Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mashed Red Potatoes with Garlic

Eight months ago I had a son. He is wonderful. He is more than I deserve. And in a lot of ways, he has been my world. Focusing on my son for the past eight months has been precious to me. And stressful. And fulfilling. And tiring. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. One of the best gifts my husband has ever given me has been the gift of making it possible for me to stay home with Malachi.

But, it's time. Time to leave the bubble. Time to leave the house. Time to focus on someone else, for a change. Over the past two weeks God has laid four (yes, f-o-u-r) new ministry opportunities at my feet and asked me to pick them up. My husband and I are going to get the ball rolling a little faster on our missions ministry at church. I'm teaching and leading the ESL outreach program at another local church. And a couple other things. It's really exciting, but it's also a little scary. I'm afraid I might get stretched too thin. I'm afraid my house will get messy and we'll go back to rushed dinners because I'll be really busy again. I'm afraid I won't get enough time with my family.

All of these things are pretty unfounded - we're not talking about forty hours a week here. These are all things I love. I'm so excited to use my gifts again, to have some "me" time, and to invest in other people (older than the age of 8 months). Maybe I'm not so much scared as sad - this is the end of a chapter for me, and I won't get to have this chapter again. But, I think we're ready for it. And I know if I'm not, God will prepare me. He always does.

Cooking is like therapy for me. When I was working there were nights I came home, collapsed, and had cereal for dinner a couple hours later. But there were nights when I came home exhausted and decided to make some elaborate multi-course dish I'd never made before. Or other nights I came home totally overwhelmed with things to do and made some familiar meal I loved, and then started my work at 9:00 p.m. As my feet got sore, my mind and heart got calm. I love to create things, and to share them with others. Today was one of those days. It was a good day, but man am I tired. So I made my favorite iced tea, which is 2 green tea bags, one regular tea bag, and one peppermint tea bag put in for just the last few minutes of steeping time. For dinner I made oven-fried pork chops (I'm not giving you a recipe because you can find it on the back of a box), sauteed zucchini and yellow squash (butter, salt, pepper, garlic, skillet), and this:

Fancy-Pants Mashed Potatoes

~5 medium red-skinned potatoes
~a dollop of sour cream
~5-6 tablespoons of butter
~about 1/4 cup of half and half (or a little more milk)
~about 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
~1 1/2ish tablespoons chicken bullion
~garlic powder, salt, pepper

Cut the potatoes into 2-inch cubes, add the chicken bullion, and boil. (This would be even better if you used chicken broth instead of bullion). Once you can mash the potatoes easily with a wooden spoon, drain them and add them back to the pot. Add the butter, sour cream and half and half and mash it with a potato masher. Then stir in the cheddar cheese and spices to taste. You can add chopped chives to the top if you want.

1 comment:

  1. Comfort food - sounds like I should have been there.