June Freezer Cooking Roundup

We’re finishing out another month, which means time for a round-up of all the yummy freezer-friendly meals I’ve been sharing at Once a Month Mom. Come visit if you need a recipe or two!!

{Blueberry Banana Muffins}

{Fried Rice}

{Chocolate Chip Cookies}

{Sweet and Sour Meatball Skewers}

{Garlic Balsamic Pork}

{Summer Tortellini Pasta Salad}

Vintage School Chairs

I’ve looked forward to the weekend since I heard about it last summer–the weekend of Kentucky’s famous 400-mile yard sale. While there are definitely lots of garage sales all through the spring and summer, this sale is the one people seem to save up for.

It was supposed to be a hot day so we took off in the morning and just stayed out a couple of hours. It was fun browsing, but I have to admit, I started to get a bit disappointed at how much JUNK there was. Not even good junk either, truly, just trash. But then, PULL OVER! Even from a distance the they jumped out at me and my heart started racing as we approached. Yes, that is slighty embarrassing to admit considering I once saw an episode of Hoarders where a man described the same feeling he gets as he dumpster dives. {ahem}

I really love the industrial look to the old school chairs, and they’re super sturdy–just right for my kids. We’re always needing more seating for gatherings, so besides being cool decor, I knew they would come in handy.

No price tag made me nervous, so I casually asked what they were going for.

$1 each

Woohooo. And at that price I quickly became the proud mama to four more babies.

Gardening and Dirt Pudding

Now that everything is planted, it seems the initial waiting will be the hardest part. Every day Ryan and Emmy have been going out to check on the garden, but are a bit disappointed that it looks the same as the day before.

{watering is their favorite part}

So to help them stay excited we took them on a “field trip” to the produce stand of a local farmer. He brings a truckload of fresh produce into town a couple days a week and I was so excited to randomly discover him this year because his fruits and veggies super fresh, great quality, AND cheaper than the grocery store. The kids were just as excited to pick out a variety of goodies.

After our “field trip” we munched on some of our fresh veg and chatted about all the hard work and time it took to grow these fruits and veggies. And then checked on our little plants for the 46th time to see that they still needed much more time to grow.

{the zucchini is definitely growing!}

We’ve also been learning more by reading lots of books about plants.

{The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle}

And in the spirit of all our gardening adventures, Dirt Pudding seemed like a perfect afternoon snack for my dirt-loving, worm-loving littles.

Ingredients:

  • instant chocolate pudding mix
  • milk
  • chocolate cookies (Oreos, chocolate graham crackers, etc.)
  • gummy worms
  • “flower pot” serving containers

1. Prepare the pudding (“mud”) according to package directions.

2. Crush the cookies (“dirt”).

3. Layer “dirt” and “mud” in “pots.” (We used cleaned-out yogurt cups.)

4. Add worms and enjoy!

Visit The Inadvertent Farmer for more KinderGarden adventures.

Growing Healthy

On most grocery shopping trips I have at least one (or three) kids with me and some of our recent outings have triggered discussions on where food comes from. At least they think bananas come from “bushes” rather than just from Kroger. It’s a start, right? And when I told them white milk comes from white cows and chocolate milk comes from brown cows the eyes of a certain 5- and 3-year-old rolled in disbelief. MOMMY!

Talking about food’s origination has inspired me to consider planting a garden to really illustrate food production. Thankfully I have good examples to glean from as my in-laws have an amazing garden. I’ve admired my father-in-law’s nurturing dedication throughout the summer as his plants grow from bitty seeds to fresh produce. And how my mother-in-law then takes over during the harvest months, generously sharing their bounty with friends and neighbors, as well as freezing and canning their crop.

But gardening really intimidates me. I mean, my Mother’s Day plant died a few days after it was gifted (what? those things need water?), and I’m worried trying to grow vegetables is a bit overzealous.

What if nothing grows?

I hope it’s not too late in the year.

Are you SURE this dirt is good enough?

(I’m really good at worrying.) But I’m also in love with the values I think can be taught through this project, and want my kids to see the process of growing (and then eating!) “real food.”  I’m hoping as they participate in the hard work they will become more grateful for and excited about healthy foods. Because lately it feels like every meal I serve is a fight. I mean, how can celery and apple wedges possibly compete with fast food french fries, or the junk food snacks all the OTHER moms (apparently) buy? And (don’t get me started on this soapbox) school lunch?!

And so despite my fears about our garden attempts failing, we’re going for it (albeit small).

No fears here!

“Mommy, I want to keep it as a pet! It likes me.”

I’m finding lots of great gardening inspiration (and hand-holding!) over at The Inadvertent Farmer.