Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Full Nest for the Weekend!

Peter called us on Thursday night to tell us that he'd be coming home from Washington State University for the weekend.* Aleks, Kat, and Elisabeth live nearby in Seattle, so they come home often -- certainly much more often than Peter, who lives five hours away.

Of course, when all kids are home, they spend time catching up on each others' lives and "just chillin'. Yeah, I admit it -- it totally warms my heart!IMG_9548

Making our favorite German family dinner of sauerbraten, rotkraut and kaese speaetzle was a spur-of-the-moment idea, but turned out to be well worth it -- even after a full afternoon of cooking!


Aleks chopped onions (for about 10 seconds).


Elisabeth and Tom carefully made the spaetzle, batch after batch.

This is my Mom's Bavarian rotkraut...IMG_9540

...and sauerbraten made from memory.IMG_9537

It didn't taste right -- until we realized that we'd forgotten the molasses!

Finally -- dinner time! It's good to be home! (At least that's what I tell myself they were thinking!)IMG_9558

Here's the finished meal -- yum!IMG_9564

Dig in!


Here's Tom, Peter, Elisabeth and Kat, goofing off after dinner:


And me as a "house divided" mom -- meaning we have kids attending both big Washington State universities, University of Washington and Washington State University. Gotta always be fair, ya know!


For today, this house is lively and full of laughter. Tomorrow night, after all four kids head back to their apartments and their schools, things will be a little too quiet again. But every week Tom and I get a little more used to having an empty nest, and it turns out to be just fine... as long as they all come home on a regular basis, like they did this weekend!

(*Peter's first two months of college have been filled with the normal changes of going off to college, but in addition he's been dealing with the breakup of his four-year relationship with Danelle, which has especially been tough on Peter since they'd just moved into an apartment together in August. In the past few weeks, we've rented him his own place, furnished it, and helped him move in and move forward on his own. Since Danelle has essentially been part of our family for the past four years, this has been tough on all of us.)

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jennifer said...

Stories like this make me sometimes regret having no kids - I'll never have the fun of the adult family getting together to make a feast of a dinner.

Sorry to hear about Peter and Danelle. I had guessed something might be going on there... you had mentioned he had been home twice in September and that you had been out to visit. That's a long trip Pullman/Seattle to be making so often unless something's up. Hope he's doing well. Do you think it was too much strain on the relationship to have their first apartment while being away at school for the first time?

Anonymous said...

sorry peter!

Anonymous said...

Funny, you call it Rotkraut, I call it Rotkohl. I guess it's the difference between Baveria and Northern Germany.

Margaret said...

My brother and I were like that--he was WSU and I was UW. Luckily, we are nearly 15 years apart, so the rivalry wasn't too great. It's nice to have the kids back; we had our Western girl down for the weekend. It was really nice to see her. She is way more appreciative of us and her home now--like the luxury of showering without wearing flip flops!!

Anonymous said...

My husband (John's) grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from Germany (Stuttgart) just prior to WWII, and his mom makes a lot of German dishes that her mom made. John and his family call the cabbage dish "blaukraut". (I really like it!)My paternal side of my family also emigrated from Germany, but back in the mid-1800s, so we've never had any German cooking heritage that's passed down the years.

So sorry to hear about Peter and Danelle. That just makes me sad.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Mmmm... spaetzle. Yummy.

See? Now this is why I need to get through the next 18 or so years w/ my two. Just so I can have weekends like this.

A woman can dream.

And thank you for commenting (finally!) on my blog. It was just what I needed.

Anonymous said...

:( My first thought when viewing the photos was "Where's Danelle?" So sorry to hear about the break-up. I know it's hard on all of you.

Anonymous said...

Hey...still experimenting with Windows Live Writer? I recently discovered a way-cool feature. After you've uploaded a photo, select it, then select "effects" and "pop color." You won't believe the difference! Wow!

Jen said...

I think I mentioned this the last time you posted about a family sauerbraten dinner, but this was my mother's favorite to a tee growing up. And her mother was from the Black Forest area, as well. How lovely that you still have the recipes.

It looks like everyone was happy to be together. Again, so sorry to hear what Peter (and all of you) have been going through!

J said...

After having a full house for so many years, it's probably nice to have them home again. It probably helps the adjustment with moving to the empty nest phase too.

Sorry to hear about Peter and Danielle. Will they still be friends?

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