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My husband and I love to cook so much that our kids enjoy the benefits of our cooking, but really are not called upon to do much cooking themselves.  Both kids have had middle school home ec classes, but ironically, there wasn’t much cooking for either of them and I worry that they won’t have proper skills when they go out on their own.

My daughter has been a little bored at times this summer, and occasionally she has expressed an interest in learning “how to cook.”  Her only cooking experience thus far is a little bit of baking for class projects and 4H.  So yesterday when she proposed that we have baked potatoes as a side dish with dinner since we hadn’t had them in a long time, I thought it was an easy way to give her a little bit of experience in the kitchen.

I chose and washed the potatoes myself and then called her in to help.  I was worried about her stabbing herself with the fork trying to pierce the potatoes, but she did fine.  She was a bit grossed out when I had her rub a little olive oil on each potato before wrapping in foil, but she was successful, with no injuries.  We then tossed them in a cold oven and turned it on to 350 and I told her – “that’s it.  They will be ready in about an hour when dinner is ready.”

She was quite proud at the dinner table to let everyone know that she had made the baked potatoes.  I need to come up with some other things for her to do to work on her kitchen skills.  She loves Chex mix, so maybe she can try making that.  I work from a combination of 2 separate recipes, so it would be a good way for her to learn about adapting recipes.

If you have kids, what do you do to help them learn kitchen and other life skills?  Leave a comment with any tips you have.

Best regards,

Lynn

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Just a short post today as I have just returned from a long drive.  I had an opportunity today to realize that we can enhance our lives when we look for fun and humor and approach things with a good attitude.

I was on the highway for several hours today and had to deal with my fair share of traffic and rude drivers, though for the most part it was a pretty smooth trip.  About halfway home, I was pulling up on a large tanker truck.  The back of the tank was painted brown and had a lot of words written on it, but from a distance, I could only read one – “COFFEE.”  I suddenly got this image in my head of this giant tanker truck filled with liquid coffee on its way to make deliveries to Midwest coffee shops all along the highway.  My face broke into a huge grin and I chuckled to myself, “it’s a coffee tanker!”

Pulling up closer to the truck, I finally could see that it was a Pilot gas truck and that the full text on the back advertised that Pilot had the freshest coffee on the road, or something like that.  I still would not release my image of the coffee tanker, though, and chuckled harder when I saw the flammable liquid warning on the back of the tanker.  “Huh,”  I thought.  “I never knew coffee was flammable.”

For the rest of the drive, whenever I got bored, I would think of the magical tanker of coffee plying the highways to help tired motorists and smile again.

A silly distraction, but we all should have our laughs.  Think of something today that makes you smile – it’s even good for your health.

Best regards,

Lynn

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Nine o’clock this morning – Dog and I were on the front porch, enjoying breakfast and reading the newspaper (me for both – he was just watching the rain) and I was laughing at the weather forecast on the front page which predicted morning sun and some afternoon thunderstorms as I watched the rain come down in buckets.  With the purchase of a beautiful inlaid tile cafe table and two fake wicker chairs (I prefer the plastic to real wicker – no maintenance), our front porch is a wonderful breakfast room from spring until fall.  Dog loves to sit out there with me and watch the world go by, contemplating chasing “Chippie,” the chipmunk who lives under or around the gargantuan Serbian Spruce, or anything else that runs or flies by.

So there I am, sipping tea and happily immersed in the local news when I see a blinding flash just off to the side of the house and a boom RIGHT on top of the flash.  Holy heck.  After I peeled myself down from the roof of the porch, I dared peek out to the side of the house wondering what tree got hit now (we live in a subdivision but our lot is wooded with some very tall pine trees, one of which was struck by lightening a few years ago but miraculously survived).  I didn’t see anything smoking or smoldering, so I shrugged, told the dog, “that scared the bejesus out of me,” (to which the dog’s expression said, “yeah, but where’s that Chippie??”), and then I went back to the newspaper.  Hubbie came out a few minutes later to tell me there was no power, and to ask if our house was hit.  I told him that it did not appear to be hit and sent him back in to get himself some tea – turns out the hot water tap we installed in the kitchen during the remodel is quite handy in a power outage – you can get a couple cups of hot tea out of it even after the power goes out.

A couple minutes later, we hear a siren and then a fire truck drives down our street.  Hmmmm.  It stops 4 houses down from us.  Hmmmm.  We figure something down there got hit by lightening.  Another neighbor drives by and asks if our power is out and what happened.  She continues on down the street and returns a few minutes later to say that lightening hit a big tree next to one of the houses and also tore a hole in the side of the house.  Yow.  I end up across the street talking to another neighbor while we watch all the trucks head down the street.  Pretty soon the dog comes trotting over.  I had kind of forgotten about him.    Turns out not only was there a lightening strike but there is a gas leak somewhere and several houses have been evacuated, but so far not ours.  Neighbor decides it is probably not a good idea to start her generator!  We figure it will be a while before the power is back on.

Kids are annoyed because we won’t let them open the fridge.  Everyone in our house is twiddling their thumbs wondering what to do.  Hubbie proposes shopping, but I don’t want to leave the house in case something happens with the gas leak and they evacuate more houses.  Since it has stopped raining, we decide to take dog for a walk and about that time, all the trucks start to take off.  Son calls my husband on his cell to say the power is back on.  We get home and find that while the power is back on, the internet is not, so head out and blow some money at Sam’s Club.  At least we could buy some groceries now that we could open the fridge again.

All’s well that ends well and internet was back up about 6 hours after the lightening strike.  No one was hurt, there was no fire, and hopefully the lady with a hole in her house has paid her homeowner’s premium.

Oh, and yesterday after I got back from Menard’s with a full new drain assembly for my bathtub which the Menard’s guy said I should be able to replace in a snap, I had to ask my husband to try to unscrew the flange and he promptly broke the cross piece out that you use to unscrew it.  Plumber is coming tomorrow.  He said those drain assemblies usually cannot be replaced in a snap.  Thanks, Menard’s guy.   Actually, it should work out OK.  We called the manufacturer for a replacement faucet for our powder room since the finish started peeling 4 months after it was installed and we’ve had the replacement sitting around for 6 months while we kept forgetting to call the plumber.  So at least we were inspired to get the plumber over here and now he can take care of both problems at once.

No interesting recipes today.  I had hoped to bake pecan rolls today from the Artisan Bread book, but they will wait until tomorrow.  Dinner will simply be chicken on the grill, as long as it doesn’t rain again.  Otherwise, I guess I will just pan fry them.

Hope your day was less interesting than mine.  On a plus note, I talked to more neighbors today than I have all year!

Best regards,

Lynn

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Hello world!

My first blog post!  I don’t know why – off work for the summer and bored, or looking for something new, but this past weekend I declared, “I am starting a blog!”  I started researching the process online, having visited a variety of blogs during web searches, but not actively following any in particular, to find out what I was getting into.  The most practical piece of advice I saw over and over again was to JUST DO IT.  Sit down and write that first post.  So, here it is and here I am.  I am a private person, yet pretty opinionated.  I am often regaling others with my thoughts, which some find interesting and some probably find that they wish I would just keep my thoughts to myself.  I don’t really have a theme in mind at this point, but perhaps that will evolve with time and practice.  I have always wanted to share my thoughts, and this seems a good vehicle.  Unfortunately, I have to go make dinner.  A real post coming tomorrow morning.

Best regards,

Lynn

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