This evening Hunter and Joani went out on a 'date'... spiffed up, and smelling nice; I watched as the boys pressed their noses against the window and pondered quietly what their parents would get to eat.
It's not always easy, living on a student budget. I joke that suddenly our food pyramid consists of Ramen Noodles, rice, oatmeal, and soup.
So, the thought hit me, why not do everything possible to make this a special food night for the boys too? Ingredients are extremely limited of course... but necessity is the mother of invention. Even when it comes to dining.
Poochi (the Cuban neighbor who lives below us) had given us a whole container of already cooked rice. This was to be the main staple of the evening... Joani had intended to just serve it plain, as is customary, but I decided to spice it up a little with... Italian salad dressing. (Don't ask how we obtained said salad dressing without any salad... it's a long story.) Reminiscing about my dad's delicious stir fries of the past, I coated a skillet with the dressing, and proceeded to fry (fry, is that the term to use?) the rice.
I promise you, it was absolutely delicious.
But I wasn't done... no special meal is complete without dessert, eh? Well, there are a few special untouchables that Hunter has for snacks between class; popcorn, and peanut butter for pb&j. I helped myself to a package of the former, and a small spoonful of the latter.
In a small saucepan I melted the peanut butter and added some oatmeal, glopping in together in a delicious smelling mess. And then, crunched up the popcorn, and stirred that in as well. I made an attempt to form little balls, but they rather fell apart, and we ended up eating it like trail mix. The boys thought half the fun was in licking fingers. (I guess I rather agree.)
Cayman has now equipped me with a lot more invention in the culinary department than I formally possessed, for sure. Even better, life is simplicity in itself... and I have regained the wonder at bits of life which went before unobserved.
Like messy fingers and peanut-butter smiles.