To Throw or Not to Throw
It begins with a beloved holiday craft. The first one ever made with your little one’s own two hands and perhaps the hands of a slightly more adult helper who can hold a pen. You swear you will cherish it and keep it forever more. It ends with mountains of drawings, colouring pages and one more poster size piece of beiger side of pale paper hastily torn from the kindergarten painting easel with a big blue paint blob in the center. The blob is certified by your child to be “him, mommy, daddy, brother, the dog and the mayor of Candyland”. At what point do you start to rate these works of art to determine if they should secure a spot in the family archives or be filed under “GRRB” - Guilt Ridden Recycling Bin?
We agreed to keep one storage box of the goods and 1 clip on the fridge to display current works of art that make the ruthless cut. The others we sneak out the door like a couple of masked criminals on a jewellery heist to a safer, “not in the house” place like the recycling bin in the garage. Then we pray he doesn’t ask about it. It stays in the bin until recycling day so if he asks about it in the meantime one of us distracts him with some antics while the other retrieves the jewels (work of art). If he doesn’t ask after the first one or two days, we’re usually home free.
This one below had all the makings of a keeper. A rainbow, Sponge Bob, Squidward, Crabby Patties on the grill and a green dollar sign because “that’s the colour of money” so he says.
A little while ago I found my very own work of art in my own storage box. It’s a dusty Mickey Mouse paper box that was from a Disney trip either I took, or a friend of mine took and graced me with a gift inside it. The box and it’s contents of artwork relics has travelled along with me from house to house under bed after bed over the years collecting dust. It wasn’t hurting anyone…one day I would open it.
When I did take a look I found this…
I want to know where this place is! It’s perfection. It screams joy and happiness. The mountains, waterfall and sunshine are right up my alley and I’ve always wanted to work on my roller skating skills. A communal clothes drying line in the park would be very handy and there certainly wouldn’t be any fender benders in the parking lot if all cars used their high beams in broad day light.
I’m glad my mom kept this picture and gave it to me to keep for decades to come. It made me smile.
I had written on the back - Shannon Coburn - 1983 Nov. 4th. Friday - I am 11 years old.
Why didn’t I note the time? Slacker
When the storage box of art gems is overflowing and you have to come up with some diversion tactics to modestly dispose of the duds just say, “hey, how about some Creamy Butternut Squash Soup for dinner??” This recipe is a family style butternut squash soup that is great not just for baby but for everyone.
Family Style Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
Age – 8 months + (due to the addition of spices, but if you leave out the spices, 6 months +)
- 1 Butternut Squash (or you can give yourself a break and buy a pre-peeled and sectioned one as these can be hard work to peel)
- 1 cup of chopped onions
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 ½ cups of homemade or low sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup of 10% (half and half) cream
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Peel, seed and chop squash into approx. 1” cubes.
- Place squash in steamer over boiling water and cook for approx. 15 minutes until tender. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, chop onions and garlic.
- Add butter to a large soup pot and melt over medium heat.
- Add onions and garlic to butter and cook until translucent, approx. 3 – 4 minutes.
- Add steamed squash to soup pot along with chicken broth and ½ cup of the water used to steam the squash.
- Add in coriander, cumin and black pepper and cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and puree with a hand held blender until you achieve a smooth, soupy consistency.
- Place pot back over medium heat and stir in the cream. Cook for 2 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool for several minutes.
- Ladle out for a family meal and freeze the rest in freezing trays for baby to be used within 3 months.
Makes A lot! – Approx. 36 baby servings (2 tbsp. each) so it’s best to make for baby and the family to enjoy together. It would be too much to freeze and use up within 3 months unless you have at least 4 hungry babies in the house at all times.
Tip – Adults can add a few drops of hot sauce to their individual bowls to give it an added kick!
I wish you all the strength you can muster when sorting through your little one’s art treasures. Definitely keep as many as you want and don’t feel bad about tossing a few either. They will just need to look at that one special piece years from now to evoke memories of childhood happiness and wonder and realize they haven’t really changed all that much. Not sure if Carter will still love Sponge Bob and Crabby Patties but rainbows are usually a crowd pleaser.