The first two weeks of summer vacation are usually kind of a blur. The first is mostly an expression of the pure, unadulterated joy of having no responsibilities after nine long, grueling months of school activity. Believe it or not, I’m talking every bit as much about adults as I am about the kids basking in the joy of being able to get up whenever the sunlight moves them and casually enjoying a bowl of Lucky Charms while watching whatever happens to be on.
I mean, admittedly, I haven’t basked in a leisurely bowl of Lucky Charms in this millennium, but at least now I only have to worry about getting up in time to get to work rather than making sure everybody gets on the right bus with the right lunch box and the right jacket. And that says nothing about after school activities. Indeed that first week after school ends is like a great sigh of relief for the adult psyche.
But Week One ends. And then Week Two comes and goes, and in all likelihood, some manner of summer camp activity goes with it. For us it was basketball camp and soccer camp. And then you find yourself at Week Three, and all of the sudden the freedom isn’t exactly novel anymore and your Magnificent Parental Summer Plan slams into the sharp beach rocks. That’s when any hope of keeping your children active, engaged, and somehow fascinated by learning about the migratory cycles of Asian Flamingos goes right out the window along with every parenting magazine in your house hosting some psychotically grinning helicopter mom with perfect hair, perfect teeth, and a perfectly dressed, un-stained toddler spelling out college-level words in blocks in the cover.
That’s where we would have ended up today—especially if the health and welfare of the kids was left to me and/or their devices. The Puddinette, being Wise In The Way Of Not Losing Her Parental Shizznit Over Summer had a better plan. She packed the puddinlings into the car and introduced them to a nearby independent market. And instead of just looking around, the kids were told to select one, and only one, item each which would at some point be made into dinner.
And after an awesome time perusing the wares of many local vendors, they came home with quite the assortment of awesomeness.
Before anyone freaks out, no, I most decidedly did not include the jerk rub and the “Inferno” seasoning in one meal. In fact, given the pick-you-up-by-the-nose-hairs-and-fling-you-about-like-Raggedy-Ann-doll punch of the that Inferno stuff (which as you can see, includes both jalapeno and habenero), I doubt very seriously I’ll manage to use all of it in twenty-one meals.
Stuff is 200-proof Potent. And yes, I do mean that be italicized with a capital P.
I did, however, slip a wee pinch or so of it into the most important thing they picked out but didn’t get a picture of: the “bacon burger” ground beef. Yes, some genius not too far from my home is taking top quality ground beef, grinding in some bacon along with a handful of other delightful seasonings. All of which means that the burgers I grilled up tonight were without question the tastiest ones I’ve ever taken off a grill. That alone would have made today’s trip to Friendly Market a magical thing. But, no, I’ve also got a plan for that jerk seasoning and a roast that’s going to include a charcoal barbecue in the next few days. Granted, I’m still not sure how I’m going to fit that homemade strawberry butter into a dinner, but I’m not afraid to go a little Iron Chef on it if I have to.
Long story short, today my wife turned the first curling edges of summer boredom into a pretty fantastic dinner, and the kids had a blast along the way.
If you ask me, I’d call that Surviving Week Three Boredom: Achievement Unlocked!