What an exciting day it is today. The sun is shining bright with actual heat in the rays, Max is off at school after two weeks holidays and Alex and I are home alone. I knew I wasn't going to get much done in the way of work today due to the gorgeous day, so to make the most of it I promised Alex a day in the park. He was very excited with my decision and decided today was also going to be the day he road his bike without training wheels!
"I'm 4 now mum so no more training wheels, Max didn't ride with training wheels when he was 4"
With that said who was I to argue? Right near my (and Nic's) work there is a fantastic park with a very big oval and running all the way around the oval is a bike track so I thought that would be the best place to get Alex on two wheels. Within minutes of us making this decision I got a phone call from Nic saying his lunch date fell through and what were we up to? Well this never happens so I decided to pack a quick picnic (quick because time was ticking on and Nic only had half and hour to spare if we were at the park in the next 20 minutes). Time running against me I popped on a pot of water and boiled pasta for a quick pasta salad. Alex is always on at me for something different for lunch BUT when I tell him we were bike riding then having a picnic in the park with dad he enquires what is for lunch and I pull out all his favorites; pasta salad with cheese, ham and cucumber etc, he looks at me then pulls a face and tells me he does not want pasta salad and why couldn't we just have a sandwich? Seriously people I can't keep up with the whims my kids go on!
Anyway back to my salad- time was ticking and the pasta was boiling so I didn't have time to pander to Alex's needs, I caved and made him a wrap just to keep me smiling.
The pasta was going to be hot and I hate running pasta under water to cool it down, I think it totally changes the flavour of the pasta and does nothing for a salad, so with that said I used a couple tablespoons of mayo to give the salad some body and dressing, then I ripped up shaved ham, chopped some cucumber into chunks, roughly chopped some coriander and tossed it all through. The smell was really tasty and because the pasta was still warm it opened up the flavour of the coriander (cilantro). I hesitated a little then thought well Alex isn't going to be eating it so I might as well throw in some pickled jalapenos to boot! Ohhh what a treat, something was missing but I couldn't concentrate, I had to leave the house right then, Alex was asking me if he could take the training wheels off NOW and I still hadn't put his bike into the car....time is always ticking. Just as I leave the kitchen I see the tomato sitting on the window ledge bursting with colour and ripeness and thought that would be perfect but no time so I had to go with what I had and I have to tell you......
a) as you can see from above Alex is now the proud rider of a two wheeler bike
b) I got to the park on time and without a speeding ticket
c) salad was really tasty, especially with the jalapenos.
Of course when Alex saw us eating the salad he wanted some which was fine, I just didn't give him any green bits and he didn't seem to notice the hot pickled flavour- perhaps excitement took over!
A fantastic day all in all and a salad I will come back to even when I have more than 7 minutes to make it.