28/52: Shelling Peas and Hulling Oats

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Nana came to visit and brought a ton of shelling peas from her garden, which I was fairly certain most of the kids wouldn't *eat* but was 100% certain they would LOVE to shell them. And I was absolutely right, they shelled them with great happiness and gusto, and then faced with the prospect of *eating* them, most of the children politely picked the peas out of their pasta and fed them to Edith and Lucy. John Paul tolerated them. Peter liked them at first and then changed his mind. So now I know not to bother trying to grow shelling peas, and to stick with sugar snap!

It would seem that the straw we used to mulch some of the potatoes is oat straw, which means there were some oats left in the straw that ended up growing, much to the excitement of the children. Honestly, I'm impressed they knew they were oats at all! (I should have taken a picture so that YOU know what oats look like when they're growing, because I'm betting only a handful of my readers would recognize oats on their actual plants)

They very excitedly ran outside in their pajamas to harvest the oats individually, still in their hulls. The girls told me that they were planning on making "oat paste" out of their oats. Honestly, few things have ever sounded less appetizing. They also picked maybe three wild blackberries and a single strawberry, intending to mix those into their oat paste for sweetening. I had a sneaking suspicion that perhaps when faced with the task of hulling and then cooking these oats, the novelty would wear off. I reminded them that we have oats in the pantry that are already hulled and rolled and ready for cooking. But no, they wanted to make their oat paste!

Shockingly, after hulling perhaps ten oats each and seeing that their grand total was less than a tablespoon of oats, they grew tired of the process and decided to make oatmeal with the ones in the pantry. WHO would ever have guessed that was a viable option? Certainly not their very wise mother.

Later in the day, they discovered that they can roll oats by hand! So began the painstaking process of rolling, hulling, and attempting to collect the rolled oats without a sibling stealing the treasure and eating it. Cecilia came to me after having done this for several minutes and said, "Mom? You know, I think the oats we get from the store are rolled by a machine and that's why sometimes you find a little bit of hull in them."

"Yes," I answered. "That's why they can sell them for such a low price, because it's a much easier task for a machine to do. If you were to try to sell the oats you're rolling, you'd have to charge so much for them that nobody would want to buy them, they would be so expensive!"

"And also nobody would want to buy them because we used colored pencils to roll them."

Also that.

John Paul stuck with it for a surprisingly long time, eventually moving on to using a rolling pin to roll each individual oat. But even he eventually gave up, tossing the rolled oats into his mouth and eating them plain. Now I'm the lucky owner of a container of oats with their hulls still on, but I'm not allowed to throw it away because maybe another day they'll decide to roll them and toss the hulls all over the floor. Perhaps this would make a better outdoor activity.

(One of these days I think I just need to start writing a book to include all these escapades, because it really does seem like a storybook life these kids are leading!)

1 comment:

  1. This blog post made me smile! How precious....and yes, please write a book!


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