A “Cranky Hour” Tip and a new recipe

It’s nearing dinner time.  You have to make dinner.  But first you have to wash the pile of dishes that are in the way.  The kids are whining and fighting with each other.  Take out or a frozen dinner is sounding like the only feasible option.  Sound familiar?

That was me this afternoon.  However, I had no money for take out, and the only frozen meal we had on had didn’t sound appetizing.  Then I remembered my ultimate trick to stop the whining.  I have been doing this ever since the Blue Dragon was itty bitty and teething, but it works to pacify non-teething cranky toddlers and preschoolers too.

“Who wants frozen blueberries?”

The lion cubs shrieks ceased and his sweet baby voice returned.  “Berries!”

The Blue Dragon’s complaints stopped and her princess manners appeared.  “Oh!  I can get the bowls!”

The kids sat at the table and stuffed their faces with frozen blueberries while I did the dishes and cooked the frozen ravioli.  Okay, so it was still a frozen meal, but I get bonus points for what follows.

I herded the munchkins outside to pick the basil for my first ever pesto making experiment!

I made some alterations to this recipe, and this is what I ended up with as my recipe:

  • About 45 fresh basil leaves
  • A generous sprinkling of garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup of grated Romano cheese, kind of packed into the cup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • enough lemon juice to help it blend in the food processer (a few tablespoons?)

Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend.  YUM.  This made enough to put on a 24 oz bag of cheese ravioli.  I had to add a little water when I was mixing it with the pasta.  Even the kids liked it!

Sorry for the blurry pic.  It’s all I got today.

I am a homebody.

It seems like many people I know have a burning desire to see the world and would be happy on a perpetual vacation.  It’s not that I don’t have a sense of adventure.  My idea of a good adventure is just a little different.  I haven’t even explored all the local hiking trails–why do I need to backpack through the alps?  Don’t get me wrong.  I wouldn’t turn down a good vacation opportunity.  I know I’d have a blast visiting other countries.  It’s just not what is burning in my heart when I think of what I really want to do.  There’s nothing more that I  want than to sink my roots deep into the land.  My husband and I share the dream of moving back to Montana and living off the grid.  The idea of having my own chickens, horses, maybe a cow, a greenhouse to grow my own veggies…  THAT is excitement to me.

When we did live in Montana I felt like I was on vacation all the time.  (Except when I was at work.  Even then, once in awhile, even that felt like vacation.)  I want to go back there and explore every river, lake, valley, and mountain top in the area.   I want to build a homestead and hunker down by the fireplace on the long winter nights under quilts that I made, eating bread that I baked from scratch.  I want to have herds of elk and packs of wolves in my yard again.  (Though not at the same time.  That could be messy.)

Does that sounds completely unrealistic to you?  What if I told you I already bake bread and make quilts?  I want to grow into homesteading, one step at a time.   That to me sounds like the ultimate adventure.

Here are a few favorite pics I have on hand from the glory days in Montana.

From our bedroom window:

In our front yard:

My dog on a walk by our house:

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