Happy Monday, everyone, and happy first of March! I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but around here, spring blew in like a lion. And, as usual, this time of the year finds moms like me rustling up the blankets, the ear muffs, the stadium seats, and heading out to the first baseball games of the season
Growing up, trapped at baseball fields for hour, upon hour, upon hour while my brothers played, I’ll admit, I dreaded baseball games. Those long, boring evenings were only tolerable if there happened to be another little sister in the stands — one who was roughly my age, and just as bored as I was. If there happened to be a patch of woods, a climbing tree, or a storm ditch nearby, baseball days were even a wee bit fun. I caught my first serious case of poison ivy while building weed forts at a baseball game with another little sister. We both knew those vines in the weeds we were harvesting were poison ivy. We were both proud to be immune to poison ivy. We were both wrong.
After that, weed-fort-building was stricken from the list of mom-approved activities for passing the time at baseball games.
I’d always pictured that, as a grown-up mom, I wouldn’t have to make rules like that. My life would be filled with tiny pink ballet shoes, fluffy tutus, glittery little dance costumes. Instead, I find myself hanging out with these guys:
It’s different when they’re your baby boys and not your snotty ol’ brothers. And tell me the truth — isn’t that little shortstop second-from-the-back just about the cutest thing ever? Sometimes it’s okay when history repeats itself.
And speaking of history repeating itself, we’re sharing favorite picnic recipes this week. Here’s one that my mother often made when summer outings took us away from home. It’s simple, inexpensive, and kids love it. It’ll feed a crowd or a whole team of healthy eaters. Kept warm in a insulator, it’s ready to serve up at a moment’s notice:
It’s super easy. You can throw it together in a few minutes before you leave for the baseball field, then leave it in the oven with the timer set, or cook it and take it along to a potluck picnic. Served with a little bread or cornbread, it’s an easy meal-in-one.
Ingredients for a 9 x 12 pan:
2 cans baked beans
2 cans ranch style beans (drained if they’re soupy)
3/4 cup brown sugar (more or less depending on how sweet you like it)
1 lb hamburger browned and crumbled
1 pkg of hot dogs sliced up
1/4 cup ketchup (add a bit at a time and adjust to taste)
3T mustard (add a bit at a time and adjust to taste)
Dump baked beans, drained ranch beans, cooked hamburger, hotdog slices in pan:
Stir in sugar, ketchup, mustard (taste as you go — depending on the brands you use and how sweet you like your beans, you may need more or less)
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the beans boil down and thicken. For a full meal, mix up some cornbread and put in the oven for the last twenty minutes. For a picnic, serve with bread and some summer veggies or berries.
Happy spring! Stop back the rest of the week for more picnic recipes!