Where'd that backpack go?! There's always a dark chocolate candy bar in there.
Sometimes the house feels lonely without all six of us bouncing around in it anymore. The years the four kids grew up here, playing hard, with the whole family chatting endlessly with each other about the things that we've been doing, reading, writing, making, exploring, collecting, discovering, and thinking, surely made for good times and good memories!
Now, with the oldest three kids out of the house and Mike working temporarily far away, it gets pretty quiet here sometimes. Michelle often comes out with the boys to visit, which adds a lot of energy and noise and fun to the house, and sometimes friends or neighbors are here, but, often enough, it's just Melissa and me.
We have an awful lot of nice conversations ourselves, though, and since I'm all about counting my blessings rather than saying, "I wish it were still this way..." I'll tell you one nice thing that happens when Melissa and I are here alone...
We can eat whatever we want, whenever we want!
And we both like the same kinds of foods, so that's a whole bunch of fun! We eat loads of greens and vegetables, prepared lots of different ways. And melons, cherries, berries, mangoes (can't wait for ripe peaches!). We like to try different cheeses. We both like dark chocolate. We both enjoy drinking fruit smoothies. And we consider buying grape kombucha a treat! :-)
If we feel like it, we can choose to have a simple salad of greens with vinaigrette and a healthy strawberry tart for dinner and nothing more! And there's no one here to wonder when we're really going to eat or to ask how a strawberry tart counts as dinner.
We can eat whatever we want, like we did this evening.
I had made whole grain ciabatta from Peter Reinhart's award winning book, Whole Grain Breads, starting the dough last night and baking the bread late this morning. It turned out very well. We ate a little bit of the bread earlier today, and then in the afternoon, we went to town because on Tuesdays, we pick up raw cow's milk and my CSA produce.
While we were in town, we stopped in at a "gourmet" store for a small chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and sitting on the counter was a small platter of bread, with dip and spread samples beside it. The artichoke-romano dip was pretty tasty, so we bought a jar, thinking it would be good with the ciabatta.
By the time we arrived back home it was after 7 p.m. We were hungry, so we started eating pieces of ciabatta with the artichoke-romano dip. Not bad. While we were at it, we finished off a leftover Greek salad we had. Since the olives were all eaten out of the salad, I pulled out two jars-- kalamata and green olives-- to go along with the bread. (I like olives. Melissa doesn't so much.)
Melissa suggested that we have just the food we were eating for our meal, and nothing else. It sounded like a good plan to me, and since there was no one here to be horrified at making a spontaneous dinner out of all of this, we went ahead. In our CSA bag were some sweet, ripe, red strawberries, so we had a perfect fruit treat for after dinner.
I'm guessing that tonight, Melissa and I will share the little bit of Dark Chocolate Coconut Bliss ice cream that is left in the carton. I'll top mine with cacao nibs for sure.
I like eating with Melissa!
(P.S. Aimee and Michelle, you'd like the food we're eating! Josiah might, too. Aaron would hunger for something "steak-y." And Monty would be famished for sure. Mike, you might enjoy this-- I don't know... Roman would say, "Oh, that's delicious!" even if he hated it. And Jayden will eat anything any time.)