Fridays seem to roll around faster and faster every week, and this one was no exception. After my early morning yoga class I left for Austin. Saturday would be # 6 grandchild’s first birthday. Her aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents would all be there. The trip to Austin was uneventful, just a nice drive on a warm sunny day. I’ve started to avoid the hectic highway, I 35 south, and travel an alternate route that is about 10 miles longer, has less traffic, and much more scenic. The towns along the way are all small and spread between lightly populated areas of country side. In the past two weeks these areas have suddenly changed from the monochromatic shades of brown and gray to lush green with a few small wild flowers starting to show.
On arrival to my daughter’s home I found her and her husband busy with party preparation. They seem to have worked out a great approach to working in the kitchen together. While the daughter is stirring up a double batch of cupcakes with butter-cream icing, the son-in-law is keeping the dishes done, providing supervision, and warnings for any potential hazardous conditions. Believe me this is not an easy task, my daughter cooks much like I do, flour is often airborne and the dishes and utensils seem to multiply with little effort. We misjudge bowl and utensil capacity, never lay anything down in the same place, and frequently drop, dribble, splash and scatter.
With things well under control in the kitchen this left me free to totally immerse my self in my youngest granddaughter. We have six grandchildren ranging in age from 12 years to 12 months, every wonderful thing that has ever been said about grandchildren is true. I enjoyed our children and felt very rewarded but there is something extra special about grandchildren. With our own children we were so caught up in day-to-day activities that one day we discovered they were all grown up and ready to leave home. I find I want to savor every minute with the grandchildren in hopes that the innocence will last a little longer and that they won’t have to deal with the “grownup world” so soon. The granddaughter and I spent the afternoon outside. As I kept a watchful eye she picked up rocks and sticks and placed them in clay pot, toddled from one object to another, touching, pulling or pushing it while always looking if there would be an objection or encouragement.
When we got back to the house dinner preparation had already started. The broccoli was in the oven roasting and the son-in-law was making “chicken sandwiches”. He had whole wheat buns, mayo, mustard, fresh lettuce from the garden , and Popcorn Tofu from Wheatsville Coop. I was very skeptical that this could resemble chicken. Over the years I have eaten many things that I’ve been told “tastes just like chicken”, frog legs, squirrel, and rabbit, to name a few. No they didn’t taste like chicken , not even close. Why would you kill a little frog? If you want chicken, kill a chicken. Anyway it did look like small pieces of fried white meat , the texture was similar and the flavor great. I was quit impressed. I’m sure the sodium content was pretty high, it just tasted too good for it not to be. But it made for a great meatless meal. The broccoli on the side was a great compliment. If you have never roasted broccoli you will find it a great variation to the standard steaming method. The broccoli will have a milder flavor and a slight crispness to it.
Dinner was over and it was time to bathe the little angel and tuck her in for the night. What a great day! I’m so lucky!