Yeah… this is gonna be a sappy one.
Since school started (which, let’s be honest, NONE of us could wait for), I’ve been missing my little sidekick. Kinda. I mean, having him with me (and trying to entertain and keep safe a 6-year-old with equally active mind and body) while I worked was a bit frustrating at times because even a big boy needs cuddle time and sometimes that really interferes with getting my work done.
Since day camp ended a month ago, Thomas has spent much of his time working with us in the barn and in the fields and at the markets. He was 6 weeks old when I first brought him to the Goshen market in 2004, carrying him around in a sling all day, letting him nurse at will.
This year, at 6, he helps customers… offers them samples of sugar snap peas or green beans, counts their change, bags their veggies… and he restocks the tables to my specifications! In fact, he TELLS OTHERS to restock the tables – according to Mom, “he sounds just like YOU!!!”
I was NOT at all insulted or surprised by this comparison.
I guess that’s the whole point of parenthood, right? Raising a confident, independent and responsible child (who also happens to have a snarky wit and mechanical mind). Obviously, at 6, he’s still a work-in-progress. But I think we’re on the right track. And this post is my tribute to my sweet baby who never ceases to amaze me with his compassion, humor, stubbornness, whiny tantrums, respect and admiration and his overall love of life.
The Boy is wise beyond his years. Thomas is absolutely remarkable, and I thank him (silently AND with hugs) every time he reminds me to slow down and enjoy his ever-shrinking childhood.
In honor of the kids going back to school, I wanted to recommend a cookbook I picked up a few weeks back. Borders Bargain Book racks are like crack for me. I cannot walk past them, Seattle’s Best non-fat latte in hand, without buying at least one. Saving grace? They’re always under $7.
Kitchen Playdates, by Lauren Bank Deen, set me back all of three bucks. It’s great, even if you don’t have kids. The author focuses on “easy ideas for entertaining that include the kids.” Since we can’t always find a sitter, I guess it’s good to include them. Sometimes.
This book has some fabulous recipes, including: Baked Rigatoni with Sausage, Butternut Squash, and Kale(p 81); Dad’s Campfire Potatoes (russets slit at 1/2 inch intervals and stuffed with onion slices! p 91); Confetti Spaghetti (with spaghetti squash! p 92), Curried Roasted Cauliflower (p 103).
Each recipe has a ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ section that explains what ankle-biters can do to assist. There are also menu plans for parties, equipment notes detailing what works with little ones, and some awesome photographs. [ Hi. My name is Kasha, and I am addicted to Food Porn.] I couldn’t find it at Borders.com, but it is, at this time anyway, available at Amazon.com. Grab a cappuccino and saunter throught the bargain books and you may just come across it as I did.
In our kitchen, Thomas is a regular sous chef. One of his favorite things to help me prepare is Pink Mashed Potatoes. We use Adirondack Red potatoes, and this time I added a few cloves of elephant garlic (milder than regular), sliced, to the salted potato-cooking water. Once drained, we add a bit of butter (about 3T for 3 large potatoes) and some skim milk, then mash away with an old fashioned masher. He loves to sample for seasoning, and it’s all good stuff, so I let him. I figure he needs to learn how to cook properly, and who better to teach him than The FarmGirl?
The next time the kids make you want to pull your hair out, remember that you, too, were the thorn in somebody’s side once and you eventually grew out of it. Enjoy every minute with the beasts because they grow up in the blink of an eye.