Rainy days and Mondays always slow us down, and when it rains on a Monday, we want to stay home. That’s what we did this week. Jess had gotten up once during the night and was moving slowly. Upon seeing the rain and the wind kicking up, she lost all motivation to get dressed. Since I didn’t have to go to work that day, it seemed ideal for us to play hooky.
Jess and Roxy began the day cuddled on the couch while I finished some chores. Of course, everyone knows that chores are never finished. By the time the rain let up, she was ready to do something, so we went out on a mission.
First stop was new sneakers for her. We prefer shopping during the week when there are no crowds. We had the rain advantage, which kept the less adventuresome shoppers home. From there, we went to Costco, and finally to the apple orchard. She had asked about the apple orchard and it was then we decided to bake a pie.*
I like cooking with Jess because it’s a good way to work on her fine motor skills. For the longest time when preparing food, she would stay for a few seconds and then run off in another direction, sometimes returning, often not. The adage try, try, and try again is what you have to do when you have an Angel.
Food is a motivator, and cooking is a complementary skill. My husband always says, “You need the right tool for the job.” Jess doesn’t have knife skills (I’ve dropped the ball, as I’m writing this I realize this is something we should work on), so finding the apple corer/peeler made it possible for her to help. Jess has watched me add ingredients. To her, it appears I’m “dumping.” She has modeled after me and does the same, however, she seems to have missed the step for measuring. Once she put a half box of baking soda into the chocolate chip cookies. The batter tasted fine, but once baked, the cookies were inedible. Because of this, I now pay close attention to my little chef.
The apple peeler makes quick work of it, and she likes to rotate the handle. As soon as the apples are peeled, she stirs in the sugars, flour, and cinnamon and sautés it until the apples have slightly softened. While she is tending to the stove, I’m rolling out the crust. The best part about making a pie is that it is a farm-to-table project. She picks the apples off the tree, and then we turn it into a yummy dessert on the same day.
Watching Jess go from spectator to participant has been rewarding. Anything that goes full circle is a form of perfection, and witnessing this has been our reward.
Angels are like marathons — it doesn’t matter how long it takes to cross the finish line. While she was in school, it felt as though we were playing “Beat the Clock.” I was wrong. We have plenty of time, especially when we play hooky.
*The recipe doesn’t call for cooking the apples, but it boosts the flavor. I also add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice to the fruit.
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