I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. A LOT. Prepping and creating three times a day is important to me, it’s important for all my bears even if they don’t appreciate it now, that they are nutritiously fed for their growing brains to develop and strong bodies to sculpt so that they can conquer their day like warriors. I’m not concocting anything extravagant, on the contrary they are unassuming little recipes.Some days, I do a little more exploring and I sometimes surprise myself, but the goal is simply a little comfort for the tummy and for the soul. Some of my meals are the kind they eat up in seconds after a long day of school, while others are the kind they don’t eat up at all…more for me is what I say. Sometimes, middle bear will whip up something on his own while older bear, thwacks his man-sized feet onto the stone floor not to be bothered with kitchen duties and props himself on the couch. Weekly chocolate chip cookies from scratch have been so routine for middle bear now, that older bear has crept in to taste the batter and little bear is right there at his side assisting with the entire process. She manages to sneak an extra cookie still hot from the tray, as if she earned it for her sous chef commitment. I don’t mind a bit knowing what goes into them is all goodness and that this weekly event is allowed after dinner. This is where I try to artfully sneak something on the table where they must try knowing the cookies will not be consumed if the meal isn’t.Sometimes, middle bear needs to be right at little bear’s side to cheer her on to try it, because the deal is everyone must try it or the baking doesn’t commence. Then guess who cleans up after it all? You guessed it, I am the lucky winner every time. This is the only time no one is by my side, so I resort to podcasting.
It took somewhat of a learning curve to unwind into the reluctant habit of tending to the aftershock of what sometimes looks like a horrific natural disaster blustered through my kitchen and even spilling into other rooms. Lately, I have been listening to this series but most times it about food and a lot of other times it’s woman’s podcast. Yes, a girlfriend right by my side. Mostly by clean up time though I listening to music to get me motivated since little bear is not at my side, she surely is making a mess somewhere else, so my cleaning services will be needed in another part of the nest. Lunch is still just the two of us and the simplest of all.
These days a bone broth with hearty minced veggies and black rice noodles is always comforting as we look out to the snowy vista. Other times alliums are sautéed for say a half hour and just when I think they are done, I sweat them out for even longer with whatever else is on hand, celery, carrots, fennel or squash. I never add sugar, the veggies are sweet enough, but sometimes if date syrup is on hand I add some or even coconut aminos. This base will make anything tasty…give it a try. Have spinach or kale just toss them in, pour some broth, puree and season as you please. With such simplicity for lunch, I can sometimes attend to little things around the nest before the older bears enter grizzly through the doors sniffing for morsels. Here’s the latest project I have completed with baby bear right there by my side doing her thing. The hooks were striking as is, a light stained wood, however since older bears’ choice of black and yellow for their walls, I painted colorful patterns, a mid-winter’s touch. I’m off to get more for middle bear’s room because now he wants some. Always, something to do in our nest. Little by little we’ll get to where we would like to be. For now, I am learning the value of little moments here and there outside of the kitchen and the incongruent moments of the some-day worthy of my undertaking in the kitchen.