Weekend Happy

A good work week can set the stage for a happy weekend, and I’m on a roll as sunny June takes over from rainy May.
Kayla’s brothers went to the Ninja Turtle movie on Saturday–and she had absolutely no interest so we had our Saturday cooking day.
Since she hadn’t given me a direction earlier in the week–so specific ingredients could be at hand–we punted.
She liked the idea of pasta, and I have an easy and pretty quick one, one she’ll be able to make on her own at home. But first, she wanted to bake a cake.
Cake is, by far, Kayla’s favorite food, and always has been. So what kind of cake? I found some fun and fancy ones, but didn’t have everything we needed. So we fell back on an old standard–a golden butter cake. She’s learned so much over the past few months, all I do, mostly, is read off the recipe as she goes. We decide to make it a sheet cake–that’s plenty easy–and before long, that’s in the oven.
We take a short break, a nice walk. I see I’ll be weeding and deadheading on Sunday.
She’s decided she’s hungry, so we should start the pasta.
On goes the big pot of water, as we’ll make a full pound so she can take plenty home. Out comes the cake, and it smells just yum.
I peel the garlic–have to teach her to do that–and she chops it up with my little tool. This sautes in olive oil she measures and pours into my biggest skillet. Add a dash of crushed red pepper.
Spaghetti into the salted, boiling water–I show her how to break the long noodles in half, use the pasta fork to stir them up. When they’re close to done, I take a couple of cups of the pasta water, add it to the olive oil and garlic. She likes the smell. I show her how to pinch a noodle to see if it’s done. Not quite.
I go out, harvest some herbs–parsley, basil (and my little potted ones are coming back nicely) rosemary, oregano, thyme. Show her how I chop them up.IMG_1452
Drain the pasta, pour it into the skillet, toss in the herbs, some black pepper, a little onion salt. She stirs it, turns it, stirs it until the pasta’s absorbed all the liquid.
She must have some immediately! Judges it delicious. And it must be, because before she left for home she ate three helpings. Good thing I went for the whole pound.
Now it’s time to frost the cake, with an old, reliable buttercream frosting. She wants to color it–and why not? Goes with green, and mixes and stirs–and I take over as she says her arm’s really tired! Mix and stir until we have a pretty minty green and creamy frosting she spreads over the cake. Then decides to add some red sugar. Again, why not?
Then must have a piece–and this is also proclaimed delicious. She eats two before the end of her day–and Grandda has some himself.
Through the cooking, the baking, the couple of nice walks, she’s full of talk about our upcoming girl trip to New York. I’m pretty juiced about it myself.
I send her home after the most pleasant of days with most of the cake and a tub of pasta.
Today, as yesterday, I got the workout in early. I gathered my tub, my pruners, my gloves and headed out to do that weeding and deadheading. My roses are so happy! And the deer repellent’s working as my first lilies are cheerfully blooming. Now I’m happy as the roses.
I also see the first little tomato blossom on the vine–and where some insects have nibbled on the leaves. Go in, make up some soapy water–with a dash of tobasco–in a spray bottle. If it doesn’t work, I’ll buy something at the garden center.
Must do my weekend shoveling out of the house, which won’t take long. Then find myself a pretty spot and read. I believe it’s a fine day to make myself a couple of bellinis. They’d go well with Cake by Kayla.  

18 thoughts on “Weekend Happy”

  1. I love cooking/baking with my 5 year old granddaughter. When we first started, I had to remind her to put a headband on – this Grandma is very particular about hair being tied back!!! Now, when she comes in and I’m in the kitchen, she automatically runs to get her headband so she can help!!! Precious memories!

    1. my grandma also had an issue with our hair being in our face. she was so bad that she used to trim our bangs herself if my mom didn’t take us to get them done often enough. My sisters hair grows really fast so hers were always a problem, she had crooked bangs a lot as a kid.

  2. More wonderful memories for you and Kayla. That pasta made my mouth water…so, too, the cake. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You’re the only other person I have heard of, outside of my family, who breaks pasta in half. It was the way we were taught to do it. Makes eating it a whole lot easier. Never understood why restaurants don’t do it.

    1. My mom always did that, too. Could have been a regional thing. My family grew up right behind Nora and her family!

  4. You’re making such wonderful memories for Kayla to pass on with her own someday. Our growing season is just now kicking in and I’m loving it!

  5. I have gotten away from long pasta and switched to the smaller, faster cooking shapes which are easier (and neater) to eat and hold onto sauces better. Saw a trick for peeling garlic where you microwave a clove for 8-10 seconds, and the garlic slides right out of the skin. Since I hate peeling garlic, I figure it is worth a try. I have a 3 week old grand daughter who I look forward to teaching all our family favorite recipes. Enjoy hearing about your time with yours! Aren’t grandchildren the best?

  6. Great memories being made there!

    Am jealous of your sunny weekend…we have drizzly Sunday which makes it the perfect day to catch up on laundry , do the weeks shopping, and relax with a Nora! This time it is a book three of the Brides Quartet…and now, drat, I am in the mood for cake!!!

  7. Try using lady bugs in the garden they keep the other bugs away. Our tomato plants are thriving after putting them on the plants and our grand daughters are enjoying tomatoes already . I love your garden and also love baking and cooking with my grand daughters but they are much younger 5-6-7 year olds

  8. I wish my granddaughters would cook with me. The 16 year old that I have living near, is into technology, & all the stuff teenage girls are into. And yes, I break my pasta in two, always. It makes it so much easier to manage & eat. I also must google your recipe for homemade bug repellent. Tobasco sounds like it should do it.

  9. I’m so happy for you and Kayla , time well spent and the memories you’ll both have. Now you’ll have to share your writing skills with her so one day she’ll be able to pick up where you leave off. I’ve a feeling she’ll be real good with it after spending a lot of time with you . Kayla seems to be a grandmas girl. Takes for sharing your time with all of us,

  10. What a wonderful weekend Nora,

    No cooking for me the last 3 days. First night was Kentucky Fried Chicken… (We need a better location) my chicken was miniscule. Not sure that the girl understood that I wanted chicken and not baby bird but the rest of the meal was good.

    Last night it was sonic. I had a craving for a chili cheese footlong coney with onion rings and a rootbeer…

    Today it was Mexican food at our favorite place and Mexican Martini’s….. I was surprised that I could walk out lol. If I get hungry I will go for some soup.

    Stopped at Wal-Mart for my meds and decided to check the vision center that was open and gave over my insurance for my new glasses, headed home and will not venture out again today unless it is out to the patio but it is so darn hot out. It is the humidity. Gets me every time. Right now I am drinking water to help flush the Mexican Martini’s since I am not really supposed to have alcohol since I am diabetic but hey once in a blue moon a girl just has to have one.

    Now I am going to think about the Pasta that you and Kayla made and how good it looked and plan some for dinner tomorrow night. You have a great week! Beth

  11. It sounds like it was a great day for you and Kayla! My granddaughter just turned 4 and I’ve had her with me in the kitchen since she was 2. She’ll ask, get the stool grandma? I have a Winnie the Pooh apron for her, hand made. Her and I bake a lot, she really loved decorating Christmas cookies this year. Glad your weather seems to have turned the tide, my garden is finally taking off, we’ve had a lot cold rainy weather in S. WI.

  12. I so enjoy reading your blogs. It’s so entertaining. Kayla looks like she’s enjoying herself.
    I had my G-Babies last night until after 1am. One is almost four and his sister is 9 months. We had a ball!! Zoey(nine months) fell asleep in the high hair after eating a snack,and while her brother Jasper was eating his. Lol
    I was wore out by the time my son came to pick them up, but I enjoyed every minute making memories with them. I am looking forward to the day we can start cooking together so I can pass down our family recipes.

  13. As always, thank you for sharing these moments with us. I adore them endlessly!!!

  14. Thanks for sharing your Kayla time with us. I hope I get to have granddaughter moments like that someday!

  15. I cooked the pasta using all ingredients you listed in the post . Turned out real good , I use almost 1lb of thin spaghetti and it’s all gone . Thump up by my son . Thanks for a great post & delicious recipe ?

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