There's just something about a chilly day in Florida that makes me want to bake. It's in the 40s here, with high humidity, so it's a 'wet cold', with wind chills below freezing that cut right through your sweater, (Floridians don't own coats!), and chills you right to the bone.
Despite the cold, the sky is bright and blue and sunny. I can hear my wind chimes tinkling in the breeze, and the train whistle in the distance. I brewed a fresh pot of coffee, let the dogs out for their morning romp, and drive my eldest daughter to her job at a mom and pop store that ships packages. She's been there over a year, and loves her job and the family who own the store.
My younger daughter is working on a Home Helper badge, so she's gathering laundry from all over the house, dividing light colored clothing from dark, and getting the washer loaded. I'm standing, staring into my narrow, deep pantry with a flashlight, trying to locate the elusive can of French onion soup for a rice dish I want to make for dinner.
By lunch time, I've fried pork chops in my big cast iron dutch oven on top of the stove, and in the oven I've got apple-balsamic carrots and French Onion Rice Casserole. I found some leftover baked potatoes in the fridge, and decide to fry them in the pan drippings after the pork chops are finished. No, no one needs to eat rice AND potatoes, but by frying them I can easily pop them into the toaster over and top with sour cream and scallions and salt and pepper for an easy side for tomorrows dinner. Assuming no one wolfs them down before then. :) With this hot food, I make hubby a covered plate to take to work with him.. he eats it later for his dinner break. I make another plate and cover it for my eldest daughter's supper for when she gets home tonight. Maybe it sounds a little weird, preparing a dinner so early every day. But given the schedules, this is what works best for all of us. My youngest and I have some of what I've prepared for our lunch while it's still hot, and then put away any leftovers. Later that evening at the 'proper' dinner hour, we generally just have a bit of leftovers, or some eggs, or a quick soup. Easy peasy.
My daughter is moving right along with her laundry, and has moved on to a load of towels. I am really enjoying her earning this badge. :) She has become rather skilled at laundry in the past week, and I'm feeling rather spoiled to not have to do it! :) Tomorrow is her last day though, so I am enjoying it while I can.
Since I've finished "meal" cooking and kitchen clean up for the day, I'm eyeing those bananas and thinking I should whip up a nice banana bread. It's good for dessert, breakfast, or just a yummy treat with a mug of hot tea. What's a few more dishes to wash? Popping banana bread into the oven, and my youngest reminding me that I'd promised to let her do some baking too. Very well. Let's bake another one for a neighbor. (another badge requirement) Both of us enjoy her earning her badges. :)
The house is warm from the oven, and full of good smells. Later I'll take out something for tomorrows dinner. Perhaps I'll bake again, or make it an easy day and use my crockpot. We'll decide later.
It's too chilly to go outside. Perhaps we'll play Bananagrams and Rory's Story like we did yesterday. Right now she's pouring over her badge requirement book, reading aloud possibilities, and telling me the badges she'd like to earn next. Asking me questions, making me think. :)
I love our days. Quiet, and peaceful. Sometimes we read, or watch a program. Sometimes we play games or have friends over. Craft making is fun.. she likes 'hands on' activities. She's a good girl. Lovable, easy to please, curious, cerebral.
Some days are busy, with homeschool meetings, play dates, AHG meetings, Special Olympics sport practices, competitions, and events. But on the quiet days where we've got nothing planned, this is pretty well it. And we love it. We get on projects, work on things, have discussions.. and the list goes on. Our lives are rather simple, but if you'd ever like to come by for a friendly afternoon visit, we're always happy to have friends over. Please excuse our dogs shamelessly begging belly rubs. Sorry about the glue.. we were doing art projects. We've got a spot in here at the table, waiting for you, with a cut of banana bread and a mug of hot tea..... you've come to the right place. :) Make yourself at home. ♥