All this rain calls for a rainbow

The Doors perform that childhood classic, “Reading Rainbow”

Advertisements

Rainy day ratatouille

Has someone ever asked you the question, “If you could have any super power, what would it be?”? When I hear that question I usually think to myself “I wish I could eat and sleep at the same time” and then I say out loud “I would breath underwater…”

 

I wish I could eat and sleep at the same time right now. I did not sleep very well last night and I definitely feel a cold coming on. Nothing sounds better than being able to eat some comfort food while I get some medicine induced slumber. But alas there are two things wrong with this fantasy; i don’t like to take medicine, and if i had the ability to sleep and eat at the same time my metabolism would crash and i would probably gain 100lbs. I guess some fantasies are better left in my imagination and not in reality. Either way, while driving home from work today in the freezing bitter rain, I gripped the steering wheel tightly and steadied my glance in the direction of home with a nod as i thought of dinner: ratatouille.

Rainy Day Ratatouille

Ingredients:

1 chopped onion

2 cloves garlic

2 T olive oil

1 chopped eggplant

1 can chopped, peeled tomatoes (i recommend san marzano!)

2 chopped zucchinis (enjoy the texture)

1 chopped green pepper

4 T white wine vinegar or sherry

Directions:

1. sauté onion, garlic and oil until onion is soft. stir freq to keep the garlic from burning.

2. stare at the garlic…    think about how sick you are. remember buddy takes garlic when he feels sick. put the garlic away.

3. add all other ingredients (this includes the liquid in the can with the tomatoes) and a few dashes of salt and pepper. stir. cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. pull garlic out of the pantry. stare. look up the anti-bacterial healing properties of garlic. quickly peel and mince the garlic into a tablespoon of honey. stare at the menacing dripping mass. swallow the whole shebang without giving yourself a chance to  talk yourself out of it. feel the burn.

5. instantly regret swallowing the garlic. feeling pretty sure you overdosed on garlic.

6. uncover ratatouille and let it simmer for another 5 min until most of the liquid is gone.

7. feel like hurling. seriously hurling. consider gulping sherry to get rid of the burning churning in your stomach. find grapejuice in the fridge and chug it. feel a little better.

8. serve up the ratatouille and flavor with additional salt and pepper. thoroughly regret swallowing the garlic.

The arrival of autumn…

Tags

, , , , ,

brings cozy times reading on the couch until it gets dark, your favorite sweaters, cute jackets, fall colors outside and in, and warm food that makes you feel good. I love fall food. Savory soups made with hearty vegetables that melt in your mouth and dense broth that restores health to your bones. The aromas of baking pastries with cinnamon lathered fruits in the middle. Cookies that have ginger and shortbread and marzipan! Breads that have fruit and cinnamon and sugar. Those sister spices of fall make their welcome appearance to the front of your spice rack, ready for the daily grind with a grin on their face and a mischievous gleam in their eye… allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and of course… more cinnamon!!

Although I always love baking more, I think cooking is the most fun in fall. There’s a cozy feel of being in the warm kitchen with the stove bubbling, your long sleeves rolled up around your elbows and cutting root vegetables that can be casually tossed into a large dutch oven to ruminate and get cozy with their neighbor veggies in a savory broth bath. One of my favorite, easy to make comfort foods is Moroccan Chicken. I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Great Food Fast cookbook. It is easy to prepare, low maintenance to cook, and makes tons of food for yummy leftovers! Side note: I also love that the prep needed for this recipe involves chopping things in large chunks. Plus, I enjoy cutting zucchini! I just like the texture of  cutting through ripe zucs… call me weird. I have a thing with textures and tactile sensations. I hope I just enlightened you to a new appreciation for zucs!

Come on in fall! I open the door whole heartedly. But hurry up and don’t let the cold in!

Moroccan Chicken

Ingredients:

~ 2lb of your favorite parts of chicken (thighs or breasts?) cut into chunks

3 carrots, chopped in large chunks

3 onions, thinly sliced

1 14.5 oz (or larger) can of cut, peeled tomatoes. I will settle for nothing less that San Marzano tomatoes! Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to them ASAP. I even save a handful to toast on bread and drizzle olive oil on top as a pre-dinner snack with a spirited bev 😉

1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained

1 3/4 C chicken broth

1/2 t ground ginger

1/4 t ground tumeric

1/4 t ground cinnamon

1/4 t chili powder

2 zucchini chopped in large chunks (savor the chopping 😉

2 C dry couscous (2 cups chicken broth and 2 T butter for making the couscous)

Directions:

-Combine all the ingredients from the chicken to the chili powder in a large pot or dutch oven (make sure you add the juice along with the tomatoes!). You can accidentally toss in the zucchini if you forget to separate everything like i did. Smile at how easy this recipe is already. Add a large dash of salt and pepper.

– Simmer covered for 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender and the chicken is cooked. Add zucchinis in after 10 min if you didn’t add them already.

-Meanwhile, bring chicken broth and butter to a boil. Once butter is all melted, add couscous and stir well. remove from heat and leave covered to cook for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

-Pour a heaping mound of couscous into a bowl and top with the chicken dish. Enjoy!

Psalm for a dark night

murky aura of dissatisfaction

where do you reside?
if I knew, would i try
to ripe you out
from the inside?
who is the illusion
me or you?
not lean enough
not strong enough
not the right clothes
not the right shoes
not the right bag
or
not the truth
not the light
not the cure
not the end
not the fight
a twisted comfort
in the doldrums
why do i let this
sadness linger
exercise, diet, money
nothing i can buy
can satisfy
when i get this way
i know the cure
but i don’t have
the mind the heart the might
i fail
and i choose
a dark night
until He chooses me
to pull into the light
once again and
not for the last time

Upcoming Travel

I am so excited! I have three big trips coming up that are going to be amazing!

First: Buddy and I are chartering a 30ft catamaran and sailing around the San Juan Islands and Gulf Islands with 4 of our friends for a week
Next: I am going to my to my hometown to be my best friend’s doula. This is going to be incredible. It will be one of those moments that mark a time of change that was inevitable, but you are never ready for. She has been my soul mate since middle school and I can’t believe we are childbearing age! I am so glad that my calling can serve her through the first time she gives birth and also help her for a week or so post partum. I can’t wait to see the little thing!
Finally: I am traveling to Monaco via Paris to spend some time with 3 dear girl friends. We all love food and adventure. Last time we did this we went to New Zealand and it was one the best trips of my life. I intend to use some of my Paris dining knowledge from “A Homemade Life” to eat well.
One of the above mentioned 3 ladies shared this video with me and definitely got me pumped up for the trip. Three friends travelled around the world and made one minute videos of their experiences. This one is about the food they ate. The creators also made two similiar videos called “Move” and “Learn”

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

i keep coming back to the good stuff

You know how you go through phases of enjoying something so much that you listen to it/eat it/ watch it over and over until you get sick of it? (i write this as i am popping down my fourth fruit roll up in 10 minutes) Well, I must say that I have never gotten sick of My Morning Jacket! A roommate in college introduced me to them and we used to listen to the “Z” album over and over and belt out “Wordless Chorus” without shame. A few years later I moved out to Seattle and watched “I’m Not There” with a friend. There’s a scene in the movie where there is a funeral and a man singing “Going to Acapulco” and I thought it sounded like the lead singer from MMJ and it turned out it was! While researching this I realized they have put out more cds and I promptly bought them. The albums “Dawn” and “Evil Urges” are great with their own distinct feel. Something about Jim James’ voice just makes me want to toss my hair from side to side and belt out the lyrics. They were on my list of “Bands I Must See Live”, and then they came to town a couple of weeks ago just in time for my 3rd honeymoon! Buddy and I snagged tickets and got blasted by their live set. Awesome energy, but I think Buddy and I are getting a little too old for the stand up and get shoved around by sweaty teenagers and drunken 30 year old crowd. We had a good time anyway and I loved the show! So glad I went.

The song my roommate and I used to belt out in our dorm room:
Here’s a taste of their new stuff with an intro by Conan. He even mentions the show we attended!
My favorite song from “Evil Urges”

I miss this

I just finished hosting a baby shower. I don’t miss that. But I do miss quiet saturday evenings, when the temp is still warm at 8pm and the sun is just beginning its hour long yawn before bedtime around 9pm. I made my second baby sling for a client. This one turned out better than the last. I have posted pics of it on the Projects page. I plan to continue making baby slings for clients as gifts. And I keep getting clients. I hope business is this easy when I am a midwife!

I am in the midst of creating a curriculum for christian childbirth classes. I have learned so much while doing it. I am basing it off of Jennifer Vanderlaan’s curriculum.
Buddy and I celebrated our third honeymoon (2nd anniversary) over 4th of July weekend by doing a 5 day backpacking trip in Olympic National Park. It was amazing. Very beautiful! We saw 7 black bears. One of which we had a very close encounter with and quickly realized the difference between mace and bear spray. Don’t worry, we didn’t end up needing it.
Over this backpacking trip Buddy and I reflected on two major struggles in my life. I am not at peace. I know I will always have things on my To Do list and I can’t ever get everything done, I will never be satisfied, and I will alway make myself self insanely busy. Where’s the peace in that? If I believe God is in control of everything and His plan is better than mine, then why I am so upset about not completing my To Do list? Or not spending my time the way I want. It’s because I don’t believe those things. I am constantly trying to make my life better, get things done, and do what I think is best. I don’t actually trust in God’s plan, I only trust my own. How do I trust God’s plan?
The second lesson is that I have still been struggling with a birth I attended last fall. I was the doula for a close friend and she wanted a natural childbirth that turned into a C-section. She was very afraid of that happening and wanted me to help her prevent that. I know she doesn’t hold me responsible for what happened, and there’s not really anything that I could have done to change the circumstances, but I still felt terrible about it and every time I see her I want to ask her to forgive me. As I was telling Buddy this he helped me realize that I had been feeling like it was up to me to give women the perfect birth. I was making it my responsibility to make sure nothing bad happened to the women I was serving. If I just worked hard enough or knew enough or did the right thing at the right time, maybe I can save all women from having a bad birth. All of this is a lie I honestly believed. No matter what I do, God has a plan for every women’s birth. It’s not up to me to change that plan. But I can still help them get through it, and to trust God all the while.
This weight will only get heavier as I become a midwife. I can not rely on myself, I must trust God and know that His plan is best. Even if it does not look like a “perfect birth” according to my standards. Each woman has their own experience for a reason.

I kept my promise after all!

Ok so I realized the best thing I can do is write a blog about all the amazing things I am learning about as a doula-midwife and hot topics the girls and I discuss.

I am totally pumped! It’s still in the works, but here’s the beginning: MISSeducation. http://www.misseducation.blogspot.com was taken already by someone who made ONE post back in 2007 about britney spears!! Ugh! Anyway, it looks like blogger is going to toss blogs that haven’t been updated since 2007 in June, so if this blog goes off well then I might be able to nab the blog address without a hyphen. Cross your fingers! What should our first topic be?

I’m gonna forget everything I wrote two days ago

So, already I am trying to bite off more than I can chew. I am a slave to my creativity and insane drive to do EVERYTHING. T$ and I were laughing about Hyperbole and a Half today and then we casually started talking about how the blogor (thats hip lingo I made up for a “blog author” quick! someone write a wiki article about it so people who don’t use a dictionary will think it’s a real word) quite her job and makes enough money from her blog to get by. Since i am quitting my job in a year anyway, I thought “I can do that! If I get enough followers now, then I can start making money off of the blog by next year to provide a pretty sweet cushion.” Forget everything I said two days ago about just following my calling and not filling my time with a bunch of distractions. This doesn’t count… So as I biked home and stopped by the grocery store to pick up my dinner this evening, I realized 2 things:

1. How quickly you resort back to bachelorette behavior when your husband is gone

2. I need a gimmick for my blog
Let’s start with #1. So I needed to pick up milk because we ran out this morning. As I was picking up milk I realized I had no plans for dinner so I went down the frozen food isle to see what was what. I picked out a bag of frozen food that had a delicious looking picture on the package, included meat AND vegetables, and said it made 2 servings. I thought “oh great, i’ll eat a serving tonight and have left overs for lunch tomorrow. totally worth $6, right?” This is how my bachelorette dinner turned out.

Classy, no?
After having a 2 minute argument with myself about whether to save the last little bits for lunch tomorrow, I ended up eating it all. 2 servings my butt!
#2. So what should be my gimmick? Should I even do this? T$ helped me brainstorm some ideas, which include:
  • write about food. is that too done? I kinda already do that.
  • have a goal like in Julie and Julia, where I try to accomplish something in a year. For example; I could try to see all of the curiosities in the Pacific Northwest in one year.
  • OR I could try to tie this blog into my calling by blogging about women’s needs, resources for education, tips, tools, hot topics, things you should know, etc.

To top off my bachelorette evening I am going to bring my laptop to Starbucks, have a chai latte, and try to do some homework because I feel smarter there (and less lonely).