Kale Pesto Goes on a Picnic
5:30 am Ceri’s House
Julian quietly jabbers and I realize he has slept through the night. Second time this week! Please God let this be the new pattern. I bring him to bed with us, give him a bottle and miracle or miracles, he goes back to sleep for another hour! It’s going to be a great day – we’re going to the park for a picnic with Laura, Scarlett and Heidi and baby Ford. Since it’s going to be hot I want to get to the park by 10:30 at the latest.
7:15 am Laura’s House
I crack my lids to find Scarlett resting her head on my shoulder whispering for some TV. I look at her and say, “Good morning sunshine. This is going to be a great day.” (Remind me not to jinx it like that again.)
8:00 am Laura’s House
I’m buzzing around the house excited for our day and trying to get everything in order. Today is going to be glorious – 80 degrees and sunny! Scarlett and I are going to make kale hummus with pita points.
9:30 am Laura’s House
Scarlett and I pick the perfect park accoutrements and fill her “Park Bag” with them. Jump rope: “I’m going to teach this to Esme!” Blue frisbee: “I wish I had a red one.” Chalk: “Can we use this on the balcony now?!” I check in with Ceri and Julian isn’t down yet, but I’ll need to move quicker if we’re going to make it out of the house on time. She wants to be in the park by 10:30!
9:40 am Ceri’s House
I guess Julian’s long night sleep is the reason he’s not down for his morning nap yet. I pop him in his jolly jumper and Esme and I dive into picnic prep. We’re making salad on a stick, another idea I’m swiping from Heidi. In an effort to get kids to eat salad you put any kind of veggie, cheese and herb on a skewer. I make some with boccancini, basil and cherry tomatoes, some with cucumber, yellow tomato and peppers. Most of Esme’s are made entirely of tomatoes. She asks if one of these can be hers at lunch. Done and done.
They’re really pretty and I think they may even get consumed. I realize Julian is quiet and realize he’s asleep. In his jolly jumper. I suck.
9:45 am at Laura’s House
I dive right in to making the kale. It’s the same kale mix from our quiche success (see blog post dated May 6th). It’s become a staple in our home, and I keep it in the refrigerator or freezer for a last minute, healthy addition to simples meals like mac and chesse and gnocchi. Today I’m going to blend it into hummus.
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 cup of white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3/4 a bunch of kale
Scarlett places two cloves of garlic through our garlic press while I chop a half a cup of onions. I saute the onion and garlic in a pan with olive oil and then add the kale. I coat the kale with the saute and then cover to wilt. When it’s soft I put the entire mixture into my Cuisinart and blend it until fine.
Scarlett bolts on me to colour, put her sun hat on her baby and pack her suitcase because, apparently, she’s “flying to see Nana!”
I begin opening my can of chick peas when I realize they’re not chick peas at all…..they’re soy beans. This means no hummus, but what instead? Did I mention it’s 10? My other idea for the day was mini-pizzas. I switch gears and decide that I’ll still use the kale and wing it. Do I have time for a little cry?
10:30 am Ceri’s House
We’re going to the park for a couple of hours and yet the bag always feels like it could sustain a hockey team for a week. Park blanket, two water canteens, bottle of formula, baby food, sunscreen, mini soccer ball, diapers, wipes… it barely jams in under the stroller. Finally Julian wakes and now I just have to give him a bottle, change him and get Esme dressed. And I said I’d be at the park by now… I really need a coffee.
10:30 am Laura’s House
I’ve regained Scarlett’s attention long enough to have her help prepare half the pizzas. I mow through the others in a hurry. We drizzle each mini-pita half with a smidge of olive oil and then pat a spoonful of the kale mix on. Each are finished with a sprinkling of fresh, shaved parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
I’m sweating. The mini pizza’s are baking. They’ll only need 7-10 minutes. Then I can toss them into a container. I’ve got grapes too.
I’m throwing clothes on. Scarlett is standing by the door loading things on to her stroller. Since I appreciate her effort at trying to organize us and get out of the house, I quietly remove her ice skates and raincoat. Ceri calls to stay she’s leaving. So am I. Barely.
11:30 am Ceri on the way to the park
Because Ben and I can’t face the idea (or the reality) of a double stroller we have a cool attachment that clicks on the back of our regular stroller. Esme can sit or stand on it and it takes up very little space. She hates it and every other kid loves it (especially Scarlett), so it’s a constant source of jockeying when we’re out with friends. Can they share it? Yes, but not without a lot of bickering and sometimes some shoving. The walk to the park feels like an eternity.
Or water torture….either way the girl’s back and forth in regards to stroller assignment nearly breaks us. Why is it so damn hot outside?
Noon Laura in the park
The grass feels cool in contrast to the warm sun, and we’re no sooner planted on our blankets that Scarlett announces she’s hungry. Perfect. We’ll eat the pizza’s while they’re still warm. As Esme cracks into the screwers, Scarlett downs a pizza. They both give a thumbs up for the salad sticks, but Scarlett does hand me a half chewed yellow tomato. As the mom’s munch pizza as well as Heidi’s contribution of crackers and hummus, we realize we’re down two diners. Esme and Scarlett have made friends with the 11 month old on the neighboring blanket. They finish their entire meal with the baby and his mother. As we watch our preschoolers buzz around the baby, we can’t help but laugh at our morning tizzy. (Ceri: We also couldn’t help laughing when Laura had to bite her tongue from advising this Mum that if she didn’t like our girls getting so close to her baby, that she should “use her words.” Of course then we had to explain why were cackling like mad women so she may has well have just said it in the first place!)
It all worked out and who couldn’t enjoy this day……
…It took our daughters carefree exuberance at the park to remind us that it’s not worth sweating the small stuff. Besides, if you can’t find the time to stop and smell the flowers
then any day can surely be saved with a little sunshine and a big, fat cookie that you share with a friend!
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