On New Years Day I committed to cooking one new recipe each week. This in and of itself is a major accomplishment considering my mindset only a few months prior to this...Rewind to mid-June when I first brought Julia home - I vowed that it would be nothing short of a miracle if I ever stepped foot in the kitchen again. What has changed? Well, I didn't spend much time in the kitchen at all this summer, but something does shift and I have realized that cooking dinner helps Charles and I spend some intentional time together at the end of our long days. I will also mention that it has been helpful to know that it's okay to leave my child in her "playstation" while I cook. We listen to good music, Julia plays, we take some dancing breaks in between, and everyone is happy!
Since this resoultion I have learned several things:
1) Risotto requires arborio rice, not just any rice in the pantry. BUT, if you must make do, you can.
2) No matter how many times you make homemade bread, it always seems to turn out differently.
3) Charles doesn't like beans - who knew? I thought he liked everything. 2 1/2 years of marriage later, I am finding this out.
4) The greatest success is finding a really good meal that tastes like you've prepared all day, but takes less than an hour. The only time in life that I can justify spending the whole day in the kitchen is if I have a day with my grandmother and great-grandmother learning to make homemade pasta or something good and Polish.
5) Cooking for Julia has opened a whole new exciting world of creativity with food...
I know I've mentioned the Beaba before, but I have to talk about it again, I am in love with this food processor! I can't say that I crave pureed food, but I have been pretty darn excited about the things we have come up with in this simple contraption. All that is required is some simple chopping - I throw my fruits or vegetables in a basket, press steam and after 10 minutes I empty the basket and blend the foods. The other day I used some extra rice to make a rice/pear/banana combo - all of Julia's favorites. I add a little cinnamon because I adopt the philosophy that cinnamon makes all sweet things better and yes, it feels gourmet.
Here is my simple creation:
For about 30 cents each serving, I have a dish for Julia that I trust. Savings aside, it is so satisfying to know exactly what Julia is eating. (and I don't mind stealing a few bites in between) :)
And in Julia world:
Somehow she passed the eight month mark just a few days ago. She is so busy right now that it is difficult to soak it in and savor the moments like I did when she was a newborn. I would definately classify this time as "something-new-every-day". About a week or 2 ago she started waving hello and good-bye to us. It is the sweetest thing to walk in the door from work to her excited wave. She's attempting to drink on her own, though she needs a great deal of help. If it were up to her, she would choose a can or cup, but we'd like to have her master the sippy cup at this point. When she sees us drink, she wants what we have and she doesn't seem to mind that most of it trickles down the front of her. Julia is ALMOST on the move and we very quickly need to invest in some gates. She's not to keen on crawling, but attempts to pull herself up with a little help. She has always had such strong legs, so once she masters the art of getting up it won't be long until she is mobile. Our days are filled with da-da-da-da-da's, some clapping, quite a bit of screaming (mad, sad and glad), and some good wholesome belly laughs.
The simple things of life with a growing baby that make it so good!