Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Power of Touch

The most profound lessons come in the simplest packages.  The lesson learned: touch is a powerful tool to bond two people.  I had been out of town for three days supporting one of the older children in her activities. My youngest at the tender age of three was left home with siblings.  She seemed totally unaffected by my absence.  She was not clingy or teary.  Nevertheless, upon returning just in case she needed some extra nurturing, I decided to make a conscious effort to hold her, to hug her, to give kisses, to stroke her hair, to pat her as she walked by, to touch her arm when I was talking to her, to look at her when I passed her glass of milk.... Within a day she was returning me the favor.    Spontaneously she would exclaim, "Mom, I love you." Over the next two days, her little arms would wind themselves around my neck time and time again  to whisper in my ear "I love you."

I smiled because I had not been telling her "I love you." with every touch.  Yet, she understood love from every touch.  I remembered an experienced mother telling me that at one point as she struggled with one of her sons the thought came to her to "touch him."  So at every family meal while pouring all the glasses of water, she made a point to put her hand on his shoulder for those brief seconds behind his chair.  She reported "It made all the difference."

I wonder how many marriages would be sources of supreme trust, joy, and comfort if we would simply increased the frequency of touch with kindness and caring.  Can a masterpiece be wrought without the "touch of the Master's hand?"

There are no eggs in the house today.  Brainstorming what we have on hand and what could be done with them on the way home from church yielded the following list of goodies for the afternoon snacks:

Apple crisp
Egg-less chocolate cake with fudge sauce
No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies
Raw cookie dough without eggs

I suppose there are many other treats we could make but the children though of these.
I am glad they considered life full of opportunities not the lack thereof.

"Daddy, I cooked the broccoli!"/ Food for the Road

We held Sunday Dinner an hour and a half waiting for Dad to come home.  As soon as Dad appeared on the scene our 5 year old exclaimed, "Daddy, I cooked the broccoli and I didn't even cut myself!"
I smiled; the broccoli had big chunks of stem and little floweretts and one whole pan got eaten by the crew before Dad made it home.  We had to steam more for dinner.  Who can stifle the glee of a 5 year old?

Preparation: We spent 5 days on the road.  To prepare for those left at home as well as food to eat while traveling with six children, we baked bread and froze loaves, baked and froze muffins, baked a large batch of samosa's (little potato pies), froze the remaining half of birthday cake in 3 inch squares for the 14 year old to snack on when he came home from school, and left a large bowl of leftovers for the teenagers.   Everything worked well.  The samosa's were the biggest hit on the road - filling and savory even cold. This proved very useful when we were stranded while a new transmission was installed.  The grocery options were expensive, greasy, and not very nutritious.  The restaurant option nearby were very expensive.  Samosas were inexpensive, homemade, savory, and nutritious.

Restaurants:  We went to lunch at a Mexican Restaurant for Labor day to celebrate a birthday.  We invited a friend to join us.  I smiled when the friend asked my son, "How do you like Mexican food?"  He replied, "I don't know I've never had it before." Then proceeded to clean his plate spotless.  I thought it a great example of the rhyme my Mom chimed to us "Try it you might like it!"   We all loved the excursion.


5 pounds of potatoes, washed, peeled (or not if you like), and diced
1 cup frozen gren peas
1 cup frozen baby lima beans (optional add in, peanuts, or other beans or other vegetable chuncks)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Mrs. Dash
1 tsp Montreal Chicken.

Pizza Dough
3 cups warm water
3 TBS yeast
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS salt
6 TBS oil
7- 1/2 cups flour white or whole wheat

Mix all together.

Boil potatoes in enough water to cover for 5 minutes or until tender to a fork.  Remove from water, stir in frozen vegetables, add spices.  Make pizza dough. roll pizza dough thin in a large rectangular shape.  Cut the rolled out dough with a pizza cutter into rectangles, squares, and small triangles about 2 inches by 3 inches. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of the potato mixture onto each dough shape.  Bring up the sides and corners and pinch them together over the top of the filling.  Bake for 12-15 minutes in an oven heated to 350 degrees.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Delightful Sunday

We enjoyed visiting and just being together after our Sunday dinner of pork loin roast, mashed potatoes, gravy,  steamed carrots and broccoli, green salad and ice cream. The relaxed conversation lasted for three plus hours.  We read family histories detailing more difficult times when luxuries were scarce, articles encouraging us to protect our freedoms by example and civil discourse, and played name that tune while the big girls styled the little girl's hair.

The best moments came with our after dinner snack of gluten free peanut butter cookies.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Mix together, bake 10-12 minutes, let cool before trying to eat.  The are more crumbly hot.

I thought the cookie excellent.  Leaving flour and butter out as called for in a conventional recipe conserves calories while satisfying a sweet tooth.