Today after school, Ethan announced that he wanted to make supper.  Awesome.  Definitely a tendency I want to nurture.  Except for one thing:  the fridge was already full of leftovers, and I hate to see food go to waste (especially when I have spent the time pre-making meals for the week)  What to do, what to do…

So here was our brainstorm:  use the leftovers to make a new meal.  Looking in the fridge, we had pulled pork, meatloaf, roast chicken and sauteed kale and mushrooms.

So we chopped up the meatloaf and chicken, added some fajita spices (I leave out the cornstarch and sugar), made some guacamole, and chopped the veggies.  In our family, “Eating by Design” means that we eat real food first, and consume minimal grains (though admittedly, Ethan ate wraps with this meal, Audra had corn tortilla shells, and I ate mine in lettuce leaves)  I try to follow the 80/20 rule with our eating, but in some cases, like this, we go a little off track.  All in all, it was dee-lish.

Sitting down to eat, I enjoyed watching their extra enthusiasm in eating the food they helped prepare.  I laughed out loud at Audra’s exclamation of excitement to give her lots of the sauteed kale and mushrooms (…!)  It seems as though they appreciate their food more when they help in the cooking, as if their effort makes them more mindful of what they are eating.  Their final touch was eating our dinner by candle light.

As we talked about their day, I laughed again as Ethan turned to Audra to ask her what her favourite part of the day was.  It was almost like watching a play.  Happily, it was real life, as we enjoyed an exceptionally connected dinner together. The only missing ingredient to our meal was Dean, who left this morning to visit his parents in Edmonton for a week.  And while our dinner was lovely,  I’m not delusional enough to think that being a single mom would always be as enjoyable.

So now the house is quiet as the kids have gone next door to play.  The candle is still burning, my belly is full of good food (I could definitely “taste the love”), and my fridge is almost cleaned out of leftovers.  All around good lessons.

However, what I am feeling the most is appreciation for the simple moments in life that become special.  Tonight’s dinner nourished my soul.