“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien
Visiting my friend, Jen at her farm is as much a favorite of my seventeen-year-old as it is of my four-year-old. The farm is charming, and Jen and Mel are delightful hosts. In fact, Jen and Mel are so generous with their produce, I always come home loaded with treasures. Sunday night’s visit was no exception. We canned nine jars of Mel’s famous Pickle Me Melvins, and if that wasn’t enough of a blessing, we came home with loads of peaches, tomatoes, cukes, cabbage, green pepper, garlic, basil and chives.
Monday, I thought I would quickly do a peach cobbler to use some of the peaches, and then I had ambitions for pesto, salsa or chutney and a nice rich tomato sauce. I was ready. I sliced peaches while Ev played with Rescue Heroes nearby. He was excited. I was excited. We talked about how scrumptious it would be.
Every now and then, Ev would leave his Rescue Heroes to supervise my work. "Yeah. Make sure you cut off ALL the brown spots, Mom. It'll taste better that way."
At a few points he snuck some sliced peaches in order to assure quality. "Mmmm. Yum! Nice and juicy."
Of course, while I'm peeling and slicing I'm also making Ev toast, unloading the dishwasher, keeping the eyesinthebackofmyhead tuned in to potential mischief–just the usual mom multi-tasking. When I get to the part where I needed to mix the batter, I discover the gluten free pre-made baking mix I always use was put back in the pantry nearly empty.
What to do? What to do? I scrounge around to see what kind of flours I have to mix and make my own, and I remember I need a 40:60 ratio of whole grains to starches. After finding what I need, I begin to make a batch of gluten free flour mix.
“Can I help? Please, Mama! May I please help?”
What can I say to that lovelybpolitecsentence? Inside I am thinking how this simple baking project is already taking me longer than I anticipated, but I look into those big blues eyes and know I am a goner. “Sure, love. Here. You stir the flours together.”
I can see how excited he is to help as he pulls over a chair and and starts to stir even as flour flies up everywhere. Eventually, I finish putting the batter together and am able to slide the cobbler into the oven. (I’ll deal with the mess later.)
Half the day is gone, but I still manage to make a batch of pesto for dinner.
When we finally sit down to eat, Ev eyes the green sauce suspiciously: “Um. Well. Um, Mom…Maybe I just want plain noodles tonight.”
“Just try this; I promise you will like it. It’s green after all—and you love green.”
At the mention of his favorite color, he perks up and consents to me putting some pesto on his pasta.
Two plates of pasta loaded with pesto, tomato salad and broccoflower later, Ev sits back from the table, looks up at me and gushes, “Wow, Mom. You were TOTALLY right. I loved that green sauce! It was delicious!”
One small step for green sauce everywhere; one huge leap for Mama being right.