And the party is over!

WHEW.

One huge barbecue I no longer have to think about! Over. Done. Successful! And even though I was smart and used plastic – how come there is still so much mess in my kitchen?????

This was a family day –  three generations all together. Brother, sister, their spouses, children and grandchildren. I’m a “step” member of this family and for me it was very touching. I saw the children I knew when I first met their father with their own children. I saw the young kids in the family with babies of their own. Have I been here that long? I don’t feel much older, but I see my age through the faces of this next generation. Here’s what I learned…

When you have a pool – everyone is happy. Kids never want to leave it; adults turn into children; everyone gets squirted and wet and everyone stays happy.

When your 4 year old “step” grandchild asks for chocolate milk, and you’re ready to turn the world over for him about but alas you have no cocoa, you get creative. Get that chocolate bar out of the refrigerator, nuke that thing until it melts and then stir it into a tall glass of milk. Let him pick out his favorite color straw (which of course you remembered to have on hand) and he’s happy. You will be too.

If you remembered to make his favorite cookies, call them his. He gets to hand them out, he gets to choose the ones he wants – they’re his! I love that O loves my chocolate chip mandlebread (more commonly known as biscotti) and as far as I’m concerned – they will always be here, waiting for him.

The tiramisu that I wrote about in my last posting came out fairly good. It didn’t have the layers of flavor that my original one has, but since that one involves 3 mixing bowls, 3 types of liqueur and over 1 hour of prep time, and this one involved 10 minutes, I’m voting for this one! Recipe to follow…

If you’re making a BBQ, and have plenty to eat, don’t bother with breads or pita. No one will eat them, well maybe the kids as a sandwich. Forget the beet salad too – not a big hit around here. But steak, kabobs and barbecued chicken – huge hit!

Dessert for kids – you can’t miss with ice cream. But before I even brought out the ice cream, O and his cousin S were going after the sprinkles. And I mean REALLY going after the sprinkles. He emptied several bottles onto a plate, mixed them up and started to eat. He kept looking at all of us – as if to say “Aren’t you going to stop me?”. We didn’t, so he continued. That was one hell of a sprinkle mess he made. And when he headed into the house to wash his hands and mouth, I nearly panicked. A quick thinking father and grandfather whisked him off to the side of the garden and hosed his little hands and face down. Otherwise, we’d be filtering sprinkles out of the pool from now until forever.

So.. the family get-together was a hit. I’m left with a messy kitchen, a soaking wet bathroom (I think one of the kids had a ball with the hand-held shower attachment for the bathtub) and an exhausted body – but I know that it was worth all the effort.

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