Pancakes and BBQ and Mashed Potatoes

Food, glorious food. I love food. I love cooking and I love cooking for my family and friends and providing for them and caring for them by feeding them. This is so simple and so basic and makes me so very simply, happy. I love when they are happy with the food I prepare for them and feel such a connection.

This school year I decided to make breakfast for my family every day. I have a new menu for each day of the week and the kids are starting to look forward to what’s coming. Today was pancake day and there was a sense of anticipation that I loved.

I had fun being creative, making their pancakes with designs.

   I loved seeing them smile and enjoy this simple touch. I just put the pancake batter into a squeeze bottle and cut the top so the hole was a little bigger to help the batter pass through without major clumping. 

   I need to play and create more often. This was definitely a highlight of my day.

I also loved when Charlie came home from school and thanked me again for making him his favorite pancakes. I loved that he appreciated me and the effort I put into making our mornings meaningful.

I make Juliana a hot lunch every day, as she eats a gluten free diet. Sometimes it is challenging to think about what to make and fill her thermos. Today I put in leftover truffled fried potatoes with brisket and bbq sauce. She texted me during her lunch break to tell me how much she loved her lunch.  I know it’s silly, but these little moments of gratitude make my day. I love that she appreciates the thought and time I put into making her lunch and I loved making it. The circle is complete.

And finally, I made Christian dinner to go and he was thankful he didn’t have to eat the bag of trail mix and granola bar he had prepared to eat between his events. He was happily surprised with the hot meal I prepared before picking him up from his practice. 

 I loved seeing him enjoy the food I prepared and hearing him ask me to wait a minute before driving away so that he could savor a few bites before going again. It’s the little moments.

This is what our life looks like. We’re busy and running all around, yet we still enjoy good and healthy food and I get to still take care of my babies, even if we’re not all sitting around the table at the same time.

I love that food connects and binds us and that they enjoy this little touch.

Life is good.

What are some of your food favorites? What are some of your food routines?

Day 186: Sunday Family Day

How was your day, honey?

Our day was full and I wouldn’t exactly call it a day of rest, which is what we originally planned.

Charlie and Christian had friends sleepover last night. For some weird reason I was excited to get up early and have coffee and make them all pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon. I remember how happy my Grandma used to be when she made food for us. I had that same feeling today. The little boys had so much cooking with me and flipping pancakes in the air. We were all laughing together and breakfast was fun.

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While enjoying breakfast, we also watched the men’s final Australian tennis championship. Wow! They are so strong and powerful, focused and intense. I loved watching Murray and Djokovic play and wish I could play like them! The games lasted for almost 4 hours…kinda like running a marathon. At the same time, since I can’t sit still, I cleaned up breakfast dishes and began making my first pot of pea soup, or erwtensoep as they say in Nederlanse. In order to make it, you boil dried peas with bacon and a bay leaf and salt for 45 minutes. While they are simmering, you chop up a carrot, an onion, a leek, celery root and fresh parsley. All of the veggies are then added to the pot for another 30+ minutes until they are nice and soft. Then I took a hand blender and puréed it all together until it was thick and creamy. Meanwhile, I boiled the rookworst ( sausage) to add to the soup.

Barbara and Dennis joined us for a late lunch and we finished the whole pot less one small cup! I didn’t even have time to take a picture to show you! Luckily everyone loved it because my kids had never tried it before. I’m so glad they love another Dutch dish!

We had quite the busy day. After everyone left, Jeff and I went for a run together in the slush. It rained last night and this morning, and our winter wonderland turned to slush. The white covered ground came back to life again and the top of the canal was flowing with water, although you could see ice still a few inches below the water. To think that we were walking on the canal last night and now it is unsafe is crazy to me. Running was a bit challenging because some patches were icy and slushy, but it felt so good to run again. (Sorry – no pictures to share)

Finally, Jeff and I went out for a quick (romantic) date night to study our Dutch. Seriously, we listened to our Dutch CD in the car and drove around to find a place that was open on Sunday to grab a drink and do our homework. We found a great local bar, and made friends with Ike, our cute Dutch waitress who was thrilled to help us learn. She was so much fun and kept coming back between helping other guests and telling us the informal equivalents to the formal sayings we were learning. We liked the atmosphere of the local pub and restaurant that has been in Amstelveen for 125 years, but OMG, the place smelled like an ash tray and no one was smoking. I think it’s because of all the heavy wood and rugs as table cloths that have absorbed years of smoke and never have been cleaned. It reminded me of my Oma and Opa’s house growing up, because everyone used to smoke indoors with the windows closed in the 1970’s!! When we came home, the kids told us we stank! They were right,unfortunately! Too bad, because we really like the place and want to hang out there more often. We’ll see…

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Have a great week, y’all! Dream big