"How many women you see in this kitchen? Only me. Why do you think that is? Because high cuisine is an antiquated hierarchy built upon rules written by stupid, old men. Rules designed to make it impossible for women to enter this world, but still I'm here. How did this happen?"
"You think cooking is a cute job, eh? Like Mommy in the kitchen? Well, Mommy never had to face the dinner rush while the orders come flooding in, and every dish is different, and none are simple, and all different cooking time, but must arrive at the customer's table at the exactly the same time, hot and perfect! Every second counts and you CANNOT be MOMMY!"
"What is this? Keep..your..station clear! Messy stations slow things down, food doesn't go, orders pile up, disaster! I will make this easier to remember: keep your station clean......or I WILL KILL YOU!"
This time of year it is easy to forget that we are all moving way too fast, and in different directions. Funny when I was younger, I don't remember life moving at warp speed. Christmas vacations seemed to last forever. Oddly, I can remember being anxious to get back to school to share what I had got for Christmas. In those days it was Atari, Rubik's cubes, and Swatches. My sister and I loved those watches. Now, I see the same moments in my children, summer vacations that feel like a lifetime, having marathon cartoon sessions, staying out after the street lights come on, and writing out your Christmas list complete with drawings and definitions.
My husband and I, for 13 years were unable to go anywhere without the boys. That also entailed if they were younger, all the necessary stuff one needs to go out of the house with a baby. Diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, bottles, burp clothes, pacifiers, more clothes, coats, hats, mittens, toys, etc, etc. I was smart or maybe not, I had my children 6 years apart. So I only had one baby's stuff to haul around, however, I did get to do it twice, instead of doing it all at once with two little ones.
When we did go anywhere, we inevitably heard the "I wants" out of the children. Some days, you could weather the battle, while other days, you threw in the towel. I have been known to leave a full cart in the store. Raising kids takes lots of love, patience and understanding.
When I had my first child, I kinda kept him in a glass box, he never had a wet diaper for more than a second. I read all the books, tried all the tricks and generally I think I over mothered him. I even went out and got a child leash. I was nervous, it was new, I wanted to do the right thing. When the second one came along, I was tired, and amazed that I was going through the whole diaper thing again. You never know family, until your sister-in-law (love you She.) is helping you learn the fine art of breast-feeding, all the while the baby is screaming, I am sweating, and all I want is for this very awkward moment, to have a happy ending. Surprise, it was a happy ending, the baby started on formula, and I realized that I was not cut out for dairy farming. It is ok, I have accepted it.
What I was not prepared for was the second one, he wanted no part of rocking, cuddling or smooching. He wanted food, a burp, a diaper change, a swaddle, then leave me alone. I was not equipped for non-nurture language. You have no idea how right on I was.
This boy wanted a taste of the outside very early, and put Jeff and I, through some pretty stressful times. We did not have the skills to deal with mobile boy. We installed a slide lock INSIDE the door, he was a convict that wanted to be sprung. As he got older, and more crafty we removed chairs, because he was able to stand on the chair and reach the lock. With chairs gone, he realized that a broom handle or any stick for that matter would work to slide that lock off. So you can imagine that we were always on our toes.
Back then, dinner in my house was similar to feeding time at the zoo. Not even one minute into dinner, the statements would commence "I don't like meat", "What is that green stuff?","Can I have something else?", "What if I just eat one bite, can I have dessert?" What was funnier still, was that I, a 38 year old woman was bartering with a 3 year old.
We learn, we adapt, and we eat way more Macaroni and cheese than we want to. I have enjoyed exposing my children to food, that they otherwise would never eat. The are curious now, about things that they have never seen. Like Pomegranates,Ugli Fruit, Passion fruit to name just a few. That is the one thing that I enjoy about technology, we are able to enjoy fruits, vegetables and international cuisines. Items normally not available to the consumer are now widely available. I just LOVE IT. What follows is how to tackle an artichoke. My kids love them ,I am not sure if it is the actual vegetable, or just because we dip it in butter.
Decide how many artichokes family will eat, we usually polish off 4 or 5.
Rinse your artichokes under cool water, some people recommend wiping the chokes with a soft brush, to remove the film that it produces during its growing period.
With a sharp knife cut the top off the artichoke.
Remove the stem, in a fashion that will allow the choke to sit standing up.
With poultry shears trim the artichoke petals, by snipping the tips off, those tips can cut prick you, and end an otherwise enjoyable family dinner.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, with a large lemon cut in half and squeezed into the water.
Place the rinsed,trimmed chokes into the boiling water and cover, cook until they are tender, meaning when pierced with a knife it goes through the base with ease.
Melt some butter and let the kids pull the petals and dip in butter and suck the tender flesh off, working their way until all the petals are removed. What is left is the heart, remove the fuzzy covering, cut the heart up and enjoy.
A vegetarian is a person who won't eat anything that can have children.~David Brenner