One Fine Stretch of Days

Archived | August 1, 2013 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. August is here, and with it weather we embrace — no oppressive heat or surprising cold, mild humidity, some sun and a rain shower here and there. The weekend was busy, with the road trip to the cabin and the pontoon ride that didn’t happen. It rained, and it was chilly, so we spent much of the day inside playing board games and telling stories and that, really, was alright. Something about being together in a comfortable place, with hot beefs and potatoes and cheese in the crock pot and bowls of chips all ’round and children running through now and then.
The week has been less busy, and what I would call one fine stretch of days. I’ve had more time with the kids than usual, and we went on several adventures. Shopping was one. I’m not allowed to say the word “school” yet, so I guess I’ll call it “The Thing That’s Starting Soon Where You Need Some New Clothes and Supplies and Such Shopping.” We set out on Tuesday with that in mind, anyway, but on a warm, sunny afternoon in a series of warm, sunny afternoons, it’s not easy to keep the enthusiasm going. When we got to the mall, the kids were all hungry so we went to my favorite sit-down, reasonably priced restaurant and shared some chicken wings and nachos, and after a good hour of eating and laughing, our desire to shop with purpose had been replaced by an inclination to wander about and just look around. Which we did. Had the day been closer to The Thing That’s Starting Soon Where You Need Some New Clothes and Supplies and Such, I would have been militant about the shopping part. But it wasn’t, and I wasn’t.
So we wandered together, and bumped into each other here and there along the way, and looked at knives and curtains and fine chocolates and shoes. One of the girls got her ears pierced, spur-of-the-moment, and the other decided she wants to buy a fur suit and go rollerblading through WalMart (on which I put the kibosh, as some things ought to simmer before acted upon, especially when the cost of a fur suit is involved). We ate soft serve ice cream, and tried on hats, and found ourselves, after we left the mall, in the bakery of an upscale grocery store.
Yeast donuts rolled in sugar, a Bismarck with raspberry jelly (mine), a couple Bavarian crèmes, and a mini raspberry cheesecake festooned with chocolate and berries. Enough. We piled into the car again, and rode home in a car warm from the sun, our feet tired from walking for what didn’t seem much time at all. The windows were all open as we drove, our hair whipping about, and we listened to music and talked about What’s Next. I didn’t mention the “S” word, nor did I point out how the butternut trees are turning on the tree by the ball field. I said, instead, how I thought it would be fun call Mr. Sundberg, who is out on a motivational tour, speaking on goal-oriented living, and let him know that things are alright. Then maybe sit out on the lawn awhile, and eat our donuts while watching the the sun set. And we did, and it was Fine.
A meal on a stick is the way to go in August. Here’s one version, packed with meat and vegetables, and something you’ll find yourself wanting to share with the whole neighborhood.
Grandpa’s Zesty Beef Kabobs
Cut sirloin steak (or venison) into 1-1½ inch chunks. The larger, the more tender. Marinate in mix of ½ bottle Kraft Zesty Italian dressing and 1 T barbecue sauce. Marinate in Ziploc bag 3 hours or overnight.
Alternate meat on skewers with onion, red and green pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, canned whole cooked potatoes, cherry tomatoes. Grill ’til brown on one side. Turn. Baste with marinade. Continue grilling until brown on all sides.