Saturday, February 2, 2008

Apple Soup

Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can we, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom act as one with our very soul.

It's a cold dreary February day in Buffalo. Slushy snow, melting into rivers on the driveways, soaks us up to our ankles. Snow boots quickly remind us why they are not rain boots. The dampness permeates our guts and bones, making me feel like a little old lady in a rainstorm.

I crank the heat up. Get out the comforters. Throw on an extra sweater. Heat up the rice neck warmer in the microwave for 3 minutes. Still cold. I would really like 30 minutes of slow, deep kisses to warm me up, but its twin movie time, so I must make do.

Luke decides to make Apple Crisp. Does he pull out my recipe file and look for my version, handwritten in my 15 year old cursive? Does he go to my favorite baking bible, The Fanny Farmer Cookbook? No, of course not, that's old school. He goes to the internet, searches the Food Network and checks out recipes. Finds one, writes it out on torn corner of a piece of paper, and begins to cook.

I stay out of it, barely, as I answer the 95 questions. "Mom, how many apples should I use? Where are the measuring cups? Where are the teaspoons? Can I use this margarine? Which oven should I use? How big of a pan should I make?" And so on, and so on.

He peels, cores, cuts, mixes and stirs. "Mom, it's kinda runny." Hmm, add some more brown sugar and flour, and some walnuts, it should be good. Bake it. Pull it out. Smells delicious.

But it looks like soup. The whole 13 x 9 pan is under juice. The apples are barely visible. We quickly dub it apple soup and dig in. Wow, those apples were hot, but good. We take it back to the living room to watch the Disney channel. Maggie is buried under a blanket. She asked to be covered up, so I proceeded to give her the bake potato wrap. Had her lean forward, and I wrapped and tucked and covered her up. Pulled down the top so she could breathe. She looks like we could bake her.

Finally, all wrapped up like potatoes, eating their soup, watching TV together, there is a few minutes of peace and harmony. We all smile and feel good. It's nice. But then we finish.

"Take my bowl. No, you take my bowl to the kitchen. You. No You. It's your turn. Is not. Is too."

Yes, a normal Saturday night at last. The soup hadn't turned them into mini-adults. I can stop worrying now. Well, for a few minutes anyhow. I have bowls to take to the kitchen.

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