved to a different part of the farm or had found a new home (supper, maybe?). Instead, he and I walked around. Turns out, this jogged his memory enough for him to tell me exactly where the bobcat had been parked the year before. It mystifies me as to how he found that fact important enough to remember, but not the other stuff. He also remembered climbing up the compost piles and running through the trees.
After eating a delicious breakfast that showed me how non-traditional breakfast foods (to the American menu) really could work for breakfast, we headed off to Big Town. My husband had a few hours of studying to do, so I took the boys and did a few activity that was being offered nearby. When my husband was finished, we grabbed lunch, proceeded on to craft time at a small museum, and ended with an activity at the library, where the boys ended up earning coupons for a free book or CD from the library’s used book store.
By the time we got home for supper, I was exhausted. I had been winging meals all week and had very little brain power to think of something complicated. Beans and rice sounded easy enough, which reminded me that I had a spice packet left over from when I recently opened a new bag of lentils. Attached to the bag was a small pamphlet containing recipes, one of which was for chick peas. There were 2 or 3 cans of chick peas in the pantry which needed to be used.
30 minutes later a delicious smelling meal of Heer Ranjha Channay (recipe from Shan foods) with rice and a side of tomato, cucumber, feta cheese salad was awaiting the hungry bellies. I served milk for drinks, which was good as the spice packet ended up being a bit too hot for the kids. I tried telling them to alternate eating the beans and the salad, or taking a drink, but they were so into exclaiming “It’s hot! I can’t eat this!” that they did not hear my tips and so fulfilled their own proclamations. I may try this again, though will add in potatoes or something else to help cool down the heat.
The recipe I have called for more ingredients and the use of dried beans. Since I was trying to be quick, I simplified the recipe and used canned peas instead. The meal was very flavorful, even without the added ingredients. Here is the version I used:
Heer Ranjha Channay
2 cans chick peas
1 sachet Shan Heer Ranjha Chana Masala
Heat oil in pan and add chopped onion, cook till tender. Add two cans of undrained chick peas. Stir in sachet of spice mix. Cook for 30-45 minutes until peas are soft and liquid has thickened up a bit.
While my husband and kids were at the library, I took the opportunity to go grocery shopping. My list was fairly short, but lengthened a bit over breakfast. It was at that time that I was thinking through the week. I realized that there really was not a good time during the week to invite people over to celebrate Jack’s birthday. As I worked through the details, a plan formed – a relaxed Sunday afternoon get together with ice cream and all the various toppings that we often do not eat. As I made the list of what would be needed, I found myself shy of only 4 things – whipped cream, cherries, soda for floats and bananas. These were all things I could pick up at the store for minimal out-of-pocket.
After a few phone calls and texts sent to friends, a party was planned for Sunday afternoon. Over the years I have come to the conclusion that everything does not have to be perfect in order to have fun or get together with friends. So what if there is still dust under the television consul or if we do not have coordinated decorations hanging on the door, across every wall and as a center piece on the tables? A pack of balloons, a simple game of “Pin the Tale on The Donkey” (bought on discount months ago and re-found in the closet when I got out the birthday decorations) and a made up story game was all that was needed to entertain the kids.
I was really unsure what Jack thought of his party, as I had not asked him ahead of time what he wanted or who he wanted to invite. Well, my insecurity was put to rest when he told me multiple times, that night and the next day, how much he had enjoyed the party. “Thank you, Mom.” I think I have found my format for future birthdays. I has only taken me 8 or 9 such events to do so. 🙂 Of course, I do not have pictures of the actual event, as I was too busy doing the event. That is something I do need to work on.
And now for this week’s menu:
- Eggs, toast, fruit
- Green Tomato Bread
- Cream of Wheat
- Eat out
- Spaghetti with meat sauce
- OYO (on your own), we are going different ways this day
- Dad’s meatloaf with tomato relish
- Ham salad sandwich, chips
- Breakfast – leftover waffles, fruit
- Minute Steak