So, I’m home with the Trudes today with no childcare help, working when she napped, and cleaning the house around her. Now, I would be the second (after Jessica) person to tell you that housekeeping is not my, you know, skill (I’m a big picture, not a detail, kind of a girl), but that baby is making this very difficult. I was finishing the dishes (for the 3rd time today), and I heard something in the front closet. Oh, Trudy. This was after she took all the books off of the bottom shelf in the living room.
I’m also baking today–I’m trying Cook’s Illustrated’s Almost No Knead Bread with entirely white whole wheat flour. It didn’t rise as much, so we’ll see how it tastes. Trudy has taken to opening the warming drawer, emptying the contents, and climbing in, so baking with her is becomming a challenge.
I love my time with her, challenging as it can be. I have often called her my miracle baby–without her imminent arrival, I likely wouldn’t have gone to the doctor to have my exhaustion checked out, and the cancer would have grown bigger or spread beyond the colon and surrounding lymph nodes. So, even when I have three papers to review for journals, a stack of grading, and 2 books to read for my own paper, being with her often reminds me of what is actually important. I’ve been stressed about the house and work lately, and it seems that on my most stressed days, she offers me the quickest smiles and the heartiest giggles. I’m lucky.
I went to the gym early this morning, and ran a fast two miles, and then did circuits. I’ve been feeling like I’ve been going through the motions on my circuits, so I really focused and pushed myself. After Trudy’s morning nap, I was feeling restless, so I strapped her into the jogging stroller, and while I just intended to walk, we did a slow 2.5 mile jog.
Last night, I made one of our old staples that had somehow fallen off the radar. I had the leftovers for lunch, and I have to say, this is a really really delicious dish. It comes from a favorite cookbook, and really, put it on next week’s menu.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Hash
1 to 2 T olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves
6 cups peeled diced sweet potatoes
1 minced jalapeno
1 T ground coriander
1 T ground cumin (Jess likes me to use less)
1 tsp salt
1 cup frozen corn
1.5 cups cooked black beans (I tend to double this)
splash of orange juice or water
Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet. Add onions and saute on medium until they begin to soften. Stir in the garlic, and then add the sweet potatoes. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add the jalapeno, coriander, cumin and salt; use spatula to turn the potatoes, cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the corn and black beans, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If the potatoes are still too firm, add a little water or oj, cover, and cook on low until the potatoes are tender. Add the salt. Top with cilantro or green onions if you wanna.
So, what are the simple and complex parts of your life that bring you back to center? My family does this for me in so many ways, even as we drive each other crazy (and pull all the books off of each others’ literal and figurative shelves).