Saturday, March 7, 2009

Reality vs. plan - Mar.7

So, reality vs. plan report. (See post below for plan for March 7.)

We woke up later (much later, at 8:30), because when the alarm clock woke me up at 7, I thought "Feh, sale-shmale, we'll figure something out" and went back to sleep. As it turns out, I was quite right to do so: the Outrageous Outgrowns sale sucked. Well, it might have been okay if we were looking for clothing, but we were looking for shoes. There was very little of that, and toys and books were pretty abysmal. So we ended up spending 15 minutes at most there, and were only 10 minutes behind schedule, which had padding planned into it anyway. We thoroughly enjoyed the Jungle, although it tired all of us out (which was the point). We climbed, and crawled, and rolled, and slid, up, down, left, right. This particular location is quite large (a plus) and noisy (a minus).

After we came home (youngest A. fell asleep in the car, but we woke him up) and had lunch, we drove quickly to the post office to get the kids their passports (so we can go to Canadian Niagara Falls in May), but it was by appointment only. We made our way home, had a great nap, did some quick-draw shopping (Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods), and went home for dinner. It's great to shop with kids: 1) they ask questions; 2) at Costco we get to try food samples; 3) also at Costco, they learn to sit side by side in the huge shopping cart; 4) they learn about things we buy and don't buy.

As always, activity of the day didn't go as planned: they simply refuse to play along a planned route. Which is, obviously, fine; I'm satisfied to at least push them in some way toward something new. I planned that we would use our play stove and cut-out food and spoons, and pretend to cook and serve the food. Well. Youngest 2.1-yr-old A. only wanted to play with the toy we bought at the morning sale; we thought it was Lego but it turned out to be some wheels-and-sticks constructor for much older kids. A. didn't mind it, he just spent the whole evening shoving little pieces in and out of the box. Oldest 3.6-yr-old L. took a bucket, one of the constructor sticks, and started cooking various toys on the couch. He would come up to me and ask what I wanted to eat, and then go to the bucket, cook it, and bring it to me. So, beads were pasta, jumbo lego piece was meat, toy man was salad, and so on. He even put on my IKEA soft slippers on his hands to serve as mittens against the "heat" of the stove.

Here are the recipes of the day.

For the morning, we had rice raisin kasha, a great and filling breakfast (freezes well, too). Ingredients: white rice, raisins, cream, milk, vanilla, a touch of sugar. Cook rice until almost done, drain, put back into the pot. Reduce heat. Add cream and milk, in proportion as function of how much fat you want in the dish (if no cream, milk and butter works fine too), add as many raisins as you like (the more the better), 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla, and a touch of sugar (raisins are sweet by themselves). Mix everything and let it stay on the heat until rice is completely cooked (if necessary, add more milk; the consistency of the kasha should be such that it's easily stirred with a spoon). Cover with a lid and let it sit for 10-15 minutes (gives the raisins time to plump). Yumm. Ours came from the freezer, because we rarely have time to cook anything of substance in the morning.

For lunch, we had my family's signature, builder's salad. Ingredients: boiled white rice, doktorskaya sausage (can also be boiled franks or boiled chicken), boiled eggs (optional), cabbage, mayonnaise, sour cream. Shred the cabbage (my mom does it manually, we do it in the food processor, you can also do it with a knife) and beat it a little with a mallet to make it give up the juice. Add rice in the same proportion. Add meat to be about 1/3-1/2 of the total. Add eggs, and dress with half-mayonnaise, half-sour cream mixture. For the best taste, do the salad the day before. We do it without eggs to cut down on calories.

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