Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where to Begin Today?

     I am always so humbled by a return to routine, to life "by myself". I think that is why I find such joy in cooking and in food, it is truly one of the only things I can control (and really though that is only to a certain extent!) It is also the one thing that remains consistent in my life, despite my reliance upon it (you simply have to eat!)
     I am going to delve into my personal life for a moment (like I don't do that already) and take a step back a week...well almost 2 now to my little trip to the east coast with my sister. It was a great week, and honestly who doesn't enjoy some time away from kids/reality/spouses/life etc. One thing I have learned the most through my life of traveling is how much you have to be able to adjust to change...quickly. For example, I could not control my eating situation (or that of my children for that matter) on such a trip at all times. I could not exercise the same, and in some ways I was even more at the beck and call of someone else (not that she was demanding, we just had a lot of scheduling for friends and activities to coordinate). This was an ok time for this, that is exactly how you manage in such a situation; you press forward, have fun, and look back with amazement at all that you accomplished, and all that you may even have been given the opportunity to discover about yourself, your loved ones, or the world around you. I love that I have learned this from my life. Maybe others learned it in a more normal fashion, but my lessons have come from moving about 11 times before I even graduated high school, and a shocking 11+ since.
     Now what is it I am getting at exactly? Not sure. Only that I have been repeatedly reminded in both little and big ways, what is really important and how easy it is, on a daily basis even, to loose sight of that. While I was in DC on our last official day of leisure, we were able to make it over to the Holocaust Museum. What an experience. I lived in Germany, Berlin actually during a very tumultuous time. Back in '89-'90 when the wall was coming down in fact. It's not like I grew up without any idea of what things were like in other countries, or in history for that matter. I did live in several places, other than the U.S. before I was a teenager. My mother was also quite avid in her studies and we were fairly well informed about this type of event in history for example. Maybe it just hit hard after visiting all the memorials around DC, or taking a stroll through the Smithisonian's American History Museum and getting the opportunity to see that original 28x32 ft Flag that inspired our National Anthem. Maybe it was the visits with old friends, people I haven't seen in over 9 yrs (who gets an opportunity to do that very often?) or the long talks finally with my sister about family, life, and the few things she began to share about her deployment and why it has reinforced her conviction and hope even more that somehow we must still be trying to fight for something good. Maybe it was simply being reunited with my own little family, and then how quickly I have taken it for granted, that I feel so reflective over that single 2 1/2 hour visit.
     I think I am now beginning to understand why parents try so desperately to cram some things down our throat while we are selfish teenagers, or why they wish that awful universal parent wish for us..."I hope you have children just like you!" I know now that there is a time and place for understanding things in our own personal time and place in life, something I didn't understand wholly maybe until now. This very day even. How very important a family is! What a great work I AM doing each day, even if the only "world" I save is my own little one that I created right here. What I teach my kids will matter, it will reflect in who they become. I think that is why I have such a passion for healthy food too. Don't get me wrong, if you look in my fridge right now you would see hot dogs, and maybe some chicken nuggets and ice cream in my freezer. And no, my meat is not grass fed right now. I am pretty sure we even have enough leftover Easter candy to produce 2-3 more Easter baskets if needed...but that is what makes this ok. Just like I said above, it is your ability to adapt at any given time that is a blessing. Next week we can try harder to stick a few more veggies in at dinner, or skip the ice cream all together. I know my body and mind will thank me for it. I will feel better, and be that much more able to function at the best of my ability, which sadly at this time I may or may not be doing. But it is ok today. It is ok to spend the afternoon playing out side, blowing bubbles with the kids, enjoying the sunshine on my face, and the freedom I have to enjoy it. Now if only I could find that baking sheet, then I really could be in business with that possessed old oven in there...

It seems that whenever I feel dysfunctional in my kitchen, I always want to cook fish. Sorry for all you non-fish lovers out there! But this is an easy recipe I can manage with my two simple pans, and the kids always seem to love it! Plus, all that east coast eating inspired me to pull this one out of the attic and dust it off sorta may not be a G&M Crab Cake, but it will do nicely!

     Salmon Patties

14.75 oz can Salmon (like Bumblebee Pink, Red is higher quality but pink is cheaper and works fine) drained
1 egg
1/4/-1/2 c. crushed saltine crackers (or whatever you have around, bread crumbs work too!)
salt, pepper, and italian seasoning to taste
1 tsp each olive oil and butter for the pan

Heat oil and butter (oil with the butter allows the butter not to burn and still carry over the butter flavor which is super yum) in the bottom of a large skillet. Mix the rest of the above ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. I personally liked about 1/2 tsp of each of the spices. Grab a handful of the mixture (yes with your bare hands, make sure they are clean!) and smoosh into a palm sized fairly flat patty. Place in the hot oil butter, and repeat until the pan is full. Cook for about 2-3 min on each side, or til brown. Place on a paper towel covered plate and repeat until mixture is used up. No need to add more oil, you can also do this with a no fat cooking spray to save on calories! Serve with sweet potatoes on the side (like sweet mashed or baked, even quick french fried ones work great too), a fresh salad and even steamed veggies. Easy, quick, yummy, and kid friendly! 

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know you lived in Germany when the wall was coming down, that's pretty crazy! I completely agree with your assesment of our need to adapt and make the nest of our current situation!


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