Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When Words Matter

It started sleeting last night around 9pm...and continued until 4am.  Know how I know?  I heard it.  ALL.NIGHT.LONG.  I kept getting up, checking the computer, SURE that our school district had succumbed to the dreaded "snow day" (of which we have had ZERO).  I mean...c'mon, there was 2 inches of ICE on the ground at 4am.  That's when the snow started.  Up again at 5am to see if the district made the call.  Nope.  Since my middle daughter gets up first and needed to shower, I checked again at 6am.  Alas...there was no snow day today.  You don't want to know the "kind" words my children had for the school superintendent.
Since I had so little sleep, and since it was still snowing, and since I had hit the grocery store in preparation of the "winter storm advisory", I knew I didn't have to leave the house until I had to pick up Beanie from school.  So, I did what makes me feel good on snow days.  I cooked.
I made chocolate chip cookies.  I prefer not giving the kids warning when I do this...just have the smell of fresh baked cookies when they walk in the door.  But seeing is believing:
Then, since my oldest daughter requested it, I made her more shrimp salsa.  I have altered the original recipe a bit.  I only use one jar of salsa and use about 6-8 fresh roma tomatoes.  I also add a bit of cumin and some pepper.  The rest is as written.  My daughter was vera, very happy...see:
She asks that you not notice the horrible shape of her nails.  It's end of quarter/final week at school.  She's a little stressed.
Dinner I started while I had the cookies going.  A huge pot of beef vegetable soup.  Cubed chuck (beef) seared in a little oil.  I added one diced onion, 3 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, 1 1/2 tsp thyme, 3 bay leaves, 1 tsp black pepper, 2 Tbs Tones beef stock concentrate and 1 qt water.  Stir well, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  After about an hour add 3 stalks of celery sliced.  After another hour add 2-3 potatoes, peeled and cubed and half a bag of baby carrots cut in thirds.  Continue to simmer until meat is tender.  Add 1 16 oz bag frozen mixed veggies.  These will cook very quickly and the soup is ready.  I served it with a loaf of french bread warmed in the oven:
So, I had all these smells wafting through the house as my children came home.  My son was last to arrive as he had baseball practice.  He walked into the kitchen, saw the cookies and said...YES(in that way that you KNOW you just made your child very happy).  Then the next question was what all the kids ask me upon seeing me, "What's for dinner?"  I replied, "I have a big pot of beef vegetable soup on  the stove" to which he replied, "I LOVE coming home to this".
I got a little teary eyed.  Words DO matter.

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