Oven Roasted Tomatoes
Lately I have been feeling a little low about my kids growing up and not hanging out with me as much as I would like. I guess this is the beginning of the Empty Nest Syndrome. It’s especially difficult because I have been a stay at home mom for 18 years.
I would like to be with them every day like I did when they were young. The changes are affecting my identity. Daphne moved out and has a full time job. Jack just isn’t interested in pretty much anything I am doing. I must ask him to join me to go do something every single day. He rarely says yes. I have thought long and hard about ways to get my family to do more together, especially outdoor activities. I have also tried to come up with things I could do now that I am not spending as much time raising children. I kept running into dead ends.
Then, yesterday, we bought a houseboat! It is a fixer upper. So, this is a project for me. I am so excited and amazingly, so are the kids. I really was not sure if they would be as enthusiastic as Claud and I are. However, to my sheer delight, they are ecstatic. In fact, Jack has even agreed to come with me over the course of the next few weeks to clean, and paint it in order to get it ready for the summer. That shocked me. I cannot wait to spend time with him.
This couldn’t have happened sooner. I think Claud was legitimately getting worried about me when I returned from the drug store with four pair of reading glasses and a bedazzled chain to keep a pair around my neck. I told him that the chain made my life easier. He said, “That chain reminds me of a woman who has given up.”
Ouch! I told him I wouldn’t take the chained glasses out of the house and only use the chain when I am at my desk. I thought that was a good compromise. I am wearing the getup now. I like it. It will have to be my own little secret for another ten years or so, when he thinks I have reached the appropriate age for such things. Jack just walked in and said, “You look like a vice principal,” to which I replied, “Vice? Why would I be vice?” He just walked away shaking his head. I still don’t know why I wouldn’t be the actual principal.
Anyway, I do feel a sense of rejuvenation with the purchase of the boat and the renovation project that I face with my son. My dad will help too. Three generations working on something that I am sure will bring us years of family fun. Just writing that brings a huge smile to my face.
Yesterday, my dad came over to look through the photos of the boat. He’s as thrilled as all of us. He and my uncle Leland, who also lives in Las Vegas, will get some good use out of the boat as well. I made us lunch while we discussed paint colors, flooring ideas, and fun accessories we are going to need. For lunch, I roasted some sliced tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, and oregano. Originally I thought these would be perfect over pasta or a salad. Then, I decided to put them on top of saffron rice, garbanzo beans and feta cheese. Really, there are a lot of different ways to enjoy these garlicky slices of heaven. Now that I think of it, I wish I added artichoke hearts. I will definitely include these next time.
Claud and my dad seemed to enjoy this lunch. Actually, I am not sure if they even noticed what they were eating. There wasn’t much to lessen our giddy attitudes that day due to the boat purchase. We haven’t had a boat since we lived on Lake Hanska. I have such great memories of those years. I am hoping Lake Mead will be nearly as much fun. I am really going to have to get the tiny kitchen on the boat in order. I can’t wait to cook and have dinner parties on the top deck. I can visualize my friends and family sitting around the table as we float in the lake, enjoying amazing food, listening to music, and sipping wine while watching the sunset. I wish I could fast forward to that moment right now. Although, the project with Jack is all that separates that moment and I think I am looking forward to that time just as much.
Time: 20 minutes
4 tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 clove garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomato slices into an oven safe dish. Drizzle the olive oil over them. Sprinkle on the oregano and pieces of garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Roast for fifteen minutes. Remove and place onto pasta, salad, or rice.