Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August motivates me...

I can tell Fall is around the corner because this time of year is always motivating to me. I think it is from the years of teaching. I would return from the cottage and rev up to spend hours in my classroom setting up bulletin boards, organizing files, putting names on tags, pouring over teacher manuals, designing the layout of my room, just sitting and staring in awe of the job I got to do, and anticipating the arrival of these little beings who would wander in with new shoes waiting for the fun that I plan. Teaching is one of the few professions that allows for a start and finish.

This will be my 4th school year that has me home in August, instead of dropping off my guys at daycare and heading into the classroom to fall into friendships that a summer apart has no impact on. I find that being home and not having this creative place to venture to leaves me focusing on filling my calendar, organizing and cleaning our house, feeling like redecorating (with no skill to go for it with), setting goals, getting organized with chores, routines, meals, balancing our time, and just feeling refreshed. This year Charley will head off to school and that adds a new dimension to our fall. Some excitement and some sadness that has settled in my gut. It will pass once we are in a routine...but for now I am uneasy about this change.

It is that time of year when the farmer's market offers an abundance of fall, winter, and spring stash.

So the inspiration in the kitchen seems to be the first thing to hit. No, I am not making my own bananas....but last weekend I froze more corn, made pesto to fill our freezer with, and today I made a few batches of twice baked potatoes (otherwise known as potato boats) to pull out on cool nights when we are rushing to soccer. I have a load of green peppers to dice and freeze up for soups and other concoctions.  

My twice baked potatoes involve baking up a load of them in the oven.
Slicing them in half and removing the inside...leaving a little to secure a strong "boat".
Put the insides in my mixer bowl and add (for 4-5 potatoes) 2 pats of butter, some milk, a cup of shredded cheese, a little salt, and some pepper.  This time I added some diced up ham that I had in the freezer.
I mix it all up good and then fill the boats with them.  I sprinkle a little paprika on top to make them look pretty.

I am calling them boats because the boys LOVE them when I call them this.  Then I freeze them in a 9x13 pan and then either move them to zip bags or freeze them in smaller pans in amounts that are good for our family.  When we are ready to eat them I just thaw, reheat in the microwave or oven, and eat!  I am hoping that with the ham in them they can be more of a main dish. 

And so August continues to roll around.  We'll see what I conquer next.


Rebecca said...

All I can say is "yum!"

Shell said...

This time of year always feels more like the start of a new year than January does, after teaching. I'm very excited right now, looking forward to a new routine- hopefully one that will finally have me being a little more organized.

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling that last minute rush to get things crossed off my to-do list before school starts. Yikes! Love the idea of twice baked potatoes. Thanks for the tip on freezing first flat and then in a bag. Wouldn't have thought of that on my own.


Danifred said...

This time of year is also the "start" of a special time in my brain. I've always been in education and even though I'm not still in a classroom, my brain still thinks in August to August terms!


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