Who picked this picnic? - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Who picked this 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.

Kale
2 cloves of gar­lic chopped
1/2 cup of white onion, chopped
1 table­spoon of olive oil
3/4 a bunch of kale

Method

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!

  

5 Comments

  1. Lesa says:

    I loved this post!! The back and forth between the two house was so much fun to read!! Also really want to try one of those kale mini pizzas…

  2. Natalee Caple says:

    I mis­read saute as salute for a while which con­fused me but in a pleas­ing Monty Python sort of way. Salute to kale.

  3. Pamela says:

    The salad on a stick idea is genious. Great way to get kids involved and then they'll be more likely to eat it too.

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