Saturday, September 12, 2009

The myth of "quality time."

There's no such thing as "quality time" with your kids. Or rather, there IS, but it's worthless. The phrase doesn't have a long history... it came to prominence in the 80s with the idea that you might work 90-hour weeks, but could make up for it on the weekend by taking the kids to theme parks or the beach or something. Work hard and play hard. Make lots of memories in a short amount of time. Worthless.

Kids don't care about quality time... they care about QUANTITY time. Would Jenna love it if we went to the beach every weekend? Sure. But she also loves sitting in the backyard throwing a ball back and forth. What matters isn't that we do amazing things together, but that we do them often. My being home as many nights as possible is a much bigger deal than whether we have huge weekend plans.

That said, she and I have developed a weekly tradition... on my day off, we get up early and make waffles. Since finishing off the Bisquick, we've been experimenting with different "from scratch" recipes and we've finally settled on one. Do yourself a favor and make these waffles. Best part is you use the half-cup measure for everything (including pouring the batter). Minimal cleanup rocks.

Jenna's Waffles

First, mix these dry ingredients:
- 1 cup white flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons brown sugar
- plenty of cinnamon (I never measure)

Then, add these and mix again:
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 banana, mashed with a fork

And for fun, add something like this:
- 1 small handful chocolate chips
- 1 small handful peanut butter chips

We don't use syrup (these waffles don't need it), just vanilla yogurt. Try it... your kids (or your taste buds) will thank you.

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