July in New Orleans.
July through September down here is like living in an equatorial jungle, except the riotous jungle-like foliage is interspersed with lots of asphalt and charming iron-balcony’d buildings. (Though the bugs and reptiles and rodents are just as big as in the Congo, I’d bet). It’s sauna-like all hours of the day and night. It also rains here for about an hour every afternoon. It’s kind of soothing, up in my office on the 20th floor, to see the rain come down while I read depositions and tab up binders. The rain does nothing to cool things down, but it’s lovely and peaceful.
The boys have been going to arts camp, and enjoying it. I missed both of their little theater performances, which kinda bums me out, but I had conference calls. (I have soooo many conference calls at this new job. All day spent in calls, I swear). The Prof got to see one and they did well.
However, to bolster my Non-Neglectful Mother Points, I did spend all Friday evening in the sweltering kitchen making chicken and dumplings with them. I got home at 7 and was prepared to heat up the leftover sour cream noodle bake, per the meal plan, but they were desperate to do something with me and were really committed to doing more than setting the table and microwaving leftovers. So we did from scratch chicken and dumplings, in 95 degree weather, and we didn’t eat it til like 8:30 pm. After a long week of billing this took some self discipline, but I mustered up some enthusiasm for them, and we had a good time.
I was impressed with their skills – Jack peeled about a hundred carrots and cut them carefully with a very sharp Wusthoff knife. Liam made the dumplings, reading the labels on the baking supplies and selecting the right stuff (baking powder, baking soda, cornmeal), then reading the teaspoons and measuring cups, carefully measuring out the right amounts. I helped him cut in the butter, and he snipped fresh parsley from our backyard container garden and then carefully tore it into the mixing bowl. I showed them both how to make the roux, and they made a mess trying to roll up the dumpling dough and drop it into the hot broth. Craig was distracted upstairs for most of this, thank heavens, though he did end up “rolling” a lump of dough when he waltzed into the kitchen right at the end (squishing it between his fingers and getting it absolutely everywhere – but cheerfully!) They ate it all up, and we had a special mother and sons cooking night. Next week, Liam plans to make spaghetti and meatballs. Pretty soon, he’ll be guest posting here with HIS meal planning, while I put my feet up and let them serve me. 😉 #goals
Now it’s Saturday morning, and they are building lego creations at the kitchen table while I contemplate making myself some sort of breakfast. We have a kid birthday party later today. No other plans for the weekend, and that’s good. It’s too hot to do much of anything.
As for the week’s meals . . . here we go.
Spaghetti and meatballs by Sir Liam.
This Southwest black bean casserole – I bookmarked this a while ago after reading about it somewhere, and I’m eager to try it.
Creamy caprese quinoa bake – my basil outside has grown as tall as my oldest child, so it’s time to use some of it up.
Pork chops, sliced and sauteed brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes – the boys really do enjoy a meat-and-three sometimes!
Turkey tetrazzini, only with chicken bc we have a ton of chicken breasts in the freezer
The chicken gyros we didn’t end up making last week
Stay cool, friends!