Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lately, I've been a little obsessed with Chicken Salad. I know it's the middle of winter and I should be doting on soups and winter vegetables like squash or beets or something, but instead I've found comfort in light, springy, tangy, oh-so-yummy chicken salad. I better not be pregnant.

I've also started to read Barbara Kingsolver's now somewhat classic book on food, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Thus my guilt complex about eating a few out of season vegetables. But I've barely begun the book so I'm telling myself I have a little time before knowledge becomes a means of indictment. I've also been reading Leon Kass's insightful and (to me) inspiring book on food, The Hungry Soul- but more in a philosophical way. Food is such a trendy topic and "interest" these days and I guess I should reluctantly lump myself in with that trend. But Kass's book is more the vein that I enjoy thinking about: how the WAY in which we eat distinguishes us, affects us, unites us, improves (or ruins) us. 

But before you begin to roll your eyes at what may seem high minded thinking about food, I have to tell you that I am constantly challenged to make these thoughts practical too. I am living in a house (and eating with) three toddlers remember? Often when I start to think about how things like eating together, conversation over a meal, taking time to enjoy the creation of and the created origin of my food I am reminded that dinnertime is mostly a quick, chaotic, mostly-reminding-them-to-get-back-in-their-chairs ordeal. Another case-in-point: I am currently writing this blog while sitting at the table feeding my 13 month old in her high chair. It occurs to me that perhaps I should choose to focus solely on her... talking to her, helping her to learn simple table manners rather than trying to squeeze in a few moments of peaceful typing. 

So, maybe more on Barbara and Leon later. Let's get back to Chicken Salad! I'm telling you, it hits the spot these days. My latest delight includes throwing in some cilantro. Here is a simple recipe if you feel inspired.

2-3 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1/2 cup chopped celery or green pepper or both
1/2 cup chopped chives

1/2 cup sour cream (about... I use a little less sometimes)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
mix sc and mayo together, then add:
2 or so Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
ground fresh pepper to taste
couple tsp of freshly chopped cilantro!
mix together with chicken and enjoy...

Monday, December 28, 2009


Today I am cleaning. I can't believe it has already been over 2 months since Brian and Josey and little Judah arrived and plopped down into our lives and cozy little home. They left this morning to return to the States where a new job and aisles of cold cereal options await them. I've been doing laundry since the moment they walked out the door. It's currently four in the afternoon... and the machine is still spinning. I've put Sadie back in her bedroom already, and good riddance! I love that girl but I need some sleep. I've vacuumed, dusted, put blankets and pillows away, un-re-arranged some of the furniture and made a loaf of bread for dinner. But, no one will be here to eat it except us. Just us. No Judah asking if there's more rice and no Josey moaning secretly at the thought of another bite. None of Brian's Fargo-tainted wisecracks or petitions for more hot chocolate. We can't stay up late watching Pride and Prejudice and discuss who plays a better Darcy, or stumble bleary eyed into the kitchen together searching for the first cup of precious coffee.

I'm cleaning, and even though it feels good, I'm kind of sad. In some ways it's bittersweet because living in close quarters for many weeks with lots of people and even more small children is bound to need an end at some point. And we're all a little grateful for our space and routine to return to normal... but it also means we say goodbye for another couple years. So, I'm thankful for our shared time together, full of tight squeezes and compromises, cups of tea (and coffee and chai and hot cocoa) and conversation, eating out and feasting in, sleepless nights and kid-free flights, cousin games and cousin fights, and always lots of joy. Thank you for making this trip happen Brian and Josey and Judah. We love and already miss you!