Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Could Have Killed Him

I wanted this site to be a place where we could come together an share recipes and experiences. And as all of you know I am currently "experiencing" Ruby(4) and Bridget (3). Once upon a time, I used to be the perfect mom. Sterling (13) and Bobby (10), had the advantage of being raised by a mother who had it all together. Always dressed to the "T', never a hair out of place, impeccable manners...yes I just might have been the "June Cleaver" of my dreams. But I must admit that I think that those little girls definitely have the upper hand at this time.
Before, I would brag that my children would never back talk, or draw on walls. I would gasp in horror at the misbehavior of other's children. An yes, I would dole out advice to my poor friends. I could have never imagined how much I would have to enjoy the taste of crow! Darling girls they are, but don't take your eyes off them for a moment....or you will be sorry!
So, to the title...why would I want to kill him, and who is he? Well last night I taught my Cinco de Mayo class at Thanksgiving Point. On my way home from class I called home to make sure everything was OK. My eldest daughter answered the phone, and assured me that all was quiet on the western front. However, upon my arrival, thirty minutes later, I found not all was well.
I entered my home, greeted by the wide eyes of my dog...wide eyes that told me immediately, that she wanted to evacuate the premises and that she thought it was best that I do as well. And then Rob, "HIM", with that look. The one that one that looks half like a cry and half like a laugh. He can barely squeak out the matter at hand. And there at the bottom of the stairs, sitting on the bed, are my two delinquent angels, with sullen looks and tear stained faces.
I felt my knees buckle underneath me as I rushed to the bed and reached out my hands to the remnants of their hair. Yes, I said remnants of their hair. Ruby had decided that she and Bridget were in need of a trim. Ruby, who had hair tot he middle of her back, had cut off her hair on both sides of her head to above the ear, and left it long in the back. And Bridget, who mind you was bald until just over a year ago, and had beautiful curly hair, just above her shoulders now had a mullet! Literally cut to the scalp on top and short on the sides.
Well, I will spare you the gnarly details, but after some tears of my own as I scooped the beautiful curls off the bedroom floor, I came to the realization that there was really nothing I could do. And although throwing the television out the window (because this all happened during a Jazz game) seemed like a good option, I refrained. And when morning came...I took the girls in and had what was left of their hair cut.
I tell you this because, It is therapy. I am releasing the last bit of misery into the key board. Because holding on to it doesn't do any of us any good. And today, I found myself explaining away my girls silly new hair-dos, only to find that so many of you have already been there and done that. It grows back...but will that moment grow back for our children...that moment we might steal just a bit of their self esteem, or resilience? For a fleeting moment last night I felt like that "June Cleaver" mom, as I tucked their choppy little heads in bed, I reminded them that they would always be beautiful to me, that with time it would grow back, and that everything would be OK. And will be OK, just like all the other small stuff we sweat. So if it hasn't happened to you already, I guess it is a right of passage, no matter how hard you hide those scissors, chances are it's going to happen...eventually...good luck!

CINCO DE MAYO



That would be May 5th to those of you not fluent in Spanish. It is a national holiday in Mexico which is also widely celebrated in the United States. It commemorates the victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza over the French occupational forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It is also my daughter's birthday so of course I love to celebrate it. Here are a couple of salsa recipies to compliment your fiesta!

MANGO SALSA

1 Granny Smith apple, cut into ¼ inch dice
2 firm ripe mangoes, cut into ¼ inch dice
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 fresh jalapeño chilies, or to taste, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
a pinch cumin

Stir all ingredients together and refrigerate.


TOMATILLO SALSA

1 lb fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and chopped
1 fresh Serrano chile, seeded (for less spiciness) and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt

Stir together all ingredients and let stand, covered, about 1 hour.

AVACADO AND CORN

1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 ripe red tomato, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 ear sweet corn, roasted, shucked
1 scallion, both white and green parts, trimmed and finely chopped, or 3 tablespoons diced sweet onion
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers or serrano peppers, seeded and minced (for a hotter salsa, leave the seeds in)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

Place the avocado in the bottom of a non-reactive mixing bowl and gently toss it with 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Cut the kernels off the corn.. Add the corn kernels, tomato, jalapeño and cilantro to the mixing bowl and gently toss to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice as necessary and season with salt and pepper to taste.