We had the "Taste of Our Special Little Town" this weekend and I have an eight year old who can not pass up an event at the park. He counts down the days to said event so this was his weekend. Of course, the other two enjoy a party, but we could have gotten by with not telling them...nothing slips past Parker.
Friday evening we had the added surprise and fun of our friend Derek stopping by with two of his kids so we all walked/biked downtown. We walked around for a bit and saw the booths, played in the park, talked to friends and neighbors, and then hit up a local cafe for some grub (vegan food is hard to come by at the Taste, but I can say that this year they were much better about having more actual local restaurants instead of national chains!). We had a nice time eating and chatting in the outside seating area (beautiful weather!). As we left, we had the added bonus of apparently annoying our town's mayor with the craziness that is five children getting fruit popsicles to eat on the way home. The walk/bike home was fun with Rob taking three kids and a bike on his Xtracycle. I tried to get a picture as he went past (I was pushing Parker and Josie in the Chariot), but it didn't come out well. Trust me, the Xtracycle is an amazing thing!
Saturday evening we had the Taste take Two with our neighbors and their two boys, oh and their friend, "Uncle Pete". The adults walked as Dema and E biked and Uncle Pete saved the day by keeping up with the crazy fast boys. This time we splurged on the blow up play thingys...quite the rip off, but the boys all enjoyed it. I have to remind myself next year that Parker actually enjoyed the entertainment much more than the jump houses and skip the tickets next year and just go for the shows. It was a nice time and it reminds me again why I love the area of town in which we live. I love walking and looking at all the old houses, waving to neighbors who are sitting on their porches, chatting to people about the improvements they've made, etc.Today, I decided to get back to talking about food. This is going to be the "week of kale" or so Rob tells me. We bought a ton of kale at the Farmer's Market this weekend and who doesn't love kale? I got to thinking after Friday night when Derek ordered a quesadilla at the cafe:
1. I don't think I've ever eaten a quesadilla before...even in pre-vegan days.
2. I bet it would be easy to make a vegan quesadilla and the kids would like it.
I searched some blogs and decided, heck yes, and talked to Rob about it. He decided to cook this one so he made very yummy vegan quesadillas with roasted red peppers, carrots, kalamata olives, Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack Vegan Cheese (which I bought from the co-op a couple weeks back when it was on sale), and of course, kale. I dubbed them Rainbow Quesadillas because they were very colorful. Rob used whole wheat tortillas because that is what we had on hand and everyone ate them up (two servings in fact). I had a helping of garlicy kale on the side which I shared with Josie. I think I would like to experiment with a homemade vegan cheese sauce or avocados instead of the FYH cheese...just to see how it works.
With Josie getting into more and more things...she is standing unassisted for a few seconds and trying to take a step lately and although she still crawls on her belly in the house (on all fours in the grass) she is super fast and did I mention she goes up and down the stairs (slowly) so nothing is safe...I will be doing simple, quick foods all summer.
Our weekend was topped off with an unexpected visit from Stef at the park! It was so nice to see her and I'm super happy for her, but we miss her too. I've been trying to find the words to post about this for quite a while now. We know so many wonderful people and living in a college town many of these people end up moving on. We are saying goodbye soon to yet another friend, Katie and her family and her business (I can still shop with her online). Even if people aren't tied to the university, they often move for jobs (like Mike, Alison, and Percy *snif* and Matthew, Sandra, and all their furry "kids" *sigh*). It is understandable, but sad. Luckily, many people just move up to The City, but getting up there isn't as easy as it once was. I am happy for everyone...truly I am, but I'm sad too. I miss them and I know we could move on (we fully intended to only live here a year and then back to the east coast) as well...there is something (my family? many friends? great community?) which makes us stay. Even when I get fed up with small town living or the lack of vegan restaurants or I just miss city living for what city living is, I can't seem to make the argument to move. Maybe I'm too lazy or tired, but we are sort of settled here right now for good or bad. I feel like an old married couple who watch the "young couples" take the risks and have the fun, but I'm okay with that. I do wish we were able to see everyone more often and we will make more of a point of getting to see our friends (we'll have to plan a trip to Portland, OR as well), but for better or worse, this is home (for now).