Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pet Peeves

My original plan for today was to write about how much I love the farmers market.  I do too - I really like going to the market, and seeing what is in season, and tasting local cheeses, and all that fun stuff.
My fridge, as of this morning's trip to the market, may contain 100% more nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, potatoes, carrots, onions and fancy sausages for the meat-eaters in the house than it did prior to the trip.  There may also have been some raspberries that never really made it into the refrigerator.

However, later in the day, I encountered one of my major parenting pet peeves: the male spouse performing childcare = babysitting phenomena.

This really tees me off.

When my spouse is looking after our child, he is not babysitting.  He is parenting.  Period.
He contributed to half of her DNA.  He is equally involved in taking her to the park, dropping her off at daycare, putting her to bed, giving her baths, and all the day-to-day parenting items.

If I go out to enjoy myself as a grown-up for a few hours, he is not babysitting our daughter.  He is parenting our daughter.  Almost no one would say that I was babysitting our child if my partner decided to go out for a few hours.

I did call out the person who used the term babysitting in reference to my partner tonight (and not in a rude, jerk way), but it just really . . . argh.

If you are a parent that I know, it is a pretty safe bet that you are an awesome parent, who doesn't 'babysit' your own child - you parent your child, regardless as to whether your spouse is immediately available or not.  Now we just need society to start treating you like the awesome parent you are, regardless of your gender.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Veggie Stew & Smoked Cheddar Corn Muffins

I've had a head cold all week, which has not lead to a bright outlook on life.  It is hard to see the nice things when your sinuses are so congested they make your teeth & eyeballs ache.
Today, when I'm starting to feel more like a human being, it decided to be overcast and rainy.

Comfort food definitely became the order of the day!
This thought was redoubled when I got of the bus and was promptly drenched from about the waist down in a downpour.  The umbrella managed to keep the rest of me mostly dry.

Partner managed to avoid most of the rain, so he did the bulk of the cooking, but we've both made veggie stew fairly regularly. 

To make your own veggie stew is also really easy!
You will need:
1 tin tomato paste
2 cans beans of your choice - we used one tin of Romano and one of fava/chickpea mix today
2 peeled and chopped carrots
2 washed & chopped ribs of celery
4-5 mushrooms, sliced
3-5 potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 beet, diced (we used a golden beet)
wine! (preferably red, but white works too)
1 mushroom or vegetable bouillon cube, dissolved in 1 cup water
thyme, oregano and pepper to taste

Start by browning your onions and garlic in the pan with a little bit of oil.  Add the rest of the veggies and let them saute for a few minutes, so they get a little bit of colour.  Then add your bouillon, tomato paste and spices.  Thin with a little bit of wine (or a lot of wine).  If you don't have any wine, you can thin with water.
Let simmer until the veggies are all cooked through and your house smells amazing!

While your stew is bubbling away, feel free to make some biscuits or cornbread muffins to go with!  I originally was going to make herb biscuits, but then I realized that all the butter in the house was frozen.  Darn!
However, I then remembered that cornbread muffins don't need butter, and they are just as quick.
I used this recipe as the base of my muffins.  However, I used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, reduced the sugar to 1/2 tsp and I grated what was left of the smoked cheddar we had in the fridge into the muffin batter. 
They were the perfect accompaniment for the stew.

Here's to hoping that the rest of the summer stays warm & gets a little sunnier than it has been lately.