Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Move over Martha

I love to entertain. That is one area where I truly feel that I have my game on. Our house is always open to drop-ins, the kettle is never cold and I am generally up for making tea or a latte. But give me some warning, even an hour and you can be enjoying your latte with an amazing slice of Banana bread, recipe compliments of Bill Granger. More notice and this is where I get ramped up. Come for dinner, honestly the whole idea for me is just exhilarating.

I really enjoy cooking, I follow Chef Heidi Fink, smittenkitchen and I own nearly 101 cookbooks!!! I love the inspiration I get from all these sources. I am not super great at following recipes, not much a stickler for measuring. Savoury is more my forte than baking (mainly due to my lack of measuring, baking really is a science). The funny thing is, it's the day to day cooking where I seriously want to just go back to bed and hope there really is a kitchen fairy who will whip up something delicious and nutritious that everyone will eat, and then of course, clean up the kitchen too.

I guess dinner parties, the people are alot more open to eating what you serve. Is it because they are adults or just other people who are looking at me like I am the kitchen fairy? I don't really care, it is just so great to have someone truly appreciate what you have just served. Don't get me wrong, I know my family is grateful for me cooking for them. Even if it does mean pizza every friday, three sisters burritos, pasta, wraps or one of the other 6 staple menus I rotate week after week. It definitely cuts my shopping time down, I just buy the same thing week in and week out. I could almost autopilot myself around the grocery store.

Today was great, we had some out of town friends coming by for coffee, I baked banana bread. We invited them to stay for lunch. My kitchen ROCKS! I seriously love it. It has the perfect combo of country comfort and good appliances. It has the most wonderful feel, it is so welcoming and relaxed, it truly is the heart of our home. I do feel at ease there, I just breeze around, peeling, slicing, blending, roasting, sauteing and on and on. I love to eat, perhaps that is it. And I love to feed people. So if they are willing to eat, I will get creative.

Later, I spent my afternoon preparing for some friends to come for dinner. I made my little pies, lentils and vegetables in filo pastry. I grilled asparagus, roasted potatoes and made a very delicious kale salad with avacado dressing. I made some oriental eggplant dip but forgot it in the fridge, until I was cleaning up after dinner. After dinner we ate some divine chocolate brownies that my friend had made, we cleared the table and played spoons with our children.

It was such a great evening, I just couldn't see myself going to bed, I stayed up and watched a movie by myself. I know I will regret the lack of sleep tomorrow, but I just felt I was too excited after such a great evening of food and friends.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's a woman's world baby...

I was just making some pizza dough and sauce for dinner tonight. Yes, I make my own pizza dough and sauce. Not because I some super mom, not because it is cheaper and tastes better (I believe), but because I like to and I can, and it is just the way I am. I was recently with some friends when the conversation came up about making pizza and I received a sort of smart comeback from someone, saying 'and I bet you make your own sauce'. Sometimes it is hard to decipher when a comment as meant as a criticism, a compliment or if it comes from a place of feeling inadequate.

I see this often amongst women. We seem to all harbour some feelings of falling short in some area of our lives. We feel guilty if we go off to work and leave our children in daycare or with a nanny, we feel guilty if we don't get time for ourselves, or follow our own desired career path - and the list goes on and on. You really can't win at times.

I often feel stumped when it comes to the 'Occupation' or 'what do you do for a living' questions on forms or in conversations. I don't actually make a 'living' as is implied in North America to mean money. As far as occupation goes, as to what occupies my time, well that would be my children, but I can't say I am a mum, because does that mean that my friends with children who go to work are not mums, no it doesn't. And I can't say I am a stay at home mum, because we don't stay at home (ask my dad, he has a better relationship with message machine, much to his chagrin). I am not a housewife, as I am not married to my house. I do make some money selling pots, but that is not a living. I do homeschool my children, but that doesn't make a teacher. And I am not hung up titles, but I find it all very interesting.

I was once at a cocktail party when a woman asked me what I did and I said I had two children that I stayed at home with. She sort of hmmmmed and then turned away. Done with me I thought. For a long time I felt as though perhaps she thought I had nothing to offer as I did not work outside the home, but one day when I retold the story to a friend who did work outside the home, she said perhaps the woman felt guilt or intimidation by this. I was astounded, we are raised in a world where we seem to believe we should do everything, have a career, raise our children, be athletic, artistic, philanthropic and the list goes on. I also believe we live in a time where we are able to choose which path is the correct one for each of us. Whether it is to have children, or not, have nannies, day care, go to work, stay at home, homeschool, send the children to school, whatever, it really is what works for each individual person. I believe we need to support each other in these ventures and really feel confident in our decisions. We make the best ones that we can at that time. No one can predict the future, we just need to live in the moment. We need to not be so sensitive to comments, that might not be coming from where we think they are. We need to not be judgmental, but supportive. If we can't support each other in this big sister hood, then who will?

When I refer to we, I think in some great way, I am referring to myself. And as for the forms, I sometimes leave them blank, or put in what ever I feel at the moment artist, mother, home learner, COO of a small human development organization, etc.. Because really, at the end of the day it is often irrelevant and what is most important is being content with who I am and what I do, title or no title.