Thursday, January 15, 2015

Recipes and reading and book club

Many years ago, back when Houston was an infant and i was all, "I will find ALL THE RECIPES and make lots of delicious foods!" i typed lots and lots of recipes into the computer, printed them, and put them into a giant binder. Fast-forward twelve years, and there's now this place (the internet) where i can find new recipes in seconds any time i feel like trying something new. And also, i have never, in the past twelve years, made two thirds of the recipes in the binder. And also, the rings in the binder were falling apart, so you couldn't flip through the pages, so i mostly just shoved all the recipes i ever used loosely into the front of the binder, which made them hard to find and also made them all fall out if you held the binder just wrong.

And so! I bought a newer, prettier binder! And i went through all of the recipes and tossed everything we either didn't like or had never made and added a few things that we like but had lost the recipes for, and BAM! Newer! Better! More organized!

I finished it on Monday (Katrina ooo-ed and ahhh-ed over the pretty dividers i'd made back in the day) and handed it to the kids and told them each to choose 3 or 4 of their favorite meals for me to make. Zane, predictably, chose banana bread and poppyseed muffins (both practically cake), but also, unpredictably, chose beef stew. So Tuesday was beef stew and banana bread, and he was thrilled. As was everyone else about the banana bread. One of Houston's choices was goulash, so Wednesday was goulash. And Houston was thrilled. Katrina and Zane, less so. (They both don't like tomatoes. Sad for them.) One of Katrina's choices was chicken pitas - so that was today's meal. Everyone was the most thrilled yet. So! Three good meals with three happy kids, and i didn't really have to think about what to make this week. Yay!

This afternoon, i was going to read Harry Potter to Katrina up in my bedroom, but we both walked in there and said, "Nope! Too cold!" We couldn't read downstairs, because of Zane. So we went to McDonalds (half a mile away), where i got a $1 drink and we sat in the warmth at a booth and read all about Horace Slughorn. Enjoyable!

And then, tonight, i had book club. I really enjoy having book club. For many, many years, i would think, "Gee, i wish someone would invite me to join a book club!" and then one day, i realized that...hey! *I* could start a book club! With people i like! And so i asked people in my family and Beth, and Beth asked her sister-in-law, and it became a thing! Yay! Except that none of us really knew what we were doing. So the first few months, we'd talk about the book we'd read, and then we'd try to pick the next book. People would mention book titles and people with smart phones would look them up, and eventually we'd all kind of agree on one. It wasn't the best method, so we decided that instead, whoever's house we were at, they would choose the next book. That worked better, but then choosing the book was SO MUCH PRESSURE, because...what if nobody liked it! What if everyone had already read it? What if it was just a dumb book?!

So today, we started a new choosing method. Everyone who wanted to brought 3-5 books, and then everyone voted (with pennies) on their top 10 choices. And then we put the top ten choices on a list, which we'll use for the next year. And we'll see how this works! Fingers crossed!

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