There are days, maybe even weeks (lets be honest, months), where I dream of being a stay at home mom. I usually snap out of it, but I am in one of those phases and it’s been prolonged and deeply felt for a number of weeks now. I think it comes from being in our new home, and not really having the time to conquer our never ending list of projects. TJ and I are slowly raking our yard at the rate of one cubic foot per week. At this pace it will be October before we’ve done everything, and we’ll have to start all over again with the leaves. I’m overwhelmed.
I also feel this way when I can’t cook. If I have too many nights in a row of “Look everyone, it’s mom’s special homemade quesadillas!” featuring stale tortillas and the end bits of cheese, I start to become unhinged. I feel like I should be HOME making gluten-free crackers and dairy-free yogurt and sugar-free desserts, or raising chickens and cooking spelt pancakes for breakfast every morning. I just want to grow my own tomatoes, okay? I mean, is that so much to ask?
I find a lot of these “family-friendly” food blogs only add to my feeling of utter insanity. I’m looking at you, Weelicious. Those freaking bento boxes of color coded melon balls on her Instagram account make me want to SCREAM. If I made this for Noah and Jason I would have to get up at 5am and then I would have a complete nutty on them when they brought it home untouched. I love and applaud that she can do this for her children, and that her children will eat it, but it’s just not happening here in the Douglas home. I need realism. I need achievability.
So imagine my excitement when I discovered Dinner: A Love Story. There is a book, which I have not seen yet, but I fell hard for her blog this week. Here is a woman after my own heart. She too makes tortilla soup and deconstructs it onto her kids plates – thereby skirting around the “I make one meal” hell that we put ourselves through. She too admits that her children are freaky little terrorists that try to hijack family dinner. She too admits that there are nights when the mere thought of making dinner for her family makes her want to throw in the towel. The best part of all? She took a picture of a shriveled up old lime she was using for dinner and put it on Instagram. I looked over at my shriveled up old limes and had a serious laugh. Life is just too busy for fresh limes.
Yesterday, I made her Indonesian Chicken Salad for me, with leftovers for TJ that kept well enough for him to eat when he got back from Italy late last night. Per her suggestion, I took all the salad parts and put them into individual, non-touching fiefdoms on the kids’ plates. Sure, Jason gagged on the pineapple and called it disgusting, but Noah ate it all! And yes, Noah said he was convinced if he touched the peanuts that he would die of a peanut allergy, but then Jason ate his. Most importantly, with a few simple cheats to her recipe (a bag of coleslaw mix and a pre-cut pineapple among them), I prepped it all and then read US Weekly while the chicken cooked. Amazing. Maybe, just maybe, this working motherhood thing will be okay after all. At least for this week, and definitely even further if I just buy my tomatoes at Allandale Farm moving forward.
And, of course, a wine pairing suggestion…
As you know, TJ just got back from VinItaly. While there he spent a lot of time with the Ribolla Gialla grape from the Friuli area (also grown in Slovenia under the name Rebula). This is a white wine that is actually macerated on its skins. It’s not an orange wine, but it does have a light copper hue to it. It’s earthy and fat with a thick and fleshy mouthfeel thanks to some tannins in the wine. It’s big enough for the peanut sauce, but can handle the spiciness from the peppers and sriracha as well. We’ll be bringing some of these in in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for them at UG!
And don’t forget our free tastings at both stores tonight. Nothing cures the working mom blues like a glass of wine after a hard day!