Well, I'm not really kidding. My kids are just really loud. But that's the way I love it. I would be so sad to have quiet, still, boring children. As I told a friend last week, 'You can ask a rambunctious or mischievous child to be quiet for a few minutes, but you can't ask a boring child to be interesting for a little while.' :) It's totally true.
So. Anyway. I was making Purple Hulled Peas and Potatoes, with Mashed Butternut Squash, for supper last night. I love both of these dishes, and they're very Southern fare, so I decided to take pictures and do a lovely recipe-with-picture post, Ree Style. It was all going great, until I started cutting and cooking things, and then life happened. So, I'll post the recipe later today or tomorrow (and you'll thank me when you make it all), but instead, I decided to give you a little peak into the supper-making process around here. People who have no children yet, enjoy the fast cooking while you can!! :)
Let me set this up. Italics will be my running internal monologue, the bold type will be the things I did, and regular type, things I said. I'll toss a few times in there, just for kicks, but I'm not exactly watching a clock in the midst of all the
noon: Man, I really feel like peas and squash. Let me make sure I have everything, so I can make that for supper this evening. Oh, I do. Sweet.
5:00 Hmm, John should be home by 6:30, and the squash takes a while to cook. I should start thinking about prep work. 'No, you can't watch Monsters, Inc. You already watched it today.'
5:44 I should get that squash started. Don't want to forget to turn on the oven like last week. I'm totally the smart one, I know. Start singing I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt. I can't believe I'm singing this. What is wrong with me? I'm embarrassed, and John isn't even here to make fun of me! Oh, well. I am too sexy for my shirt, it's true. I need to wash this shirt, come to think of it. I hope that spot from earlier comes out. Get squash ready and in oven. Where are my children? Eh, they'll turn up eventually. David's in here, so the other two must be outside.
Take last onion out of pantry. Make sure to get more next time I'm at HEB. Throw away 3 rotten heads of garlic. I hope this last one is still good. Well, I'm ok there. 'No, David. The last time I gave you a piece of onion to eat you cried and wouldn't speak to me for almost an hour.' Is it strange that my not-yet-2-year-old knows how to give me the silent treatment? Oh, well. Cut garlic and onion, trying to take pictures of the process, without getting garlic and onion all over my camera. How in the heck does Ree do this? I need a tripod. And a better kitchen.
I hate digging through my fridge. Why is there so much crap in here? Yeah, like I can blame someone else for that. Oh, there's the bacon. I'd better sharpen my knife. 'What do you mean, Evie's bleeding? How much? Where? What did you do to her? No, don't give me that. You need to be respectful, and tell me the truth. Ok, I'm sure it was an accident that you hit her in the butt with a baseball. No more baseball this evening. Is she actually bleeding? Ok, good. Take your brother outside with you. Say yes, ma'am. Try again. Once more, and with the right tone of voice. Great! Thanks, hon. Yes, I'll tell you when I chop the peppers, but you can't have much, because these are smaller than normal.'
Cut bacon. Pull out bell peppers. Orange, yellow, white, and purple. I love bell peppers. I hope they stay in season a little longer this year. Why will peppers not grow out here? Everyone else in the entire freakin world can grow peppers. I have a green thumb!! Why can't I grow peppers? Seriously!! 'Evie, stop yelling at me! What are you panicking about? Which one? David? Yes, I'm coming. Did you help him out of the fire ants? Why not? Well, that was nice of Sam. Oh, sweetie, I'm so glad you helped him get the ants out of his toes. You're such a great sister. He seems ok now. You keep playing out here for a while. Yes, I'll tell you also when the peppers are cut. But they're small, so you can only have a few pieces this time. Yes, I know how much you loooove peppers. It seems to be genetic.'
Start cooking onions, garlic, and bacon. Why do people cook their peppers? They taste so much better then they're crunchy. I'll give David his own little bowl of diced peppers, and the kids can just have a slice when they come back inside. I think maybe I think too much into peppers. I love purple hulled peas. I feel so ... I dunno, Southern when I cook them. I'm glad Erica had some left when I got there [to the Farmers' Market] on Saturday. OH! I wish they wouldn't slam the door.
'Hey kids. Yes, I was just cutting them. No, you can't have your own bowl. Stop arguing with me. You need to say Yes, Ma'am, before you can ask me why. Again, with the correct tone. Thank you! Because you only have one slice, and David has several small pieces. You don't need a bowl. Yes, I see that he got out the little pot. I know he's putting his peppers in there. It's ok. Yes, the pot is clean. I'm not going to let your little brother eat food from a dirty pot. We haven't lived in Bastrop for that long. Never mind what that means.
'Stop interrupting your sister. No, Evie, you can't tell me about how Sam was scaring you with a sword. I don't care if he told you he was going to cut off your leg. No, Evie, he's not actually going to cut off your leg. No, he isn't. Evie, no he isn't! Oh, stop arguing with me. You two made a mess up in the loft this morning. Please go start on that while I make supper. It doesn't matter what we're eating. That has no bearing on your cleaning the loft.' Give kids detailed and boring cleaning instructions.
Well. David is occupied with putting his peppers into three different pots before eating them. I can live with that. Where was I? I did garlic, onions, peppers, bacon. What am I making? Peas. Mmk. I'd better get the peas out of the fridge. CRAP. I forgot to shell them. Well, the kids are occupied, so I should be able to get them done pretty quickly. Oooh, that didn't sound good. 'SAM! WHAT WAS THAT NOISE? STOP SHOUTING AT ME AND GET YOUR BUTT DOWNSTAIRS! Thank you for coming down here. What was that noise? Seriously? Sam, you can't climb in the bookshelf and try to jump on Evie. I don't care if you're trying to be a spider. No, Sam, you're not actually a spider. Stop arguing with me. No, you can't take a drink upstairs. Here, just have a sip of mine. Don't get your cooties in it. Never mind. I'll explain cooties when you're older. Go politely apologize to your sister.'
Ok. Peas. Where's the baby? 'David!' He's in the laundry room. I hope he's not in the chicken scratch. 'David! Get out of the chicken feed! And the cat food! No, please don't take anything out of the trash. Thank you. Can you close the door for me? Thank you. Eat your peppers! Good job.' Where is my strainer? I need a bigger bowl to shell these peas into. I haven't shelled peas since I was a kid. This is going to take forever. We're not going to eat until next Monday! Why didn't I do this OH MY GAWD, SOMETHING IS ON MY TOE!!!! IT'S A SCORpion never mind, it's just a leaf. How did a leaf get on my toe? Oh, well. I'm glad John wasn't here to hear me shriek like that.
'HEY, Y'ALL COME DOWN HERE. Thank you. I need y'all to help me shell peas. Shell peas. Shell. Peas. These are peas. Yes, I'm making purple peas for supper. Yes, you have to eat it.' Pulls out clean bowl for peas and gets the kids in a circle. 'Sit down. I know, I like doing things on the floor, too. No, we're not putting the peas on the floor. In the bowl. That one right there. The white one. Right in front of you. Right there! Sam, are you messing with me? You goose. You're funny.'
Explain two times how to shell peas. 'David, stop biting the peas and spitting them back in the bowl. Evie, the dark ones are easier than the green ones. Sam, stop taking all the dark ones away from your sister. Thank you. Evie, don't say HAHA at your brother. David! Stop that! Evie, I know he's trying to sit on you. Just let him. See, doesn't he look happy? Thank you. Yes, I love David, too.'
THIS IS TAKING FOREVER!!! Nostalgia, my ass. I think I have a bag of frozen fresh shelled peas in the freezer. Sweet! I do! 'Ok, kids, thanks for your help. Sam, please take David to use the restroom before you go upstairs. Yes, you both did a wonderful job. Thank you!' Man, I forgot how long it takes to shell peas. What idiot buys peas in the pod, when you can buy them already shelled? At least if you grow them, you've got a reason to shell them. Peas are in. Hope they don't take too long to cook. It's already 6:45! Goodness! When did it get that late?
'Hey David. Did you go to the bathroom? Good job! Please come help me unload the dishwasher.' My kid isn't even two, and he knows how to unload the dishwasher. He even does it the right way! Man, I RULE. I'm the best parent EVER! Crap. 'David, stay back. NO! Don't touch the broken glass. I'll clean it up.' Clean up glass. Glad that was just a small bowl. What was I saying? About my parenting? Pride goes before the fall ... of a bowl? Ha, I'm funny. I wish John was here so I could tell him. He'd HATE that joke! Ha! 'Great job, David!' He really is such a precious kid. He'll be an awesome older brother some day. I wonder when we should start trying again? Ok, can't start on that right now. I've got too much else going on.
Basil! I forgot the basil! 'David, keep unloading the plates.' Run outside to cut some basil. EWW! Poo! Stupid chicken. I hate chicken poo. That'll teach me to go out back without my flip flops. Clean feet. And hands. And basil. Where's my knife? There is it. Basil is in, let's get that dishwasher finished.
Turn around from unloading dishwasher. EGADS!!!! It looks like a bomb went off in here! I gotta get this tidied up, at least a little bit! John should be home soon. 'David, go put this in the pantry. Please don't lick the top of the pepper.' What was that verse in Isaiah that Pace sent me? I need to find that and post it on the fridge this month. I'll put it alongside this one. I love this verse! Am I forgetting something? Older kids are occupied, David is still putting stuff away, peas are going, I'm almost done with the clean ... THE SQUASH! Crap! Frantically pull squash out of oven. Ok, that's a little ... uh ... done. Well, I didn't burn it, so it should just be that much easier to mash.
'Oh! You scared me! Are you done with the loft? What do you mean, you're done with your part? Is Evie done? Well, no one is finished until the loft is totally clean. Uh huh, her side too. Dude, you know how it works. The more help you give her, the faster you're done. Great attitude, Sam! Thank you!'
Where's the baby? I hear him talking with Sam up the stairs. Good. Squash. Man, that's easy to scoop! OUCH! And hot. I need to overcook this every time. It was much harder last time. Well, that's in the mixer, butter and sugar and salt, good to go. I'm glad I used foil, clean up will be so ... 'WHAT???' Run upstairs. 'He spilled water near the computer? Where? Oh, Evie, don't scare me like that. He's like 10 feet from the computer. Is this your water? Stop crying. Please stop crying. You're not in trouble. Is it your water? Well, you know you're not supposed to have drinks up here. Clean up what he spilled, then you can all come downstairs.'
'No, your foot isn't bleeding, Evie. It is not. It is not! I'm looking right at it! Ok, you can get a band aid for it. Go. Sam, stop telling her that you're going to cut off her limbs. Yes, and toes and fingers. Don't tell her you're going to cut off anything. Remember, you're supposed to be her protector! How can you protect her if she's scared of you? Yes, you can apologize to her. That would be a very kind thing for you to do.' Turn to David. 'I hope anyone who comes after you is a boy Y'all are so much easier!' Laugh when David shrieks 'Yeah!'
Back down to the kitchen. Bowls on the counter for the hot soup. 'Sam, please set small plates out for everyone. Evie, forks and spoons. David, come clean up your books. Now, David. Say yes, ma'am. Thank you!' Squash? Check. Soup? Needs some salt and pepper. Check. 'Everyone go wash hands. Sam, help David.' I gotta change my shirt. John should be here any second. I can't believe I timed it like this! I never have supper on the table when he gets home! Of course, it's 7:30, so that might have something to do with it, also. I gotta get more organized.
'Hi, honey! I'm glad you're home! Yeah, it does smell good. Thank you! I'm glad you noticed the clean kitchen. The kids helped me a lot this afternoon. I think I'll let them tell you about it ... Our day? No, nothing out of the ordinary.'