At your behest, and with vivid memories of just what it feels like to live without an oven, I went to the kitchen.
First, I made this. Sort of. You know I don't really follow recipes, per se. So I riffed on the cheese sauce of our childhood and an accidentally generous spoonful of mustard gave it an edge I thoroughly enjoyed. Mustard is a funny thing. I periodically rediscover it and the way it can make food - from cheese to meat to salad - taste amazing. Then I get sick of it and evict it from my repertoire altogether until I discover its magic once again. I had maybe twice as much veggies for sauce, threw in a CSA zucchini that needed eating and topped it with a veritable salad of chopped fresh parsley. Was it pasta-less mac and cheese? No. But it was delightful.
Then, I made this. Because really, if one is to rediscover the joy one has been known to take in filling filling plates and bellies via one's stove, who better to do it with than Deb? Fresh basil, redolent with memories and fresh from the CSA got tucked under the cheese. Avery's may not be old enough to entirely appreciate it, but (homemade) pizza and a movie might just need to be regular thing come Friday night at the homestead.
And then, in anticipation of bubbling fruit goodness under a buttery crust, I went to the mountains. We filled our buckets with blueberries, lingonberries, and crowberries. All mixed together, "mountain berry pie" sounds like all it needs is ice cream and a fire in the woodstove to make a perfect winter evening.
Motherhood is a strange mixture of bliss - of overwhelming ecstasy of heartmelting love and clarity of purpose - and hard, mind numbing work. It means putting her needs over mine (almost) every time. Needy little hands that grab for her mother, little arms and legs that propel her to follow me to the toilet, curious busy hands that reach for anything and everything that mama touches. When the days are harder, I sometimes forget to eat: my energy spirals and I crash. And so I'm trying to rekindle the romance I once had with my kitchen, with the dance of dough from bowl to oven to mouth, with the melody of greens and heat and herbs, with the communion of bread broken and food shared.