Autumn Sack Lunch


Here’s the thing.

We woke up and it was Sunday morning.

Rightfully so.

{After all, the day before had been Saturday.}

Like most Sunday mornings, this one began with Andrew tap-tapping on my door.

“Mom? I don’t have an ironed white shirt in my closet. Or, a pair of clean church pants. I don’t even think there are any socks in the sock bin, either.”

Here’s the thing.

I’ve heard tell of mother’s so devoted to well-pressed children they’ll stand well past the midnight toll, toiling away at an ironing board for tight creases in cuffs and collars and crotches. I adore the idea of this sort of mother.

But, last night, my good John had rented a movie on his own accord—a chick flick, nonetheless—and asked me join him for a snuggle. However does one refuse such an offer? I, for one, do not and so traded in a lonesome night with the hot iron for that warm nook near his bicep where my head fits so nicely.


Here’s the thing.

I’ve heard tell of women so dedicated to their children’s cleanliness that they use bedtime moments to gently lay outfits out for the next day. Crisp-folded shirts. Well-tucked pair of pants. Matching hair bows, combs and cans of hairspray to keep wispies away. I happen to think this would be a glorious way to end the day, seeing as how it would make the beginning of the next day so very, very simple.

But, at bedtime, my two boys were browsing the pages of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! And, by golly, did they ever needed a mom to wade through the maze of toys and clothing they’d earlier tossed upon the floor, arriving bedside to ooooh and ahhhh at the book and attempt to explain why a gal named Satanica may be interested in contorting her body to fit into a glass bottle. How can one attend to such an earnest task while laying out a pile of clean pants for the next days grind? I, for one, can not. So spent the evening being amazed {and aghast} at the wonders of our world, upon the unmade beds of two of the wonders of my world.


Here’s the thing.

I’ve heard tell of lady-folk so devoutly committed to their children’s appearances they won’t allow them to leave home without a pair of matching socks tucked upon clean-clipped toenails. I think, once, I imagined I’d be like that. With pressed, primped, perfect children skipping neatly behind me as we ventured into the world.

But, when a Saturday dons bright

and sunny, and your nose fills with the chill of autumn, and your girls arrive at the breakfast table on a non-Halloween day donning a Gone With the Wind dress and Wizard of Oz skirt, however do you not throw your head back with a laughter that consumes, usher them into minivan, and seize the day? I, for one, can not. So spent a day beneath blue sky, watching costumed children run up and down the dirty aisles of a neighborly farm, wearing sickled-moon smiles that ran up one cheek and right to the other.

Because, here’s the thing.

Those smiles, those wonders, that warm nook.

Such things have a way of washing away my yearnings for well-stacked laundry.

Succotash-Bacon Salad

Looking to capture the final days of Autumn flavor, before winter lays it’s bed of white upon the golden-browned canvas of our world? This succotash salad makes for a quick, simple, and easily packed & ported lunch. Simply spoon it into plastic deli containers and get on your merry way. The salad can be served warm or cold and makes an ideal treat for a ladies lunch, or a lazy afternoon spent with your favoritest of children.

3 Tbsp. butter

1/3 c. diced zucchini

1/3 c. diced corn (sweet or baby)

1/3 c. diced onion

1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Salt & Pepper to taste

Fresh chopped basil

4-6 strips slab bacon, cooked & crumbled

1 Tomato, diced

Fresh shredded parmesan (optional)

In a large saucepan, melt butter just until sizzling over medium-high heat. Quickly add zucchini, corn, onion, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Saute until softened (about 5-7 minutes.) Transfer to a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Salt & pepper as needed. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix

A good lot of us western gals have been gifted with a Sunflower Famers Market within our hoods. Similar to the setup at Whole Foods, Sunflower offers a vast assortment of bulk foods. For make a quick, healthful addition to our lunch, I created a trail mix using giant roasted pumpkin seeks, round pretzels & fried corn kernels.

Sweet & Happy Endings

When heading out the door for a spontaneous day as Scarlett O’Hara, you may discover you don’t have time to bake up a batch of showstopping treats. We toted a family delicacy, Sweets Chocolate-Covered Cinnamon Bears, and didn’t for a second feel bad about the shortcut. Those things are a.ddict.ive. (Addictive, I say!)


Though, let it be said that KwanYong, our Korean exchange student, tried them within a week of arriving in the States and couldn’t run to the garbage can fast enough to rid his tastebuds of their cinnamon deliciousness. Perhaps it’s an acquired taste? I know not. I find them simply succulent. How ’bout you?!

17 Responses to “Autumn Sack Lunch”

  1. Rose says:

    I love your autumn post. The salad and trail mix look so delicious! I love baby corn.
    The field of pumpkins is amazing, ive never seen anything like it!


  2. Anatomy of A Dinner Party says:

    As always, your posts leave me smiling and a little misty eyed.

    This was no exception.

    As for cinammon bears covered in chocolate – wherever can I get those? Love love love cinammon!

  3. Gridiron Girl says:

    I love everything about this post! The food looks delish, the photography is beautiful, the kids are adorable…it's just wonderful!
    I'm so stealing the brown lunch bag idea!
    Your blog is wonderful!

  4. Sue Sparks says:

    My daughter loves chocolate covered cinnamon bears, so I tried them and I was pleasantly surprised! YUM!!!

  5. John McLay says:

    It's hard not to love any post that references my biceps…but why did you have to go tell the world that I rented a 'chick flick'!? :)

    I love you and your free spirit, Sweetheart. You are doing so much better than you realize.


  6. Fahrenheit 350° says:

    Exactly! You said it!

  7. screwdestiny says:

    I guess it comes down to whether you want the world to think you're great, or whether you want to actually have a good life. Most people seem to pick the good life.

    I'm not a huge fan of cinnamon bears, but I think chocolate would help. Never tried them like that.

  8. Marti says:

    Ok, that succotash and bacon salad! WHAT A COMBO!

    And I can't imagine a salad that would hold up better in a lunchbox! HURRAY!

  9. Eliana says:

    This salad looks incredible – it's a perfectly well-rounded meal.

  10. Christy says:

    I really loved this post! I want my kids to remember all the "quality" time I spent with them not the quantity of time it took for me to make them look presentable!

    I love those little chocolate-y bears. I don't think I could stop eating them once I started.

  11. Anonymous says:

    We made the succotash salad for dinner last night and it was DELISH!

  12. Jodi says:

    I adore your blog!!

  13. Erin says:

    I love this post! What an eloquent writer you are! I think choosing to cuddle with your hubby for a chickflick is by far more appealing than that hot iron! I love the little life vignettes you are so good at describing!

  14. Sarah says:

    I LOVE it all! I think a lot of moms wish we could be more Donna Reed-ish, but alas, we choose instead to spend time with our rug rats, and life is better because of it! My house may not be immaculate, but daughter is filled to the brim with our love and attention and we're creating spontaneous moments that will become lifelong memories- the kind you can't plan. Can't wait to try the recipes :)

  15. Sarah says:

    I am not familiar with cinnamon bears.

  16. Anne says:

    I love chocolate covered cinnamon bears!

  17. Heather says:

    I love the recipe for the salad! Sounds wonderful!

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