I know that teaching provided that in a way that most standard jobs do not. However, nothing really prepares you for motherhood when May begins the season of, "WHAT DO I SIGN MY CHILD UP FOR!" in terms of camp and summer. Don't get me wrong, I do love my children and I love them to have no homework and freedom, but I cannot think about endless hours of time with them day after day without inwardly cringing at the thought of endless hours day after day with them. There is no break that arrives after May, nor are there long lazy days when I can pamper myself. Instead, as a mother May brings the aching stress that comes from trying to find things for Daughters and Son to do so that I don't hurt myself physically from the stress of having them around for extra hours during the day. Cost is an issue. Timing is an issue. My own work and managing that is an issue, and suddenly May=stress.
However, it's not all black and white. Summer isn't all negative, or all difficult or all horrible, as not having to pack lunches all the time, or worry about food all the time, or plan meals all the time is really nice. Having the freedom to go places on the weekend and do unexpected things is also really great. And there is more time for leisurely outdoor cooking, and more fun experimenting with all the different ways of NOT being warm while in the kitchen. With summer that is as much good as there is stress.
I'm going to be making this Black and White popcorn mix a lot this summer, as it's fun to eat and I can send the kids outdoors to the backyard with a huge bowl of it and let them make a mess back there. It's originally based off of a Hawaiian popcorn mix that friend SH told me about, which I researched and figured out what was in it. But this one is a lighter healthier version as it doesn't use furikake (a seasoning mix, which usually has MSG in it), butte, or li hing powder (you need to be Hawaiian to know what this is) either. Everything in it is just crispy and delicious and completely addicting. You can't stop once you start, so I do suggest you make a bowl to SHARE with others.
Party in Your Mouth Popcorn Mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup popcorn kernels
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups rice cracker mix (I like Trader Joes, for it has no nuts and therefore safe for the allergies)
2 full sheets of roasted seaweed, cut into tiny slivers (I used a preseasoned one that I had. Feel free to use one of the pre-seasoned “personal” packs of seaweed, just use the entire pack and cut it into tiny slivers)
In large pan, heat oil, and 3 kernels of popping corn over medium high heat. Cover As soon as you hear them pop, add the entire ½ cup of kernels and salt. Cover and shake pan in order to get kernels well-distributed. Watch. Keep pan on heat and shake repeatedly once the popping starts in order to ensure all kernels get popped and nothing gets burned. Once popping stops to a few seconds in between each pop, remove from heat and uncover so as to allow steam to escape.
Once popcorn has cooled, mix with rice cracker mix and sliced nori. Serve. Makes great party food.