Photo: Wild turkeys are a thing here in Massachusetts. They are protected for some reason and they are mean little suckers. Aggressive and big and slow to move. Just awful. I’m really not a fan. Usually they rove around in little posses, flexin’ on mailmen and poor people just trying to walk to and fro. This homie seems to have ventured out on his own. He wandered around the raised beds for a few minutes and then wandered off. My boys were trying their absolute best to leave our front porch and chase after him. I wouldn’t let them (I’m tellin’ you, they’re mean!), but Lord if the boys weren’t gonna take off at any second.
Last week was a challenging one, the weekend was exhausting (I ran solo with the boys while The Husband went on a trip), and here we are on Monday and it looks like last week’s problems are going to chase me through this one, too. Oh, and while The Husband brought awesome swag back with him from his trip, he also brought a spider. When I told The Husband to find something to kill the spider with, the spider was no where to be found.
So there is a large spider in my house.
So it must be poisonous. Obviously.
In my house.
On the loose.
I… might burn the entire house down after writing this post.
I’m resisting the urge… I really am.
Ok, I’m going to breathe into the good that happened today. Specifically, Ursa Minor redeemed himself for last week’s poor showing. Our docket was quite full today and yet the boys still requested spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. I had a 30-minute window to roll meatballs between picking up Minor from school and heading out to afternoon activities. It was possible, but it would have to be precisely executed.
That’s when Minor uttered the words no mom wants to hear when time is tight:
Can I help you make them?
Lord in Heaven. Save the mama. Save the babies. Whenever a child utters these words, 15-minute jobs turn into 60-minute catastrophes.
He would not be denied and arguing with him wasted precious seconds, so I told him I’d get us set up and then he could help me.
“I want to do the smushing part.”
I know, baby.
I washed and chopped veggies before putting them in my food processor. I gave it a few pulses before Minor came over and insisted on lending a hand (what 5 year-old can resist a button?). I got the bowl ready, took out the breadcrumbs, the cheese, and the glass pyrex that would house the meatballs after they were rolled. By the time I’d gathered what I needed, Minor had almost over-chopped the veggies!
He watched carefully and asked questions as I poured the breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs and chopped veggies into the bowl. “Can I smush now!?”
I let him smush.
I crumbled the beef and pork into the bowl with the stuff.
“This is the best part! This is my favorite part!” He announced with glee.
I tried to teach him how to effectively mix: taking stuff from the bottom and bringing it up to the top, mixing and turning in a rhythm. Then it was time to roll… I thought he was going to disappear for that part.
“I can do that, too!”
Dear Reader, that child made the most consistent, perfectly sized meatballs I’ve ever seen in my life. They were adorable. And can I tell you, he did it so well that not only did I get all of those meatballs rolled within the half hour, I got them rolled with ten minutes to spare.
I couldn’t believe it! “You’re a master sous-chef, sir!”
“I’m the best meatball maker! The best! I did it!”
I washed my hands and helped him wash his. He got down from the stool and did a little dance. “I’m, like, totally ready to go to cooking school now. I could totally go to cooking school. Or, maybe meatball school! Well, maybe not, because I can’t use a knife yet. Mommy has to do that.”
“That’s true, sure. You need to know how to use a knife to go to cooking school.”
“Well,” he was still dancing, just in case you were wondering, “maybe you can come and do the cutting and set me up and then I could do the rest of the cooking. I could totally make meatballs on my own now!”
This is my child. Do it one time and he’s the supreme expert. I don’t even know what to do with him sometimes. For his hard work, though, I gave him a cookie. “Don’t tell your brother.”
(He totally told his brother. Lord.)
I have a confession to make, Dear Reader: I actually suck at cooking meatballs. I cannot seem to fry them right. They fall apart right in the pan when I turn them over. Are you an expert in meatball technique? I’d love to learn! I usually put them in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil and throw them into a 400 degree oven until they are done. They creates a cooked meatball, for sure, but they don’t have that glorious texture on the outside that a signature fried meatball has. If any of ya’ll would be willing to teach a suffering non-Italian how to cook a good meatball, I’m a quick study and I’d love to learn!
It’s Monday, Dear Reader. Are challenges chasing you into this week? Take a deep breathe. We’re gonna work it out this week. One day at a time.
Until Wednesday, take care.