Our favourite things
On grandparent duty one cold, wet, wintry weekend, Jo Seagar replays a classic movie and inspires a heap of fun and thankfulness.
Outdoor play had been cancelled due to the inclement Canterbury weather. It was a rainy and very cold day with warnings of snow, so not ideal for our weekend of grandie duty with the little grandsons. All plans for the hike up the Waimakariri
River gorge were quickly abandoned, to be replaced with cosy indoor activities. Cooking was quickly programmed into the schedule. We opted for pikelets, and after some serious cleaning up due to the “flipping and tossing” experiments of four- and five-year-old boys, we had a lovely big pile made. Granny was definitely right about it not being a good idea to pull the electric beater blades out of the whipped cream with motor running on full speed – but hey, it was probably time to wash the ceiling anyway, and doing that filled another hour.
Finally, with a big plate of jam-and-creamtopped pikelets and hot chocolate at the ready, we sat down for a family movie and afternoon tea.
No one could quite agree on which Disney, Pixar, kid-friendly animated offering to choose, but after lots of, shall we say heated, discussions and even episodes of grandparent grumpiness, the decision was left to poppa Ross. His choice was a surprisingly good one, so from the family’s box of treasured DVDs he dragged out the ultimate classic – The Sound of Music.
The little boys adored the story and we sang along to all the familiar tunes. Modern generation boy Leroy was quite worried (and rightly so) that they weren’t wearing life jackets in the rowboat capsizing scene, and tech wizard Lucas was terribly concerned about the cellphone coverage up in those mountains. Both boys got right into theme and had me fashion some lederhosen lookalikes with strips of brown ribbon safetypinned to their shorts.
The song about favourite things became the weekend theme tune and the boys spent ages on their own individual lists of favourite things. I’m mad for lists at the best of times and love all those gratitude, thankfulness diaries. Coming up with a list of my favourite things was easy, and I thought I’d share part of it with you here, hoping it may inspire you to list your own favourites.
I’ll start by channelling Maria and her “brown paper packages tied up with string” as I’m quite fond of that kind of present too. I love lighthouses and Land Rovers, eggs Benedict and super crispy bacon, big fat dark red cherries, black faced sheep, sandalwood soap, log splitting and wood stacking for winter fires. Crab apple trees and potager gardens, I adore a lovely new edition of a favourite magazine (read here The Australian Women’s Weekly), peonies and hellebores, weather vanes on old farm buildings, dark chocolate with raisins in it and Eskimo pies (although I’m not sure if it’s politically correct to name them that any more). I love gummy sweets, especially those cinnamon flavoured glow hearts. I love writing in ink with a fountain pen, faded chintz cushions and the smell of beeswax furniture polish. Drinking icy, salt-crusted Margaritas. I love old Persian rugs and the song of tui. I treasure handwritten family heirloom recipe books, I love red leather gloves and the sheets straight off the line back on the bed.
The list goes on and on… I’m sure you get the picture, so have a shot at writing your own; it’s actually rather therapeutic.
The magic continued with the promised snow starting to fall in the afternoon.
Bundled up in our cosy gear we ended the day’s adventures with, “Look Granny, snowflakes that stay on your nose and eyelashes.”
Our favourite family dinner is now The Sound of Music-inspired schnitzels with noodles: Pan-fry crumbed schnitzels – these can be pork, beef or chicken. Serve on a bed of buttered noodles (I use tagliatelle or spaghetti) tossed with some peas or broccoli. Finish with a simple sauce of sour cream mixed with grainy mustard and lots of chopped parsley.
The magic continued with the promised snow starting to fall…