Archive for ‘not a pinterest mom’

May 31, 2013

i’m a bit run down but i’m alright

we’ve been home from our last getaway for almost a week and, though we have almost settled back in to our life, i remain over-the-top exhausted. upon reflection, perhaps i shouldn’t have socialized 4 nights in a row. considering 4 social events in a week surpasses my (anti) social activity in the last year, it’s a real wonder what i was thinking. shit balls.

needless to say, it’s friday and i’m lazy tired so i’ve gone and pulled out the ol’ slow cooker. “why is it reasonable to consider a slow cooked stew-ish meal this late in spring?”,  you ask? because i live on the west coast and she rains. oh, does she rain. i’m damp in my bones and as far as i’m concerned, that calls for comfort food.

so, as i sit here relishing the quiet that can only come from nap time, my slow cooker is cooking us all up some healthy and hearty chili. and, because everyone loves cheesy flour product, i will soon get off my ass and prepare us some cheesy bannock too. first i thought i’d pretend i was quaint and post a couple recipes for you. deal?

be advised: there will be no pinterest inspired photos or other forms of quasi-adorableness, i don’t roll that way. just words dude, just words.

if you are still with me, congratulations! you won’t be disappointed by the bannock.

the recipe comes from a woman i knew in a former life and in her northern tundra circle it has won awards, which says a lot. it’s fab for a whole host of reasons but i dig it because it’s delicious, easy, and can me modified with yummy additions should you be so inspired.

we add cheese sometimes, dill and rosemary to accompany our family’s winter staple: salmon stew, and cranberries with orange rinds when i want to pretend i’m a cute mom (unfortunately, i mow down most, if not all, of the final product before it makes it in to my son’s lunch bag so my chance of bring noticed are literally eaten up).

as for the chili, i made it up as i’ve been known to do, but i have provided the vague details below (that counts as a recipe, no?) in case you feel brave. note: it makes tons so you can freeze and enjoy again.

9 bean chilli

need:

– 1 cup of dried bean and lentil mix, soaked for 24 hours in 2 cups of agua pre slow cooker fate

– 1 kg lean ground turkey

– 2 sweet onions, diced (or hacked up, as it were)

– 4 large carrots, chopped

– 1 bunch of celery, chopped

– 1 yam, chopped

– 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced

– 2 large cans of diced tomatoes (with juice)

– 1 mini can of tomato paste

– 5 tbspns mild chili powder

– dash or so of garlic powder and pepper

– dash or so of prev dried oregano and basil

– 2 tbspns brown sugar

– 1/4 cup h2o

need to do:

– prep beans and veg (except for the mushrooms) and place in slow-cooker with cans of diced tomatoes, tom paste, spices

– cook lean ground turkey on stove top, drain, and add to cooker.

– stir.

– press on (it really is that simple).

– cook for 6 hours on high plus 4 hours on low (or longer!).

– add mushrooms, stir in.

– cover / warm for 2 more hours.

cece’s bannock

need:

– 4 cups flour

– 4 heaping tspns baking powder

– 2 teaspoons salt

– 4 teaspoons sugar

– 1 cup veg shortening

– 2 cups milk

need to do:

– heat oven to 450 degrees.

– combine dry.

– rub in shortening by hand (warning: this makes a ROYAL mess).

– add milk, fold in with wooden spoon (or your hands).

– roll on to floured bread board and cut in to rounds.

– bake for 15 minutes.

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February 14, 2013

february: the final frontier

this is how it all went down.

i’d just given birth and, because my son was 11 pounds, i delivered my dignity along with him, leaving me disabled, for weeks, unless heavily medicated.

it was a preschool morning and i, somehow, managed to get dressed, as well as the kids, and then made my sore ass and their cute butts down the stairs, out the door, and in the car. we even made it there on time. it was amazing.

unfortunately, there, after all this effort, instead of a cheer squad ready-set to celebrate my achievement with high fives, was the parent sign up sheet for the halloween party that was scheduled for the following week. this is not the stuff that dreams are made of: i fail miserably at cute mom. the very mention of pinterest gives me anxiety and, on occasion, makes me hostile (you’ve been warned).

i began to sweat but, fortunately, was quickly pulled from my place of fear by my unreasonably competitive spirit (thanks, mom). damned if i’m gonna opt out like some flake, my inner monologue asserted, and i approached the sheet, handwritten in perfect preschool printing, with my head held high.

i scanned the options (cupcakes, cookies, other things that required skill) and, then, relieved, my eyes zeroed in on the cheese and cracker platter. it was a cop-out, but it was a deal. we always have cheese, we have a pantry full of crackers and i felt that regardless of my current state (i.e. inability to perform basic bodily functions), i should, at least, be able to manage that.

no one will even think less of me, i thought, considering it was pretty obvious i had bigger issues to contend with (as evidenced by full brief adult diapers visible above the waist of my sweatpants).

as it turns out, i managed to forget that i’d committed myself to the easiest contribution and on the day of i noticed on the calendar that i had scribbled: “be cute for preschool”, in what looked like a menacing, drunken script. with minutes to spare i mad-frantic hacked up some cheddar and threw it in, of all things, a zip lock bag, complete with a paper plate (admittedly, weak choices) and a bag of stone wheat thins. not quite what i’d envisioned providing for the merriment of my son’s first preschool celebration but i, delusional, assumed it would be good enough.

needless to say, whilst funneling into the classroom i couldn’t help but observe the amazing spread of wholesome and delectable treats also making there way in, held proudly above the makers shoulders as they unzipped the coats of their children with one hand. i cringed, my entire body shrunk, when i saw the other mother’s cheese platter complete with a variety of fromage choices cut out in seasonal shapes and figures (we’re talking about pumpkins and acorns here people) with a wide selection of cracker pairings attractively displayed on a carved wooden serving dish.

head down, i slinked to the food table, infant car seat bumping along my shin as i shuffled my pathetic remains forward. i casually placed my offering on the table providing no eye contact and no conversation, so not to draw attention to myself and in hope of it all going unnoticed.

i left embarrassed and upon return home, i debriefed with my father, who had arrived for his shift as assigned support person, present to intervene should i fatigue, hemorrhage, or melt down to the point of being unable to parent. another mother failure, i reported. sucked it up hard at today’s cute mom attempt, i confessed. patiently, he heard my ridiculousness and shallow musings about the mom race.

fortunately, by pick up time, i’d snapped out of it. eff it, i’d decided. in the classroom i confidently collected my child and scanned the food table to see if any leftovers required gathering. there it was: my ‘effort’, untouched. even the children knew it was a flop. i shrugged it off and then marched over, scooped it up, and made our way to the car.

my father, having accompanied me for the ride, was still in the car with baby. he wisely remained silent as i wrestled my sugar-high boy into his car seat and then collapsed into the driver’s side with a whine- rejected snack in lap.

a few minutes later he broke the silence. “so…”, he began, tentatively, “it all came back”.

just then, before i could reply, the big boy asked for a snack.  “well, looky here son”, i replied, “i happen to have some crackers and cheese ready, just for you”.

my dad and i, delirious, laughed all the ride home.

so…. it’s valentine’s day. you’d think that months later i would be healed from the ego wounds i suffered so many months ago. well, perhaps i have. this said, the depths of my vanity are profound and i have been waiting for months to redeem myself.

and, now that i am continent, can walk with some grace, and generally function like a regular woman, i did. i participated in some role play and put on the ol’ apron. i read and re-read the recipe. i measured, mixed, and swore. i created havoc, and cookies. i dressed myself nicely, walked my son in proudly, placed the platter down whilst engaging as many people as possible. i returned, sure that my treats would have been well appreciated.

and, they were. that’s right, bitches.

p.s.- i realise that my cookies looked like pinterest cookies after they made friends with the blender. whatever. the point is, i baked something, all by myself, the end product resembled a valentine’s cookie, and they were full of sugar. the good moms might scorn me behind my back for not making something with whole grains or a super food but the kids apparently liked them and i got a story out of it. frankly, this adventure turned out better than the last vanity fuelled activity i shamefully participated in i.e. forcing my engagement and wedding band on my sausage of a ring finger trying to prove to myself that i’d lost enough baby weight to get away with it. in the end, my finger went numb, purple, and swelled up until it looked like an angry penis. the rings had to be cut off. no word of a lie.

January 24, 2012

it’s all in the details

today, a month or more after we were requested to be involved, moo and i participated in a sticker club mail out fun thing (better late then never, right?). we chose stickers for our appointed chain mail addressees, we packaged and mailed them, and we (mostly me) smiled wide and true thinking of little friends receiving them, surprised and delighted, as he was, when his stickers came in the mail.

now, i am not the mom who makes cupcakes for the preschool party. i don’t prep or facilitate craft activities. i don’t throw theme parties for moo and friends. and, unfortunately, i am not one of the mothers who got the psychic memo that good moms write christmas cards to all the little kids at the daycare (dropped the ball hard there). i am the mom, however, who, even on this rainy and awful day, trapped at home under blankets of illness, can always see the value of bringing joy to children (deserving, all of them) and who tries to do everything in my limited power to contribute to said light as often as able.

now, sadly, this was not exclusively a pure and giving mission. full disclosure…  i am also the mom that is peacocking around all smug and bragging widely that i: a) remembered our outstanding invite to play; b) didn’t lose explanation of game details amongst important adult centered paperwork; and c) actually participated in something endearing.

i can’t help it. though this was designed to be a fun little nicety to please the wee in our lives, it also somehow felt like a test for me. was i gonna be the kind of mother who would break the link? no, nay sayers, i was not.

so, yah, i’m feeling pretty damn adequate right about now. does my regular neurosis and sometimes panic that i will never be a contender in the realm of cutie patootie moms make me less of a consistent/interesting/kind/stable/confident/likeable person? too bad. it made me rise to be a better mother today. true story.

November 16, 2011

i’m not into crafts, but i can be crafty

like decorating for christmas, for instance, which i am quite gifted at, if you may. it’s true. merriment is a lifestyle, one that has nothing to do with christmas and everything to do with living juicy, and this can be practiced all year long, of course. this said, in my world, merriment goes seasonal at christmas, for sure, and warm fuzzies abound in my home, for which i am quite proud.

i am fortunate to have a small amount of self-restraint which permits me the decency to avoid bedazzling my house in tacky cartoon like crap effective november 1st (or ever, thank you very much), but that’s about all the restraint i have. in all other departments, i am a sinner.

decorating before the end of november? it’s happened. participating in voyeuristic delights, i.e. window shopping in the christmas aisle for weeks before i actually go for the gold? yah, i’ve been finding excuses to go shopping almost daily. delaying making dinner and touring my vulnerable and impressionable young child around the neighborhood looking at christmas lights instead? it’s all about priorities, and merriment is mine. peer pressuring my reasonable spouse to put up the lights, almost daily? yah, it’s pretty much on.

and this year, i have the fever bad. i foresee busting out the lights, myself, a rebellious act of insubordination against my husband’s ‘rule’ of december only festivus. who does he think he is, anyways? plus, i’ve got my moo on my side. we are feeling the spirit. it’s 2 against 1. hubby loses. but, he might also win, because i drink more wine during the holidays. a tipsy wife is a happy wife. hehehe.

enjoy the lights!

p.s.- because wine is my friend, i am feeling generous. here are some tips in avoiding tacky whilst trying to achieve palette pleasing decor. it’s nothing major, but as i have the decorating gift, here is my gift to you:

in order to achieve holiday perfection, which admittedly, i am quite interested in, one must be careful to ensure that decor is full and rich but appears pleasingly minimalist. no one likes over the top vibes and, frankly, a few anorexic lights are just depressing. perfection seems so closely related to finding graceful harmony between the traditional and stylish, with consistency in theme but not boring uniformity. you get the idea. more is more if it looks like less and tradition is classic but  twist in some mod so it’s not tired and worn. easy, huh?

have fun, and be merry.

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