I have always loved summer and the change of pace it brings – no school or schedules and plenty of sun, swimming, and sleeping late. When my kids were little, I remember them staying in their pjs well into the morning and me planning activities to get us out of the house during the long and sweltering days. But now that they are older, at 11 and 13, our summers have changed quite a bit. During the hectic school year, I dreamed about those lazy, slow paced summer days, (that’s how my mind still wants to think about summer) but now that summer is here, it feels anything but lazy and slow paced. No need to plan activities to keep us busy anymore as my children want to pack more than enough into each day. They have sports they want to play – golf for him, volleyball for her – and between those activities, spending time with friends, catching up on doctor appointments, and trips to the Snow Cone lady and the swimming pool, I wonder – will I ever get to be out of my car? I have finally realized I am just not going to get a darn thing done for the next 10 weeks, and rather than drive myself crazy, I have decided to just GO WITH IT, welcoming all the noise and fun and messiness because I know in a very short bit of time, they will again be back in school, and I will miss them.
Part of what happens when my kids are home during the summer is this – I become a human ATM machine. Can anyone relate? All of those fun summer activities come with quite a price tag I’m finding out – $2.50 for frozen yogurt, $20 for the movies, $25 for water balloons and crud war supplies, etc. I am determined not to raise entitled kids, which I find increasingly difficult in the year 2013, so I have declared that my kids will work for their money this summer – not at a “real” job, but for me. In addition to their required chores they do for a set allowance, I came up with a list of chores, each for a set amount of extra money, so they can earn spending money for activities like those listed above. I laid out the rules for them and warned that I would not be open for loans, so they’d better be working a little each day, so when they are invited to do something fun, they will have the cash to fund it. So far so good – they have both jumped on board and I think even like having their own cash and choosing how to spend it.
Several of the chores I listed are also life skills I would like them to be learning like making dinner for the family. They have each taken at least one turn with me in the kitchen, preparing a simple meal. This week, Ben made these Thai spiced turkey burgers. He loves any kind of food he can mix together with his hands – like making kale chips and meatloaf – so burgers was an appropriate choice for him.
To make these Thai spiced turkey burgers, he started with some ground turkey and an egg in a large mixing bowl. He created the Thai flavor by adding several other ingredients to the turkey. He loves using any kind of kitchen gadget, so he cut up a red chilli and a bunch of green onions with a knife, shredded a zucchini with the grater, and minced the garlic with a garlic press. He added ginger, coriander, and a little sea salt also.
The very best part is mixing all of the ingredients together using his hands and forming 4 – 6 patties.
He pan-fried the turkey burgers in a little sesame oil (chili oil is also very good) over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes on each side.
I picked up a loaf of Paleo bread from the freezer section at Whole Foods. It’s made with almond and coconut flour and is gluten and dairy free. He toasted pieces of Paleo bread and layered the toast, a piece of Romaine lettuce, the Thai spiced turkey burger, and a few avocado slices on top of each.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 1 small zucchini, grated
- 1 red chilli, diced
- 1 bunch green onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
- Optional: 4 – 6 slices of paleo bread, 4 – 6 lettuce leaves, and one avocado, sliced
- Combine all ingredients except sesame oil in a large bowl, and mix together well using your hands.
- Form 4 – 6 patties, and place on a plate.
- Heat sesame oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, and fry each patty for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
- Serve each patty on top of a slice of paleo bread and a lettuce leaf, and top with avocado slices.