Hello! I examined my kitchen floor this afternoon, contemplated sweeping, and decided to come here instead.
The fact that I have two simultaneous napping boys means I may as well be listening to a ticking alarm. Yellow leaves flutter on their branches outside my kitchen window, reflecting gold-ish glints of light on this hazy, white-skied October afternoon. And I feel very satisfied about the fact that there is a Dutch oven with a pound of dried pinto beans, onion, garlic and cherry tomatoes bubbling away over the stove. Somehow today I have given more forethought to dinner than I have in a long while. So often now we are finding more creative uses for leftover shredded pork at 7:00 at night, which is not something to complain about. Unless you are quite hungry by 7:00 at night. Which I am.
So what to write about? Politics? I like being heard as much as the next person, but the internet feels like an angry and controversial enough place during this toxic election. Food? Eventually, with a recipe. My children or motherhood in general? I suppose you would be expecting that. And truly, it is 99% of what I think about, aside from the .5% spent on the election and .5% on drinking wine. But, you see, the baby just woke up. So I will leave you with a list of things I wish I could write about but feel pinched, as always, for time.
-A response to this article.
-And my marvel over this one.
-Baby hands that have discovered their friends, the feet.
-A nearly 4-year-old who has a knack for organizing his things and a curios habit of collecting: dice, buttons, acorns, rocks, sticks, blades of grass, broken toy parts whose previous life’s function is a complete mystery and used stickers, to name a few.
-A nearly 4-year-old who loves to draw pumpkins and dinosaurs and cacti and snakes and the faces of each of us with freshly sharpened colored pencils.
-This time of year. And the sense of solitude when running on a straight gravel road, under a steeling gray sky, cold air filling my lungs, the wind hitting my body after whipping past miles and miles of barren agricultural land. I am pretty sure this time of year is the reason I am a runner.
-The peace I have found with living and raising our boys in a small, weird little town.
-The feel goods when the baby is sleep/nursing and his brother is building Lincoln log huts and gates for his small plastic animals near my feet.
-The blanket of rainbow leaves that now rest over our local park. Being perched in a rather neglected wooden play set, peering through a blue telescope with a baby in my lap, on the lookout for sharks. The complete beauty and wonder of being a child. And how grateful I feel everyday that Jude has his big brother.
Maybe someday. But for now, a recipe.
. . .
Porter and I have made this hot chocolate recipe a dozen times this fall. It is ridiculously easy and decadent and I would argue that it is better than even your favorite store-bought hot cocoa mix. I suspect once Christmas approaches we will be dropping candy canes in our warm mugs of the stuff. But for now, we like it with steamed coconut or whole milk, lots and lots of miniature marshmallows, and a few pieces of candy corn on the side.
Our Very Favorite Hot Chocolate
From: Smitten Kitchen
Yield: Just under 1 3/4 cups mix,
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, any kind you like
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or the seeds from a tiny segment of fresh vanilla bean
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until powdery. Mixture keeps in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.
To use: Heat one cup of milk (coconut, almond or others would work here too) in a saucepan over medium heat until steamy. Add 2-3 tablespoons hot cocoa mix. Whisk over heat for another minute or two, until it begins to simmer and mix is completely dissolved. Pour into mug, top with mini-marshmallows or a dollop of whipped cream. Be sure to hide candy corn under the marshmallow refill bowl for both you and your soon to be 4-year-old.