Saturday, February 04, 2023

Math, driving, ice cream

Zoë still has not developed a rash, so I'm hoping this means we're in the clear and dealt with her brush with poison ivy appropriately. If she could tell you one thing about this week, she'd probably tell you that she finished her math book (and celebrated by dumping her pencil/bookmark out (because she proudly used the same pencil as a bookmark in her workbook the whole time she had it)). Nothing too exciting happened when she finished beyond that—she just got another workbook to go through. 

In more exciting news, Miriam finished her math book as well! 

This is a bit of a bigger deal because this means that—after a few little hiccups along the way—she finished her entire course (whereas Zoë had just finished with a section of her course). She's now starting on "Intro to Counting and Probability," which she's excited about because it's just a teeny little course book, so she thinks she'll finish by the end of the school year and be ready for geometry in the fall. 

Rachel took her learner's permit test yesterday and is now...learning to drive...somehow. This feels like a bigger step toward independence than a lot of other things. I offered to take her to the park yesterday afternoon to let her drive around the parking lot, but she declined. She thinks it'll be better for her if she sticks with driving with her dad and grandpa. She's probably right. 

Andrew had her drive from the corner of our street to our house, and then they took a little trip over to Grandpa's house. I think Grandpa is taking her driving later today. She's afraid my anxiety will rub off on her, I guess.

In other news, she's continuing to cook up a storm in the kitchen. She made ice cream last week, but not just any ice cream—gooey buttercake ice cream in homemade waffle cones:

It was rather decadent. She covered the rim of the cones in chocolate and dipped them in nuts. 

This week she made cookie dough ice cream. She's having a lot of fun experimenting with addition to being a huge help. She and Miriam both!

Our family schedule is a little frantic this semester—at least, it feels frantic compared to how we've gotten used to things—and Andrew's unable to make dinner on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (which translates into not making dinner on other days as well), so the girls and I have been taking turns making dinners. It's nice to have them spell me off a bit...because no one really ever enjoys my dinners...because I just don't care about making yummy meals as much as other people in my house. 

I like to eat yummy meals, sure. But I'm usually just as happy to have a simple meal...that doesn't use very many dishes. 

There's a common idea floating around the universe that if you cook, you shouldn't have to do the dishes. On the one hand, this feels fair. After all, if you didn't cook, you got to enjoy the merits of someone else's labour so you can surely pitch in and clean up at the end. I feel like this was somewhat of a rule at my house growing up (though, to be honest, probably only when my dad cooked). And I get that (and I do help clean up from dinner and do plenty of dishes), but the general rule at our house is that if you cook you can also expect to clean up your mess. Why?

Because I would literally rather eat a PB&J (with store-bought, ready-to-eat ingredients) than clean up after a ginormous mess in the kitchen. That's why. 

My motivation when I cook is to dirty as few things as possible. 

Andrew and Rachel, on the other hand, don't care how many dishes they dirty as long as what they're making ends up fabulous. So Rachel made (1) a homemade butter cake (two bowls, a mixer, a pan, etc.), (2) homemade butterscotch (a pot...or two...), (3) ice cream (kitchenaid mixer's ice cream bowl, a pot, etc.), (4) waffle cones (a bowl, a waffle iron), (4) chocolate (bowls for melting), (5) nuts (a cutting board)...

I think in total she dirtied two or three pots, a handful of mixing bowls, one pan, one ice cream maker, a cutting board...the list goes on and on. And, I mean, the ice cream was good (and I actually did the dishes for this one), but was it...worth the mess? 

Some say yes. Some say they'd rather buy a tub of ice cream from the store. 

And I don't think it's fair to make those less interested in cuisine clean up after someone else's kitchen escapades. 

So at our house, the people who say yes to the mess also say yes to helping clean up the mess. 

Now, technically, the kids each have a dish week where they're in charge of dishes, but in reality I think the dishes get done with a lot of pitching in from everyone. 

This week was technically Rachel's week (we love when it's Rachel's week because she actually enjoys cleaning the kitchen), but I know I did the dishes a couple of nights for her (when she was really stressed out about one of her courses; she just started an American Poetry course and there was...some confusion about deadlines) and Andrew did all the dishes last night...and that's typically how things go (Andrew and I are even more generous about doing the dishes when its' the younger kids' turns, even though I'm sure they feel like we're tyrants for assigning them dish weeks at all).

Anyway, we're looking forward to having Rachel's cookies-and-cream ice cream tonight (she even left some plain vanilla for me!), especially because she technically made the ice cream yesterday so all the dishes are already done!

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