Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Memories - And A New Recipe


When Little Sister and family arrived at the farm the last week of May, the summer stretched out ahead of us. We thought about their visit here in terms of months. Then when Mommy's teaching assignment ended the first part of July, we thought in weeks.

Now there are only days left before they load their car and begin the long drive home. What a summer we've had here. Lots and lots of play. Lots of books. Lots of exploring on the farm. There were good days at the lake. Little Sister's vocabulary now includes words like "baler" and "hay rake." She knows what frogs sound like at night. She's caught lightening bugs. She's watched snakes and rabbits and deer. And I promise there is a hummingbird who flies right up to our window to look when Little Sister waves at him. I think they can communicate.

Little Sister is going home with new boots and overalls. She said she was going to be a farmer. She might be the only child in her preschool who makes a real cow sound instead of saying "moo" when asked what a cow says. 

Big Sister was gone much of the summer visiting other family members, but she got home this week in time for driving lessons in the pasture. We're glad she's back. We missed her. Hard to believe that she's old enough to be getting ready for real driving.

To welcome her sister home, Little Sister baked brownies!

One thing Little Sister has learned here at the farm is to photograph her food for the blog. Last night she asked me to make a picture of her pretend ice cream when I was photographing the pineapple chicken. This is probably not the best thing she's learned this summer!  She has carried a very old Fisher-Price camera (it belonged to Jessica when she was little) around all summer and made many, many "pictures" of everything around the farm.

In the real food category, I'm looking for easy meals this week. There is so much to be squeezed into these last few days that my kitchen time needs to be efficient. But we still want good meals. I re-did a favorite slow cooker recipe yesterday. This Pineapple Chicken was as good as the original Teriyaki Beef with Pineapple. Mommy does not eat meat, so it's good to know this version works, too. 


1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 breasts, about 2 lbs.)
1 red bell pepper, cut in a large dice
15-20 oz. jar teriyaki sauce (I used Archer Farms Teriyaki Grilling Sauce)
20-oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained

Cut chicken into large chunks. (I cut each breast into 3 strips lengthwise, then into large chunks)
Add chicken pieces and peppers to slow cooker. (I used a 3-1/2 qt. size.)
Pour sauce over chicken and stir.
Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.
Add pineapple tidbits during last 20-30 minutes of cooking time. 

I served it over brown rice and made roasted asparagus to go with it.

We are not sure what Mommy and Daddy will do at home when Little Sister wants to go "drive" the truck. Or the ATV. Or the blue tractor. Or the orange tractor. Or the baby tractor (lawn mower.) Or the Jeep. She's had so much fun sitting in the driver's seat and turning the steering wheel on every vehicle on the farm. 

I told her daddy that he might have to buy a truck just to park in their driveway. When things were not going well here and Little Sister was unhappy, a trip to "drive" the truck always made the tears disappear.  Will Daddy-O ever get everything reset after all of her button pushing and knob turning? I don't know. But he loved every minute. 

Yes, we have made good summer memories.


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