Last night as dinner wound down (which is to say, everyone except Chickadee was done eating, because Chickadee eats with all the speed of grass growing, and I was starting to put things away), I realized I had some strawberries in the fridge that I’d completely forgotten about and were about to be beyond edibility.
One of the very warmest and fuzziest results of the meal planning thing we’ve been doing is that we have greatly decreased the amount of food we throw away. As in, trash night no longer involves pulling huge amounts of food out of the fridge and dumping it in the trash. I hate that. And now that I plan not only meals but the nights that will include freezing foods AND nights we’ll have leftovers, we’re pretty good about using up everything… which makes me feel warm and fuzzy and causes cartoon deer to come to my window and sing me little songs.
So the strawberries, you see, were a problem.
Throwing food away pains me, but the strawberries were an even BIGGER issue because I KNOW. Strawberries in November! Blasphemy! It’s like I completely bypassed the carbon footprint issue and just flung myself down on the ground and flailed around, making a carbon ANGEL four times as big as I am. I repent. Truly. But I was shopping and they were cheap and looked delicious and the kids love strawberries, so I broke all of my own rules and bought produce totally out of season. I AM A BAD, BAD WOMAN.
I can cope with being a bad woman. I cannot cope with having damaged the planet in my badness and then THROWING AWAY the result.
So I decided to make strawberry buckle.
I set about slicing the strawberries and Chickadee hovered, asking what I was making and if she could have some.
She’s had this weird malaise thing for days, you know. The stomachache-with-low-fever-blahs, so I told her that she could not have any because strawberries aren’t a good idea on an icky stomach, and besides that, it wouldn’t be done before they went to bed.
Both kids asked if we were staying up to watch the election returns, and we said we were. “Tell me first thing,” Chickadee said, as I turned out her light and pulled her door closed. “Tell me first thing in the morning who won.”
I said I would.
Otto and I stayed up too late, flipping back and forth between various networks, following comments on Twitter, generally holding our breath and watching and waiting. I cannot think of another election year in my life that has felt this way—so full of hope, so dangerous and wonderful all at once.
For what it’s worth (because I’m totally your go-to political source, right? HA!), I was impressed with McCain’s speech. THAT was the McCain who might’ve won, if things had been played differently. The folks in the audience who booed at the mention of Obama’s name… well, I was surprised, and I guess that means I still have some idealism. And my idealism has decided to believe that those people have the political equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome and just can’t help it. I mean, hey, believe whatever you like. Free country, and all that. But don’t be a classless dick. (I’m putting that on a bumper sticker. I think it’ll go over REALLY WELL here in Georgia, don’t you?)
We ate some of the buckle and I put the rest in the fridge before we went to bed.
This morning Chickadee came creeping into our bedroom, and we talked about whether she felt well enough to go to school (she did) and I sent her off to take a shower. As she headed back upstairs I called after her, “Hey Chickadee? Obama is the next president.”
“YAYYYYYYYYYY!” she replied, then ran off to get ready.
I got up and went into the kitchen and pour milk and orange juice, and took out vitamins and medications, and started packing lunches. And I set out two enormous slices of the strawberry buckle for the kids to have for breakfast—after I warmed it up in the microwave.
“What’s THIS?” asked Monkey, in disbelief, when he saw the plates sitting on the table.
“It’s CAKE!” responded Chickadee, with great glee.
“Cake?” he repeated, looking from the plate to me. “For breakfast?”
“Yep!” I gave him a squeeze and dropped a kiss into his hair. “On the morning after the citizens of the United States have elected themselves their very first African American president, there is cake for breakfast. Is that okay with you?”
“Yay! Yes!” he said, doing a quick little dance before sinking into his chair and fairly planting his face into his piece.
I hope you had cake for breakfast, too.