When All Else Fails, Put Them to Work

Blueberry Hand Pies

When I decided to undertake publishing a book, I made my best guess on how long certain aspects of the project would take. Some parts of the project are moving along as I predicted — knowing my work habits and my propensity to kick into high gear as deadlines approach. Other parts of the project, I grossly underestimated the time involved — specifically, the recipe re-testing.

Cooking with Teens

Summer is a fickle season. From a distance, summer appears to have weeks and weeks of long, uninterrupted time. No driving people around. No homework to monitor. No school lunches to be made. Hours and hours of writing and recipe testing time while the children sleep. But as you zoom in on the actual days, they are full of minors staring at you, wondering when their next meal will be ready, and what the activity schedule is for the day, or if you have teenagers, the evening. Trying to work while they sit around poking you is not the best environment for productivity.

Blueberry Hand Pies x2

I decided to use those kids to my benefit. Throughout the past month, whenever those warm-bodied teens and/or pre-teens walked through the kitchen looking for food, I handed them a recipe to be tested and said, “Here you go. If you want food, you’ll have to make it.” They usually complied with only a bit of grumbling.

Blueberry Hand Pies x3

And I liked having their company in the kitchen. I know when they are all back in school next week my work productivity will increase 100% but I sure will miss those knuckleheads.

My Co-Worker

However, I will still have to attend to my high-maintenance co-worker. With every passing day, his list of needs for a productive work environment increases and his daily routine becomes more rigid. And he’s strayed from the list of goals and objectives laid out in his employee plan and has self-appointed himself, Security Officer. I need to let him know before his next one-on-one that he’s a bit over-zealous with his security duties and the small bunnies bouncing around the backyard do not pose a threat toward bodily harm.

Hope you all enjoy the last bits of summer (or if you’re Down Under, the last bits of winter)!

I’ll be back next week at this time.

Much love,

P.S. In case you were curious, yes, I’m taking that kid in the first picture to get his hair cut today. Those bangs are driving me crazy too.


  1. I am elbowing my way to be first in line to read your book. Need recipes tested?? send them my way! xox Sheila

    PS your second paragraph about minors staring and teens poking resonated big time!! Lord help me.

    • Oh, Sheila, wouldn’t it be such fun to recipe test together?! And yes, I think you and I are tracking together on the same kiddo timeline. ; )

  2. Laurie Walker says:

    I’m not sure if I’d rather be one of your kiddos who gets to make and eat all of your amazing recipes, or your pet who seriously lives ‘the life’! I think I might be leaning toward pet…that blanket is calling me.

    xoxo, Laurie

    • Well, Laurie, you wouldn’t be the first one to envy the life of my co-worker. Some days I just want to curl up under that blanket and take a nap with that furry fellow.

  3. Wow, Carrie! How time flies–it is a shock to see your tall, grown-up-looking elder son. I remember him well as a quiet, studious, very cooperative kindergarten classmate of my own son’s. As my son outgrew me over a year ago, I shouldn’t be surprised to see how like a young man yours looks–but there you are. It’s been a while, but they all look just great. Kids growing up–bittersweet, but I wouldn’t trade my teenage son for anything–and I’m sure you wouldn’t either! Enjoy them all–it looks as though you do.
    Blessings, Nurse Tori from Forest Park Elementary days

  4. LOVE that you put your kids to work. I have to remember that. Sometimes I forget that they are perfectly capable helpers (especially the big ones)! Good luck with the book. I can’t wait to see it.