Back in August my mom had foot surgery to remove a weird growth, she found out shortly before she was going to come visit me that she needed the surgery. The vacation time was already submitted and she basically had no choice but to cancel her plans to come see me and use that time instead to have and recover from the surgery (she is still recovering but definitely on the mend at this point). During the time that was supposed to be spent with me fell her birthday, I had planned to take her out to eat as her present, the last minute change in plans left me without a present for her nor time to get one so I told her that we would celebrate her birthday next time I visited her, this came over the Thanksgiving holiday. She was working insane hours at work and did not get a whole lot of time to see me so there was no time to go out to eat so I decided to do the next best thing, make her dinner at home. I picked Niecey up from kindergarten that afternoon and told her we were going to make Grah a birthday dinner, she definitely liked this idea. I took her by Grah's work to say hi and inform her that dinner would be awaiting her when she got home, then we went over to a local and cheap grocery store. I did not know ahead of time that they had these incredibly adorable kid-sized carts, Niecey informed me as we walked in, I thought to myself, "Score, I can make Niecey do all the work, she'll have a blast, and I will get an awesome blog post out of it!" And so our shopping adventure began!
1. We got some fresh bread, salad, broccoli and squash for Pa (his favorite, Mom loves it too though). Oh and some of my favorite vegetable in the white fanny may box (mmmm mint meltaways, chocolate being from a bean and mint being a leaf it counts double as a veggie!).
2. Off to the meat department, Niecey decided we should eat cow, I helped her pick a reasonably priced cut (aka cheap), I can't remember what it was only that it is technically used in roasts or something, I cooked it like a steak as I do most cuts of beef. As long as it tastes good I do not mind having to chew my food, good exercise, hehe. I got tired of carrying her coat and discovered the second use of the cart's flag. (Faces blanked out to preserve innocent bystanders' privacy.)
3. Cutting through the frozen stuff section.
4. Niecey was ready for her closeup! We got the fixings for cupcakes since it was a birthday celebration and Auntie Kee is an awesome cupcake maker but a not so good cake maker (unless she buys it from the bakery).
5. We also picked up some fruit and milk. And of course mushrooms for Auntie Kee's signature mushroom gravy (which damn near killed her last night when Grah helped her make it, note: make sure Grah is not going to add greasy "drippings" to gravy after it already has olive oil and a touch of butter in it, GI nightmare!).
6. Niecey had to load the groceries on the conveyor belt. The clerk warned me not to let the managers see me taking pictures, she was really nice, I told her I would throw a fit and write a really mean blog post about the store if they tried to stop me from taking pics of my adorable cart slave! Guess they made a no cameras policy after some idiot teenagers had recently gone in the store with one in a gorilla suit videoing him rampaging through the store and scaring the crap out of young kiddies, jerks!
7. Another cute pic of her loading the groceries on the belt.
8. Of course she had to bag them too, I did help, didn't want everything all squished!
9. I was too busy cooking and keeping my assistant cook busy and safe to take pics while cooking and then we all descended on it like rabid dogs when I was done so the only food pic is of the cupcakes. We got 50 candles and had them all stuck in the cupcakes and lit, I wanted a pic but the heat of all those cheap and small candles had them last maybe 30 seconds after they were all lit! I had no idea how much light and heat would be put off by that many candles, it was really neat! I took this pathetic pic of them after we pulled the candles out, imagine them looking like they are all on fire and you've got what it looked like, hehe.
All in all it was a lot of fun shopping and cooking with Niecey. She can be a pain in the butt to get to eat but I have noticed that the more she helps make the meal the more she is willing to eat it. Too bad that small helpers can make the job take a lot longer than it normally would! When I am not in a hurry though it is definitely amusing to let the kiddo help out, she is soooo proud of herself when she does and it is nice to encourage her to develop new skills and it is generally good quality time spent together.
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