1. I celebrated a mid-life birthday last week and just last night managed to finish the remaining piece of Happy-Birthday-To-Me-Ice-Cream Cake with my seven-year-old son. Eating the cake was his idea and I said “Yes”. Funny how this particular seven-year-old always knows the exact location, and quantity, of ice cream, or cake, or ice cream cake, in our house. I had sort of forgotten that 1/8 of the cake remained. He stood on his tippy toes and reached into our garage freezer to pull out the large covered plate with a pretty-good-sized wedge of cake perched on top. We shared the last piece and for that reason I had a birthday gift, one week later, right in my own kitchen, at 10:00 pm. Ice-cream-cake conversation with my youngest son.
2. Cooking dinner in the summer time is more of a challenge for me than any other time of the year. It’s not that I don’t have the food in the house, it’s just, I guess, I’m a bit out of my routine. First, with the sun setting later, 5:00 pm seems like the middle of the day. That’s the time I can be found urging my oldest son to get ready for football practice or warding off requests to go to the pool. (I like the pool, and I like it best in the evening, but not every day). I kick into gear in the kitchen around 6:30 pm and dinner appears by 7:30 or 8:00. That’s OK I guess. I truly believe Mother Nature, and her season of summer, calls me to live a bit differently. Stay up late, get up early. Eat dinner late, eat ice cream cake late. Whatever. Before I know it the routine of school will move us in a different direction.
3. Yesterday my oldest son (before football practice) asked if he could make fresh squeezed lemonade. (I had a bag of lemons on the counter.) “Yes”, I said. While I had him in the kitchen I asked if he would test this recipe for Fresh Blackberry Cake as a sheet cake. “Yes”, he said. Gives me a new idea for a cookbook, Can You Cook Like A 7th Grader. The sheet cake test turned out well, so, if you want to bake this cake as a sheet cake, just put the batter into a prepared (as in greased and floured) 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan and bake for about 40 minutes. Sheet cakes travel well and for a casual snack around the house it beats a bag of store-bought cookies.
4. I’m trying to say “Yes” more, “Yes” to things I’m afraid to do, “Yes” to party invitations, “Yes” to my son wanting to eat ice cream cake at 10:00 pm on a summer night, “Yes” to my other son requesting to make lemonade, “Yes” to my daughter who loves to make Ranch Dip, peel carrots, or mix pitcher of Kool-aide, “Yes” to a few new projects, “Yes” to spending the night in the ER with an elderly relative. “Yes” feels better than “No”.
5. I’ve been working hard on a manuscript for a cookbook. I’ll share details as they unfold. A cookbook? “YES”.