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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

The Countdown has Begun

August 25, 2008

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. The kids were home from a week with Mr. Sundberg's parents and Mr. Sundberg was home on vacation and things were a bit crazy. My broken toe feels less broken, but I'm not able to get around as well as usual, so I don't feel I have my usual level of authority. I can't chase the kids and pin 'em down to get their attention so I've had to resort to the use of a whistle, which I rather like. If I blow it enough times in succession, there's a silence that follows, a silence through which I can speak in a normal voice and make reasonable requests and share important information like, "Dinner is ready" or "Please do not throw a football in the living room" or "If I hear one more belch, you are all going to sleep in the garage tonight."

It's time, people. The countdown has begun. School starts on September 2 where I live, and that's a good solid week away. Now, I know they've been gone a good part of the summer, and yes, I did miss them and I do love them. It's all true. They are young only once, and childhood is fleeting and it all goes so fast and all of that. But for the love of Pete, it's been three months of muddy shoes and broken flip flops, night crawlers in coffee cans in the fridge and wet swimsuits in the sink and sand in the sheets. Three months of owl pellets in Baggies on the kitchen counter and toilets clogged with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ("I couldn't eat it all and didn't want to hurt your feelings") and sleepless nights because "I didn't know it was poison ivy or I wouldn't have hid in it." No more, "I forgot my sun block." No more, "Why is dad kicking the lawn mower?" No more, "I didn't think it was going to explode."

It's not that I have anything against children, or childhood. Not at all. I was a child once, and I'm all for it. I'm all for the bare feet and the tree-climbing and the hollering. I'm up for a campfire now and then. I appreciate a solid rope swing and a good explosion. But I need more than a night of sleep to re-load. I need some down time. A little stretch of calm and focus. The purity of silence. And it's just around the corner. Why, I can almost smell it. It smells like coffee..and toast...and raspberry Bismarck filling.

So bring it on, children o'mine. You've got a week to give me all you got and then you're off and packing to become who you are. Thank the Lord there are people willing and more than able to teach you things your parents can't. String theories and parts of plot and theorems and scales and how to say "I love you" in French and the phases of cell division and such. And when you get home, you can tell us all about it over meatloaf and mashed potatoes. That's thing about silence. You only need so much and you're good to go.

This light and flavorful vegetable dish complements perfectly just about anything.

Summer's End Sauteed Squash Strips

1 zucchini

1 summer squash

Salt

Pepper

Oil or butter

Assorted garden herbs

Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cut off ends of zucchini and summer squash.

Use vegetable peeler and peel the zucchini and the squash in long

strips down to where the seeds are. Discard seedy middle parts.

Lay strips in a skillet with 1 T oil. Salt lightly.

(If you prefer, you may remove the skin strips, but why take out the vitamins?)

Sauté for 2-3 minutes until semi-transparent. Sprinkle with pepper.

The squash can be served as is, or sprinkled lightly with parmesan cheese,

or with any fresh garden herbs you may have handy. Also, if you're like me,

you may choose to use butter in place of oil. The squash already tastes buttery,

but I prefer butter to oil. I just do.

Enjoy!

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