With our varied school schedules this year, every day looks a little bit different. But on Tuesdays and Thursdays I know two things for sure:
1. Aidan and Avery will be at home.
2. Aidan and Avery will want snacks.
I enjoy the time at home with them, and today we took advantage of this beautiful weather we're being spoiled with and decided to go to the park. We headed out right after lunch, which proved to be an ideal window of time to have the place pretty much to ourselves. Little ones in the neighborhood are napping, and school kids aren't yet home. Although it's usually fun to play with other kids, too, I was thankful to have the time to visit with and find teachable "outdoor moments" with just these two today. (This solitude is also easier on our dog who has proven herself to be Socially Awkward and Anxious.)
We grabbed sweatshirts just in case, but Avery was hoping that shorts would be in order. Not quite yet, darling. And because I'm sure you're probably wondering, I wore my super comfortable, cute dark blue pants with the cunning pockets. (Here's the thing: When you find something at a second hand store, you don't always know what you're getting. You might, say, find some pants that fit perfectly and feel really cute and perky. You might wear them often, both in public and at home, and you might like them so much that you decide to google the brand to see where they came from. You might then discover that you're wearing scrubs.)
So we played at the park in our scrubs and sweatshirts (although the latter was hardly needed). We explored the new trail, listening for birds and delighting in the several ducks who have taken up residence since the completion of the wetlands project.
After a nice play, it was time to head back to the books. (One of which was the bird book. What kind of duck was that? A widgeon? It would plague me until I found out.) I knew the kids would also be ready for a snack soon, and I wanted to have something ready for Drew and Bethie when they got home. So I decided to pull out the pretzel recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction, which has been a favorite lately. (I use white flour and include the optional fifth step in her recipe. So good.)
Only a few ingredients are needed, making it easy to pull off without a special trip to the grocery store. (Or market. Which do you say? My grandma always says "to market, to market" and I like that . . . . Maybe it's a regional thing? Generational?)
When I start making pretzels, I invariably have a helper close at hand. (The other day when I made them, a Certain Someone was having a rough go of it. Math was horrible and grammar despicable. Working with dough proved to be calming, somehow. I'll add that one to my Mommy Tool Kit.)
My helper is getting the hang of the rolling and the shaping, so it's actually quite handy. (No matter how hard we try -- she and I both -- they end up looking more like Gordian knots than pretzels.) They take about an hour to make from start to gobbling, with two people working together. We sometimes make the cheese dip that goes along with the recipe, but that's usually a treat for the weekends when I have more time. Tuesdays and Thursdays we are content to dine sans dip.
Drew and Bethie walk in the door, sniff and say, "Yum!" And two more pretzels disappear. I grab one for myself and enjoy a quick pause in the day, a pause during which I ponder things like markets, widgeons . . . and scrubs.
Happy Tuesday, friends.