T-18 hours till we leave home for a week in the sunny south. I know my word of the year is anticipation but that doesn't begin to touch my feeling for this trip. Craving would be closer. But I also have a certain amount of fear -- that somehow it won't happen. My cold/bronchitis, for instance, better not stop it.
I wanted to thank you all for reading along this week with our Chopped Challenge. Last night our daughter asked me what I had made for dinner. It was a beef stir fry on couscous or quinoa (using up leftover veggies before we leave town). "Hm," she said. "Only one course, eh?"
I know a few people have been daunted by our challenge, but I wanted to make a few observations and reflections.
First, the meals our kids cooked were mostly really inexpensive. The first meal especially probably cost a total of $10 and that included the drug-free ground beef. The fish and chicken in the other meals would have cost a bit more, but really the costs weren't significant. My second observation is that we made some suggestions that were disregarded by the kids: I suggested a lighter dessert for day 3 in place of the cheesecake, and suggested that pickled beets be part of the appetizer on day 2. I think the meals were all the better for the creativity of the kids. Third, where the meals were costly was in terms of time. Day 1 child cooked for nearly six hours. Dave spent a good chunk of time on those days helping out, but that was good time together too.
I was also struck in something I read this week that the word disciple essentially means appentice. I read this as Dave and I were coaching our kids through this process: to us, it matters that our kids know how to cook well. It made me wonder what other similar or very different skills and ways of being we teach our kids -- whether deliberately or accidentally.
I'm curious to know which of the three meals sounded to you like it would be best?
As we pack for Florida, we have a lot of food and meds packed with us, primarily for the girl with food issues. Most of what we're bringing is precautionary -- we have corn pasta in case we have trouble finding a wheat-substitute. We have digestive enzyme in case we get stuck with no good alternatives at all. We have pea butter and bread. I think we have more food and meds than clothes. I expect we won't need some of them, but then too I remember last summer's brief stay in a caboose in New York state, where our options were limited and our girl was grouchy. Grocery stores in the US are always a bit of an adventure for me at the best of times: sometimes the options dazzle me and sometimes they turn my stomach.
Back to the title of my post. My biggest hope for this week is that we will be able to be utterly carefree while we're away. The forecast says a high of 24 degrees Celsius and warm nights. One day of rain for shopping. One of our first stops will be to a little orange stand -- think the Big Apple, Ontarians -- to pick up a couple of litres of just-squeezed oj and a box of citrus for munching.
And then we're parking ourselves for a few days -- submerged like manatees in the pool. Not sure how much Internet access we'll have: we may be off the grid.
Wishing you a great week too!