What’s for supper? Vol. 96: Tearwater tea

This week was what we call a “dramatic airport.”

(Sorry about the weird framing. I guess it’s to get around copyright?) Anyway, this week, two kids packed and left for college for the first time. High school started, the the other school starts next week; Benny starts kindergarten; and I’ll be home with one child for the first time in eighteen years. In addition to pretty much the whole world leaving, there’s a bunch of serious trouble and turmoil with folks I love. And this is the short version! It has been a hard week, and we would appreciate prayers! Thank you.

Happily, you can always count on food. Here’s what we had this week:

Lasagna, challah, salad, cake

And I didn’t cook any of it! It was a family reunion and goodbye party for my niece Mary, who is entering a cloistered convent.
My parents have forty-two grandchildren, most of whom are pictured here:

along with two great-grandchild, one not born yet. Here is my father with all of his children:

My mother, who has Alzheimer’s, is no longer able to go to events like this. She would have loved it.


Grilled hamburgers and bratwurst

The eight girls and I had a “spa day” at home.

Me: “. . So it will be a special afternoon just for girls! Maybe we can watch a girly movie for once.”

Well, sure. We also dragged in nail polish, make up, facial masks, and fancy snacks and drinks, plus some intergenerational compromise music, which turned out to be Graceland.

It turns out that cold cucumbers are super hard to keep on your eyes

unless you just camp out on the floor

and that weird sensation of pulling off a dried facial mask is an acquired taste

Corrie’s piggies look good in any color

and Dora had a roomful of jewelry looking for a new home

Corrie may or may not have a future as an aesthetician

and girly stuff is actually completely exhausting.

I also discovered that, while I’ve loosened up enough to let my little girls try on makeup at home, I am not loose enough to share pictures of them on the internet.

My husband and the boys went to the laundromat, went bowling, and picked up supper, which involved meat, charcoal, and magic. I had a dream someone was trying to tell me how handsome he is, and I was like YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TELL ME.


Steak, baked potatoes, veggies and dip

Last day with my second-oldest daughter home. My husband, who is the only one qualified to handle steak, had tons of delays at work, so I was reduced to cooking them under the broiler and topping them with fried onions. We had baked potatoes with the requisite sour cream and bits of bacon flavored whathaveyou, and ice cream.

It was good, but it did not make up for my second-oldest daughter leaving. It really didn’t.


Chicken burgers, chips, strawberries, watermelon

Last beach day of the year. (Okay, maybe not, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a “closed” sign on nature and on happiness in general.)


Korean beef bowl, white rice, watermelon and grapes

Last day with my oldest daughter home. It’s a good recipe, but not good enough to make up for my oldest daughter leaving. It really isn’t.


Penne with sausage and creamy tomato sauce, garlic bread, salad

A new recipe for the Instant Pot (affiliate link) from a very thorough Instant Pot recipe site called Paint the Kitchen Red. Turned out quite tasty.


I only doubled the recipe, and it was enough for our suddenly tiny family of ten. You guys.


Waffles with whipped cream, scrambled eggs

I bought too much cream for the previous recipe, so we’ll whip it up for waffles. And maybe have some tea.

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9 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 96: Tearwater tea”

  1. Prayers for you all. This was not my favorite week, either. And what did I even make? Oh, yeah, there was beef stroganoff. Skillet “lasagna” (not even egg noodles, as in the Budget Bytes cookbook recipe I used, but really just penne). Waffles. And then we did leftovers and stuff out of the freezer, because I didn’t shop well for the week. On to next week.

  2. I know the feeling of desolation you have – my big girls – the ones who are actually sane and can have rational conversations with me and cook meals and listen to their tired mom rant about laundry – are all returning to college/grad school these past weeks. In addition, the next girl in line is off at a residential high school to get smart and be intellectually stimulated. So it’s going to be lonely! My tall teenage son – as charming as he is – can’t quite manage to take their place (and given the only batch of brownies he ever made he didn’t realize you had to melt the Baker’s chocolate, I’m not letting him cook). I will find myself rambling to the grocery store clerk and the librarian because no one at home can listen like they do.
    And, on my days off, I have zero kids at home – first time in 23 years! – courtesy of my kids elementary school opening a preschool class for three year olds. (Small mostly potty trained boy loves it!)
    I’ve hardly cooked this week because I just can’t even right now.
    Saturday : Hamburgers and fries maybe?
    Sunday: Something vegetarian for college daughter and cereal for assorted kids and mom.
    Monday: Eclipse day – grilled cheese and whatever else the kids could forage.
    Tuesday :pasta and roasted veggies. I under-cooked the veggies but whenever they start getting dark I panic and take them out 2 minutes too soon.
    And now I’m down to some sort of food the other days. Today was Little Caesar’s because too many teens had to be elsewhere at different times. And two smaller boys are camping with their dad, so pizza left over for tomorrow!
    I hope you find your balance in your new normal.

  3. Will pray for you and yours. My oldest is only 10, but I can’t help dreading the day.

    Sat: pepperoncini roast beef, mashed potatoes.
    Sun: pulled pork sandwiches and oven-roasted veggies at a friend’s house.
    Mon: knew we were not going to be cooking anything on eclipse day and I was right because that one-hour drive each way took three (each way). Runzas it was. Totally worth it and our family is already making plans to go to Dallas in 2024.
    Tues: manicotti (the cheater way, stuffing the shells with string cheese), garlic bread.
    Wed: leftover beef and manicotti
    Thurs: lunch meat sandwiches so as to spend the max amount of time at the pool before it closes in a week.
    Fri: Pizza Hut with the in-laws.
    All days were full of watermelon and cantaloupe because we are picking a ridiculous amount of both these days. Watermelon the way it should be, not the mushy way that makes you wonder why you are eating watermelon.

  4. Oh I *love* that Owl and his tearwater tea…

    My oldest (of 8) left for college nearly ten years ago…and now only three to go…but it hurt so much that first one leaving…prayers for you as you settle in. It’s a wild ride for sure!

  5. I’m praying for God’s comfort and guidance in the trouble and turmoil. It’s so good – and yet so implausible – to be able to help each other this way, isn’t it? I really loved the interview with your niece Mary; she’s a gem.

    Our fledglings will begin to leave the nest in a year…so I’m very grateful to hear other parents’ experiences, both practical and emotional. Thanks for blogging, Simcha.

  6. We are driving our oldest down to college tomorrow. First time child leaving home!

    Last night she wanted to hang out and watch a family favorite, The Court Jester, which we do as a sing-along because we know all the songs. (One child claimed I was doing a speak-along of dialog as well . . . maybe so, but not for the WHOLE movie.) We had Child One’s favorite chili.


    Graceland is an inter-generational favorite of ours, too. It’s held up very well over the years.

    We’ll see about the tears tomorrow.

    1. If you want to make this chili: it calls for “Emeril’s Essence,” which is a spice blend that he shares the recipe for in at least one of his cookbooks, because I have it: 3 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons salt, 2 tablespoons parsley flakes, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon celery salt (and some cayenne pepper, but I leave it out because of the kids–you could use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)

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