Friday, May 27, 2011

Food: It's What's For Dinner

It's the friday before Memorial Day, almost the start of a nice long weekend. Sander is out building me the new garden beds so that we can do some planting this weekend, I've been inside working, and the adorable one has been at 'school' - the toddler program at the local Congregational Church, which she attends 2 mornings a week.

This weekend is a bit of a milestone - last year on this Friday, Sander came home from his job for the last time.

But this year is nothing like last year.  Usually we spend Memorial Day weekend up at Moosehead Lake, but this year we're home, aside from a brief overnight trip to my inlaws Sunday to Monday.   And we're excited, because it is a garden weekend.  3 of the new raised beds are in and just about ready to plant in, the muscat grapevines and the apricot trees have arrived...and in a few more weeks, chickens!!

But before I can get to all that, I need to figure out what the heck to make for dinner.   Friday dinner is important, because Friday is date night here.  We don't get out much (although next week we have a babysitter so that we can go to 'beerfest' - should be fun even though I'm a wine drinker).  On Fridays we put the adorable one to bed, crack a bottle of wine, and relax together.  I don't dial in to work, we don't try to accomplish anything, and we don't worry about anything more than whose turn it is to sleep in on Saturday.   It's rather nice, actually.

We've tried to have a standing meal, like pizza, every Friday.  The problem with that is that the adorable one is coming into her prime pizza-eating years, and so we'd rather share that meal with her.  And other meals got sort of boring over and over.

So on Friday afternoons it is my job to come up with something.  Some weeks I am right on top of it.  Today, not so much.   

This week we took in our final CSA winter share delivery, so there are a lot of green things to be used up - spinach, kale, lettuce, leeks, scallions...that sort of thing.
We haven't been so good lately at staying on top of food before it goes bad, so I'm trying very hard this month to ensure that nothing rots.

There's plenty of food in the house, but of course, that hasn't prevented me from opening cabinets and the refrigerator and freezer and staring into them blankly.  I could go to the grocery store, but that would be a waste of time and money - I have plenty already.  I just need to figure out what the hell to do with it.

But in a tiny flash of inspiration, I remembered one of my favorite blogs:   And sure enough, there it was.  Sausage (lean chicken sausage) with onions and a bunch of green things sauteed in garlic, with a bit of salt and some red pepper flakes.  

And something else.   Maybe a touch of pasta.  Maybe popovers.  Maybe.....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Perfect Day

Today is my 3rd Mother's Day, and by far the best one yet.  Not  because of any particular gift, although my husband and daughter did give me a gift of 2 hanging plants, and my daughter potted me a petunia  at Sunday School.   Mostly because our life, while absolutely, insanely busy most weeks, seems to have hit a groove on weekends.  We seem to have finally figured out how to balance work (around the house and sometimes for me extra hours on the weekend at my paying job), errands, fun and rest.

Not always, mind you, but we're definitely getting better at it.  Mostly.

Take this weekend.  We're just back from a 4-day trip to Disney(insanity with a toddler, as well as a rediculous indulgence, but fun), and of course, everyone was unpacked but me - for the record it is after 9 pm on Sunday and there is still stuff in my suitcase. But on Friday I went to the grocery store on the way home, so that was done.  And Saturday, in and around lunch with friends, we managed to get all the housework done (okay, all the housework that we planned to do, anyway. There's always more.)  Which meant today got to be for pleasure.  In and around church, a visit to my Moms, and planting lilacs and begonias in the yard, I took a nap.  A real nap, for almost 2 hours.  

In Mommyworld, naps are the holy grail.  I slept so long this afternoon I dreamed.  And that after I got to read for an hour, uninterrupted. For pleasure, not for research.  A novel, even.  If you don't know what a treat that is, you either don't have kids or never pick up a book.  

Alert the media.  

And I finally found the time to transplant my seedlings -some, anyway - and still make a stir fry for dinner.  After which Sander did the dishes.

It might not be a perfect day by most people's standards.  There were no expensive flower bouquets, nor was there any restaurant meals or spa visits.  We all got pretty dirty in the garden - the adorable one loves to dig in the dirt as much as her parents. Our breakfast was at our church, where a small group of people spent their hard-earned time and money to make brunch to celebrate mother's day.  The waffles won't win any awards, but the food was good, and the community better.  And so went the day - family, friends, flowers, and rest.

Happy Mother's Day.