Lightening the Load
On days like last Saturday, I am reminded about how we can lighten one another’s loads.
The day before, I bought all of the ingredients for our pizza fundraiser, and Saturday was the day to put everything together, package up the orders, and get them delivered.
I counted the number of cardboard circles for each type of pizza and grouped them together. Then I put out an assembly line of shells, sauce, seasoning, cheese, toppings, and wrappings.
I had previously tested and measured each item to make sure I had enough. It was MUCH easier to do the calculations than in the past with the sub sandwiches we used to make.
Then once the kids arrived, I put on my teacher hat and told them we were going to have a math lesson. To my surprise, I heard a few cheers. I explained to them how I figured out how much cheese to buy. These on-the-ball kids understood right away: look at the serving size, multiply up, figure out how many pizzas, and ta-daaaaa! We get 75 pizzas. The kids backed up my figures. They also knew who first used the assembly line to build cars (although it seems so firmly ingrained that it’s hard for me to imagine a time when it wasn’t used). Lesson complete, we were ready to make some pizzas.
So busy in fact that one of the kids joked that we were running an Italian sweatshop. Ha. But after two hours, we had our pizzas built, bagged, and sorted.
Donna A. came with four big pans of brownies, baked, and ready to be cut (and what a job that must have been!), and the kids got busy with cutting and wrapping those too.
The whole process reminded me yet again how important it is to lighten one another’s loads. What can seem like an overwhelming task for one becomes manageable with many. I was stressing the night before, worrying that I hadn’t bought enough cheese, or that we’d run out of sauce, but thankfully, we had plenty of everything. On Saturday, with cheerful, energetic kids, and supportive parents, we got the job done in little time.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever asked for seconds on a vegetable dish. But this is so delicious that I not only got seconds but may have to make another batch this week. That would require another trip to the store, but it may be worth it. That’s how good this salad is.
The recipe is simple. It calls for green pepper, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, and red onion. What ties it all together is the olive oil and fresh lemon juice. I bought a monster-sized lemon, almost the size of a mango.
And Anna’s tip at the end about the red onions is brilliant! She suggests drizzling the lemon juice over the chopped red onion to reduce its pungency before mixing it with the other vegetables. This made a huge difference. I’m not a fan of raw onion, but because I minced it and soaked it in the juice, it added a tang to the recipe without overpowering it. Great idea–thanks, Anna!
I love to think of Anna in her beautiful new kitchen as she carefully tends to her delicious meals. I don’t know if there’s a special gene for people who have highly sensitive taste buds, but if there is, she has it. Everything she’s ever cooked for me has been phenomenal. And she’s just a beautiful person, inside and out. So thank you, Anna, for this delicious contribution.