We celebrated Rose's 9th birthday today. After milking Coco and overseeing some of the other chores, Rose and I headed into town for our yearly birthday breakfast date. We used to go to IHOP for breakfast, mainly because the kids liked the idea of the giant monster icecream sundae they would get for free for their birthday. Awhile back the kids would comment that the pancakes tasted kind of chemically and that all that ice cream for breakfast made them sick.
Now they enjoy finding a local, family-owned breakfast place. No free ice cream sundae, but the food is better and we feel much better knowing our birthday dollars are supporting a family in the area.
Thelma's Chicken and Waffles is the place in vogue with the kids right now.
YUMMY! I know, I know, it is white flour, not a grain of whole wheat in sight. But it is a birthday, for goodness' sake. I need to haul hay after such a food-filled day. If you feel like you need a waffle, I hope you will try Thelma's. On Orange in Roanoke, just past Williamson Road.
Rose and I had such a nice time chatting. I asked her what she thinks she learned this year. Math stood out to her. She conquered addition and subtraction of 3, 4 and 5 digit numbers. She worked on fractions. She began multiplication. She also started to write cursive. She reads voraciously and couldn't remember what book was her favorite.
Rose has made great strides with piano lessons this past year, too. It gives me great joy to listen to her play the piano. She doesn't just go practice because she must, she plays the piano most every time she walks past it. If she is sad she plays. Sometimes when she is mad she plays. I am blessed to enjoy her music.
Rose has been learning to cook. She was thrilled when I told her over breakfast that now she is nine, she is old enough to take on a week of dishes duty.
Well, she wasn't exactly thrilled. But probably deep down inside she must be thrilled to know that she is old enough to take on the responsibility of the kitchen clean up one week a month.
Rose planted cucumbers in her garden this year. She loves to pick them and eat them right in the garden.
Rose has several friends this year. Emily is a long term friend who is like a cousin. They have know each other since baby days. Emily lives in North Carolina, but visits often. Sofie lives in Fincastle on a farm and is homeschooled. Maddie has a Grandma who lives down the road. Anita lives down the road. Madeline lives in town and goes to our church. Emma is homeschooled and lives down the street from the farmer's market. Rose is blessed with very sweet friends.
I forgot to mention that Rose has learned to milk a goat this year. Actually she tells me she learned when she was seven, but now she is helping to milk Nita most days.
Rose has very good taste. She requested blackberry pound cake for her birthday cake with homemade custard vanilla ice cream. She also requested fried chicken for her birthday supper. We have been eating all day long! We were so grateful that Ingrid picked potatoes today while I made cake and ice cream. She picked piles and piles of potatoes. Of course we had to fry some to go with all the fried chicken and fried eggplant. As Rose mentioned to our friend Julie, we don't fry stuff very often, but when we do, we try to go all out.
If you can get a good locally grown free-range chicken, I recommend you soak it in buttermilk or whey along with some sea salt and garlic and any other herb you might enjoy. Thyme might be a good choice. Then drench in some freshly milled whole wheat flour seasoned with garlic and salt. Fry in lard. The trick to crispy french fries to go along with that chicken is to fry them twice. First fry them until they are barely cooked through. Drain and fry them one more time in hot grease. They should come out crispy and not at all greasy. A bit of work, but worth it on a birthday.
No baking for farmer's market for us today. First Friday off all season. I am so happy to celebrate Rose's birthday.
Dear sweet Rose, slightly spicy to keep things interesting. I enjoy spending time with you. I love talking with you. I enjoy hanging out with you, in the garden, in the kitchen, running around town taking care of business, cuddled in bed with a book. You were precious to me when you were a teeny little rose bud of a baby. You were precious to me as you learned to toddle around. You were precious to me as you perservered, learning to ride a bike, you were precious to me as you sang in church, you were precious to me when you wrote your "I'm sorry" note. You are precious to me as you stretch and grow and run and learn. Beautiful, lovely Rose. Intelligent, creative. I love seeing you become even more of you as each year comes and goes.
You are my gift!
But please, don't let me have any more cake and ice cream til we haul hay again, okay?