Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love (RI Chowder)

He's still SLEEPING! This is an exclamation for many reasons: 1. this is the longest nap in Wesley history (going on 2 hours), 2. I have exhausted all my chores and phone calls, 3. Today was a day I decided not to nap with him (mistake?).

So I have some time, minutes probably.

This summer has been filled with good food, fun beach time, family, and work. Not sure I like working too much (besides my Health Counseling of course). I do less counseling in the summer, because lets be honest, though we all come out of the spring gates with the best intentions, it is not always easy to focus on health in the summer. (this was all written on July 21st, then he woke up)

Ahem...August 2.

Wes is 10 months today! He is sleeping, again, and I have to pump some milk and ready myself for work shortly, but I thought I may be able to publish something today.

Blah, blah, blah, summer, work, family, friends. Lets talk food, spirituality, relationship--I just spent 15 frustrating minutes watching a choppy trailer for Eat, Pray, Love, my computer doesn't support the technological advances of the last 3 years, but I hung in there. I, as with many women, loved the book. What an easy, fun, and inspiring read and it looks like an easy, fun, and inspiring movie to watch. Easy and fun on the eyes!--James Franco, Billy Crudup, and Javier Bardem- I am conjuring up 16 year old Persephone, who gushes at "on screen" hot men (have a hard time using the term "hotties", though it seemed more appropriate there).

So in honor of Eat, Pray, Love...

Eat--we have had a beautiful food summer. Our friends who supplied us with the gorgeous eggs all winter long, continued to be so generous. On fathers day, she stopped by with 2 dozen eggs and about 6 bunch of ruby chard. I had been threatening to bring Wes to meet their chickens, he is loving animals these days, and I finally made it out to their property to do so. These chickens are pimping! The live in a rotating coup so that they are able to eat fresh grass and grubs, each nesting stall has a privacy curtain, they have "chicken" posters from movies like Chicken Little on the walls of their house, screened windows for fresh air, organic garden scraps for food, and classical music! It is no wonder their yolks are dark orange and the shells are strong...delicious.

The chickens were the original draw, but soon after arriving, I realized the garden was nothing to shake a stick at. Rows of fresh lettuces, leafy greens, carrots, potatoes, onions, and night shades. An entire protected pen of blueberry bushes. Squash and melons growing hillside and a compost system to make your mouth water. Seaweed, worm compost, garden scrap, and chicken manure all aid in making the soil rich and the vegetables grow strong like weeds. How blessed was I to be offered free reign of the garden?! I am a little shy, though when my mother in law was visiting and we wanted to make a chowder, I called ahead and went to pull fresh potatoes, carrots, greens, and onions for the soup.

Chop and I had harvested the clams a few days before. It is so satisfying to grow or forage your own food. Clamming with Wes was a challenge, but a fun one and created a great memory. We had to go very far out to get the clams, so we lathered Wesley in sunblock, grabbed some hats and headed out into the water. We took turns holding Wes and digging for clams. At one point I nursed him standing up out in the open water and thought to myself that I was either crazy or extremely sane (is this how it is supposed to be?). A kayaker passed by and asked what we were doing out there with a baby...if you ask me clamming and swimming is where all babies should be at least once in their life.

The bounty. All fresh and local, now that's eating!

The chowder looks more appetizing with a cute baby suggesting, "come give it a try".

Chowder Rhode Island Style
2 dozen clams
1 onion
1 can sweet corn
5 chopped potatoes
4 chopped carrots
2 chopped summer squash
2 stalks of chard finely chopped (Replaced the celery)
2 sticks of butter
4 cups of clam steaming water
1 Tbl dried thyme
1/2 bunch parsley
1 tsp sage
1 tsp oregano

Steam the clams till they all open up in 4 cups of water. Take most of the clams out of the shell and chop them, in the meantime add the vegetables, butter, and herbs to the clam steaming water. This chowder was really good. To be honest I prefer creamy chowder and wasn't looking forward to something that looked so gray and bland, but it was delicious! Blame it on the butter.

Pray--I have been thinking a lot lately about what my next car will be. I have no plans to get a new car, it is not in our current budget, and my car runs well, so I don't know where these thoughts and fantasies are coming from. I have never been a car person, I don't care what I drive, currently I drive the newest car I've ever owned and it is 17 years old. So when I learned that there is a raffle in town to benefit the Early Learning Center, raffling a new Subaru Outback or $15,000, I figured it must be destiny. If Elizabeth Gilbert can create a magical world tour ending in love and a best selling book, I think I can make a new car happen. So I am writing it here first...my intention is to win that car!

My next car.

Love--There is lots of love in my life. When I find myself explaining to my best friend the benefits of having a child, when I can't go out to dinner with her the one night she's visiting because Wes has a fever and is throwing up, I hear myself saying the words I have heard other's say before and always thought a little confusing. "You can't describe it", "rewarding", "magical", but what I think it all comes down to is Love. In the purest sense of the word. To see him learn how to navigate this world, communicate, face pain, face fear, wave good bye and eat a piece of egg is pretty amazing. I don't think I could fully understand where I came from until witnessing these basic feelings realized and rooting for someone so fully. I am rooting for him with all of my heart, I've never done that for anyone else before.

Boy has a good sense of humor.

Lucky girl.