Distancing on the Fourth

We had a small family gathering on the Fourth, primarily for my mom’s benefit as she was keeping asking when she will see everybody together again. That way, she could see all the boys, and I could treat them with some homemade food.

I had two major challenges: to cook everything myself, without any help from the kids (and I only had about two and a half hours), and how to serve the food in a safe way. Our traditional buffet-style won’t work these days. After all, everything turned out great, and Vlad approved all my preparations. I even had gloves to serve food, which had to be taken by hand.

The time I picked (5-30 PM) was perfect since the heat started to subside, and my deck is a summer-time haven that seldom gets any direct sun. Also, I have a huge umbrella, and I took outside my gym fan to add to the natural breeze.

Today’s Breakfast

My favorite local grocery sells a variety of Italian biscuits, and some have breakfast suggestions on the packaging.

It looks funny (or I’d rather say – unusual) for somebody used to American or Scandinavian breakfasts, and who often invest more time in breakfast preparation than in cooking dinner. However, possibly because I first saw these biscuits in the wake of lockdown (I believe it was a part of my previously mentioned “hoarding specialty food” spree) all of a sudden, I wanted to make myself a breakfast like this.

Since even Italian references can’t bring me to the point of consuming whole milk sweetened latte, I ended up modifying it a little bit, so that I get a similar amount of protein and sweetness from the different sources :).

Fat-free raspberry skyr with raspberries on top

And here is how it looks on my deck:

Yet Another Coping with Stress Cooking (First Stress, Then Cooking)

Tuesday was exceptionally stressful. I worked from home because my Mom had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, and I needed to take her there. 

First, I decided to cut a piece of stale bread to soften it in the microwave, and for some reason started with holding it in my hand instead of the cutting board. There was no good reason for it, I was not at any rush, and if I were in a rush, there would be even less reason. The expected result was that I cut myself. I cut myself with a very sharp Japanese knife, which Vlad gave me for Christmas several years ago. It’s an excellent knife, even when I do not sharpen it as regularly as I should, so I ended up with a cut across four fingers on my left hand plus the nail on my pinky. There was lots of blood, which took me some time to stop. 

Continue reading “Yet Another Coping with Stress Cooking (First Stress, Then Cooking)”

Getting Organized

Good morning to all my long-time followers! Were you ever wondering looking at the pretty pictures of my breakfasts, how in the world do I have time to make them so pretty on the weekday mornings? This mystery is being revealed! To make my mornings relatively rush free and have a good start of the day, I prepare everything the night before!

That’s how my kitchen table looks like before I head upstairs for the night:

My cup and my plate are set on the table, my percolator is filled with water and coffee, ready to be plugged in, my vitamins and supplements are out so that I won’t forget to take them, and also all my food is sitting in the fridge ready to be consumed, I just need to take it out

Yes, I spent some additional time in the evening to pre-arrange everything, but it is worth it, and make my mornings just fabulous!

Oh, and in case you are wondering – the chocolates are in the small glass jar 🙂

Talking About Parenting

Last Monday, I was a meeting with a person from my professional network. Although our relationships are strictly professional, we know each other long enough to know about each other’s families/spouses/children/grandchildren (in my case :)).

We went out for lunch and talked about more or less everything since we didn’t get a chance to catch up for over a year. And somehow along the lines, he mentioned how his wife is exhausted because she has to cook every day for their three children, and how one of them didn’t like her mother’s cooking, and how he’d told her that “she should cook for herself than”.

I’ve asked: remind me, what’s your kids’ age? He said: 16, 13, and 11. Then why they do not cook for themselves? My kids did cook since they were eleven. – What did they cook? What kind of food? And as it often happens, I’ve started to tell him about our system back then, how we had a schedule on a large wall calendar. How I would cook two main dishes every week, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, and through the week the kids would make sides and warm up the leftovers, or bake breaded fish, or fried sausages, or something else which would be easy to make. And how we would go out only once a week – on Fridays. And then he mentions, that now they actually have not three, but five kids in the house because they’ve taken in their two nephews, while their parents are away for a week, and they are 18 and 11. And I could not stop myself from mentioning that my kids stayed by themselves at home when they were 17, and I left for six weeks on a business trip to Europe…

Each time a parenting conversation turns into this direction, I feel as if I’ve said something wrong, or at least insensitive, something like “Look how my kids were so well-prepared for life, and you just can’t teach your kids basic life skills, you overprotective helicopter parent.” Maybe nobody thinks precisely that way, but that’s how I feel I am coming across.

Next time I will try my best to keep quiet about “what my kids did” if a conversation will be turning that way. May be :). At least, I will try. But I am wondering why it has become such a rear thing, that kids cook. Without parental supervision. Why a kid 10+ can’t cook a meal for themselves. If it’s about “safety”, safety concerns can be valid literally at any age. I, at the age of 56, still get occasional burns in the kitchen – stuff happens. What I am saying, I do not see anything dangerous for 11-year old cooking by themselves, except “anything can theoretically happen to anybody”. And this is not even about “teaching a life skill”, it’s merely about giving parents a break. To be honest, sometimes I think that the usual disconnect I am getting with my stance “you can have it all” happens because, in reality, I did not do it “all” when my kids were kids. We shared the housework, we were a family, we were a team. And it didn’t make my kids “deprived” or “neglected”. Actually, I think it helped our bonding.

What do you think?…