What We’re Eating and Drinking: Pepperonata and Rosé
This pepperonata (white onion, red and yellow peppers and peeled tomatoes with a bit of salt, sugar and pepper, cooked down for about 30-40 minutes until it’s sweet but still peppery!) really deserves a hearty glass of red, but it’s warm, our pool is full of kids and the summer holidays have just begun, all of which cry out “Rosé!” There’ll be toasted farro bread along side the pepperonata, as well as lentils with broccoli and a little turkey for the kids.
Christine: OK, I don’t really care about the pepperonata (first, because EWW…and second because peppers make me barf–literally.) But have I told you that I discovered this whole world of ‘nightshade’ vegetables during one of my cleanses this past winter and realized that peppers aren’t actually intrinsically gross, but that I’m probably just allergic to–or at least have an adverse reaction to–these creepily named foods? Nightshades are a category of eatable vegetables that include tomatoes, tomatillos, potatoes, eggplants & peppers–most of which make me hiccup-y and feel icky. But it’s fine. I don’t care about this dinner tonight because WHAT IS that gorgeous colored bottle of wine on your table? Holy goodness that looks refreshing. Is that the real color or just the light?
Have fun with the kiddies and save me a glass and some toasted farro bread….I’ll be along soon.
What We’re Talking About: The lazy, hazy days have begun.
These last few weeks have been consumed by end of school year activities. This week alone, we had a Elementary School Graduation (Congratulations ZOEL!), a end of elementary party, a mini-musical (Leeloo danced, Zoel sung and acted), an end of unit/year party for Leeloo, as well as teacher presents to buy and give. One faculty member said to me today that she was starting to wonder if Stefan and I were on staff and if not, maybe we should be. Ha! Somehow, Stefan has also managed to give hours and hours of time to the release of his book and music. I, on the other hand, have gotten a little work done, but not much else, certainly not any writing other than the short entries for this blog, which I can’t even remember now. I’m looking forward to our summer schedule when there’ll be a lot less running around, although I’m a little terrified that these not-so-small people will suck up more of my time than I’m anticipating, or should I say, I’ll let them suck up my time because they’re kinda fun. I’m actually more than a little proud of how they’ve handled they’re first year living abroad. They’ve both grown and changed in many different ways, too many to list on a Friday Night, but maybe deserving of a separate blog post re-capping the year. If I had to pick just one thing to tell you about each in the meantime, I’d say that our once reserved Zoel has come clean out of his shell, and is known around school as a funny guy that’s really good at performing at assemblies and special events. (We’ll see how that evolves in Middle School when there’ll be all those older folks around!) And for Leeloo, I’d say that she’s as effervescent as ever, but she’s also developing a self-awareness that’s helping her figure out when it’s better to dial back the bubbly, and sit still. It’s just a beginning, but it’s a joy (and sometimes totally frustrating) to watch her trying to figure it out.
And before I go, Happy 20th! Before you know it, we’ll have done half a year of virtual Fridays together!
Christine: First the ‘Congrats’: To Zo–a big milestone!…graduating from elementary school certainly is one of the big ones. (If only because middle school is, indeed, a beast.) Was he fine without all of us waving to him from the audience rows of folding chairs? Or without your parents there? (Were YOU?!) Congrats To Leeloo, too, for all of the performing (and the thinking about dialing back–and hopefully tempering the dialing back). And of course To Stef for the book and music. But, also, To YOU for keeping everything scotch-taped together–maybe the most difficult job of all.
That sucking-up-time thing is something I, too, was thinking about today as I weighed the (emotional) cost of fewer summer camps against all the weeks that Noah will wake up and be looking for me (to me) for SOMETHING TO DO. I guess what we have to do is try and carve out some sacred space for ourselves–which sounds way more Oprah-y than I mean. What I’m suggesting is that just because it’s summer, it doesn’t mean that we, the mothers (the stay at home mothers of older children), continue to need to spend all of our time listening to and following the whims of our OLDER CHILDREN. Even though that’s what is easiest. Even though that’s what we think *might* be best. EVEN THOUGH WE LOVE SPENDING TIME WITH THESE CREATURES. Listen, Noah is trying to convince me to get us season passes to Splashdown Beach…(do you remember that place? Stef & I spent a cicada-filled day there just before you guys left for Italy…it sucked!) and I am not going to cave in and do it. I love spending time with him more than I can describe in words, but hate it there, despite the fact Naoh loves it…and it’s not that the needs of my child don’t matter, but more that we’re not getting a season pass to something that only ONE of us finds fun. It’s time to understand that my needs matter–at least–or just as much as–his.
Which means, Yes, we’ll go to Splashdown once or twice this summer and YES we’ll go to a movie that requires 3D glasses…but not every day of the week. We’ll also take the train to NYC and find some obscure poetry reading to attend and some totally weird street art exhibit to take part in and a library to whittle an afternoon away at. Yes…I’ll drive Noah to the camps that make his eyes light up, and YES I’ll make sure that we have watermelon and ginger water at snack time, but I’ll also make sure that I also have a pitcher of nettle tea and ginger cookies (for me and my mommy friends) and that I make time to get through at least of a third of the books that I’ve reserved at the library and that Noah and I get to spend at least one night of week watching the sun set at the river’s edge…together. It’s a circumstance easier described than insisted on.
…I don’t really think I can do it, but I like to dream.