So this week, just a bit too late for my blueberries, I came across the recipe for blueberry almond refrigerator oatmeal. I made it with the almond milk I had for the other new favorite summer breakfast (pb & banana smoothie) and I loved it. So did my husband. It was perfect after a sticky dog walk in the morning. I kept making it all week. I added strawberries (ok), bananas (yum), coconut (which I think improves all it touches), and eventually--more blueberries. It was great.
This July 4, I had crazy grand food plans and in the end, it was such a strange day, most of it didn't happen. On July 3, some freak little storm cell hit the north end of town, taking down at least 5 huge, old, gorgeous trees, while on the other side of town, it barely drizzled. Because of that and a prediction of showers all day, the town cancelled the July 4 festivities. By noon, though, there was no rain falling, and so people paraded anyway, with no judges or trophies, and the fire company gave rides from the cabs of the fire trucks instead of on top. It was very low key and super fun. Since our usual water fight wasn't happening, we went to the horseshoes tournament and the one boy joined in with his friend and the other went exploring the creek with a bunch of other kids. Then one biked to a friend's house, but got waylaid playing ball tag with another group of buddies; then they biked to the pool to rendezvous with my husband and other son to play the games there. It was awesome, start to finish, and the strange weather--breezy and 74 degrees! it felt like Maine--just added to the small town magic of the day.
But...that meant I wasn't hiding in my house cooking. I heated the strawberry rhubarb crumble...and forgot to take it to the party. In the end, the only two things from my list of (whoops) 12 were the Greek dip from Clover Lane, which was spectacular and I will make again and again, and the flag snacks--white dish, box of blueberries in the corner for the blue field, then stripes of strawberries and yogurt pretzels. That was a giant hit, the kids oohed and ahed like I'd cooked all day, and in the end, there were maybe four strawberries and a light layer of blueberries left. So all those other cool ideas? Forget it.
Oh, and I made oatmeal squares from the following recipe; they were good, for what they were--that sounds like damning with faint praise but that isn't what I mean to do. The recipe:
3 bananas, smushed
1/3 C applesauce
2 C oats
1/2 C almond milk
1/2 C raisins
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix, pour in to square baking dish and smooth out top; bake at 350 for 20 minutes, let cool and cut.
Not as good as the refrigerator oatmeal, but for a no-gluten, no-dairy, no-sugar cookie? they were good.
Then the block party was amazing; we had some "extra" invited families with kids who visit here all the time, and there was just a herd of boys romping through the yards, dropping by every once in a while for a hot dog or cupcake. There were fireworks from BJ's and then someone rigged a projector to show a movie on the garage door of one of the houses. The kids all pulled up chairs and settled in, giving the parents the chance to do the same. So we sat around a fire pit in the middle of the street until almost midnight, enjoying the evening and each other.
But for at least 10 years, we've had crazy hot July 4ths. Our first one in this house was 104 degrees and humid; not many after were much better weather-wise. But this year, when the kids were putting on their bathing suits and topping them with fleece, when the wind blew so hard the mosquitoes were chased away; when the kids decorated their bikes and rode them for no judges, just the pleasure of garland and streamers on their bikes...it was really magic. It was a great day and I will remember this one forever.
Monday: yogurt chicken, green beans with pickled onions and toasted almonds, maybe rice if I feel like it.
Tuesday: taco Tuesday, yay!
Wednesday: Wednesday Spaghetti, yay!
Thursday: there has been a request for Pacific Rim Pork again, which I am happy to do. Rice and probably leftover string beans on the side.
Friday: Leftovers, is my guess. Otherwise, something from the freezer.
I am so grateful to live here. I am so glad to have such good neighbors. I am so happy that my boys are old enough to go traipsing around town on their bikes, and that today was such a good day to do it. Wishing you a week full of things that make your heart content.