Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cooking Lesson Five - Spring Rolls and Sewing

This time Lily and Logan spent the night two nights in a row as we had planned to learn how to sew as well. Um, what was I thinking? They wanted “skater” skirts or another name “circle” skirts. They sounded easy enough to make.

I picked them up on Sunday afternoon and we headed to Joann’s where we spent the next two plus hours picking out a pattern and material. Egads, patterns are $17.95 these days. I could buy a skirt for that much! It used to be sewing was cheaper than purchasing clothes, but I’m not so sure anymore.

We made our purchases, picked up Steak n Shake, came home and ate with Grandpa, then headed to the grocery store for spring roll ingredients. The girls thought it’d be fun to get in the cart for toddlers—the one that looks like a car attached in front of the cart. I told them they were too big.

“No were not Gramma. Pleeeeeeeeeease. Pretty please. We promise we won’t ask for anything else. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease.”

“Well, I’m sure there’s a weight limit or something.” We read the entire thing and the only thing required was the person had to be able to sit upright by themselves. Um, they could do that. No weight limit. I decided that I wasn’t going to lift them in to the cart. If they could get in, then, oh well. They got in. However, their legs wouldn’t fit into the seat because, let’s face it, their legs were seven times as long as what was supposed to fit in those seats. So they flopped their legs over the bar. Stares took place as I strolled the little stinkers through the grocery store. I was waiting for someone to tell me what an unfit human I was to allow these girls in a toddler’s cart, but no one did. I decided to pretend these two were orphans and never experienced fun things like this when they were toddlers. Hey, you do what you have to in embarrassing moments. Funny thing is, they acted like toddlers. They touched everything. They put all kinds of things into the cart.

“Hey, I don’t think we need 13 cans of refried beans.”  They’d giggle.

“Um, next time someone touches something, that’s it, you’re getting out.” One got out and ran up to the item they wanted and said, “Please, Gramma, can we have this?”

“No. Now get out of the cart.”

“We’re sorry, it won’t happen again.” And the softy that I am, I let it go. They continued to beg for items. I continued to say, “No.” No. No. No. No. If I had a dollar for every no I said, heck, it’d have paid for my groceries!

When we checked out, the cashier was either having a crummy day or she wasn’t pleased with my allowing the girls to be in the kiddy cart because she wouldn’t even look at me or acknowledge me. Just swiped the items. I tried being friendly, but that didn’t work. So I shrugged it off. Told the girls to get out and put away the cart, which they did. Told them to come right back to help me carry the groceries, which they did.

Onward home… by now, I’m exhausted, but they were still full of spit and vinegar and wanted to play a game… which we did. It was like a trivia for kids. Lily said she wasn’t any good at it and I told her not to worry because I was probably worse at trivia… even for kids. And I proved her right.

Finally, sleep came.

They were up before I was on Monday. I suppose they were excited to sew. The night before I washed all the material. We were making two skirts each. Lily wanted to go first and Logan obliged. Plus I only bought one pattern and we needed to cut out the larger one first. Not that there’s that much difference between the two, but still… followed the size chart. And I’m here to tell you that the chart on patterns is NOT correct. Anyone else out there have that issue? That’s another entire blog.

So first we had to have breakfast. Again, I forgot to buy breakfast stuff, but they wanted to know…

“Can we make pancakes?”

“Sure” Out came Betty Crocker again and I had them make them. We ate pancakes and then got to work on the skirts. 

Pinned, cut out and sewed… and got started about 10:30 am. I put some salsa, taco seasoning and chicken into the crock pot (thanks, Beth) and we had soft tacos for dinner later [add cheese, sour cream, refried beans (yeah, we did keep one can when they put 13 in the cart) and anything else you want] for a tasty meal. We continued working on the skirts until 1:30 AM. Yes, that’s not a typo. We took a break for dinner, but continued on into the wee hours of the evening.

I suppose I don’t have to tell you how exhausted I was, but I will. I was exhausted. And then I couldn’t sleep. My back ached, my legs ached, my feet ached. Okay, my entire body ached. The last time I looked at the clock it was 4:00 AM. ACK. I had to get up and be dressed by 8:00 as a repairman was coming. At 6:30, Miss Kitty made sure I was up. At 8:30 I decided that the girls would need to be up too. If I managed to stay up all hours of the night, then they would need to be up with me in the morning.

I marched up to the room, shouting, “Rise and Shine! Wake up Sleepy Heads!” I was obnoxious. Lily covered her head with a pillow. Logan’s one eye opened slightly. I did a sing-song country voice – “Up, up, up. Time to get sewing. We’ve got work to be done. Chop Chop.” Moans and groans. I rocked the bed and raised my voice with some more taunts. They finally rolled out of bed. I made them breakfast – toast and eggs.

We worked on finishing the skirts and made plans when we’d start the spring rolls. I never made spring rolls before and I was super excited to make something new. We started around 1:00 PM chopping all the ingredients… lettuce, shrimp, cilantro, Thai basil and mint (that came from my herb garden). I had made rice noodles earlier when the girls were sewing. I found the recipe and what to shop for when buying rice wrappers from and I would just like to say thank you to Andrea for all the great information. I found the recommended “rose” rice wrappers and they worked like a dream and they were good eating too! I thought they were just as tasty as any restaurant variety.

After the girls and I made all the spring rolls, they wanted to do a little more sewing by making some headbands.

Then we packed up their goods and I took them home. After I got back, I ate my spring rolls and thought I’d do a little writing but soon zonked out. Can’t imagine why?

The girls did a fabulous job at both sewing skirts and making spring rolls. I steered them wrong a few times in the evening with some sewing mishaps because my brain isn’t all that sharp after 8:00 PM. I pinned the yoke on wrong causing us to rip it out and try again. Logan asked if I’d trim her hem for her and I ended up cutting a hole in the skirt. ACK. Sewing requires a lot of concentration, and a lot of patience too. When two girls are asking me something at the same time, my brain goes into overload.

But all in all we made adjustments to the pattern because it was way too big and they turned out really cute. Lily used her unknown designer skills and added some embellishment on her skirts to hide the part that I messed up on. It’s the first skirt we did—the one where most of the mistakes were made. You learn from your mistakes—isn’t that how life is?

The girls were very forgiving when I messed something up – “That’s okay Gramma.” I’m learning from them as much as they’re learning from me.

Next up – Sesame chicken and stir fried vegetables… and maybe those exotic drinks we were going to make this time too.


  1. Reading this post was almost as good as being there. What a good grandma to let the girls ride in the kiddie cart. More people ought to lighten up. The skirts are darling and you did more cooking, too? You are making life long memories.

  2. Oh my gosh, you are SO busy out there...but know it is fun too!!!!

  3. I loved the embellishments that covered up the mistakes. I thought they were planned from the beginning.

    What lucky girls they are... to have a "Gramma" like you.

  4. I'm exhausted, and I got a full 5 1/2 hours of sleep. I don't know how you did it. Next time, YOU ride in that cart, and let the girls push YOU!

  5. You had me smiling throughout this entire post. What a fun time you and the girls had! Worn out or not, memories of this trip to Gramma's will last a lifetime.

    Critter Alley

    P.S. Love the pictures, too. The girls are so cute!

  6. Love this post! You brought back memories of the time my grandmother tried to teach me to sew. Let's just say she wasn't as patient as you, and I wasn't as talented as your sweet girls. I ended up watching TV, I think, while my grandmother took over the sewing. And that was just fine with both of us. lol

  7. I just love these. One of the things that struck me was how you taught the girls to turn mistakes into something even more beautiful.


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