Sunday, May 8, 2011

Summertime - and the Livin's Easy

Every spring Colorado will give you a little more winter and a taste of what's to come - many times all in the same day.  Mostly this is pretty cool, but when you've got three kids who just want to go out and play, 2 inches of slushy snow is not so cool.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm tired of having home bound kids. They're bored, and all they do is make a mess. So when I saw the forecast calling for a weekend of temperatures in the 80's, I let out a quick "Hallelujah!" and set to planning the perfect treat to welcome the upcoming summer months.

Everybody has their favorite summer-time snack; that one thing that brings back memories of lazy summer days and good times with friends and family. For many of us it's that first half-moon slice of juicy watermelon, or Otter Pops, or Rocket Pops from the ice cream truck.  I spent my formative years both in a small Colorado town and in the Midwest, so watermelon is my memory trigger.  My kids on the other hand seem to think of frozen Go-Gurts as their #1 summertime treat.  Fortunately, I still have time to try and change that.

Over the years I have seen a few different forms of frozen fruit skewers. To me they are OK, but nothing special.  At Eli's birthday party back in March I was in a bit of a financial and time pinch, so I decided to make some of these frozen fruit skewers with the random fruits I had lying around rather than try and make a smallish fruit salad. As luck would have it, they were a huge hit with my kids - especially with Eli.  Truthfully, I didn't mind making the first 100 skewers of grapes and strawberries, but after that I began to find the process sticky and tedious. As I was scouring my pantry and fridge for some sort of summer treat inspiration, I noticed a bag full or grapes that needed to be consumed soon.  It couldn't hurt to try, right?

I sat them down with a bag full of grapes that had been washed and pulled off the stems and handed them each a bamboo skewer and showed them how to correctly impale a grape. I was actually amazed at how quickly and perfectly all three of them loaded up skewer after skewer until every last grape was gone. It took less than five minutes to go through the entire bag. We put them in the freezer and an hour later they were ready.  In the span of about 15 minutes they had devoured the entire lot!  I was quickly reminded to snip the points off the skewers as my kids like to have sword fights with them afterwards.  This game actually sounds more dangerous than it is.  Besides, if you knew my kids you would know that it is probably one of the safer activities they engage in.  It sure beats climbing our pine tree to its highest heights!

While there's no actual cooking involved in this particular project, I am relieved to know that I can hand my kids some cut up fruit and bamboo skewers and they can make their own summertime treats.  Imagine the freedom!  And, to be perfectly honest, we've had a very busy and stressful week.  Looking for a new school for my daughter, (and eventually the other two) and filling out paperwork for speech therapists and occupational therapists has eaten up a lot of my time as well as most of my energy.  I'll try and get back on track next week, but no promises since we have two more schools to look at and both of those therapist appointments.  I am totally humbled to have to say that, especially after ending my last post practically screaming, "I am mother!  I am strong!  I am invincible!" 

That was total shite by the way.  Four days after I published that post I fell apart and cried for two days.  It's pretty hard having to write out every little thing that your kid does that you don't understand or know how to deal with, and then having to explain to well-meaning friends that while there is nothing WRONG with your kid, he is definitely struggling in some areas.  I guess what I should have said is that I am strong with brief bouts of weakness, and that I am usually invincible but can be hurt by misguided comments.


  1. hey! it's Lawson's Mom here, Bess, from swim lessons. I am loving the posts so much- food and real life. so true about being hurt by misguided comments. I've learned I just have to keep my mouth shut, if I even so much as hint that he's not "normal" then immediate behaviors get tagged on him, and 'normal' stuff looks to others like some kind of diagnosis. keep going, mama, you are awesome and you have wonderful kids!!!


  2. Bess: So glad you found your way into comment-land! Thanks for your kind words. Hope to see you at swimming some time in the near future. Until then, I think it's time to get back to cooking.