Thursday, June 5, 2008

Schools Out!!! (Or Blah, blah, blah)

It's hard to believe that just last August I was so anxious about kindergarten for my little girl and now it is over and she's a first grader. Unbelievable. I asked her what she though we should do to celebrate the end of the school year - she suggested we watch a movie and eat some popcorn. I think that is a great idea.
It's especially unbelievable how far she has come this year. We started the year with a child who said 'Mo-O-o-O-o-M! Just read the book!!' And now we have a full-fledged reader- and writer. I love it. She decided our first stop today would be the library - which was completely packed. And who lets their kids run around in circles and yell there? Hmmm. We used to go weekly when she was younger but during the school year her visits have been few. She got to sign up for the reading program, as well. I asked her if she knew who always won the summer library reading programs when I was a kid - yep, yours truly.

I also asked her what she thought we should have for dinner last night. 'Cauliflower Cheese Pie - from your book' was the response. My book is my new personal cookbook that I'm still in the process of putting together. I wanted something special so I went to the Russell and Hazel store and picked out a pretty binder (I have the orange one) and picked up some heavyweight plastic page protectors (thanks everyone for the suggestion!) at the office supply store. I just love seeing all my recipes in one place. I also love that my daughter wants Cauliflower Cheese pie - basically a potato crust in a pie pan filled with cooked cauliflower, cheese and topped with an egg and milk mixture. (My version of the recipe uses 1 3/4 cups cheese and fresh herbs.) It fits right into the vegetarian cooking I've been doing this week. We've also had Alice Water's Pasta and Cheese Gratin (macaroni and cheese for the rest of us) from The Art of Simple Food and black bean tacos the other night from The New Vegetarian Epicure. Both turned out quite well but my girl was not so fond of the bread crumbs on the mac and cheese. Apparently, they are just not supposed to be there. Vegetarian cooking seems like more work to me. Not that I'm opposed to working in the kitchen which I love, but I'm having a hard time coming up with quick and satisfying meals. Any ideas from the vegetarians out there?

In other news, my peonies have still not opened. Here they are pictured last May. It's been so chilly here! I'm really wondering what this is going to do to the growing situation for farmers - how are we even going to grow tomatoes if we don't have heat? It was a long winter here, and summer still hasn't begun.


Eva said...

They have vegetarian cookbooks w/ a 'quick' theme. Maybe if your library has some, you can flip through them for ideas? You could also look for veggie cookbooks aimed at college students-they tend to keep things simple too!

An ex-boyfriend's parents got me the Betty Crocker Vegetarian Cookbook, and it has a bunch of simple recipes in it that taste yummy!

Nan said...

Oh my, I think meat is much, much harder. I read about all the things people have to do with meat, including the whole carefulwiththe cuttingboard thing, and I think, my gosh, I have an easy cooking life. But then, we aren't too fancy. You know what, I've been putting off sending the book you won because I wanted to do something special for your upcoming birthday, and this is what I'll do - I'll include a few recipes, easy as can be vegetarian recipes, ones my kids ate happily for years and years. Thank you for giving me the idea! :<)

Nan said...

Oh, and those peonies. If MN and NH are supposed to be so similar in weather, then they aren't late yet. I looked back and all my photos are in the 20s of June. Keep faith, dear one. :<)

Bookfool said...

Your daughter sounds like a gem. :)

Tara said...

Eva, I've done that a little many of them seem too easy..such as broccoli on toast with cheese on top. My family just doesn't want that for dinner. I'll have to browse the library catalog, since my branch is one of the smaller ones. I will check out the betty crocker book. thanks!

You see, I've been cooking in the 'french' style for a long time; saute a cutlet of meat, then make a pan sauce, serve with something starchy and something green. I can put that sort of meal together quickly. It feels like the planning is taking forever for me with the veggie meals. It's probably just the sorts of meals I've been making. I cannot imagine if I were to work full time. I don't know what we would eat, certainly it wouldn't be as well as we do now.

I absolutely love and greatly appreciate your idea of sharing your recipes with me. That is exactly what I need. Thank you , thank you, thank you. You are a good friend.

I'm glad to hear it about your peonies. It's hard to see and hear about the wonderful weather some parts of the country are having when my daughter put a fleece jacket on today to ride her bike!

Bookfool, oh she is, and a stinker, too! Thanks for saying so. = )

Bybee said...

Cauliflower Cheese Pie sounds heavenly & your daughter sounds like a great person to hang with.

Bree said...

Seriously, what is up with parents who let their kids run around in public places (especially libraries and restaurants)???? It drives me crazy.

Jenny Gardiner said...

Hi Tara! I linked you from Bree's ThingsWeRead blog b/c I saw your blog was books and food--two of my favorites! And then I saw the needlework and knew I had to get over here (I have enough unfinished projects to open a store, from needlework to quilts to dolls, you name it).
I'm very impressed that your 1st grader eats cauliflower! I've got 3 teens and I can't even get them to eat it raw!

Tara said...

Bybee, Cauliflower Cheese Pie, is total comfort food, and she is fun to hang out with. I just love when she's in her 'behaving like a big girl mood' and we have a good time together.

Bree, I'll be the first to tell you that I don't have the most well-behaved kid in the world. BUT - it would be nice to at least hear the parent tell the child to stop, even if they don't.

Sleeping with Ward Cleaver, thanks for stopping by and great name! I have to be honest and tell you I haven't done embroidery in a few months - problems with my hands has prevented it - but I really want to make something soon! I also have lots of unfinished things. Sigh.

I'm impressed too that she eats cauliflower - though I don't like it raw either! I don't think she realizes she's not supposed to like it.

Lesley said...

That's a great story - thanks for sharing! I love hearing about kids who love to read and visit the library.

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness, you're making me hungry! Congratulations on school being out. I really miss the summer reading programs with my kids. They were always so much fun!

Tara said...

Lesley, I always loved going as a kid - begged to go in fact - so I love that I get to relive that now.

Lisa, good! He he. This is our first year to really participate so that makes it quite fun.