Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Difference of a Word

The weather has warmed to 40's and 50's but is damp, so that cold still soaks through the clothes.  And March wind whips before the month changes.  Along the ground, bulbs break out.  They stand mostly as green speared leaves, but finger-sized crocuses crop up in clusters along bush lines.

Winter is giving way.

Green dots the ground.

Today I spoke with a friend who listens well.  She heard me say "had" a lot: I had to let Maeve nap in the car; I had to drive Eden; I had to haul Maeve's heavy body all over the playground; I had to get up four times in the night; I had to throw routine out and leave Maeve home.

My eyes sting with tired.  My body is weary.

What, she challenged, would change if I said "get" instead of "had"?

I get to leave Maeve with a babysitter.  I get to take Eden to school.  I get to feed Maeve and hold her soft head in the night.  I get to soothe Eden when she wakes up.  I get to care for incessant baby-needs one more time.  Get to.

The low grey skies are breaking into high windy clouds.
The frozen ground slips with mud.
Crocuses open purple.

I could do this, too, receive change, get to...

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

A Couple Winter Recieps

A Perfect Winter Salad: Arugula & Butternut Squash with warm cider vinagrette

1 bag arugula
2 butternut squash, cubed
small handful crasins
1/2 c walnuts
2 T shallots
1 T maple syrup
3/4 c apple cider
2 T cider vinegar
2 t dijon

1. Preheat oven to 400
toss squash in olive oil, 1 T maple syrup, S&P and roast for 15-20 minutes
add crasins at the end

2. toast 1/2 cup walnuts, set aside

3. in a small sauce pan mix together 3/4 c cider, 2 T cider vinegar, 2 T shallots
boil over medium head 6-8 minutes until it reduces to ~ 1/4 c

4. remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 c olive oil, 2 t dijon, 1/2 t pepper, 1 t salt

5. to arugula add roasted squash, toasted walnuts, shredded parmesan (generous amount), vinagrette.  toss and serve.  

Molly Wizenberg just posted this recipe on Orangette, and I made them this morning.  They are a simple cookie-cracker, much like a digestif biscuit (which I *love*) or the carrs sweet wheaty crackers that come in the dark red box.  Molly suggests eating these with cheese, and she's right -- a sharp cheddar was perfection; and Silas crumbled his on chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, which may have been even more brilliant.  Easy to make, too.


Adapted slightly from Orangette (who adapted slightly from Stephanie Congdon Barnes and 3191 Quarterly No. 9)

1 ½ cups oats
1 cup flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced (mine ended up being more room temperature -- fine -- just not soft)
¼ cup full-fat plain yogurt (not greek, though it would probably work, just add a little milk)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

-In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt, whisking to blend. 

-Add the butter and use your fingers to work it into the oat mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. 
-Stir in the yogurt until a soft dough forms. The dough should be a little crumbly. 
-Lightly flour a work surface, and turn the dough out onto it, rolling to a ¼-inch thickness. 
-Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out oatcakes, and transfer them to the prepared sheet pans. 
-It’s okay to gather and re-roll any scraps of dough.

Bake the oatcakes for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown around the edges. (mine were a bit on the light side and I think the darker the better -- a little crunch at the edges would be good here). 

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: about 25 oatcakes

My Resignation

The children are lovely, especially plump and bright-eyed to look at, but I have put in my resignation, and I am leaving.  I plan to go first thing tomorrow.  The destination isn't firm yet, but I envision a one bedroom cottage near the ocean, maybe in New England.  A destination I can drive to where I won't need to answer any questions, pick anyone up from school, or "play two year old" with.

It's not that anything happened, nothing dangerous or catastrophic, but the number of diapers changed, onesies stained, little suits snapped up the legs -- it's just too many.  And as of this week, Maeve is in swaddling purgatory where if swaddled, just as she's drifting off, she becomes irate that she can't move her arm and screams furiously; and if not swaddled, just as she's drifting off, she madly clutches the pacifier in her mouth, pries it out, flings it to the side and then screams because someone grabbed her pacifier.  Oh help me.

General upkeep: Laundry, so much of it.  Washing children, apparently not top priority.  Eden hasn't bathed for a few days, and I just saw, here at 7PM, as she walked out of the room that she not only has two unbrushed pony tails (that are passable) but also a rogue hair clip that certainly served no purpose today or yesterday hanging from the back of her head, especially cute on the field trip today that several parents attended...

School work: tomorrow is letter day in Eden's class, a day they are supposed to bring a tidy Ziploc bag of clipped pictures beginning with the day's letter (tomorrow is K)-- what a cute weekly project to do with a preschooler.  Many letter days she's shown up with nothing (how do Tuesdays hit so often and unexpectedly?) and sitting here now looking around the room with an unusual night-before awareness of the upcoming letter day, I see that I've once again recycled all the magazines...  Silas's homework folder is currently lost as is the homework that goes in it.  We both swear it was on the table yesterday...

More lost things: I put my drivers license and credit card in my pocket the other day and promptly lost the wallet they'd been in (that held other important things) -- always disconcerting.  So I put the cards in an old wallet and hoped the lost one would reappear as it usually does.  But, I then somehow lost the new wallet with my credit card and drivers license (!)   Yesterday Ben found the originally lost wallet wedged between the seats of his car, but the license-credit card wallet is still missing...

Having written all of this, there does appear to be a strong case for my leaving for the sake of others in my care rather than for my own, which, I must say, is surprising.  In any event, I have given my resignation, though maybe a transfer to a new location (a silent hotel with room and maid service) would suffice...

Monday, February 04, 2013