Strawberries! We're all about strawberries today! 40 pounds of strawberries, to be exact. That's approximately 25 quarts, Mir, you rookie! I laugh at your paltry 2 gallons! The excursion with just the 4 younger kids was pleasant and fun (yes! it was!) until we got in the car for the hour-long drive home. Rachel decided that she didn't like the CD I was playing and screamed in fury for, oh, 25 minutes or so. It felt like longer. Her screaming was punctuated by periodic wails from Brian: "Rachel! Don't hit me!" and "She's trying to undo my seatbelt!" That's one strange little girl.
Not having any duct tape handy, Larry and I decided to endure the aural onslaught silently rather than add to the noise by issuing idle threats. When we got home, we took Rachel out of the car and gave her a cookie to thank her for finally quieting down.
Ha, ha, ha - no, we didn't. We put her in her room for the entire afternoon. A gorgeous afternoon really - we opened her window so that she could hear the sounds of Brian and Susie playing with the neighbor kids outside. I half expected to look outside and see a bunch of sheets tied into a rope trailing out of Rachel's bedroom window; but, luckily, she fell asleep rather than planning an escape. Yelling like that can be exhausting, you know. At least, both Larry and I wanted a nap by the time we got home.
But that wasn't a possibility, as we had 40 pounds of strawberries rapidly aging in our kitchen. We swung into action. David decided that he was going to make chocolate-dipped confections with them, so he proceeded to melt chocolate chips in the double boiler and spread out wax paper, etc. Is he gonna be one great boyfriend, or what? Chocolate-covered strawberries - he's gonna have to beat those girls off with a stick.
Um, that's a figure of speech. This blog is in no way advocating girlfriend-beating.
While he dipped strawberries, I started up the jam process. David looked apprehensive as I turned on the big front burner on the stove to cook the mashed strawberries and sugar. "Are you sure that won't catch fire?" he worried. Poor kid - he's been traumatized by too many kitchen conflagrations, I'm afraid. So I took him by the shoulders, looked in his eyes, and said, "David. If you can't take the heat, you need to get out of the kitchen."
Tough love. It's the way to go.