|Sourdough bread for the weekend.|
There is a long weekend coming. And all the children and grandchildren coming. And lots of rain coming. Because we were slightly tied up with wedding things less than three weeks ago, we had not opened the lake cabin for the year until now. So this week we have been going at it with both barrels. It's a small cabin, built back when folks only wanted a little place to stay while they fished for a couple of days.
We have stretched that cabin, with it's postage stamp-sized kitchen, to its very limits over the years. Several years ago we built a screened porch that nearly doubled the footprint of the house. It's where we spend most of our lake time. Indoor space is "cozy." (That's realtor speak for small.) And we turned a storage room that years ago was the original screened porch into an extra bedroom. It only has a single bed. And it has to share space with the long rack of hanging life jackets, but that extra bed was much needed.
Well, this year as the family has continued to grow, we added a tiny cottage (with a better kitchen) beside the small cabin. It might have made better sense to bulldoze the whole thing and start over, but our grandchildren are the 4th generation to enjoy the space. Hard to part with the memories.
Having said that, I have found it easier this year than ever before to part with some of the old things, the original equipment, the "stuff" that has accumulated over the many years and filled every space. I have read much lately about "your children do not want your things." Articles aimed at those my age who are beginning to think about downsizing. So these last few days, I have thrown away, boxed and bagged, and cleared surfaces and spaces so that the cabin doesn't feel so cramped. Clearing out does make a difference.
And the new tiny cottage? Well, it needed to be furnished and equipped from scratch. Thank goodness, it really is tiny. I've "shopped" out of my house as much as I can. But I'm not quite done. The entire time Daddy-O and I have been working this week to get ready to host the family, I've been thinking about what to feed everyone for several days. Menus. Grocery lists. And with rain in the forecast, I'm doing a mental check of games and puzzles that we have on hand.
|Sometimes you have to take a break.|
I kept thinking what do they want this weekend? Grilled meals? Cold salads? Homemade ice cream? And then it dawned on me. They mostly want a Mimi and a Daddy-O that are not totally worn out. As much as I'd like to have everything done by Friday, it will be okay that it isn't.
But there are a few things that I AM doing regarding menus. To make the lake days easier, I'll try to get a few things cooked ahead. I baked bread yesterday. If you've made it as many times as I have, it's easy. And it had all morning to rise while we went back down to the lake to finish up a few things.
This afternoon I might bake something sweet. A treat would be nice. (Although apples and grapes are easier and healthier.) And we know that everyone likes pasta and that can be done ahead, ready to pop into the oven later. So I'll try to get that done by tomorrow.
And I'm making a list of easy family-friendly dishes. My definition of easy is very few ingredients and not much hands-on time. I'm not sure which recipes will make the cut, but this is the list I'm starting with. (All recipes are linked. Just click on them to find the recipe.) Once the kiddos arrive, I don't want to spend my days in the kitchen. Maybe you'll find something here that will help you out this weekend, too.
Pepperoncini Beef Sandwiches
Oven Baked Fajitas
Hot Dog Chili
Garden Pasta Salad
You know I'm not going to make all of these, but it's helped me to gather possible recipes here in one place. I imagine there will be burgers on the grill, too. Now I need to narrow down my choices, make a meal plan for the weekend and then a grocery list. I am determined to be ready to sit down and enjoy the weekend. Enjoy the lake. Enjoy the grandchildren. Enjoy the family.