Roast Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes, and Black Bean Soup...Ready, Set, Go

Morning Sunrise over Houston, Texas

Ready. Set. Go.  Unfortunately, that means that here in the south, Spring Break week is winding down.  And what a gorgeous, spectacular week it was with turquoise blue skies, sweeping winds, and hints of spring tucked away everywhere and trying to make a show of it.

R. and I were certainly ready to close the books on those french direct object pronouns and the essay on Versailles.  He has finally completed all of the readings and assignments on "Metamorphosis".  Happy to put that tale behind us.

It was no burden for us to continue on with his history lessons so we continued on through the break.  We both enjoy history and have maps, globes, and google at our finger tips as we travel through time.  Right now, European countries as well as the U.S. are racing against each other to dominate India and Africa.  Absolute plundering of natural resources as well as native people.

It is amusing to me how many "life lessons" we cover as we go through history together.  Greed, excess, hubris, and insensitivity play leading roles in the leaders of our world history...and these characteristics often lead to the same end...war, domination, plunder, and ruin.

M. was home for the week, full of stories about college life.  It is immensely satisfying as a parent to see your child go out in the world and stand up on two feet.  Personally, I found the years of being "mom" as well as "teacher" satisfying for the most part.  I am completely content to  be only "mom" from now on.  It is truly much needed stress off my shoulders especially after the academic load of the high school years.

We relaxed, relaxed, and then relaxed some more.  I really don't know where the time went but the week was a much needed break for all of us.  

The movie "Picture Perfect" was a surprise winner of the week.  M. was talking about this movie, giggling, and repeating  the many "one liners".  When I saw the previews, however, my heart sank.  I thought it looked like a cheap, tacky, 2-star flick.  Surprisingly, I loved it.  It had its cheezy, overly sexed stereotypical college characters but the music sung by the acapella groups was fabulous and the slapstick humor...just made us laugh.  I haven't laughed so loud at a movie in awhile... and it felt really good.

Also, I started the series "Call the Midwife" over the break.  What a wonderful documentary series chronicling the life of women in the 1950's in relation to midwifery. 

I absolutely loved the peek into the kitchens, fashion, relationships, and history of this time period.  Aren't we all fortunate to have had our babies in the 20th century.  I'll be happily anticipating the start of Season 2 at the end of this month.

So there was a fair amount of cooking happening in the kitchen over the week.  Patrick baked the sweets and I stirred the savory, it seems.  Now, we're all scrambling to get life back in order as we face returning to a school schedule, college, and work routines again.

I love to start the week off with a big pot of soup.  We can easily eat soup for dinners halfway through the week before we reach the bottom of the pot.  

On my way home from Austin, I stopped at one of my favorite little markets.  I find that often I come home with a handful of Texas finds that make their way into our menu for the week.

This drive, I came home with handfuls of pecans, a wonderful jar of fig preserves, and a circle of soft goat's cheese.  

One of my favorite indulgences while I am cooking is to nibble on simple goodies while preparing a meal.  A few cuts of french bread, a smear of goat's cheese with cracked pecans make for a small feast while sauteing onions or roasting tomatoes.  

I am still nursing along little glasses of my Valentine's Day present from P.  A small of glass of Glayva from Scotland is a divine sipper to go along with a little plate of sweet and savory bruschetta.

So here we go.  Ready. Set. Go.  School, work, and activities all swing into full gear soon.  Soup is on the stove once again to warm our bellies each evening.  We're grateful for the glorious spring weather we had this week.  

I managed to bring home a few more pots of thyme and mint.  I've noticed the bluebells are filling the fields, buttercups are gently swaying in the breeze, and sweet and sassy Indian paintbrush is squeezing in along the roads.

Polly was thrilled to have her beloved M. home to play with her.  But, I'm afraid Chester gets a bit jealous so there was lots of frisky bantering and chasing about that went on during the week.

Have a wonderful week, get a pot of soup on, and smell the spring air that is coming!

Naughty Polly...full of mischief this week

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