randomly on a Saturday

1. We tried to have Tuesday Night Fun Cooking! last Sunday. The whole family was working on making two kinds of lasagna, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Daniel cooked the meat:

And Anya chopped the mushrooms:

2. Unfortunately, family cooking time came to an abrupt halt when Anya cut her finger. Not two minutes after I finished saying "Sharp knives are safer than dull ones because sharp knives are less likely to slip and cut you..." I heard her start to wail. Somehow she had cut herself with the sharp knife she was using and her finger was bleeding badly enough that Stuart took her to Urgent Care to get patched up. They glued her fingertip and put a splint on it:

Looks like she's flipping you the bird.
3. The splint is there mainly to prevent Anya from using that finger while it's in the initial healing stages. She did forget about it a couple days later and started swinging from the monkey bars at the playground before I hollered at her to get down. 

4. All the first graders had a field trip to a bowling alley this week. Because Anya's finger was in a splint, I gave her the option of skipping it and hanging out with me. We spent the afternoon making freezer jam with the season's first strawberries:

5. On Tuesday, it was really hot outside, close to ninety degrees. To avoid turning on the stove or oven, we did an abbreviated Tuesday Night Fun Cooking! and made sandwiches and a big salad. The kids' jobs were to make dressing. There was some use of the blender, but no one under 5' tall was asked to wield a knife. 
Fresh mint!

Measuring vinegar

Measuring honey takes concentration.

6. Anya made balsamic vinaigrette and Daniel helped me with mint dressing. The recipe is from my SIL in North Carolina and it's SO good when you have fresh herbs in your garden:
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic clove (or, this time of year, you could use a couple garlic scapes instead)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. plus 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 T. plus 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Instructions: combine mint, garlic and olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse for 5 seconds or so, just until combined. Keeps 3-5 days in the fridge.

7. School's out. The last day was Thursday and we had to say goodbye to both Daniel's and Anya's teachers. Daniel's teacher is getting married and moving to a different city so her future husband can start medical school, and Anya's teacher is retiring after 43 years at their school. It was kind of an emotional day.

8. We're leaving today for a big trip. Our family is going to Scotland for 10 days on vacation. It's a rare opportunity and one we're so grateful for and excited about. I haven't been out of the country since college and the kids have never traveled internationally (except for a year ago when I drove with the kids through a small slice of Ontario, Canada). We're up early this morning, too excited to sleep, and need to finish packing before the cab comes to take us to the airport. I have a good camera and plan to take lots of pictures while we're there. I may or may not have time and inclination to post here while we're traveling, but be sure to follow me on Instagram (madtown_mama) so see what we're up to. It's going to be a grand adventure!


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