Garden and oven Saturday

The day was spent working on several chores. Keith spent his day outdoors resolving that problem of a wimpy redbud tree. It was on of the pair planted last year at the end of our patio. The one he chose which looked the best turned out to be a dud. It's just not growing as well as it should and seems very displeased to be in its location. The search for its replacement has left us with a dead end at getting another redbud. There are none to be found as most are planted pre-Spring. Keith decided to choose a magnolia tree to fill its spot. Which sounds great but a magnolia tree is never small and being so close to the house has me wondering what sort of mess this will create in the future. The reject redbud was moved to the back yard, along our property line. It was placed in a corner where the neighbor's kids behind us often use as a cut through to get home. They are also the noisy neighbors so we've been wanting to fill in that gap with anything to build us a better barrier. He found a Holly shrub on sale that also went in that area. Since he was out there digging and stuff he decided to dig up another sapling in the woods and move it to that corner too. It's going to be a mighty oak one day, well, way far in the future so we'll see how this little guy grows. He also added an edging to the blueberry hill and topped it off with a fresh covering of mulch. That should help keep the berries roots extra happy plus it looks loads better than bare dirt. The remaining crop of lettuce was harvested. I picked through the heads and pulled out the best leaves. There was so much slug and snail damage that half went to waste, er, more like to the little slimy critters. At least they were happy dining on the lettuce for a few weeks. Not that I'm too upset, there are 3 gallon bags of lettuce in the fridge which means we are eating salad every day. That space where the lettuce was growing was tilled and prepped for the green beans. We're going to give them a try this year and see if we can get a nice batch for supper one night. We always seem to have bad luck with green beans. Maybe this will be our year.

While most of that yard work went on without me I stayed busy inside working on pies. We have a BBQ to attend tomorrow and I chose to bring pie. My choice was to make a mixed berry pie and a peach-blueberry pie. I thought apple at first but apple is so easy and often the first one people make. Few make a peach-blueberry pie. Strawberry rhubarb would have been good but I can't find rhubarb any where. It's past the season in these grocery parts. I made these pies with a whole wheat crust. I wanted something a little more sturdy to hold up to those juicy fruits. It's also a bit healthier and the whole wheat gives a bigger crunch. I just hope they turned out fine. I couldn't find my crust recipe and had to just wing it. In case the pie is a bust I made Sangria. I mean, who can resist Sangria on a hot day? If you ain't eating pie then you can drink up the berry bliss.

Supper was a simple chicken tostada salad. Olivia was the one who found it to be less than ideal. I gobbled mine up and so did Keith. Leah nibbled hers layer by layer. Olivia managed to move hers around on the plate many times trying to make it look like she ate most of her meal. I did what any mother would do and insisted she eat her supper. It's one thing to be full and it's quite another to not eat more than 3 bites. After a few hours of swimming I thought she'd be hungry and I know she was, just not for this salad. She sat at the table until I figured she ate enough to fill her belly. Of course she grumbled and complained about how sweet it was (had chopped mango in it), how spicy it was (a smidgen of salsa), how crunchy it was (uh, tostada) and so on. All the typical things she does when she is not in favor of the food she is to eat. It is frustrating when kids do that always will be. I have learned patience and persistence. They are to eat the food put in front of them and that's it. No substitutions. They don't have to like it but they do have to eat enough for it to be a complete meal. Hey, we all ate stuff we didn't like and the way I see it that's life. On occasion you have to do stuff you don't like. Man did I hate pork chop night. That was the one meal that I loathed, well besides sloppy joe night which was the worst of all. Still loathe those two foods. But I ate it. Maybe not as much as I should but I ate it. All. All of it. I was expected to eat it and be filled up. I expect nothing less from my children. I refuse to cook only things the kids like to eat. We cannot eat noodles and cheese every other day of the week. I wonder how many parents give in too easily and let their children dictate the culinary rules. Far too many I think. Perhaps that is why I seem to encounter so many rude kids who have never learned to be thankful for the hot meal they are given.

While the supper clean up went on Olivia remained at the table. I figured she'd eat eventually. Not all but enough. She mentioned how much she likes meatballs. I know how much she likes them, it's one of our once a month meals. More like every other week meal. I understood her longing. I myself was that girl sitting at the table alone faced with a sloppy joe. Wondering how I could get it down and not gag. I did and it didn't kill me. Just like folding 3 baskets of laundry every week won't kill me. But I can grumble and complain about it and think about how much I like watching TV instead.


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