This week was the first time I returned to the kitchen since Ivy was born. Today she is one month old. Before you call the authorities let me assure you that I did not let my family starve for the past month. Night after night we have been blessed with food from our dear family and friends.
For the past few weeks we have experienced the true gift of food and I am reminded of and humbled by the power of food and the many sets of gracious hands that prepared the meals for us.
I nursed a tiny baby girl while eating homemade macaroni and cheese laden with smoked Gruyere and topped with sauteed peas and bacon. My body rested and healed while I ate the most incredible Chili – all meat, no beans – with a hefty portion of sage cornbread on the side. While trying to wrap my head around the fact that in a matter of 4 1/2 years we have gone from a family of two to a family of five I ate Beef Bulgogi. And fighting to keep my weary eyes open after many nights of interrupted sleep I ate grilled Flank steak, smashed potatoes and Beet salad.
There was also Chicken pot pie, Roast Beef, Pumpkin Pie, Butternut squash Enchiladas, pizza and many more comforting meals that have been so incredibly satisfying but have drastically stalled the process of returning to my pre-pregnancy wardrobe.
With each bite I tasted and felt love. With each visit from the friends who delivered the meals I thanked God for their presence in our lives. I was humbled by their joy in giving and took mental Polaroids of their adoring faces as they held my sweet Ivy and petted her bountiful head of hair.
In this season so wrecked with chaos and heightened emotions due to hormones, lack of sleep and the extreme changes that are occurring I have felt, at times, more peace and more love than ever before.
I have you all to thank for this as well. While my blog remained silent I was still here. I’ve cherished your comments and encouraging words as I sat holding sister baby.
I’ve looked forward to my return to this space as I always have when I’ve let it lay still for awhile. This blog has been a food-based journal chronicling my life from a new mom and business owner to a mother of two trying to juggle business and family only to realize that for me it wasn’t working. And now I’m a mother of three overwhelmed with the changes, the noise but most of all the joy.
What once started as a way to promote my small cake and dessert catering business has now evolved into a community, an integral part of my life and a place I return to again and again to remind myself how far we’ve come and how cute my babies are.
With the birth of the blog I was a new mom – excited to have a baby but hesitant to embrace all that was involved with my new role. When number two arrived more than ever I saw how demanding my job as “mom” was. What time I did have to invest in the career I was passionate about was gone. I was resentful and lost. This blog, prayer, wise friends and God helped me through that time and continue to do so as I now adjust to being a mother of three.
That path now finds me still passionate about food and more in love than ever with my role as mom. It also finds me surrounded by a community that loves us, supports us and feeds us when we are too tired to lift a pot and a spoon. Thank you to those of you who come and read and a very special thank you to our family and friends who have supported us in various ways during this time of great change and little sleep.
As our recently expanded family tries to settle in to its new place as a family of five I’m comforted by the familiarity of my kitchen. Stepping into that space to create food that nourishes and sustains my family I feel a sense of normal the midst of a chaotic scene. We all welcome the returning scent of yeast wafting through our home as dough steadily rises.
Today I’ve returned to the kitchen to make pizza. I don’t bother with recipes instead I use a ratio -Rhulman’s ratio from his book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. (For bread dough 5 cups flour, 3 cups water – I add 2 teaspoons yeast, a touch of honey, salt and a glug of olive oil). I give the dough plenty of time to rise, overnight if I’ve planned ahead, as the flavor and texture that develops during that time is far superior to a dough that is rushed.
To top the pizza I caramelize red onions in butter and balsamic vinegar, brown spicy Italian sausage and saute wild mushrooms until deep golden in color. Mozzarella melts and bubbles in the open spaces while Rosemary from my garden gives a floral and woody scent. Parmesan rains over the top once removed from the oven.
Dinner was served.
And while it wasn’t a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting – I quickly inhaled several pieces while a little girl cried for her own dinner and the boys chanted a familiar tune of “I don’t like it!” before they’ve seen what is being served – it still felt like a small step towards our new normal and that felt good.