One of Those Moments

It’s been a long time since I’ve done this (write a post here) so, you know, please be patient while I get back into the swing of things.  This evening I had one of those moments – those ones when you think, I don’t want this to end.  We were out to eat at a local place where the food was very good, the service was friendly and efficient, there was live music playing, and I just loved my children so much I started to cry.  You ever read the children’s book Frederick, by Leo Lionni?  While all the other mice are frantically gathering food for the long, cold, impending winter Frederick gathers colors, words, sunshine which he then doles out to keep the other mice happy when the winter is (as expected) long and cold and the food runs out.  That’s what this evening felt like:  I was gather moments, memories, feelings for when the children grow up, for days when I adore them less, for times when I am sad or lonely or distracted or frustrated.  I will dole them out when I am hungry for them and need them.  For now, I will just bask in the glow of a nearly perfect evening.  That feeling might, just might, last through bed time.



Adult Treats (Alcohol-based, not Nudity-based, although you can combine the two)

Yesterday I made three kinds of popsicles:  raspberry kefir, apple juice, and amaretto sour.  The kids had some of each of the first two kinds today, the third kind is calling my name. 

Amaretto Sour Popsicles

Mix 2 cups limeade with 1/2 cup amaretto.  Pour into popsicle molds, freeze.  Do not serve to the children, eat them yourself as needed.  Repeat.

Mango in Margarita Jelly

Into 2/3 cup cold water in a sauce pot sprinkle 1 Tbs plain gelatin and allow to soften.  Then stir in 1/4 cup sugar and heat over medium until sugar and gelatin are dissolved.  Remove from heat and cool then stir in 1/3 cup lime juice, 1/3 cup good tequila, 2 Tbs triple sec.  Taste and adjust lime/tequila/triple sec as needed.  Dip the edge of each shot glass or very small wine glass or liqueur glass in lime juice then into granulated sugar.  Allow to dry then very carefully put 4-5 slivers of fresh mango in each glass.  Carefully pour in gelatin to top the mango.  Garnish with a very thin sliver of lime and refrigerate.  They will take several hours to set up.  This is a dessert “drink”, serve with fresh fruit, small cookies, dark chocolate.

Bloody Mary Gazpacho

Put into a blender 2 large quartered ripe tomatoes, 1 peeled and seeded cucumber, 1/2 peeled white onion, 1 seeded fresh jalapeno, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 cup wine vinegar (red or white), 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, 2 cups tomato juice, 2 Tbs worchestshire sauce.  Process until smooth.  Stir in 1 cup good vodka and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve in tall glasses garnished with pepperoncini and celery stalks and with bread sticks.  Watch Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown.  Laugh a lot.  Enjoy.

Grown-Up Wine Cooler

Into each tall glass put several ice cubes and pour 1/4 cup port.  Squeeze in juice of half a lime.  Top with sparkling water.  Stir gently.  Drink slowly and pretend you are a teenager (eat a whole pizza, sleep all morning, mock your parents, plan a road trip, fall in love.)

Drunk Little Piggies

Mix in a pot 1 can baked beans and 2 cut up hot dogs.  Heat  up.  Pour out two large shots of whisky (or whiskey, depending on your taste.)  Pour one into the pot of beans.  Pour the second one straight down your throat.  Eat the drunk little piggies with corn bread and follow with sliced fresh peaches.  Or another shot of whisky.  This one is good for camping.

Checking the Sauerruben

We just went into the basement to look at the sauerruben and check its progress.  My four year old’s assessment:  “That looks utterly revolting.”  I think it looks pretty good, but am not sure how to tell if it is actually fermenting properly.  I will taste it in another week or so, hopefully it won’t be revolting but delicious.

About Love

As I was lying next to my daughter as she fell asleep this afternoon for her nap I was thinking about the nature of love.  Most specifically I was thinking about the love I have for my children and the love I have for my husband and how they are different.  I came up with this analogy; it is imperfect but it does pretty well. 

My love for my children is like titanium.  It is incredibly strong:  can’t be dented, broken, chipped, crushed, or otherwise damaged.  My love for them will never diminish and nothing can make the love come apart (which is not to say that I will always like them or like their behavior, just that I will always love them.)  This love is simply a fact and there is not a lot of need to monitor and baby it along.

On the other hand, my love for my husband is gold.  It is strong but can be dented, changed, mutated.  And a strong enough force can actually break or melt it.  So it is important to take care of spousal love, to protect it and polish it and keep it safe.  Just one more way of saying that having children should not take all of my focus – my husband gets some, too.

So, just the two of us went out to dinner and talked and ate and laughed.  Then home again to the children feeling a bit more like beloved and loving adults than just harried and impatient parents.  Ah, love in all its forms, ain’t nothing else like it.

Love of food, too...

Soup and Bedtime

Why, oh why must bedtime be such a struggle?  It never fails, come time to brush teeth and get in bed, that’s when the badly behaved monsters come out.  Not just the kids, I take full responsibility for my part – impatience, thy name is mama at bedtime.  I hate it.  Each night I promise myself, no yelling tonight, no frustration and then just when I think we might make it to sleeping child time without an outburst from me and naughty testing from them – bang.  I end up hating myself once again and they go to sleep with the taste of negativity.  They never seem to remember in the morning, but of course I do. 

At least tonight’s bedtime ritual started out ok, with their usual snack before bed.  It was bowls of fresh, hot soup.  Who eats soup in the summer, you might ask?  My great-grandfather claimed nothing was better than hot soup on a hot day as it makes you sweat and then you cool down.  There may be something flawed in that logic but nonetheless hot soup always has a place on our menu.  Try this great soup using fresh vegetables; it is a great way to use the sorrel you got from the CSA and don’t know what to do with it. 

Sausage, Lentil, and Rice Soup

  • 1 lb raw turkey sausage, without casing
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
  • 2 cups chopped or julienned sorrel or spinach
  • (you can also use corn fresh off the cob, shelled peas, chopped green beans, chopped kale or chard)
  • 1 large can chopped tomatoes
  • 3-4 tomato cans full of water
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 cup rice
  • oregano and basil (fresh if you’ve got them, dried otherwise)
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • drizzle of olive oil to cook sausage

Cook sausage in the bottom of a large soup pot in the oil, chopping it up so you get little bites.  Add in the chopped onions and cook a couple more minutes.  Add the tomatoes and scrape the bottom of the pot to get up all the fond.  Add the water, rest of the vegetables, lentils, and rice.  Cook until the lentils and rice are soft (a couple of hours should suffice.)  You can transfer the soup to a crock pot and leave it for several hours at this point.  When soup is basically cooked, add in herbs, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.  Cook another half an hour then readjust salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with a green salad, fresh bread, nothing at all, iced tea – whatever strikes your fancy.