Sharing my table (and beach towel) today with my friend Meg and I can’t wait to try her Summer Spaghetti recipe. Looks like it will feed a small tribe and looks good for hot weather! Thank you, Meg!
We turned onto the gravel road just before the GPS threatened to retire. Trees, wind, and a dog barking in background welcomed us to our summer vacation spot. “Timbuktu” as mom says.
Phone signals went on hiatus, and for that week – the world moved slow. Waking up early one morning, I grabbed my pen and journal and tiptoed out, breathing in the fresh cedar smell as I went.
Making my way to the property’s lake just down the way and I plopped me, myself, and coffee right down. Well onto my beach towel. Who wants a splinter on vacation? Not me.
As I sipped, I inwardly laughed at what God had been teaching me lately. I would plan one way, then life would happen. I was learning to plan, but how to simultaneously remain flexible.
The week’s meals had been no different. One of the nights I had wrote on my planner, “Fire pit,” turned into chicken-fried-rice-movie-night because we were too water logged to move!
As the sun’s rays hugged my skin, a fish flopped up and back down as if to say hello. I scanned the meal plan for the week and felt like my Summer Spaghetti would be nice.
Summer Spaghetti is something I concocted when I was 12. When I make a big batch of this cold, summer pasta, I always intend on splitting it up in multiple containers to give away, but for vacation it became our go-to snack.
- 3 peppers ( sweet peppers were used this time, but I usually throw in a green bell pepper too)
- 1 onion
- 1 large tomato diced up (could be substituted with canned, diced tomatoes)
- 1 bottle of Italian dressing
- 1 package of spaghetti noodles
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. While that is brewing, dice all the produce into fine chunks and put in a bowl. Set to the side.
Tip: When boiling pasta, I like to add a teaspoon of salt and I always make sure to stir it frequently. Lately I have discovered a trick: if you add a small amount of olive oil to the water it helps to keep the pasta from sticking to itself.
After the pasta has boiled according to directions, put into a strainer and let it cool down for a few minutes.
Toss it into a big clean bowl, or the big pan along with the produce. You want lots of room for stirring.
Add half the bottle of Italian dressing, stir and add the other half.
Cover, or put into desired container(s) and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. It’s best if you can do this overnight. The flavor is spectacular.
I left the dock and returned to the lodge to find the kids and their dad eating everywhere. A kid was sitting at the bar table while another was facing the tv. Dad was headed outside with his but to be honest, the picture here was really no different than at home.
We do try to make eating around the table with no distractions happen from time to time. Statistics say that is healthy right?
Our family has undergone dramatic lifestyle shifts in the past few years, and while I could blame it on my husband’s job solely, I must say a huge part of being laid back just runs through our blood. Being mission-minded for a decade will do that to you.
We like to switch things up. This is our anthem song.
We tried following all the right rules for years, but sometimes you just gotta’ loosen your grip on control and remember how to live.
Our family adores change and adventure. We go from eating formal one night, to roasting hot dogs out back another. From stacking it all up and carrying it to the back patio one evening, to spreading ourselves and our paper plates all over the living room floor on other nights (provided the animals are put up!)
There was a time when I had to have everything just so-so but it only left me with a boarded-up heart and seemed to drain the human right out of us.
I’m finding it more fun to roll with the mess these days. The kids seem themselves and this is what we want at the end of the day anyhow: For them to know they are wanted.
While I know this doesn’t mean giving them everything they have ever wanted, I also know it means learning to be less stiff in my daily living.
I use the lake adventure here because this is where we connect most: Outdoors.
Shelly Miller writes in Rhythms of Rest, “[God] wants us to discover how he is afoot in the everyday moments of life, not only the days we allot for vacation.”
Tables are great, laps are too. The joy comes from laying down those skyscraper expectations and focusing on the ones with beating hearts, not so much the surface with legs.
Just being together takes the cake, no matter where the adventure is located.
You can cultivate a “Less Rules” summer into your everyday living by choosing a day or two to let your guard down and do things differently.
Routine dining can still have its place, just like we hop in the car every Thursday to gather around my parent’s large oak table. But even then, we meander to the covered deck.
Give yourself permission to go after what is best for your family; way of living and serving.
If you haven’t been able to break free from worldly standards in order to experience rich community lately, I highly encourage it.
Thanks, Meg. I love it that you made this up at 12. I bet your kids will make it for their family on a warm summer day.
PS Did you see that line? About her big heart? Didn’t want you to miss it:
When I make a big batch of this cold, summer pasta, I always intend on splitting it up in multiple containers to give away, but for vacation it became our go-to snack.
That’s it, folks. Next time you’re at the Dollar Store, pick up some disposible containers and make a double batch. #blessedtobeablessing
Meg blogs at:meghanweyerbacher.com and she’s one of my few friends in Kentucky. Kinda cool. Blessed to know her. #blessedtobeablessing