Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Scramble...

I have a friend who regularly posts on Facebook pictures of the most amazing looking scrambles she makes herself for a late breakfast once the kiddos are off to school.  Seriously, every picture gets my mouth watering and sends me into a Pavlovian state of hunger.  She has totally inspired me to amp up my breakfast and lunch game when I am at home.

We have these lovely ladies who lay for us nearly every day, and I often have bits and pieces of leftovers that will not stretch to feed a family of four a second time around.  Put them together and it is usually pretty wonderful.  Today, my oldest had brought home some leftovers from a meal out with her fabulous aunties, a roasted veggie mix of squash and brussel sprouts, lentils and chickpeas.  I tossed the lot of it in a pan to heat up, scrambled a couple eggs and topped it all off with a bit of siracha, that is my kind of meal!  This has come to be my favorite go-to, not just as meal for one (sauté leftover cooked veggies and/or meat and serve topped with an egg cooked your favorite way) but its also a great way to stretch a quick family meal as well.

We started raising chickens a few years ago (something I encourage everyone interested to try, I mean there is nothing like eggs from your own back yard -- really) and have loved watching these ladies grow from day old chicks to the more mature bunch that they now are.  In the years we've had chickens we have counted ourselves very lucky to not have lost a single one... until now.  We lost our sweet little Daisy a couple weeks ago, and even just today I was telling my oldest how strange it is to arrive home and not see her big waddling white and black self running to great me.  She was the smallest chick when we started, we really didn't expect her to survive as she always seemed to be in utter distress, but she grew to be on of the biggest of our flock and a true personality.  We miss you Daisy...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Keeping It Simple and Ritual...

Last year for Lent our family chose to follow suit with this idea, and ate only beans and rice for dinner on weeknights.  We took weekends off, because we are only human after all.  Though it was a bit of an adjustment at first, I came to absolutely love the simplicity of this little ritual: beyond the fact that it streamlined grocery shopping and meal planning, there was something so striking about sitting down together night after night to a meal of just beans, rice and a simple salad.  And day after day as I prepared those beans and rice I thought and marveled at how much for granted I had come to take the absolute abundance we live in today.  I can walk down the isles of my local market and find such a vast variety of options, even just within the beans and rice selections.  So many options are really just at my finger tips every day, I am finding it to be a real distraction for the way I want to live my life and the way I would like to see my family living.  I really am a simple girl at heart, give me those I love and some space outside  (well ok and a nice cup of coffee too) and I could be very happy.  I could ramble on and on about this all, and if you'd like to join me for a coffee sometime soon we could commiserate together.

Fast forward to the current Lenten season, though we are not doing beans and rice this year (I found my systems just cannot take all that grain), we have settled in to some mealtime rituals.  This year we are gathering with a few folks on Friday evenings for some thoughtful reflection and sharing over a soup supper.  Soup is a staple around here, we all love it and never tire of many of our tried and true favorites.  And there is something so lovely about gathering with friends around that steaming pot, watching ladleful after ladleful being served to all those gathered young and old alike.  As is our tradition we abstain from meat on Fridays in Lent so all of these are either vegetarian or contain fish.  Here is a rundown of our soup suppers so far this season...

Week One we had Brazilian Coconut Soup with tofu
Week Two we had Black Bean and Quinoa Chili
Week Three we had Smoked Salmon Chowder

The other ritual I have come to really appreciate, though honestly it began long before Lent and will (I hope) continue on for years to come, is the big Sunday morning breakfast.  As is likely in many households with teenagers, my husband and I are generally the first to wake on weekends.  We have sort of settled into this big breakfast slowly over time, I am usually out the door pretty early for my milking rotation with the neighborhood goats and he us up caring for our own animals.  By the time I return, eggs and bacon on well on their way and I start the pancakes or waffles and get all the various toppings and sides out (we do love our toppings in this house).  I always try to pick up a Sunday newspaper on my way home from the goats as well as a round of coffee and or juice for the family.  About this time the kiddos start to wander downstairs, sip their morning drink of choice and peruse their favorite section of the paper; comics are a must, Suduko and horoscopes are always fun, and checking out the travel section while fantasizing of future trips makes everyone happy.  I love that we are all gathered in the same space, comfy and cozy, sharing stories from the week or interesting bits from the newspaper, and enjoying a meal made by shared hands and love.

These two rituals make my weekend feel complete, week after week.  I'd love to hear about your rituals, what makes your week?