If anybody asks me what I did this weekend, my answer will be Laundry. I washed, sorted, folded, paired socks, and ironed.
I did do a few other things this weekend, but the two days have largely been taken up with clothes.
Last weekend I cooked. Nearly everything I did had to do with cooking. Saturday, we had our neighbors over for dinner, and I roasted two chickens, made mashed potatoes, green beans with a lemon-butter sauce, and a salad with homemade garlic dressing. Dinner took a little longer to cook than I anticipated because the temperature indicator on my high-end oven got twisted out of whack. Thankfully, my neighbor is Mr. Fixit won't let go of something until it's perfect. He and Piper set to work on the thing. They had it recalibrated before we sat down to eat. No expensive repairman needed. Yay!
After our guests went back home, I picked all the meat off the chickens and made stock from the carcasses. Come Monday, I used the leftover chicken and the remaining green beans and some of the stock to make chicken pot pie. We did not have enough gravy leftover from the roast, so I made a bechamel sauce instead. Pumpkin loves my chicken pot pie; unfortunately Tigger has a preference for the frozen kind they serve at school that's mostly a high sodium gravy with a few token peas and carrots swimming in the sauce.
We've struggled for years with Tigger and his preference for trash food. I don't know how we found ourselves with such a picky eater. When he first came to us of course, he ate nearly everything, though he didn't really care for red meat. Now all he wants is pasta and pizza and if your force him to have a fruit or vegetable, he'll pick apples, sometimes grapes. No veg if he can possibly get away with it. I find myself sneaking chapped up spinach into the pesto sauce to put on out pizza, or making zucchini bread in the summer.
Most of his food fights are really just control issues. Last night I made a teriyaki glazed salmon, which I know he likes, and he refused to eat it because there was no gravy for the mashed potatoes. So frustrating!
Last weekend, when we had the Fixits over for dinner, we reflected on the fact that when we first got married, I did not know how to cook. I had never been allowed in the kitchen growing up and could make nothing beyond boxed macaroni and cheese and hamburgers on the grill (that I was good at). Piper did most of the cooking. I'm not exactly sure when that began to change. We cooked together for a short while, but eventually I became a better cook and I actually started to enjoy creating things. At first, I had maybe two or three things that I did well, the most notable being coq au vin, but over time, my repertoire expanded. I think I really started to get serious about food after our trip to Italy. That trip changed my perspective on a lot of things, but the American style of eating was probably the most important.
Having Tigger rebel at our food ideas at every turn is exasperating, and I know I have spoiled my chances of winning the game by pushing the issue. Piper is taking a different approach and getting Tigger in the kitchen to cook. Of course, it's just simple things right now, mostly stuff he likes anyway, but under Piper's direction, Tigger made meatballs for pasta, and I'll bet next weekend they'll be making lasagna. The only trouble I see is that letting Tigger do the cooking makes it hard to sneak vegetables into the mix.
I always wonder whether families from other cultures face this kind of pickiness from their kids or if it is a uniquely American problem. We have this wonderland of kid foods that have so little nutritional value. I just can't imagine Asian families or Italian families getting this kind of push back, but maybe they do.
Well, since that tangent had absolutely nothing to do with laundry, I might as well follow that by mentioning that one of the few things I did this weekend that was not laundry-related was drag my family to the bookstore to get some new reading material for the boys. Chalk that up as another thing that is important to me that Tigger absolutely hates. Somehow though, he easily found four or five books that he thought he would be interested in, including two about the person he needs to do a report and presentation on in a couple of weeks - Thomas Jefferson.
Did you know that Thomas Jefferson invented the dumbwaiter? That was news to me.
Pumpkin found a book on Christopher Columbus, and one about a cat in a library that he was positively drawn to. I threw in a few others at his rapidly increasing reading level and we wound up with a great haul. We did not buy, but spent about 20 minutes looking at, a photobook of some of the world's tallest most impressive modern buildings. Pumpkin kept asking if they had spiral staircases, but eventually I sold him on the idea of elevators.
On the way to the checkout I grabbed one of Mark Bittman's books. Again Pumpkin was drawn right to it since the cover artist had morphed an apple into a globe. This kids draws like no one else I've ever seen, just wait until he discovers the miracle of Photoshop.