My husband’s uncle was an Olympic gold medalist. As part of an eight-man rowing crew, he won gold in Tokyo 1964, bringing glory to the United States and—maybe more importantly—their rowing club back in Philly. In those days there was no 24 hour news cycle; the family had to wait til the next day to learn of his victory. Uncle Bill had a remarkable story; at the time he won, he was 34 years old and a father of five. The newspapers loved him.
Hearing about their great uncle really sparked my kids’ enthusiasm for this year’s Summer Olympics. This is the first year they’re watching in earnest, and they’re getting motivated to try some new sports. The Summer Olympics always trigger a spike in gymnastics lessons that’s been going on since era of Olga, Nadia and Mary Lou. Not to mention what Michael Phelps did for swimming and Mia Hamm did for soccer.
But this year’s games have put a few more esoteric sports on our radar:
- Table tennis: My boys are all over this. They spend hours swatting away on our old ping pong table in the garage. They’re having a blast, even if they do need the occasional reminder that table tennis is NOT a contact sport.
- Synchronized swimming: This keeps my daughter and her friends busy in the pool for hours. They’re outfitted in buns and matching suits and are busy working on forming a star. So far they’ve produced a lovely amoeba shape.
- Trampoline: My heart flips every time they do. Luckily, the trampoline is over in a friend’s yard. Of course, they’re asking if we can get our own. Um…I’ll have to think about it.
- Archery. One word: Duck!
So are they future Olympians? Hard to say. Maybe one day the rowing gene will kick in and they’ll follow in their Uncle’s footsteps. Meantime, they’re trying new things and staying active—good habits that will last a lifetime.
As “Coach Mom,” my job is to offer healthful snacks that will keep my guys satisfied as they play hard. That’s why we’ve been cheering on Team USA while noshing on these all-American peanut butter cups. They pack the protein and flavor of peanut butter with the delicious crunch of popcorn, a whole grain food that’s naturally low in fat. And that’s a win for everybody!
Peanut Butter Cups
Yield: 24 cups
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1 package (10 1/2 oz.) miniature marshmallows
- 6 cups freshly popped popcorn
- 6 cups spoon-size shredded wheat
- 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
- 1 cup raisins
- Melt peanut butter and butter in large microwaveable bowl over HIGH heat for 1 minute.
- Add marshmallows and heat another minute or until marshmallows puff; stir
- Add popcorn, shredded wheat, peanuts and raisins; stir gently.
- Place paper liners into two 12-cup muffin pans
- Divide mixture into 24 cups.
- Bake at 250′ for 10 minutes.
- Store “cups” in airtight container.